If your physique isn't where you want it to be, start your New Year off right with this intense 21-day fat loss workout from Coach Dustin Myers.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Lose Fat
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration3 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Medicine Ball, Other
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Congratulations, you have made it to a new year. If you are like most people, you have probably told yourself that THIS is going to be the year where you finally get it together and achieve the type of results that you've always wanted. Maybe you tried last year, and the year before that, but for some reason it just didn't pan out. Why is that?

Well, I will tell you why. In the past, you, like so many "new year resolution gym warriors", have tried and failed at getting in great shape because you have followed a familiar pattern.

During the holidays it's easy to let your training take a back seat to shopping and family functions. Your nutrition regimen, which may not be perfect to begin with, gets blindsided by office parties, Christmas cookies, and hot chocolate. You wake up in the New Year disgusted with yourself, determined to make a change.

Your solution? You head to the gym armed with your trusty old weight lifting routine, and maybe you start running or biking after your workout. You get a decent sweat and feel pretty good about yourself.

New Year Fat Loss

But after a week or so that extra biking starts to feel pretty monotonous. Maybe one day you are in a hurry so you skip doing cardio, and without any real conditioning plan, you aren't feeling much of a change anyway. Before you know it, it's February already and you start to think "well…maybe I'll lean up in May for summer…"

So how do we avoid the trappings of the past? The answer is you need a new plan.

Today I'm going to share with you my "21 Days to Shredded" workout plan. This is a 7 day plan that combines heavy lifting with functional conditioning and cardio, and it will be a complete shock to your system. With no true "rest days" other than an active recovery day on Sunday, you are going to be pushed to the limit.

Will you be sore? Yes. Will you feel over trained? Yes. But don't worry, your body is made to adapt, and one of the ways it will adapt to this crazy schedule is to turn your metabolism into a raging inferno and melt away body fat. After 3 straight weeks of intense training, you will finally discover that "new you" this new year.

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Monday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 1 starts off this program just like any good week should - with a kick ass leg day.

Warm up with a light jog and stretch. For your base power movement you are going to hit 5 sets of 5 reps on deadlift. Use the first 2 sets of 5 as warm ups to work up to the proper weight. Don't be afraid to take an extra warm up set or two, but make sure your last 3 sets are with as heavy of a weight as you can possibly handle for 5 reps.

Related: Deadlift Domination - 5 Tips for your Biggest Pull Ever

Next up is the first of two circuits on this day that incorporate heavy lifting with a dynamic movement and an active recovery between rounds. Start with 5 reps of front squats then immediately grab a heavy medicine ball for 10 thruster throws (pick up the med ball and hold it in a front rack position. Squat down then explosively stand up as you throw the ball as high as possible. Let it hit the ground then pick up and repeat), and 10 slams.

After your last slam, jump on a treadmill set at 10% incline and walk for 2 minutes of active recovery before starting your next round. This will keep your heart rate up and the sweat pouring. Make note that you may have to go a little lighter than normal on your sets of 5 front squats due to the demanding nature of this circuit.

The second circuit of the day is a great superset for the posterior chain. Start by laying on your back with one leg straight up in the air and one foot on a bench. Bridge your hips up and squeeze your hamstring and glute for 3 seconds at the top. After 5 reps on each side, transition to a glute bridge - lay diagonal with only your shoulders touching the bench and your feet flat on the floor. Bridge up and hold for 3 seconds on each of the 10 reps. If necessary, hold a plate or dumbbell on your hips for added resistance.

Bike for 2 minutes between each round. End today’s session with a 6 minute plank, switching to side plank positions when necessary.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlift 5 5
2. Circuit A 5 Rounds
a. Front Squat 5 5
b. Med Ball Thruster Throws 5 10
c. Med Ball Slams 5 10
d. Treadmill Walk. 3mph @ 10% incline 5 2 minutes
3. Circuit B 3 Rounds
a. Hamstring Bridge 3 5 (each side)
b. Glute Bridge 3 10 (w/ 3 sec hold at top)
4. Plank (switch positions as needed) 1 6 min

Tuesday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 2 is a chest and back day with some great supersets to give you an incredible upper body pump. Start by pairing DB chest press and T-bar row together for 2 sets of 10 each before grinding out 5 heavy supersets of 5 reps each. Rest 60-90 seconds in between each superset and keep the weight as heavy as possible for 5 reps.

Next up is a circuit of various types of bench press and lat pull downs with 3 minutes of bike or Airdyne in between each round. The difference between this circuit and the active recovery on Day 1 is you will sprint the last 15 seconds of each minute, making the 3 minute cardio block a much more challenging segment of the workout.

After 5 rounds you will end with 12 minutes of 1 minute intervals on either the bike or Airdyne.

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Superset 7 Sets
a. Dumbbell Chest Press 2, 5 10, 5
b. T-Bar Row 2, 5 10, 5
2. Circuit 5 Rounds
a. Close Grip Barbell Bench Press 5 5
b. Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs 5 5
c. Wide Grip Bench Press 5 8
d. Underhand Lat Pull Downs 5 8
e. Bike or Airdyne 5 3 min (sprint last 15 sec of each min)
3. Bike 12 min 1 min light, 1 min medium, 1 min heavy resistance

Wednesday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 3 is a short workout but an absolute killer. After a warm up jog and stretching, run 1 mile as fast as possible. If at the end of the mile you feel like you could have ran a little longer, you didn't run hard enough. The key here is max effort. Keep track of your time and try to beat it the following week.

Rest 3 minutes after the run then Lunge (bodyweight, walking) for 10 minutes straight. Go at a pace that you can maintain for the duration. End with 3 rounds of a core circuit then crawl out of the gym.

  • Warm Up: jog 3 minutes, stretch
  • Run: 1 mile, max effort
  • Lunges: 10 Minutes
  • Complete the following core circuit (3 rounds):
Exercise Reps
a. Barbell Rollout or Ab Wheel 12 reps
b. Stability Alternates 10 reps (each side)
c. Hip Dips 10 reps on bench (each side)
d. Barbell Crunches 20 Reps
e. Rest 1 Minute

Thursday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 4 is time to shred those shoulders. The base power movement for this day is DB iso-shoulder press. To perform this variation of standing presses, start by pressing both dumbbells up overhead and keep one extended while you press the other one, switching sides after each rep.

Related: 5 Brutal Shoulder Workout Finishers

Next up is a circuit of 3 dumbbell shoulder movements and heavy barbell shrugs, where you will jump rope for 1 minute in between EVERY set. There should be no down time during 5 rounds and your delts, traps, and calves will be on fire.

Warm up with shoulder mobility drills and stretching, before completing the following workout.

Exercise Sets & Reps
1. Dumbbell Shoulder Iso-Press 1x10, 1x8, 3x5, 1x3
2. Circuit 5 Rounds
a. Shoulder Flys 5x10
b. Jump Rope 5x1 minute
c. Front Raises 5x10
d. Jump Rope 5x1 minute
e. Rear Delt Flys 5x10
f. Jump Rope 5x1 minute
g. Barbell Shrugs 5x10
h. Jump Rope 5x1 minute

Friday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 5 is another leg day, with back squat as your base power movement.

Begin with an easy jog and some stretching to warm up. Once you have completed 7 heavy sets of squats, transition to a superset of weighted split squats and bodyweight jump lunges with 2 minutes of active recovery on the bike between each round. End today’s session with 3 core strengthening movements, interspersing a 1 minute incline speed walk between each set for 3 rounds.

Exercise Sets & Reps
1. Squat 1x10, 3x5, 3x3
2. Triset 3 Sets
a. Split Squats 4 reps, each leg
b. Jump Lunges 5 reps, each side
c. Bike 2 minutes
3. Core Circuit 3 Rounds
a. Walk Outs 20*
b. Treadmill Speed Walk (15% Incline) 1 Minute
c. Pikes 20*
d. Treadmill Speed Walk (15% Incline) 1 Minute
e. Ab Wheel or Barbell Rollout 20*
f. Treadmill Speed Walk (15% Incline) 1 Minute
*decrease core reps by 5 each round

Saturday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 6 is a grueling circuit that I jokingly refer to as "Arms and Lungs". Start with a set of max reps underhand chin ups then immediately go all out on a set of parallel dips. Next grab a heavy barbell for 5 curls and then a set of DBs for 5 skullcrushers. Finish up with 10 DB curls where you add an extra squeeze (or 1/4 rep) to the top of each rep, and a set of tricep press downs.

As soon as you finish the upper body circuit, jump on the treadmill and run 400meters. Rest 1 minute after the run before starting the circuit again.

Do 6 total rounds of the following circuit:

Exercise  Reps
a. Underhand Chin Ups Max Reps
b. Dips Max Reps
c. Barbell Curls 5
d. Dumbbell Skullcrushers 5
e. Dumbbell Curls w/ ¼ rep at top 10
f. Tricep Push Downs 10
g. Jog .25 mile (400m)

Sunday: 21 Day New Year Shred

Day 7 is as close as you are going to get to a day off. Today's workout is an easy 4 mile jog or 40 minutes on a bike. The key is to keep an easy pace to work on your aerobic base and just get a good sweat.

The New Year is All Yours

After the first week your body is going to be begging for a day off, but don't give in!  You are already one third of the way there. Just start back on day 1 and grind away. You will notice on the second week your endurance will improve and your body composition should start to change.

By the end of the third week you will finally have the results you've been searching for during past New Years - shredded in 21 days!

Posted on: Tue, 01/02/2024 - 21:19

Just starting this week! Thanks

Posted on: Sun, 01/01/2023 - 08:32

No med ball at the GYM. Any alternative exercise for leg day? Can I use kettle bell without throwing it?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2023 - 21:34

You can, Halsey.

Al Forster
Posted on: Wed, 01/13/2021 - 09:01

What's the difference between the shoulder fly and rear delt fly?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/13/2021 - 09:14

Hey Al - from the Instagram video demonstrating the workout, the shoulder fly is the same as a lateral raise. The rear delt fly is bent over to target the rear delts.

Posted on: Fri, 07/17/2020 - 21:09

I loved this program!!! Just getting back to a good program upon gyms reopening it felt great and I love the mix of weights and cardio, circuit style. I can once again see definition. I was going to continue another 3 weeks of it but after week 4 I might be better of doing something else??! Your best suggestions?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:31

Thanks for reaching out Sarah.

If you're enjoying it and still progressing you can definitely stick with it!

Posted on: Fri, 05/22/2020 - 05:39

I stay in fair shape but let myself go a bit over quarantine so started daily workouts two months ago. Decided to try this plan to switch things up. Never had a hernia in my life but I got while on day 3 while doing the ab rollouts. My advanced age is probably a factor but for the sake of actual beginners, I don't think they should be the target audience for this intense workout plan.

Posted on: Fri, 12/14/2018 - 03:04

You haven't got the 2min bike in the table for Monday

Posted on: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 13:00

What is a good workout to transition after completing this program?

Posted on: Mon, 03/14/2016 - 10:42

This is a great workout plan! I workout 3-4 times a week and mostly strength train(swimming for cardio), I love how these combine strength and endurance. For those commenting on how this is not beginner, get a session with a personal trainer at your gym and see how hard they push you your first time. Here's news, getting in shape isn't easy!!! But very rewarding thanks for the workout :)

Posted on: Thu, 02/04/2016 - 20:56

What kind of diet should you be eating for this program? I tend hit the gym at 5am my diet is 99% clean eating. What should I eat before the gym

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:14

If you're counting macros, then you can eat whatever you prefer provided it digests well, allows you to reach your macro and micronutrient goals, and simultaneously provides sustained energy to support your training session.

If you're not counting macros, here are a few ideas: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/easy-muscle-building-breakfasts

This is a side note but "clean" is an arbitrary term established by the fitness industry and differs highly from person to person depending upon their goals, calorie intake, and psychology towards food. So stating that your diet is clean doesn't provide any sort of context regarding specific solutions to your question.

Posted on: Fri, 01/22/2016 - 23:46

I think it's a good workout. Even if you can't do it all I thinks it's best to give it your best and do what we can to improve the next week. Rome wasn't built in a day. We gotta start somewhere guys. Come on! We can do this! Let's keep it positive!

Posted on: Fri, 01/08/2016 - 22:37

Beginner workouts? What if one can't lift the bar? Run a mile? This guy is supposed to be talking to couch potato beginners, not seasoned lifters.

Go Beavs!
Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2016 - 18:54

This can be a beginner workout, and can be scaled and made as difficult or easy as needed for any level/person. If you can't do a 6 minute plank, you do what you can and you work up to it. Nothing says you can't take shorter or longer breaks. That goes for all the other exercises on this plan. If you can't lift a bare 45 lb. bar for a deadlift or a squat, then you should not be cruising for workout plans online. You should see a fitness specialist that can customize a program for a person with injuries or who is extremely out of shape.

Posted on: Wed, 01/06/2016 - 05:17

A 6 minute plank for a beginner? What planet are you guys on?

Posted on: Tue, 01/05/2016 - 09:50

This is by no means a beginner program. A 6 minute plank on the first day. No way, this is advanced

Posted on: Sun, 01/03/2016 - 12:10

Very motivated we all need a kickstart 2916 set goals