Fast Shred Program: 4 Day Compound Set Workout Split

Fast Shred Program: 4 Day Compound Set Workout Split
Tired of spending hours in the gym without getting the results you want? Try the Fast Shred program; a compound set workout to get you shredded & on your way!

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
8 weeks
30-45 minutes
Bands, Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
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Workout Description

Do you want to get shredded?

Do you also want to cut down on the hours you spend in the gym on a weekly basis?

With summer right around the corner, I can’t say that I blame you if you answered yes to both of those questions.

I mean, who wants to spend all their time in the gym when they could be hanging out by the pool, shredded, soaking up that summer sun?

That’s why I’ve designed a sequel to the Fast Mass Program.

But instead of packing on size, we’re going to focus on shredding some body fat this go around.

Related: Tank Top Workout - 4 Day Muscle Building Split

Editor's Note: Make sure you’re doing all the right things you need to be doing to lose body fat. For those looking for a more in-depth resource to teach them how to lose fat, we’ve created a FREE 5 day Fat Loss Email Course.

The course will teach you how your body loses fat, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize fat loss, how to eat for fat loss, how to supplement to lose body fat and how to track your progress.

Sign up below today to learn and ensure you get the most out of this workout program.

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The Basic Component of the Fast Shred Program

In the Fast Mass Program, I introduced you to a time saving intensity booster known as the superset.

In this program, we (for the most part) traded out the superset for compound sets.

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked. Supersets involve opposing muscle groups, for example you would superset a set of bicep curls with a set of dumbbell tricep extensions.

Compound sets involve the same muscle group. So, for a traditional back compound set, immediately after a set of barbell rows you might hit a set of pullups.

In the Fast Shred Program, I’ve done my best to strategically set up compound sets that involve a heavy lift followed by a set of a bodyweight exercises. This way, you can utilize a heavier weight for the weighted motion without fear of injury risk of a loaded second movement.

That’s not to say that a few compound sets, supersets and giant sets involving loaded exercises weren’t incorporated into this program, but it was avoided for the majority of the sets.

The compound set drastically increases the muscle’s time under tension, thus causing greater overall muscle damage. Combined with proper nutrition, rest, and recovery the end result should be increased muscular endurance and a greater amount of fat loss.

Day 1 – Lower Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Squat 4 8-12
1b. Bodyweight Squat 4 12-20
2a. Dumbbell RDL 4 8-12
2b. Leg Curls 4 12-20
3a. Leg Press 3 8-12
3b. Reverse Bodyweight Lunge 3 10 each leg
Day 2 – Upper Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Bench Press 4 8-12
1b. Pushup 4 12-20
2a. Barbell Row 4 8-12
2b. Inverted Row 4 12-20
3a. Lateral Raises 3 8-12
3b. Front Raises 3 8-12
3c. Rear Delt Raises 3 8-12
4a. 21's 3 21's
4b. Seated Tricep Extension 3 8-12
Day 3 – Off / Active Recovery / Abs

off (light cardio 20-40 minutes of walking for active recovery)

Day 4 – Lower Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Barbell Deadlift 4 8-12
1b. Single Leg Toe Touch 4 10 each leg
2a. Front Squat 3 8-12
2b. Side Lunges 3 10 each side
3a. Leg Extension 3 8-12
3b. Leg Curls 3 8-12
4a. Standing Calf Raise 3 20
4b. Seated Calf Raise 3 20
4c. Jump Rope 3 1 min
Day 5 – Upper Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Standing Dumbbell Press 4 8-12
1b. Band Pull Apart 4 12-20
2a. Dumbbell Row 4 8-12
2b. Pullup 4 12-20
3a. Dumbbell Incline Press 4 8-12
3b. Incline Fly 4 12-20
4a. Dumbbell Curl 3 8-12
4b. Rope Pressdown 3 8-12
Day 6 &7 – Off/Active Recovery/ Abs

off (light cardio 20-40 minutes of walking for active recovery)

M&S Female Athlete Performing Inverted Rows


How Long Should I Take for My Rest Periods?

You won’t be taking any rest periods in between compound, super, or giant sets.

After you finished the prescribed reps for all of the exercises in a set, take between 60-90 seconds worth of rest before attacking your next set.

With that said, it is important to know your own ability and fitness level. If you need longer in between sets, take a little longer to rest in between sets.

If I Eat Properly and Do this Program, How Long Will It Take to See Results?

There are quite a few things that will determine your success with this program. Nutrition is indeed a key factor. For fat loss, you want to make sure you are in a caloric deficit. Find out your BMR here, then subtract ~250-500 calories away from that.

Other factors will include the amount of hours you get of sleep each night and how you spend your time recovering outside of the gym.

A good goal to aim for is about 0.25-0.5lbs of fat loss per week. Grant it, this will depend greatly on your current body composition and all of the factors listed above.

Related: How To Build A Fat Loss Meal Plan

What Should I Do For Abs?

Everyone wants a six pack for summer. Feel free to add in ab and core exercises to the tailend of these workouts or on off days.

Check out our full database of ab workouts here.

Can I Switch up the Order of the Workouts/Sub Exercises?

You’re more than welcome to tailor this program whatever way you see fit to better fit your needs and help you reach your goals.

With that said, be cautious about subbing exercises and switching the workout order. You want to make sure you are still able to recover properly from each workout as this is how you will inevitably see the results you want.

If you have any other questions, comments, and/or try the workout, let us know in the comments section below!

137 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 09/21/2020 - 20:47
Manuella A

Hiya Josh,

Thanks so much for this, really looking forward to starting it next week once I finish this current plan I'm on. I was wondering, what would be an effective substitute for pull-ups? I can maybe just about get 1 full motion (if that) so will definitely be doing it on the assisted machine, but in case that is out of use at the time, what other exercises work the same muscle groups?

Again, thanks a lot!

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Posted Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:40

Hey Manuella - check out this article on 3 pull up progressions:

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Posted Thu, 09/17/2020 - 15:32

Hi! Are the workouts the same during the 8 week period? Meaning will Day 1 working be the same every week?
Thank you

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Posted Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:39

Hey Jerry - you are correct. Day 1 - 7 will be repeated on a weekly basis for the 8 week period.

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Posted Fri, 08/28/2020 - 22:15

I really like this routine; especially the first leg day! However, I can’t quite overload the leg press the way I want because I’m working at home and beat I can do is a resistance band. Do you think I’d be better off doing front squats or Bulgarians or something, since I don’t have a leg press at home?

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Posted Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:37

Hey Sam - so glad you like the workout! Weighted lunges or Bulgarian split squats would be a great alternative to the leg press.

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Posted Fri, 08/28/2020 - 12:15
C wolfe

I'm about 30% body fat at 285lbs I would love to drop that would it be worth doing 4days in a row and add 2 or 3 days of body weight workouts or mixing the upper lower in between days with body weight

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Posted Fri, 08/28/2020 - 15:18

Hey C Wolfe - follow the program as it's prescribed. Dropping weight is more about diet than exercise. If you do this workout consistently on a calorie deficit you will drop pounds. Good luck!

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Posted Thu, 02/06/2020 - 07:00
Jake Huggins

Hi josh can I do this in a 4day row as that’s how it would work out around my routine as I swim aswell? So could I do upper, lower, upper, lower

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Posted Thu, 02/06/2020 - 10:38

Hi Jake,

That would be fine depending on your ability to recover.

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Posted Fri, 01/10/2020 - 11:04

Why can I only see Week 1?

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Posted Fri, 01/10/2020 - 11:19

Hi John,

You are meant to perform the same workouts throughout the duration of the program and improve upon the weight used to build muscle.

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Posted Mon, 12/23/2019 - 18:46

What does it mean 1a. 1b.
Does it mean super set?
And what am i doing with 2a 2b 2c.? 3 exercises in a row?

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Posted Tue, 12/24/2019 - 11:53

Yep. Supersets and giant sets/circuits.

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Posted Fri, 09/11/2020 - 17:01
Nic A

So do I do 1a, 1b, rest. And do this 4 times? I dont grt your sets, suoersets plus where the breaks come and what should be done together!? Thx

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Posted Fri, 09/25/2020 - 16:25

Hey Nic - Here's an example for Day 1 - Lower Body:
Set 1: 1a, 1b
Set 2: 1a, 1b
Set 3: 1a, 1b
Set 4: 1a, 1b

Then you would repeat that for 2a & 2b and so on. The number of sets you do is listed in the 'Sets' column. Hope that helps!

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Posted Sun, 11/24/2019 - 10:12

12-20 pullups. I can probably do 3. Do you suggest doing the rest negative?

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Posted Mon, 11/25/2019 - 12:49

Hi doodoo,

Yes, I would recommend eccentric only upon reaching failure.

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Posted Sun, 11/24/2019 - 09:48

No ab workout in it?
What if I like to add some ab workout along with a quick treadmill run. What would you suggest?

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Posted Mon, 11/25/2019 - 12:51

Hi doodoo,

Feel free to add in abdominal work if you feel it necessary to accomplish your own goals.

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Posted Tue, 11/19/2019 - 13:07

Can I add some of my favorite exercises to this? Or would that be loading up to much on each day?

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Posted Wed, 11/20/2019 - 10:25

Hi Nathan,

If adding exercises, I'd recommend substituting them in for the exercises within the program that train a similar movement pattern or isolate the same body part.

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Posted Mon, 10/07/2019 - 07:54

What percentage do you move up each week or do you just stay the same weight?

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Posted Mon, 10/07/2019 - 11:25

Hi J,

I'd move up 5-10lbs depending on the exercise whenever capable.

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Posted Wed, 09/25/2019 - 22:26

Hey Josh I just finished a power muscle burn workout but I feel as if it added too much mass to my legs. Would this fat shred workout help in leaning my quads out as well? I'm hesitant to do too much leg work because some of my trousers don't fit anymore!!!

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Posted Thu, 09/26/2019 - 10:42

Hi Jason,

Lol - that's a genetic blessed. So many people would kill for that problem.

If you don't want big legs, I'd recommend training them less, not more. But, personally, I'd recommend investing in some better-fitted pants.

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Posted Sun, 06/23/2019 - 16:41

hello, I have a question please. I have about 11 percent of body fat and its summer over here.
my chest and arms are a bit lagging and i would like to have that shredded body. Would this program help me in gaining muscle and getting the nice toned body? I hope you understood me like, to have this toned muscular body and shredded. Thank you in advanced.

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 10:57

Hi Carlos,

11% is pretty good! Yes, this program will help with those goals.

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 12:11

I would like to thank you for everything you are doing and all of your effort.

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2019 - 13:02
Jen Podnar

I lift in my basement and am planning on starting this workout. The only exercise I cannot perform is the leg press because I don't have that machine. Can you recommend an alternative for that particular exercise? Thank you.

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 14:57

Hi Jen,

Any squat variation would do the trick in my books. Maybe pick a variation that is not already listed within the workout and add it in place of the leg press.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2019 - 11:53
Scott J Smith

Okay so a 21 is a type of exercise but what lift am I actually doing here. A 21 can be used for any lift so it doesn't make a lot of sense here, I'm assuming since it is compound it is some type of tricep workout.

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:49

Hi Scott,

It's a bicep curl 21. Sorry for the confusion there. I used supersets on arms. To me, a compound set didn't make a lot of sense there.

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 11:41
Iordache Radu

Hello. I m kind of new and i want to know if i need to do exercise a,b,c like a superset or i need to finish a, then b and than c, etc. Thank you

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:10

Hi Iordache,

The letters represent circuits and supersets, yes. If you're new to the gym, I'd recommend one of these workouts:

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 18:37

Thanks for the great workouts, Josh! I chose Fast Shred because my primary goal atm is fat loss with muscle building a close second. I've been doing a 'super-slow' workout for a while (Once a week, full body. 1 set, taking a full 20 seconds to complete a rep, heavy enough to shoot for complete failure by 3 or 4 reps.) . I did that for 'least amount of work to maintain muscle" but now I'm ready to commit more time.

After making myself up a detailed chart to do Fast Shred, I read something in the questions that made me think I should do Fast Mass first... yes? No?
Appreciate your thoughts.

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 12:08

Hi Lisa,

You can do either or first depending on your goals - they both compliment each other very well. Best of luck with the programs!

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/01/2019 - 02:57
Chris wolfe

How heavy should u go

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Posted Mon, 04/01/2019 - 09:12

Hi Chris,

75-85% working max should be good. Finish each superset feeling as though you have 1-2 reps still left in the tank.

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Posted Wed, 03/27/2019 - 15:30
Alexandru Tita

Hi Josh,

Can you help me with a diet? It’s been 3 weeks and i dont see any difference in the mirror nor when i weight myself. Is it normal? Am I doing something wrong?
The only good thing is that i lift more kg now.

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Posted Wed, 03/27/2019 - 16:34
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Posted Thu, 03/28/2019 - 07:54
Alexandru Tita

Thank you, I’ll check them out.
Also, can you help me with an abs workout? Atm I’m doing only planks, side planks and crunches.

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Posted Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:42

Hi Alexandru,

Those are definitely awesome options for training your core. Check out this program - I think it might help you build both core strength and definition:

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Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 19:17

Hi, what are your thoughts on 20 minutes of cardio before the workout or a two mile run?

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Posted Wed, 03/13/2019 - 10:43

Hi Chris,

I'd recommend it after the workout.

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2019 - 13:03

Thanks for the response. Also, what do you recommend for a warming up before each days workout?

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Posted Tue, 02/19/2019 - 19:09

Well Josh,
I am now on week 7 of this and I’ve been pretty impressed with the results. Really like the no BS, simple approach.
I’ve been looking into your fast mass and SHUL.
If I wanted to give this (compound) another round, could I tweak it and load up heavy on the first/second sets while going down on reps and load down on the next 1 or 2 and go up on the reps?
Or rather move on to SHUL or fast mass?
Thanks for putting all the thought and work into this - after 7 weeks I see what you are doing there. Shuffling exercises for optimal results as well as not having to run from one side of gym to the other etc.
Solid program that I will definitely either repeat or use days from.


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Posted Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:31

Hi Tanya,

So happy to hear about your success with the program!

I'm all about simplicity because it breeds consistency - and consistency is what breeds results.

You could definitely give this program another round by doing what you've suggested. And Fast Mass and SHUL are both solid options as well. It really depends on your goals at the moment.

If you're looking to increase strength - I'd definitely recommend SHUL. Fast Mass is a solid change of pace from this program that wouldn't require you to alter anything aside from the change in program itself.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 02/08/2019 - 12:33
Shelby Cartwright

If I wanted to add cardio to the end of every workout, what would you reccomend the intensity and length be?