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
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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 10 pounds of fat.
  • Muscle Mass - To maintain, or even gain lean muscle mass.
  • Conditioning - To be in amazing shape; perhaps the best 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

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

426 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 11:25
Chris LaBouve

I’m currently in the gym and eating pretty clean, even though I’ve lost about 150 pounds, I need to lose another 130-150. I’m 6’1” and 335 lbs. I have a terrible metabolism, would you recommend cutting my calories by 300 or more? Also I could use some help setting up my carbs for the low, moderate and high carb days, thanks!

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Posted Tue, 07/09/2019 - 05:21
nawa

hey... I expected to burn fat while gain muscle. is that good to take cardio as that long?

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Posted Thu, 07/11/2019 - 05:20
Jayden Edmand

I think it's mainly designed to burn fat and maybe you might gain some muscle along the way???

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Posted Mon, 07/08/2019 - 15:42
Jayden Edmand

Just started this yesterday looking foward to it and would like to know how other people have found it

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Posted Fri, 07/05/2019 - 10:00
Andrew

For Cardio, could I do Bulgarian Bag and kettlebell circuits?

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 12:56
Hasseb

Hey, I want to try this program as I'm roughly 15-16% body fat and want it lower. I'm 74kg and 5 "10" . I'm quite experienced in the gym already and can easily do the higher levels of cardio so shall I go straight to the upper end or start with the low minutes first? Also must I do the day's cardio in one sitting or can I for example do half before breakfast and half before workout?

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Posted Sun, 06/23/2019 - 11:15
Brenden Honaker

It says for men between 20-25 add 300 calories, wont that put me in a caloric surplus? I ask because typically I eat calories I burn to be in a net surplus or deficit so do I add 300 calories and not count what I burn instead?

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Posted Sat, 06/22/2019 - 14:38
Darren Maguire

Hi Josh,

If I were to attend the gym on a 5th day, what would you recommend doing? Looking forward to starting this plan on Monday, by the way! Still on holiday at present.

Also, my age is 27 & I'm a male. Do you recommend upping my caloric intake by 300?

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 11:01
JoshEngland

Hi Darren,

You could freestyle and perform exercises you enjoy or a body part specific workout for a body part you feel needs extra work.

It depends on your goals. If you're trying to gain weight, yes. If not, I wouldn't recommend a surplus.

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Posted Wed, 06/12/2019 - 22:52
Adam Dorathy

Should I decrease the amount of cardio if I walk 12-14 miles a day for my job? I am a mail carrier and walk at a moderate pace while carrying up to 30lbs of mail and packages or less.

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Posted Wed, 06/12/2019 - 12:24
John

Would I experience fat loss while building lean muscle mass if I followed this regime but didn't count calories? I count my protein intake, and have very low amounts of saturated fats in my diet, and try to keep my carbs moderately low.

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Posted Wed, 06/12/2019 - 15:04
JoshEngland

Hi John,

It's certainly possible, but a calorie deficit will be required to lose body fat regardless if you're counting calories or not.

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 19:00
Train

Not understanding how the calories are picked . I know we are supposed to use the calorie calculator to find out daily but are the moderate day calories set at a deficit or maintenance? Do I eat at small surplus on High carb days?

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 11:28
joe

i am 262 pounds bmr 3646 calories . I should only eat 2000 cal since i am 42 years old?

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 10:40
Kaleigh

What would be considered low, moderate and high calories?

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Posted Tue, 05/21/2019 - 17:40
Josh Hutching

I have read through a bunch of comments and haven't gotten a clear answer to my question.

The workout plan is designed to have 2 on, 1 off, 2 on, 2 off. The cardio plan states "Week 12 - 4 cardio sessions 35, 40, 30 and 45 minutes". Could you give me an example as to when I should be performing these cardio sessions during the week? Are they meant to be done on off-days only? On days only? Or a mix of both?

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Posted Sun, 07/07/2019 - 12:35
Steve

Dude, use common sense.

If you lift and feel exhausted at the end of your workout, don’t do cardio that day. If you’re feeling fine, especially in the first weeks, there should be no problem performing at the end of your workout with only 5 minute cardio sessions.

This is a fat loss regimen. If you’re trying to lose weight, cardio at the end of a session is commonplace. Do your lifting, then go do cardio. For the first weeks it’s three times a week. I would personally do cardio WITH both upper body workouts and on one of my off days OR make sure it’s a low intensity session if I decide to do it on one of the leg days.

By the time you’re doing longer session, your cardio conditioning should be UP so do cardio at the end of all 4 lifting days.

This stuff doesn’t need to be over complicated. Just do what feels right, and sustainable.

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 19:46
Ayushman Pandita

Hey Josh!
I am a bit confused. I have read everywhere that to burn our body fat we should reduce our calorie intake. But you have recommended increasing the calorie intake by 300 calories for men ageing between 20 and 25.
Can anyone please clarify this once?

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Posted Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:55
JoshEngland

Hi Ayushman,

I haven't recommended such a thing. I did not write this program.

For nutrition, everyone will be different. I recommend checking out the following resources:

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

Go Here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros

Finish Up Here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 07:41
Sam

Hi there
Many thanks for your amazing wbsite. I've started this Programme 12 Week Fat Destroyer: Complete Fat Loss Workout & Diet Program and I'm about to be finish in 2 weeks. I can say it is really good and so far I could put 4 kg down and gain muscles. I would to ask you which programme would be your recommendation for next step?

-4 Week V-Taper Building Workout Routine
-10 Week Mass Building Program

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 15:18
JoshEngland

Hi Sam,

I'd go with 10 Week Mass Building Program as the V Taper workout is not a complete program.

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Posted Thu, 05/09/2019 - 06:47
Sam

I will, thank you very much again.

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Posted Wed, 05/01/2019 - 05:34
Manny

Hi I’ve done cardio for months. I usually do between 20-30 minutes. But when you say 4 cardio sessions do you mean 4 times a week or in one day. The same with 30 minutes, 45 minutes etc. I’m confused and don’t really think it is meant to be for a whole day but that it is for a whole week

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2019 - 11:01
English

It's for the week. If you scroll upto the Cardio section in the plan Cardio is 3 sessions a week of the time listed for first 6 weeks then it steps up to 4 sessions a week for remaining 6. So mon, tues cardio of 30-35 each and then wed, thurs off, then fri, sat on and sun off. Hope this clears it up.

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Posted Sun, 04/28/2019 - 17:37
James

I didn’t understand, the author says we should eat 2300 calories , how does he knows that ? It depends on height and weight of each person. So it will be different for each one of us.

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2019 - 12:30
hazem

hi
i need your help as i cant understand the Cardio session plan.
thanks
Hazem Hassan

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2019 - 16:15
Aj

Just start by doing a small cardio session before the work out. As the time increases over the following weeks just go into the gym in the morning before work or do the cardio on the rest days

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2019 - 06:04
Todd Wentz

Im pretty advanced in cardio , just getting into weight training , should i start off at max cardio

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Posted Mon, 04/22/2019 - 14:51
Jorge

Hello, I’m excited to start this work out. Is there any example of the an eating plan that I perhaps I could follow?
Regards

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Posted Wed, 04/17/2019 - 21:46
Raul

When you say low carb, moderate carb and high carb, what would be an example of grams for each of these scenarios? Thanks very nice post

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Posted Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:09
James

180g protein per day including vegetal protein or just animal protein?

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Posted Wed, 04/17/2019 - 13:54
T

protein is protein, doesn't mater if its from animal or vegetable or supplement.

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Posted Fri, 04/12/2019 - 07:58
Sofia

Hi , so I lost 37 kgs and I want to lose another 8 but most important thing is that i want to burn fat would this help ? Thank You

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Posted Tue, 04/09/2019 - 10:06
Vince Pangelinan

Im 5'7" 235lbs and am trying to get down to 200 or 190 lbs. Should I continue going heavy on the lifting or stay at the weight that allows you to complete the rep/set #?

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Posted Mon, 04/08/2019 - 04:43
akram

hai..on this workout..how many minute for rest each set?
thanks

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Posted Mon, 04/08/2019 - 10:20
JoshEngland

Hi Akram,

45-60 secs should do the trick.

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Posted Thu, 04/04/2019 - 14:22
Ed

Hi, I am at week 11. Loved this program. I would like to know what program I should do next. My objectives are mainly cardio gains and overall fitness with weight loss.
I want to be ready for the mountain bike season

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Posted Fri, 04/12/2019 - 07:55
Sofia

Hey so you are in week 11 ... did ur body change ?

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2019 - 00:25
caris

how much weight did you lose?

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Posted Fri, 03/22/2019 - 23:00
Gates

Hi, moderate carb day is that your maintenance calorie day?

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Posted Fri, 03/22/2019 - 22:59
Gates

Moderate carbs day should that be your maintenance calorie?

Thanks

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Posted Thu, 03/21/2019 - 22:34
Sbethy

Will this help loose my hip fat and pouch?

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:14
Alyssa

I'm super excited to start this routine. It's the first one I've found that's about building up your cardio and focuses on conditioning. Most routines throw you into it hardcore and you get burned out quick.

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Posted Sat, 03/09/2019 - 19:05
Jason

Can you discuss how I work the supplements into my routine? When do I take all the recommended supplant supplements?

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2019 - 12:33
Jorge

What are the ranges for the carb intake for the low, moderate and high?

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Posted Mon, 03/04/2019 - 19:53
Matt

Anyone know what kind of rest times are needed between sets? Thanks

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:08
Alyssa

I would assume 1 minute but I'm trying to figure out the same thing.

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Posted Mon, 03/04/2019 - 19:16
Armando

3 Cardio sessions during the day or 3 sessions all over the week?

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Posted Fri, 03/01/2019 - 18:04
Ash

Hi, just curious on how the results have been for those who have tried out this workout. Im in my 2nd week and it's great so far- i just don't sweat much , so wondering if I should superset exercises? Thanks!

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Posted Sat, 03/09/2019 - 10:23
Alicia M Gibson

I have just been gageing it. Like I'll do 15 min of cardio because I know I can handle that. I'm finishing week 1.