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

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!

36 Comments+ Post Comment

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

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

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!


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Posted Sun, 03/11/2018 - 13:35

Hey josh I was just a bit confused on the side of each exercise what does the 1a 1b mean is this what we’re supposed to make the compound set.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:12

Hi Abdullah,

Yes, that is correct.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/10/2018 - 13:04
Ahmed elkady

Can't explain how I really like this program only by reading it , I don't know the author but after I read this I went through all his programs . You got me sir , this comes from a man really knows what he's doing . That's exactly the kind of program i was looking for, thank you very much . I'll definitely start this program . Best regards josh

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:25

Hi Ahmed,

Thank you kindly! Glad you found a program that would fit your needs and help your goals.

Best of luck and if you have any questions, please reach out!

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Posted Thu, 02/22/2018 - 16:30
Sukhvinder Singh

Hey Josh What’s a good replacement for the bands exercise? We don’t have bands at my gym

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/22/2018 - 16:34

Hi Sukhvinder,

Go with another bent over reverse fly for the band pull apart.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Thu, 02/15/2018 - 13:11

Quick question! Once I finish the first two exercises in a compound set do I go to the next ones or do I repeat the exercises until all sets are complete?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/15/2018 - 14:56


Perform all of the sets before moving on to the next exercise pairing.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Mon, 01/01/2018 - 13:40

Why have you said 8-12 reps for 21's? Isn't it 21 reps?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 01/02/2018 - 09:36

Hi Yasith,

Ha! Good catch! Yes, that is a typo. We'll get that fixed right away.


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Posted Mon, 09/25/2017 - 01:17

I am skinny fat,so wi I be able to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time using this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/26/2017 - 12:16

Hi Joshua,

Yes, by consistently performing this workout in conjunction with an appropriate diet and adequate sleep each night, you should be able to accomplish your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 12:30

Thanks Josh,i will follow this program soon and share my result

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Posted Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:00

I'm confused by your answer to the first FAQ about rest : "You won’t be taking any rest periods in between compound, super, or giant sets.
After you finished the prescribed rest for all of the exercises in a set, take between 60-90 seconds worth of rest before attacking your next set."" What is the prescribed rest? Did you mean "reps"? Using day 1, set 1 as an example, I'm guessing that I'm supposed to do 8-12 squats immediately followed by 12-20 bodyweight squats, then followed by 60-90 secs rest. Is this right?

Please let me know. Thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:07

Hi Preston,

Yes, the example you provided is correct. You preform both exercises, then take a rest. That equals 1 set. I apologize for the confusion and will get that fixed. Thank you for pointing it out to us.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 08/26/2017 - 06:23

I need Fridays to be an off day, as well as Sundays. How can I adjust this program to do so?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/28/2017 - 08:41

Hi Tk,

The easiest solution would be to move Friday's workout to Saturday.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:12

Thanks Josh. The simplest answer...

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Posted Fri, 07/28/2017 - 19:40

How can I still cycle with this workout. I love lifting weights and normally only do upper body as I ride my bicycle 5+ days a week 20-40+ per ride but I still weigh 265lbs. Trying to get back into weight lifting after shoulder injury that has finally healed up. If there's a better workout plan or any advice please help me I need it. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:26

Hi Wuane,

It's tough to recommend a specific program for your individual needs over the internet not knowing your movement patterns post injury. Returning to exercise post-injury can be a complicated endeavor. I'd recommend working with a professional in person for a couple of sessions. They will be able to analyze how the injury has affected your movement patterns and design a program suited for your goals and individual needs.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/30/2017 - 15:11

Could I work in hip thrusts and glute bridge's into this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/30/2017 - 16:28

Hi Kathy,

Absolutely! I'd add them in as a compound set to the end of the day 1 lower body workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/27/2017 - 19:28

21's is the 7, 7, 7 biceps workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:06

Hi Kenny,

Yes, that's the one!

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Posted Mon, 04/17/2017 - 18:28

I was wondering. Should each set and rep be the same amount of weight? Or do you suggest adding weight on a weekly basis instead of adding weight each rep.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/18/2017 - 09:03

Hi John,

Thanks for reading and for your question! How you choose to progress with this workout depends on which form of progression you enjoy more. Personally, I like to use the same weight for each set and then increase the weight for all of the sets the following week or every other week if I struggle with the weight increase.

The goal is to continuously increase the total weight you move during a workout over time. So long as you do that, you'll be able to see great progress.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Wed, 04/05/2017 - 18:18

Started this a few weeks ago and man is it a challenge! The bench press/push-up superset kills me but the pump is amazing... Noticing a difference in my body already. Thank you for this.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/06/2017 - 09:00

Hey Brad!

Comments like these make my day! Glad you're enjoying the program and seeing progress from it; Keep up the good work!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Posted Fri, 03/31/2017 - 05:58

Hi, i wanted to know how is cardio incorporated in this, should I do it after the work outs or having a specific day to do my cardio.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 03/31/2017 - 09:56

Hi D3,

Thank you for your question and for reading!

You're more than welcome to add cardio to this program wherever you see fit. The important thing is to make sure the cardio you decide to do doesn't affect your body's ability to recover from your workouts.

Personally, I like to add in lower intensity steady state sessions on my off days, something like a long walk outside for example. On days I lift weights, I will add in a quick 10-15 min HIIT session to the tailend of my workouts for a quick cardio bout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 03/30/2017 - 05:39

Hi, how long would you recommend doing this exercise for, I mean as in eg 8 or 12 weeks etc

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/30/2017 - 11:18

Hi AM!

Thank you for reading and for your question!

I'd recommend giving the program a shot for 6-8 weeks before taking a week to deload or do some form of active recovery. During that week ask yourself these three questions:

1. Have my goals changed?

2. Is this program still helping me attain my goals?

3. Am I enjoying this workout program?

If you answer yes to all three, continue performing the program for another 6-8 weeks. If you answer no to any of them, check out our database (link below) for a new workout to try out:

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/25/2017 - 15:58
Hossein mafi

Hello freind . I like to know how many sets this exercises require? And also how many reps ? Thank you .

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/27/2017 - 09:40

Hi Hossein,

The reps and set counts are located within the article. If you are viewing on a mobile device, you may need to scroll from right to left to see the entire workout tables.

Hope this helps!