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
Split
Intermediate
8 weeks
4
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

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

FAQs

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!

84 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 01/17/2019 - 16:26
Tanya

Let me tell you this is working out great. I can see now what all the hype about the deadlifts is.
Feeling 100x better overall after just couple weeks of these workouts.
As far as sets are concerned: can I start heavy on the 1st set and do a dropset for the next two? Or is it intended to stay with the same weight throughout?
Thank you.
Tanya

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/18/2019 - 14:08
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

That's awesome! Congrats on the progress so far!

Sure, you could do that definitely. Either strategy is fine. Perform the sets in the way you feel most comfortable with, enjoy, and see results from.

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Posted Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:05
Tanya

Josh,
Finished the first week and only have a couple of additional questions.
1. On the dumbbell rows, do I keep my hand parallel or perpendicular to my body?
2. My Lowe back sometimes gives me trouble. On the barbell deadlift and squats: if I’m feeling it too much, can I substitute with kettlebell?
Thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/11/2019 - 14:30
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

Awesome! Congrats on 1 week down!

1. Keeping them parallel is preferred.
2. Absolutely! If it causes pain, find an alternative that doesn't.

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Posted Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:26
Chris

Regarding the rest periods I want to make sure I'm interpreting this correctly:
"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."

Does this mean:

One set of 1a and 1b and then rest,
- or -
All sets of 1a and 1b for the prescribed number of sets (4x8-12, 4x12-20) and then rest?

I was interpreting it the first way, but wanted to make sure I'm following the program correctly.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:54
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

Your first example is correct.

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 00:30
Tanya

Josh, please be patient with my ignorance- I will probably ask a few more questions as I go through the workouts over the next week for the first time: I looked over your other workouts and you are specific about naming the exercises.
So, Day 2 upper: “dumbbell row” takes me to a video showing a guy work one arm at a time.
Am I to do 10 on one, 10 on the other and then move to pull-ups?
Thanks.
Tanya

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 16:12
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

We all were new to working out at one point or another! Yes, that is correct. Perform 10 reps with each arm before moving on to the next exercise. You could also perform both arms simultaneously if you'd like.

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Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 00:37
Akshayavata

I need to lose fat . I am 80kgs and 164 cm is my height. Do I need to add cardio workout after every routine. If yes how much intense should it be.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:58
JoshEngland

Hi Akshayavata,

No, not necessarily. Just be consistent with your workouts and diet for an extended period of time. You'll get there.

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 15:24
Tanya

Love what I am seeing in these sets.
A bit confused: when a weighted exercise is followed by body weight, I get it.
But there a weighted exercises followed by another weighted exercise (ie leg extension/leg curl or lateral raise/front raise).
What is the load supposed to be on the “b” exercise in that case?
Thank you so much.
Tanya

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 15:27
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

75-85% for the first exercise. 70-75% for the second.

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Posted Thu, 12/27/2018 - 08:55
Mikkel Bielefeldt

I really like this workout program and I'll start here when New Years start. But I've and running program going on right too, so I was wondering if I could some running times in here and there. It can be on workout days and off days.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 12:27
JoshEngland

Hi Mikkel,

Yes, you can pair this workout with a running program.

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Posted Sun, 12/16/2018 - 19:34
Steve

Josh I workout and most times the gym is to crowded to do a workout line this. But this workout looks great so what would you suggest to someone who wants to do this workout like myself. Also what could you substitute for jumping rope because I suck at jumping rope. Thanks and keep up the good work

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/17/2018 - 10:44
JoshEngland

Hi Steve,

You don't necessarily have to superset. This is just a way to get in more work.

So long as you're eating in a calorie deficit you'll lose fat. Or gain muscle if in a surplus. So long as the stimulus (the workout) is there.

Try something a little more basic like this workout: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/upper-lower-4-day-gym-bodybui...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 12:38
Darwin

Hi Josh,

Is it ok to switch the upper and lower days?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 15:16
JoshEngland

Hi Darwin,

Yes, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/27/2018 - 18:44
Tj

Can i perform carido hiit on all days training? I dont wanna over due anything i want the right kind of workout to eliminate body fat as much as i can but dont wanna burn myself out. Thanks, tj

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/29/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi TJ,

You can add cardio to this program to help increase the amount of calories you burn, sure. However, it may or may not be necessary.

If you do decide to add in some cardio, I'd recommend something light and spaced out from your weight training session (perhaps do one in the morning and one in the evening).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 02:10
Harry

Thanks. Is it ok to change the compound sets to super sets? Say the bench press with the barbell row and the push-up with the incline row? Or is there a better programme for doing that?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 12:41
JoshEngland

Hi Harry,

Sure, you could do that. Or you could check out the Fast Mass program here that incorporates supersets: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/fast-mass-program

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Posted Mon, 08/27/2018 - 08:33
Harry

Can I sub tricep press downs for dips?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/27/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Harry,

Yes, that should be fine.

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Posted Tue, 07/10/2018 - 11:44
craig

Hey Josh
I have just started the fast mass programme a friend referred to me as I work in a office and can really only do weight training on my dinner hour so thought it would be ideal. although I can do cardio outside of work hours , cycling, walking, football ; I am trying to find perfect plan that will work for me. , I am 16 Stone, I have toned arms and legs but a lot of weight is on my mid section. My main aim is to lose fat from this area but also get some shape and size back to my mid & upper body, Would you recommend sticking with the fast mass or shifting onto this fast shred workout.
cheers

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/11/2018 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi Craig,

That''s awesome! Thank your friend for sharing my workouts for me :)

I'm a huge fan of doing the fast mass program. I'd recommend starting with that program and moving to this one once you've finished that program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/14/2018 - 22:32
Danarius Watts

Will or can you gain some muscle from doing this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:54
JoshEngland

Hi Danarius,

Sure! If you're eating in a calorie surplus or are new to weight training.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/10/2018 - 07:07
John

Hi,
i have a simple question - I am from a smaller village and there we have a little gym - I love this gym, but there is not any function zone and jumping with jump rope is quite dangerous. So Is there any alternative for Jump rope? For example Jumping jacks? Or do you have any better idea with which exercise I can replace jump rope?

Thanks so much for answer!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi John,

Yes, jumping jacks would be a fine alternative to the jump rope in this instance.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 11/27/2018 - 14:40
Charles Waddell

Hi Josh,

For the workout. would I do a set of 1b and a set of 1a and repeat 4 times. Or would I do all for sets of 1a and then all 4 sets of 1b?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/28/2018 - 09:35
JoshEngland

Hi Charles,

Your first example is correct. They are to be performed as supersets.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/02/2018 - 14:42
Ryan Cherry

Okay, I have finally decided to do this program next! I have been lifting for about 5 years. I like to change it up often. I do want to see if I can make a few adjustments to the schedule. I would like to add a couple 10-15 HIIT sessions a week after the workouts. I like to start my workout week on Sunday and I need Wednesday off from the gym. I can get a long walk in and foam rolling in but can't get to the gym that day.. I would also prefer to do one day for some ab isolation work and steady-state cardio on the bike, elliptical or stair master instead of having 3 days of active rest. Could I reorder the week like this?

Sunday: Lower Body Workout 1 with 3 sets of barbell hip thrusts compounded with body weight hip thrusts like someone commented below/ and a few ab exercises at the end
Monday: Upper Body Workout 1/10-15 min HIIT at the end
Tuesday: Steady-State Cardio (Elliptical, Stairmaster, or Bike for 30 mins) and an ab circuit.
Wednesday: Active Rest (walking and foam rolling/stretching)
Thursday: Lower Body Workout 2/ a few ab exercises at the end
Friday: Upper Body Workout 2/10-15 min HIIT
Saturday: Active Rest (walking and foam rolling/stretching)

This program looks like the lifting sessions keep your heart up anyway so I didn't want to overdo the cardio. I am at a lean body fat percentage now, but it's summer so I want to keep it up! Hopefully this looks okay. But you are the expert!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:51
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

That's a fine way to alter this program template to better fit you individual needs and goals. Give it a shot!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 12:46
Ryan Cherry

Also, is that enough ab training? Or would you recommend more. I did day one yesterday, and it burned! Loved it! Great stuff man.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:06
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

Yes, it should be plenty :)

If you find you need some additional isolation work to fulfill your goals, feel free to add it in though.

That's awesome man! Glad you're enjoying the program, keep it up!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 16:15
Ryan Cherry

I hate asking so many questions... promise this is the last. I can't do back squats because of my neck. So I did Front Squats on the first day. For the second lower body day. Should I do front squats again or sub it for goblet squats or hack squats?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 08:45
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

Yes, that is perfectly fine. So long as you are training the squat movement pattern, you'll get the benefits associated with performing the exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/02/2018 - 14:35
Pal

Hello,
this looks amazing and from Monday I start with this program! :-)
1) But I would like to ask how many cardio sessions do you recommend in a week?
- When I lift Weights (Mo, Tu, Th, Fr) take a look for HIIT after workout (sprints on treadmill, etc)
- Wednesday and Saturday some cardio in lower intensity (running or longer walk). Sunday Full rest day (maybe some shorter walk to nature, etc)

And do you think is a bad idea insert to Saturday after Cardio a few assisted pull-ups bands and abs training? Because I have a problem with pull-ups so this will be better practice in a piece at home. :)

Thanks fo answer!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:56
JoshEngland

Hi Pal,

Depends on the style of cardio and intensity. Personally, I do cardio every day, but it's low intensity and is me walking my dog for 2-3 miles. You should be fine adding in the cardio mentioned.

Sure! That should be fine as well.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 05/23/2018 - 00:51
Lester

This looks awesome! Looking forward to trying it! Quick question -- How long should the rest time be in between sets? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:47
JoshEngland

Hi Lester,

Awesome! Hope you enjoy! Take 30-45 Secs for rest periods.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/19/2018 - 14:42
DJ

For the 21s do I perform 21 reps in total ? Or do I do 21s 3 times to equal 63 curls?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:48
JoshEngland

Hi DJ,

3 sets of 21 reps, so yes, 63 total. But they should be performed in a 21 set fashion (7 top, 7 bottom, 7 full reps).

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/19/2018 - 10:34
JoshEngland

Hi DJ,

Depends on how many days you want to commit to going to the gym going forward. Below is a solid option for a 4 day program:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/body-fat-blaster-8-week-workout

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:41
Dj

I like the workout so much I’m stretching it for 2 more weeks! Any suggestions on another shredding workout to do when I’m done with this one?

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Posted Fri, 05/04/2018 - 20:47
Jay

What supplements are recommended for this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 09:20
JoshEngland

Hi Jay,

Depends on your individual needs. These are a good starting point:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/5-supplements-you-need-to-take

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/03/2018 - 08:06
Scott

Hey mate. Loyal follower here, all the way from Australia. Thought I'd let ya know that I started this program 4 weeks ago, after almost 12 months off due to a workplace injury. Anyway, I decided to use this to get some conditioning back. What can I say, it's brilliant! I'm also combining it with Steady-State Cardio, as well as Active Recovery on my non-training days. As it's coming into the cooler months over here I'm gonna use your Fast Mass program to put some muscle mass back on after I've run this one for a good couple of months I'll let ya know how that one goes as well

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:03
JoshEngland

Hey Scott!

That's awesome! Thanks for sharing! Glad you've seen some success with Fast Shred! Keep me posted on how Fast Mass goes!

Cheers!