Mission: Aesthetics - 10 Week Defined & Shredded Workout

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
June 24th, 2019
Updated: June 13th, 2020
201.8K Reads
Mission Aesthetics: 10 Week Defined & Shredded Workout
The mission is simple: Get shredded and show off the physique you've always dreamed of. And with the Mission Aesthetics 10 week workout, we'll show you the way.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Lose Fat
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration10 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Aesthetics has seem to become THE goal for everyone regardless of what time of year it is.

For the longest time people wanted to become mass monsters.

Then, everyone wanted to put on lean mass.

Now, a lot of people focus on fat loss.

And even more people focus on body recomposition.

Recomp is essentially maintaining your muscle mass while losing body fat (or doing both simultaneously for those who are genetically gifted, beginner, or enhanced).

So, that’s the goal of the following program. We’ll start off by giving you some general dieting advice to lose fat without losing lean muscle tissue. Then we’ll get into the workout routine you’ll do for the next 10 weeks.

Follow it to the best of your abilities and if all goes well (and you’re not starting from a high body fat percentage), you’ll finish the program looking both defined and shredded.

Editor's Note: Make sure you’re doing all the right things you need to be doing to lose body fat. For those looking for a more in-depth resource to teach them how to lose fat, we’ve created a FREE 5 day Fat Loss Email Course.

The course will teach you how your body loses fat, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize fat loss, how to eat for fat loss, how to supplement to lose body fat and how to track your progress.

Sign up below today to learn and ensure you get the most out of this workout program.

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Quick Nutritional Help to Get Defined & Shredded

When it comes to fat loss nutrition, people tend to overcomplicate things. A lot of it has to do with the fact that if you make it seem more complicated than it actually is, you can brand something as a “special fat loss diet”, sell it and make a lot of money in the process.

It’s a shame because proper nutrition, paired obviously with lifestyle/stress management and sleep, are foundational pieces of the hormonal regulation puzzle that attributes so much to fat loss.

From my experience (and everything I've ever heard from bro-lore to the hardcore science), fat loss comes down to being in a caloric deficit. Maintaining lean muscle results from having an adequate protein intake. And being consistent is filling in the rest of your macros with whatever breakdown aligns with a diet style that you can be consistent with.

Aesthetic Nutrition

1. Figure Out How Many Calories You Need to Lose Fat

The first step in creating a successful fat loss diet is determining how many calories you need each day. A lot of people ask for diet plans, but it simply isn’t that simple. Everyone’s dietary needs are highly individualized and it all starts with individual calorie needs.

There are a number of resources you can utilize to help you do this. Although, a lot of them provide different calorie amounts, so it may be in your best interest to take a couple of weeks to establish a baseline calorie amount if you haven’t done so already.

One of the more accurate ones I’ve personally used is the calorie calculator tool we have on Muscle & Strength.

Once you have your caloric needs figured out, you’ll want to create a calorie deficit by subtracting ~250-500 calories. This slight deficit is plenty to elicit fat loss at a rate that won’t promote too much muscle loss.

For this program, start with ~250 calorie deficit for the first 4 weeks after establishing a baseline (~2 weeks). Then, finish the program with 4 weeks of an additional ~250 calorie deficit (500 calorie deficit total).

2. Calculate an Adequate Protein Intake

The next step in designing a fat loss diet is figuring out how many grams of protein you’ll need daily to maintain your lean muscle mass and promote satiety during a deficit.

For years, the industry promoted a minimum of 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight (and even higher during a fat loss phase). Then that number shifted to 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass where it’s remained fairly consistent.

In my experience, people who are most successful with their fat loss diets typically consume 0.7-1.2g of protein per lb of bodyweight. The reason being, total bodyweight is a way easier number to calculate on than lean body mass.

0.7 grams is typically plenty to maintain lean muscle mass. However, for those looking to experience the satiety benefits from a high protein consumption, you may want to calculate on 1-1.2g depending on your appetite, the forms of protein you consume, and the total amount of meals you’re eating each day.

3. Fill Remaining Macros as Desired

Finally, fill in the rest of your macros as desired. Also, pick a form of dieting you can stick with. If you want to do Keto, and it works for you and you can be consistent go for it. If you want to Intermittent Fast because it aligns with your daily schedule, go for it. Or, be like most and simply try to get your calories in however you can throughout the day as healthily as possible.

It all works. So long as you are consistent, enjoy the diet, and remain in a calorie deficit.

10 Week Defined & Shredded Workout

Alright, now that we’ve got some diet recommendations to help get you shredded, let’s discuss the workout you’ll be performing over the next 10 weeks.

The workouts will be consistent each of the 10 weeks. The goal is to focus on key compound movement patterns. These movements will burn the most calories as you perform them since they require the most muscles to perform.

You can try to increase the weight used as you go through the program’s duration, however, the key component is burning more calories. Lifting heavier will help you burn more calories, but in times of a deficit, it is harder to improve on your lifts. Do what you can, but stay injury free and remain consistent.

Rest duration for the larger movements will be approximately 3 minutes. For all other exercise, keep rest to about 60 seconds.

Day 1: Full Body Fat Loss Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 4 3
Seated Cable Row 3 8
Lat Pull Down 3 12
Push Up 3 15
Walking Bodyweight Lunges 3 15 Each

Day 2: Rest/Active Recovery Cardio

On rest days you have the option to take the day completely off or perform some form of active recovery. If you’re the type of person who goes stir-crazy without a workout during the day, it is recommended to do some light recovery walking and at-home core work on this day.

Day 3: Upper Body Fat Loss Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Shoulder Press 4 6
Incline Bench Press 4 6
A1. Machine Lateral Raise 3 12
A2. Machine Fly 3 12
Rear Delt Fly 3 12
Dumbbell Row 3 8

Day 4: Lower Body Fat Loss Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Squat 4 3
Leg Press 3 10
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8
Leg Extension 3 15
Leg Curl 3 15
Calf Raise 4 20

Day 5: Rest/Active Recovery Day

On rest days you have the option to take the day completely off or perform some form of active recovery. If you’re the type of person who goes stir-crazy without a workout during the day, it is recommended to do some light recovery walking and at-home core work on this day.

Day 6: Full Body Fat Loss Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Back Squat 4 4
Bent Over Row 4 4
Machine Chest Press 3 10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 12
A1. Dumbbell Curl 3 12
A2. French Press 3 12
B1. Preacher Curl 3 12
B2. Tricep Push Up 3 12

Day 7: Rest/Active Recovery Day

On rest days you have the option to take the day completely off or perform some form of active recovery. If you’re the type of person who goes stir-crazy without a workout during the day, it is recommended to do some light recovery walking and at-home core work on this day.


Body recompositions is a daunting goal. But it is achievable.

Start by modifying your diet. From there, you’ll want to keep your training relatively similar as it would be throughout the year focusing on strength based compound movements to burn the most calories and maintain lean muscle mass.

Aside from that, ensure you are doing your best to recover outside of the gym – whether that be active or managing the many stressors of life.

If you have any questions about the program, be sure to leave a comment below.

Posted on: Mon, 02/12/2024 - 19:17

Hey Josh!

Thanks for your knowledge. I have a question but I'll give you the scenario.... I have trained traditional bodybuilding - adherence to nutrition included. I've done a couple years of calisthenics and hypertrophy training as well. Most recently I've moved back into traditional strength/weight training + cardio, and still on with the nutrition. I'm researching these article workouts in order to sharpen up my routine and have something direct to follow. I've got my calories mapped out and I definitely want to shred for more definition, while maintaining muscle. Following your gameplan here - should I take the leap of faith in dropping cardio and just following this routine? I will be in a caloric deficit, and I love the workout you have mapped here. I've got it in my mind (from prior experience), that I need to be doing cardio 5x per week. Based on your article, interval treadmill or other cardio is not necessary? Also, I have a rigorous work schedule - I work 10 hours, 4 days a week in a manufacturing plant. What are you thoughts on doing these workouts on my three days off, consecutive days? I would combine days 1 & 3, followed by the next workouts on the two following days. Looking forward to spreading this out when my schedule changes, but I'm looking to do what's possible and sustainable currently. Thank you for any input!!!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 08:37

Hi Norah, I appreciate both you reading M&S and the details for the question.

For the first couple of weeks at least, take the leap of faith. If you don't notice anything after two weeks, then slowly add your cardio back in. As for the schedule, your recovery may be compromised which could affect the fat loss and may increase the need for cardio. Again, I would suggest trying it for two weeks and seeing how it goes. Obviously we recommend following the program as written, but we also appreciate how you can try to find ways to make it work with schedule conflicts. I hope this helps.

Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2024 - 17:42

Thank you!!

Mohammad Nashit
Posted on: Tue, 11/14/2023 - 10:50

What is the rest time between the sets

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/27/2023 - 19:39

Per the article..."Rest duration for the larger movements will be approximately 3 minutes. For all other exercise, keep rest to about 60 seconds."

Hope this helps!

Rachid Batisse
Posted on: Tue, 09/21/2021 - 19:15

What about cardio and abs? Can be done the same day or separately?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/07/2021 - 11:26

Hi, Rachid. You can do cardio on the rest days. As for abs, you can train those with exercises of your choice at the beginning or end of any workout.

Posted on: Mon, 01/03/2022 - 13:22

In the main text above it says to do abs work on off days. Here you suggest doing it before or after workouts. Which is actually better (or is it ok either way)?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2022 - 16:45

Either way works, David. As great as it would be to follow a program to the letter, work schedule, commitments, and life happens. Having more than one plan is helpful.

Posted on: Sun, 02/21/2021 - 06:15

Great workout,
I just don't get what the first two weeks' baseline means, is this your maintenance calories, and then you start to lower them.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 02/22/2021 - 09:37

Hey Martin - yes, the first 2 weeks are at your maintenance calories, then you'll lower those calories by 250 for the next 4 weeks. For the final 4 weeks, you'll lower your calories again by 250.

Posted on: Sat, 02/20/2021 - 11:40

Should you do cheat days mid diet to boost your metabolism, or is it unnecessary and I should stick to the caloric deficit the whole time?
Thanks in advance

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 02/22/2021 - 09:38

Hey Martin - you should not include cheat days in this program.

Posted on: Wed, 11/25/2020 - 09:30

Hey Josh,
This is a great read. Question on building lean muscle after the losing the weight.
Is it reasonable to believe that if I were to do a morning and afternoon workout on workout days, that I could halve the time it takes to get to get the body I want? or, would that be be putting to much stress on the body and only hinder me?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 11/25/2020 - 09:33

Hey Cole - you won't halve the time it takes to achieve the body you want, but it could help you get there faster. My biggest concern with that approach is making sure your rest and recovery is on point. You need to make sure you're eating enough and sleeping enough to allow your body to recover properly.

Posted on: Tue, 01/07/2020 - 14:22

Hi Josh,
I am currently 184 lbs, and would like to get to 175, and then work to put on some muscle after I lose the extra weight. Do you have a routine you suggest for me after I use this to get to my desired weight? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/08/2020 - 14:47

Hi Sean,

You can really use any program that consists of exercises you enjoy to lose the weight. Resistance training will help build muscle and give you an aesthetically pleasing look.

That being said, it's all about finding programs that will allow you to be consistent weekly, monthly and yearly.

Browse through these to find ones you think you'll enjoy: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workout-routines

Angie Hildebrand
Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2020 - 15:14

What is the difference between back squats and barbell squats? Isnt the same?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 01/02/2020 - 12:50

Hi Angie,

Yes, it is the same.

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2019 - 14:58

Hi Josh,
I like this structure a lot. Is there a specific reason why the first full body day is pull heavy, and the upper body day is push heavy? Is it a rest/recovery thing? I was thinking of swapping the seated shoulder press and lat pulldown exercises with each other.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:53

Hi Ron,

It was written that way to give you more of a break between Day 1 full body and Day 4 lower body as the back. However, you're more than welcome to alter it in whatever ways you see fit to better meet your needs and goals.

Amandeep Singh
Posted on: Tue, 12/10/2019 - 20:16

Hi Josh ! Great workout.
My only question is that how do you progress om this workout. I mean am I supposed to make increment in the weight every week ? Also what amount of weight should I increase ? 2.5kg ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 12/11/2019 - 10:48

Hi Amandeep,

That would be the easiest way to accomplish progressions with this workout, yes.

Alternatively, you can try to make it more challenging with any of the following progression types: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/4-ways-achieve-progressive-ov...

Posted on: Sat, 12/07/2019 - 22:34

Hi Josh!
Just a question that I need answered, why is arms worked once a week?
Thanks in advance!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/09/2019 - 12:55

Hi Nate,

Arms get hit indirectly with nearly every upper body movement. A lot of people don't even bother with training them directly (I'm not one of those people).

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2019 - 08:05

Great workout. My only question is: is the body going to get use to doing the same workout week after week and not promote as much weight loss at the end of the program as the beginning?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:22

Hi Barry,

Thank you! No, not necessarily - provided you're giving the same effort as you were upon starting.

Progress as best as you can with the total amount of weight you use (going up in weight) while performing the program.

Keep your diet in check. If you notice fat loss beginning to stall.. subtract another ~250 calories from your intake (or incorporate cardio if you do not wish to create a greater deficit).

Posted on: Sat, 09/28/2019 - 23:10

Does it matter if the lower body day comes before the upper day? For example:

Or is there a reason it reads:


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2019 - 10:05

Hi Ryan,

You can do lower before upper, but I'd try to keep the rest of the structure similar to ensure you have plenty of energy for fullbody days and are able to recover from them after.

Ryan Cherry
Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2019 - 18:03

Ok! I’ll just keep it the exact way that you wrote it

Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2019 - 09:48

Hi Josh,

Really like the look of this and cant wait to get back into the gym. Ive worked out before but have let myself slip and I do not hold a lot of muscle mass but want try and build some whilst lose some body fat. Im around 16% currently. If i remain in a deficit and use this plan is it possible to build muscle (tone up) whilst losing some chub?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/06/2019 - 12:02

Hi Steve,

Generally, the two goals require contradicting elements to achieve. To build muscle, you usually need a surplus. To lose fat, a deficit.

That being said, depending on how you respond individually, your diet, sleep, and everything else - sure, complete body recomposition is possible.

My plan of action with that goal would be to perform this in a deficit while maximizing protein intake and timing my protein consumption every 3-4 hours.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 07/16/2019 - 13:11

Not sure what A1/A2 or B1/B2 mean. Are those supersets, superseries or to be performed alternatively and in exchange i.e. od A is a dumbbell so B is a barbell?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/17/2019 - 15:19

Hi Tomek,

They are supersets

Ryan Cherry
Posted on: Mon, 07/08/2019 - 13:41

So it is OK to add core on off days according to volume goals?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/08/2019 - 16:00

Hi Ryan,

Yes, that is perfectly fine to do.

Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2019 - 07:39

Also, one thing I noticed is that the second full body day is all upper body. How can I make this upper lower full body full body. Awesome content as usual Josh!!!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:06

Hi Ryan,

You could add in a lower body exercise of choice to that particular workout. A squat would work nicely in my opinion.

Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2019 - 23:37

Day six reads Full Body Fat Loss but it’s only upper body. So you have one full body, two upper, and one lower body workout. On another note, why only 3 deadlifts and 3 squats? You don’t specify going super heavy here. Rather, you do the opposite in the article when you say, “you can try to increase the weight..., however, the key component is burning more calories...” This implies that one should be lifting less weight and for more reps in order to lose weight, but your article isn’t completely clear here. I enjoyed the article and the workouts; just wanted to share my thoughts. Thanks!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:03

Hi Caysea,

Thank you for your feedback. To me, when it comes to fat loss, the main thing is achieving a calorie deficit. So, workouts become much more about stimulating the muscle just enough to prevent muscle tissue loss, not getting intense workouts in to promote fat loss. That's just my personal philosophy. I'm sure others may disagree.

Posted on: Wed, 07/03/2019 - 03:30

Day 6 actually begins with squats.

Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2019 - 12:50

So now days 4 and 6 both start with low rep (so I’d assume heavy weight) squats, whilst day 1 begins with low rep deadlifts......this doesn’t leave a lot of time for recovery and will be stressful on the CNS. This program doesn’t look that well balanced at the moment and needs a little more thought.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/31/2019 - 16:55

Hi Dave,

I appreciate the feedback. Yea, can't really please everyone. Originally, there was no lower body exercises on that day and people claimed it wasn't a true full body. That's a problem with writing templates for a mass, generally beginner, audience. I touch on that a bit more in this article which I encourage anyone getting workouts for free online to read: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-use-workout-routines-y...

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 07/03/2019 - 10:29

Hi Bruk,

That was added after it was brought to our attention it wasn't a complete full body day.

Ryan Cherry
Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2019 - 16:20

This is an interesting split combining full body and upper lower. I kinda want to try it next!!! Can I run this program in a slight surplus instead primarily for fat loss ? I feel like my body needs a switch up from all the upper/lower or ppl routines I’ve done!!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:01

Hi Ryan,

Absolutely! This program is fine for building muscle as well.

Deepak Kykrety
Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:10

With just 4 days of moderate volume weight training and not enough cardio, how is this program going to help shred fat?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:00

Hi Deepak,

With the calorie deficit mentioned within the article.

Ryan Cherry
Posted on: Wed, 07/03/2019 - 23:35

Seems like a perfect amount of volume. Intensity isn’t only training volume. A lot of people do way too much as it is.

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2019 - 08:02

If fat loss is what you are looking to achieve, is there really a thing as too much cardio? As long as you are lifting to tear muscle tissue also why not do lots of cardio as well?