12 Week Fat Destroyer: Complete Fat Loss Workout & Diet Program

This is a complete 12 week program to help you get ripped. Feature includes detailed diet plan and cardio schedule, along with a 4 day upper/lower muscle building split.

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
Full Body
Beginner
12 weeks
4
30-45 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Kettle Bells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

This workout plan is designed to help you shred fat and get in shape in only 12 weeks. This might sound like hype, but it's not. The following plan is not easy. It starts slowly, but builds rapidly.

Every detail of your diet and training for the next 12 weeks will be laid out for you. You will be told exactly what to eat, how much cardio to do, and how to weight train.

The goal is simple: lose fat, maintain muscle mass, get in shape and transform your physique as much as possible over the next 3 months. You want to not only look better, but have the fitness level and strength to match your new body.

12 Week Program Expectations

Over the next 12 weeks your goals and expectations are:

  • Fat Loss - To lose at least 20 pounds of fat.
  • Muscle Mass - To maintain, or even gain lean muscle mass.
  • Conditioning - To be in amazing shape; perhaps the nest shape in years.

The 12 Week Diet Plan

Each week will consist of 3 different types of eating days.

  • High Carb Days - 1 day per week
  • Moderate Carb Days - 3 days per week
  • Low Carb Days - 3 days per week

You may structure these days in any preferred manner. I suggest keeping the high carb day for special occasions. That way you can attend family functions, or eat out with friends, and indulge a little more than normal.

It should be noted that calorie intake can be adjusted based on metabolism. The follow changes are recommended:

  • Men 40+ - Reduce daily calories by 300.
  • Men 20-25 - Increase daily calories by 300.
  • Women 40+ - Reduce daily calories by 200.
  • Women 20-25 - Increase daily calories by 200.
12 Week Eating Plan for Men
  • Week 1 - 3 low carb days with 2300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 2 - 3 low carb days with 2200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 3 - 3 low carb days with 2100 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 4 - 3 low carb days with 2000 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 5 - 3 low carb days with 2300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 6 - 3 low carb days with 2200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 7 - 3 low carb days with 2100 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 8 - 3 low carb days with 2000 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 9 - 3 low carb days with 2300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 10 - 3 low carb days with 2200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 11 - 3 low carb days with 2100 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 12 - 3 low carb days with 2000 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.

Protein intake should be a minimum of 180 grams per day. If you are a bigger guy, or have a fair amount of muscle mass, then eat 200 to 220 grams of protein per day. If you eat a little more protein the drop your daily fat intake to make up for the calories.

Fat intake should be approximately 20-30% of your daily calories. Once you have determined your daily calories from proteins and fats, fill in your eating plan with carbohydrates.

Also, you are allowed up to 10% of your daily calories from dirty foods/junk foods. You do not have to eat any junk if you prefer. This option exists as a convenience, should you be battling a craving, or attending a social gathering where you would prefer to have a small snack.

12 Week Eating Plan for Women
  • Week 1 - 3 low carb days with 1500 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 2 - 3 low carb days with 1400 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 3 - 3 low carb days with 1300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 4 - 3 low carb days with 1200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 5 - 3 low carb days with 1500 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 6 - 3 low carb days with 1400 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 7 - 3 low carb days with 1300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 8 - 3 low carb days with 1200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 9 - 3 low carb days with 1500 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 10 - 3 low carb days with 1400 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 11 - 3 low carb days with 1300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 12 - 3 low carb days with 1200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.

For women, protein intake should be a minimum of 100 grams per day. If you are in good shape and have a fair amount of muscle mass, then eat 120 grams of protein per day. If you eat a little more protein the drop your daily fat intake to make up for the calories.

Fat intake should be approximately 20-30% of your daily calories. Once you have determined your daily calories from proteins and fats, fill in your eating plan with carbohydrates.

Also, you are allowed up to 10% of your daily calories from dirty foods/junk foods. You do not have to eat any junk if you prefer. This option exists as a convenience, should you be battling a craving, or attending a social gathering where you would prefer to have a small snack.

The 12 Week Cardio Plan

It doesn't matter which form of cardio you use for these 12 weeks. Pick something that gets your heart moving, be it treadmill, elliptical, or swimming.

The first thing you will notice about this cardio plan is that it starts slow. That's ok. Right now you are out of shape. This program is designed to get you in shape over the course of 12 weeks.

Be patient. Trust the plan and stick to the plan. After the end of 12 weeks your level of conditioning may surprise you.

During the first 6 weeks take at least one day of rest between cardio workouts. After week 6 it is recommended that you perform cardio using a 2 days on, 1-2 days off pattern.

  • Week 1 - 3 cardio sessions. 5, 8 and 5 minutes.
  • Week 2 - 3 cardio sessions. 8, 10 and 8 minutes.
  • Week 3 - 3 cardio sessions. 10, 12 and 10 minutes.
  • Week 4 - 3 cardio sessions. 12, 15 and 12 minutes.
  • Week 5 - 3 cardio sessions. 15, 20 and 15 minutes.
  • Week 6 - 3 cardio sessions. 20, 20 and 20 minutes.
  • Week 7 - 4 cardio sessions. 20, 22, 20 and 22 minutes.
  • Week 7 - 4 cardio sessions. 22, 25, 22 and 25 minutes.
  • Week 9 - 4 cardio sessions. 25, 27, 25 and 27 minutes.
  • Week 10 - 4 cardio sessions. 27, 30, 27 and 30 minutes.
  • Week 11 - 4 cardio sessions. 30, 35, 30 and 35 minutes.
  • Week 12 - 4 cardio sessions. 35, 40, 30 and 45 minutes.

12 Week Gym Workout Split

You will be using an upper/lower workout during the next 12 weeks. Rep schemes are merely guidelines.

When a weight becomes manageable using the given set and rep schemes, add weight to the bar. For sake of convenience, use the same weight for each of the sets for a given exercise.

  • Day 1 - Upper A
  • Day 2 - Lower A
  • Day 3 - Off
  • Day 4 - Upper B
  • Day 5 - Lower B
  • Day 6 - Off
  • Day 7 - Off
12 Week Gym Workout
Upper A
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press 3 8-10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10-12
Seated Barbell Press 3 8-10
Pull Ups 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 10-12
Dumbbell Curl 3 10-12
12 Week Gym Workout
Lower A
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 3 8-10
Leg Curl 3 12-15
Leg Extension 3 12-15
Leg Press Calf Raise 3 15-20
Plank 3 60 sec
Twisting Hanging Knee Raise 3 20
12 Week Gym Workout
Upper B
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
Barbell Row 3 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 12-15
Lat Pull Down 3 10-12
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10-12
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 10-12
12 Week Gym Workout
Lower B
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 3 15-20
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8-10
Walking Dumbbell Lunge 3 10
Seated Calf Raise 3 15-20
Cable Crunch 3 20
Russian Twist 3 20

206 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:13
Muhammad Shettima

Hello Nick,
Just started this program and loving it. I have 2 questions.
1) Can i add more sets, eventually as i get stronger, say 4 or 5 sets per workout?
2) Can i increase the number of days e.g instead of 4 days, i do 6 days in a row i.e U - L - U - L - U - L - Rest
Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 12/03/2017 - 23:10
Alfonso Sanchez

Is there certain foods to eat with the diet

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/04/2017 - 09:00
JoshEngland

Hi Alfonso,

It is always best to stick to whole, nutrient rich food sources.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 11/30/2017 - 06:42
Von

This work out looks great but do you have something for a level other than beginners?

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Posted Wed, 11/22/2017 - 13:12
chris

With thew timing of the cardio section...

Week 1 - 3 cardio sessions. 5, 8 and 5 minutes. Is this three different days? Or is this each workout day?

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:20
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

They are 3 sessions to be done on separate days of the week.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:10
KronicEvo

I'm still a bit foggy with the cardio days. Can you break it down for me a bit? Please and thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:26
JoshEngland

Hi KronicEvo,

For example: Week one has three cardio sessions. Perform these on three separate days (M/W/F or whatever you prefer). Perform cardio for 5 mins on day 1, 8 on day 2, 5 on day 3.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:13
danny

Thank you for the article Im on week two and already feel better and can see my body changing thank you for all the info week one is hell if you are like me and out of shape but push through it gets better

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Posted Wed, 10/25/2017 - 05:49
hamidson

Hi. At first thanks for this good article
I have one question: what about the weight size of barbell and dumbbells.. what do your advice light or normal or heavy ... or it is depend to person how much he can do lifting? thanks in advance

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:04
JoshEngland

Hi Hamidson,

You're correct. It will depend on the person and how much s/he can lift.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/21/2017 - 04:15
ARmin

Hi . I do soccer once a week and Mountain climbing once a month. Do I need to do lower body plan ??

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:01
JoshEngland

Hi Armin,

Yes, you'll still want to perform the lower body workouts within this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 10/15/2017 - 17:20
Abdullah

Here cardio plan in first 6 weeks is 5,8 and 5 minutes thts total 18 mins first week thats seems to be just warm up.. Can you explain

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Posted Thu, 10/12/2017 - 04:27
Colin Parris

The lack of detail in the nutrition section is extremely disappointing.
Secondly, I am a 42 year old male. My CURRENT caloric intake is about 600calories below the recommended levels, and I'm getting FAT. ...fatter by the week. I have a fear that this was written by some 27 year old athlete who's "cycling some gear," and has no clue what an average middle aged American body looks like or how it reacts to NATURAL food and training.

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Posted Sat, 10/21/2017 - 18:21
Jason

I had a similar issue. In the end, adding the exercise helped me start dropping, but not at first. After working out and not losing weight I went to to doc to see if I had a thyroid issue or something. Turns out I had low T--not "low end of the spectrum", I'm talking 50% of the minimum. Started doing a gel therapy to get mine up. BIG change in weight loss results. I could eat 2000 calories a day and still lose weight on a plan somewhat similar to this (I was 330 lbs when I started, I'm 290 8 weeks in).

I'm not saying that's a magic bullet for everyone (and of course I don't recommend using something like this when not indicated), but I've found us "older guys" with issues dropping weight sometimes have an underlying factor. Hoping once I drop the rest of the gut my levels come up naturally.

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Posted Mon, 09/25/2017 - 15:53
Chaudary Naveed

I m 37 years old Male .... I want to ask that can I eat fewer calories than recommended by you but with high protein intake .. for example about 1800 calories with about 180g protein and 170g carbs ? I have lots of belly fat

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Posted Sat, 09/02/2017 - 20:59
Heather

In the description it say I will be told "exactly what to eat", but I only see the requirements.
Is there an actual meal plan somewhere that follows these guidelines or is it something I need to figure out for myself?

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Posted Fri, 08/25/2017 - 22:53
Cesar

The nutrition plan states what your intake should be thoughout the week but the workout plan is only 4 days a week. What would you recommend someone who is sedentary for a good portion of the day for the rest days? Should they do some light workout, such as cardio, in order to burn off some of the calorie intake?

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Posted Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:07
Justin Cook

I would recommend an active rest and do a 30 minute to and hour walk to help keep your body burning. The walk still can help you recover by stretching out your muscles.

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Posted Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:23
Kai

What if my protein intake is below 50 g , what should I do , can you help me with a workout and diet where my protein intake is below 50 g as the place where I cone from it's not possible to have a high protein intake

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Posted Sun, 08/20/2017 - 09:11
Lacey

I am trying to view the workout chart but the rows are overlapping and I cannot see a few of them, can someone show me the workout list, please?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:04
JoshEngland

Hi Lacey,

Sorry about that. I'll get someone on our team to fix that problem immediately and follow up.

Thank you for your patience in the meantime!

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Posted Wed, 08/16/2017 - 14:25
CRT

Is it mandatory to add the calories for the metabolism ages? I'm 25 and my weight loss deficit calorie amount is 1800 calories a day. If I add the extra calories, then some days I will be going over this 1800, mostly on the high carb days. Do we have to add the extra calories?

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Posted Sat, 07/01/2017 - 19:07
Katie

For the calorie allotment are we eating back the calories we are burning during workout sessions? Such as if I am on a 1600 calorie day and burn 300 calories do I eat those 300 calories back?

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Posted Tue, 06/27/2017 - 05:47
Tej

hey bud
My weight is 159 lbs and height 172 cm with Body Fat 17.5%
Age 24
I want to maintain my weight but want FAT loss... most of the fat is on my belly and sides
Will this workout help to reduce my fat 17.5 to 10% in 12 weeks???
Thanks

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Posted Tue, 06/06/2017 - 08:45
chetaan

hello
i am a 20kg over weight with 32% bodyfat, will this 12 weeks routine be suitable for me?
i used to workout previously but theres been a gap for 8 months

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Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 08:40
Nick S

Hi Josh,
If I can do cardio for a longer stint than 5-10 minutes, should I start at my minimum, or just stick to your plan?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:22
JoshEngland

Hi Nick,

Thank you for your question, however I cannot take credit for this program as I did not write it.

It depends, are you new to the weight lifting portion as well? It might be worth starting off with how the program is written. With that said, it is simply a template, so you are more than welcome to modify it in any way to better fit your needs, experience level, and goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/06/2017 - 07:51
Colin M

Hi I am just about to embark on a weight loss mission after wrecking my body for the last year :( been looking for a complete plan and I really like this. just one thing that is confusing me is at the top it states this is a 6 days a week beginner course? however when the 12 week gym plan is laid out it is only for four days? where and what do I do the other 2 days please?

Day 1 - Upper A
Day 2 - Lower A
Day 3 - Off
Day 4 - Upper B
Day 5 - Lower B
Day 6 - Off
Day 7 - Off

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/08/2017 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Colin,

I believe it has to do with the cardio portion of the training program. While you only have 4 weight training days, you perform cardio every other day for 6 weeks then 2 days on, 1 day off for the last 6 weeks. So, on average, you'll have some form of training 6 days per week.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/05/2017 - 09:23
JoshEngland

Hi Atox,

For fat loss, the most important factors will be your diet and getting enough sleep each night. Make sure you are eating at a calorie deficit (burning more than you consume) and getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

I wouldnt say either approach is better. Depends on your preferences. Workouts will help you increase your calorie burning, but if you're still eating more than you are burning, you wont see a change in body composition.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 09/03/2017 - 06:32
Atox

Hey,
Im hoping you will see this message. I've been using another program for the last 2-3 months from this site, in which I train every other day, which consists of weightlifting (pretty similar to this one) and 25-30 min of HIIT. Is it important to have 2 weightlifting sessions on consecutive days? Or can I just keep using the same 1 day workout - 1 day off schedule (of course I would still be adding the cardio portion too, so I would still be working out 6 days a week as per this program)?
I am not sure if it would have a negative impact on my progress.

Thank you

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Posted Sun, 04/30/2017 - 21:03
Johm

I have a couple questions question I see that I would be lifting weights Monday Tuesday thursday and Friday and with the cardio sessions one day off in between so they would be on Monday Wednesday and Friday on a 5,8,5 scheme so on my day off Wednesday I would need to run on a treadmill or do whatever cardio and be up at the gym for only 8 mins? Also in general they seem kind of low intensity would it be more for a warm up before actually lifting? Or something that should be done after. Thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/01/2017 - 09:59
JoshEngland

Hi John,

That is correct for the first week. The duration does increase every week. If you do not wish to travel to the gym for 5 mins of cardio, you could always find something to do at or around your house such as jogging through your neighborhood.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/27/2017 - 23:50
Paul

Does the values (Men 40+ - Reduce daily calories by 300) and (Men 20-25 - Increase daily calories by 300) refer to your age? Thank you for the clarification.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/28/2017 - 09:13
JoshEngland

Hi Paul,

Yes, that is correct.

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Posted Sun, 04/23/2017 - 16:21
Keir

I am 38 and want to lose 30lbs before the end of the year (currently 198lbs). Will this plan work for my goal? What level of weight loss can I expect?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/24/2017 - 09:28
JoshEngland

Hi Keir,

1-2lbs of fat loss is a realistic goal so long as you're in a caloric deficit over time. This program can certainly help, but it is important to know your caloric needs. From there you'll need to subtract ~250-500 calories to put yourself in a deficit and achieve your long term goals. Below is a link to our calorie calculator. Enter your information and it'll provide you with your maintenance level calories:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/03/2017 - 13:19
Sarah

Can someone please specify what the carb intake should be based on the calories provided? What is considered low, moderate and high carb? For a 1200 calorie day, I am coming up with 40g fat, 110g protein, and 100 carbs. This is suppose to be a low carb day... so is 100 considered "LOW"?

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Posted Mon, 03/27/2017 - 10:03
David

Hey. Great workout, I'm done for it 100%. My question is, during the 12 weeks, am I supposed to take supplements and if I am, when do I start?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/28/2017 - 09:07
JoshEngland

Hi David,

Supplementation is highly individualized and is based on each person individual needs. They're used to supplement proper nutrition and fill gaps in an areas you struggle to get through whole foods.

Which supplements should you take and when should you start? That's a difficult question to answer, but I've provided a link to an article below which may help you gain an idea of where to start.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/absolute-beginner-guide-bodyb...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 02/24/2017 - 08:24
Georg

Hi guys. I have a question. Calorie calculator says that i need 3054 cal(4 gym das per week) to stay to my current weight. I want to lose weight . Meal plan says that i should go with 2300cal and increse by 300 cal so i end up on 2600 cal. Should i use that as parametar or should i increse my 3054 cal with 300?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 02/24/2017 - 09:17
JoshEngland

Hi Georg,

Unless your meal plan was prescribed by a medical practitioner, a safe rule of thumb is to take your maintenance calories and subtract 250 calories. Test that amount of calories out for a little while and judge your progress. If you're remaining the same weight, subtract another 250 calories for a total of a 500 calorie deficit.

A good goal is 0.5-1lb of weight loss per week.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 02/25/2017 - 05:08
Georg

No, i dont have prescribed meal plan, doctor told me that i dont need it. I mean he told me that because i have perfect medical stats (low cholesterol and blood presure and perfect heart function) even that i m 181 cm tall and weight around 107 kg. My perfect weight (by body type) is around 85-90kg. I m going to gym for 5 months now but fat loss is very very slow like 1.5 kg per month. And because of that i m interested in good meal plan. Ill try your method and will see what will happen.

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Posted Wed, 01/18/2017 - 20:54
eric

this workout routine looks solid. can i use this exactly workout routine in a muscle building or bulking phase ?

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Posted Sat, 11/05/2016 - 17:07
josh robinson

Have you got a diet plan with meals laid out?

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Posted Fri, 01/20/2017 - 19:57
Brenda Hamilton

I am also interested to see if you have a diet plan to follow?

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Posted Fri, 10/21/2016 - 20:38
Christine

Hi, I'm a 43 year old female who has been weight training mostly on than off for over 25years. having started pretty young it was always for fun and enjoy being strong. I'm about 30%BF and want to use this nutrition plan and workout for a transformation contest. Is it suitable for an experienced lifter who has a poor diet or do I need any modifications

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Posted Sat, 10/15/2016 - 16:43
Karen

Can these work outs be completed at home vs a gym? Also, can running be the cardio?