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12 Week Shred

Cover Model – Pham Woodbridge
Instagram - @phamflexx
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The information provided in this guide is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor and this is not meant
to be taken as medical advice. The information provided in this guide is based upon my experiences as well as
my Interpretations of the current research available. The advice and tips given in this download are meant for
healthy adults only. You should consult your physician to insure tips given in this course are appropriate for
your individual circumstances. If you have any health issues or pre-existing conditions, please consult with
your physician before implementing any of the information provided below. This product is for informational
purposes only and the author does not accept any responsibilities for any liabilities.
Look in any bodybuilding/fitness related
magazine and you’ll come across outlandish diets
that greatly restrict the reader. Ultimately, these
diets fail because they are impractical and
promote deprivation.
Just because you are trying to shed off some flab
doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice everything
you enjoy about food in the process. Rather than
going to the extremes of eliminating certain food
groups and/or macronutrients, it is better to
follow a more modest approach that slightly
restricts calorie intake but yet gives the dieter the
freedom to work in portions of foods they
genuinely love.
One of the most important things to keep in mind
as you read your way through this book is that
knowledge is power. The information to be
presented here is meant to teach you the
fundamentals of what makes the body lose fat
and build muscle and how to optimize these
processes with proper training and diet.
It’s rather simple to lay out a program and tell
people to follow it, but that’s also ineffective and
doesn’t inspire readers to really think for
themselves. This book is not only a guide to an
effective fat-loss program, but also an
educational tool that will propel your
understanding of human physiology and
It is imperative to grasp the reasoning for why
things are a certain way, and that is exactly why
this book contains a bounty of information. The
more informed you (the reader) are, the more
prepared you will be to succeed.
It can’t be stressed enough from the get-go that
no matter how perfect a plan sounds on paper, it
will fail if you do not stick to it for a significant
period of time. The number one reason many
people fall short of their health and fitness goals
is simply because they are inconsistent and
eventually quit altogether. Even if you follow a
suboptimal regimen for a long period of time, you
will see decent results. So which is better, a
perfect plan and inconsistency or a decent plan
and being consistent? The latter case prevails
every single time.
Many people want instant gratification when it
comes to their physique goals, but the reality is
that you have to create yourself every day.
For example, if a business owner was reviewing
their yearly sales, they might notice that 80% of
their revenue comes from 20% of their
customers. This is information that the owner
could then use to maximize the efficiency of
his/her marketing by targeting that loyal 20% of
customers more aggressively in the future.
It’s not a stretch to assume that 80% of one’s
results come from 20% of the exercises in their
current training routine. If you want to maximize
your efficiency and time in the gym, wouldn’t it
make more sense to focus on those key exercises
that contribute to the majority of your results? Or
would you rather continue to put a lot of time and
effort into exercises that do very little for you
when all is said and done? Hopefully you can see
that the former option is going to make you much
happier in the long run.
The “80/20” principle is a simple observation that
many things in life don’t have even distributions.
It was originally founded after examination
revealed that 80% of Italy’s wealth belonged to
20% of the population. It should be noted that the
80/20 principle is simply a rough guide about
typical distributions; it is not a law of nature and
the numbers don’t need to add up to 100.
Before we dive into the nutrition and exercise
aspects of the 12-Week Shred Program it is
necessary to cover what realistic goal setting
should look like. Also, it’s important to address
how progress is not always visible to the human
eye, and also that obstacles are inevitable on your
More often than not, people tend to shoot
themselves in the foot by not having any realistic
goals as they embark on their endeavor to create
a better, healthier body.
Furthermore, goals are meant to encourage (and
push) one’s self, but they must be realistic. It’s
okay to be an optimist and hope for big changes,
but don’t be impractical as that will only hamper
your results.
With that said, let’s take a look at what some
realistic goals might look like in the short and
long-term for individuals trying to get in better
shape physically:
If you don’t have realistic goals and a plan on how
to reach them, then you’re simply preparing to
fall short.
The best way to categorize goals is as either
short-term or long-term. Generally, a short-term
goal is something that can be accomplished in a
matter of weeks, or maybe even days. Long-term
goals are things that you hope to achieve in a few
months or further down the road.
Lose 2-3lb of fat in the next two weeks
Increase bench press by 5lbs in the next two
Do 30 minutes of cardio on 1-2 days this
Track and reach your daily calorie quota each
day this week
Lose 15lbs of fat in the next 3 months
Increase bench press by 30lbs in the next 3
Reduce waist size by 3 inches in next 3
If you’re not progressing in some fashion on a
weekly basis, then you’re simply running in place
and wasting your time. Most people that start on
a diet and exercise program never see it through
to the end because they’re unsatisfied with their
short-term progress and give in to their old
For whatever reason, people often can’t see the
forest for the tress when it comes to their health
and physique. It’s not uncommon for people to
scrutinize their body on a daily basis and worry
over every minute change they see. Honestly, the
best way to avoid paralysis by analysis is to give
yourself time and realize that big changes don’t
happen overnight.
For better or for worse, setbacks/obstacles are
going to be inevitable on your journey to a better
physique. The path to success is often a very
bumpy one, but that’s what makes it all worth it
in the end.
Don’t let things that come up throw you off your
plan. It’s only natural that unexpected life events
will crop up at some point and cause you to make
some adjustments, and that’s perfectly ok. The
worst thing you can do is let those obstacles
completely ruin your plan.
Also, realize that stress is a part of living. The
obstacles that lay before you are what give
meaning to your journey. It will be just that much
more gratifying to overcome everything that
stands in your way when all is said and done. Just
be resilient; don’t let a little bump in the road
throw off the entire trip.
Therefore it seems wise to take a look at some
common training and nutrition myths and more
importantly, the reality of things.
Fear not; it’s time to put the most popular myths
under the microscope and decipher the facts
from fiction.
Reality: Do all the crunches and leg raises you
want; if your body-fat remains too high you won’t
see anything but a chubby belly peeking through
your shirt. Look at a really skinny, lean person
who rarely lifts weights or even trains their
abs…notice how you can still see their six-pack?
It’s because they have such low body-fat. If you
want that abdominal wall to appear carved, you
need to lose fat. Period.
Reality: One of the most frequent debates that
plagues the fitness industry is how frequently one
should eat to lose fat. Well frankly speaking, there
isn’t much to debate anymore since this theory
has been contradicted in a plethora of research
studies. Many fitness “gurus” and nutritionists
believe that if you eat more frequently, you will
naturally boost your energy (calorie) expenditure
due to the thermic effect of food (TEF)
increasing. However, this is a flawed assumption.
The fact of the matter is that when energy intake
is kept constant, the net TEF at the end of the day
is the same, independent of meal frequency. For
example, if someone gives you six 4-oz pieces of
chicken breast to eat throughout the day, at your
discretion, you might either:
A. Eat one 4-oz breast six times per day and
slightly increase your energy expenditure
(due to the TEF) each time…OR
B. Eat three 4-oz breasts at two different
times and experience a larger increase in
energy expenditure (again, from the TEF)
at those two respective feedings.
More simply, if the net TEF of eating ALL six 4-oz
breasts is 240 calories, then eating 1 of the
breasts at a time would yield a TEF of 40 calories
per feeding, while eating three at a time would
yield a TEF of 120 calories per feeding. You still
reach the same net TEF at the end of the day in
either scenario.
Essentially, they’re constantly spiking blood
glucose and not using the energy for anything, so
it ends up being stored and eventually converted
to adipose tissue. As such a habit progresses it
manifests itself into type-II diabetes due to
impaired insulin sensitivity.
Reality: This is simply not how your body utilizes
adipose and muscle tissue physiologically.
Adipose tissue is liberated and oxidized under the
proper circumstances, not converted to muscle
tissue. Building skeletal muscle requires many
different conditions and metabolic intermediates
than burning fat does. That being said, weight
training is definitely the best way to stimulate
your body when trying to elicit muscle growth and
burn body-fat.
Research does indicate that overweight
individuals are susceptible to impaired insulin
response… so yes, overeating carbs can be an
Intuitively, people figure they will just cut back (or
practically eliminate) carbs altogether and all will
be fine. However, the reality is that carbs
shouldn’t be eradicated from your diet, but just
controlled (like any other macronutrient).
For many individuals, it just won’t remain a
practical long-term lifestyle to avoid
carbohydrates, and by keeping them at a level to
support energy and mood (among a host of other
benefits) while maintaining a weight/fat loss
regimen will only be a positive factor.
Reality: Carbohydrates seem to have a poor
reputation because many people have a diet
composed of copious amounts of simple sugars
while simultaneously leading a sedentary
Reality: This is taking the saying, “You are what
you eat,” a bit too literally. Fat may contain more
calories per gram than carbohydrates and
protein, but it doesn’t make you fat simply by
consuming it—eating too many calories (no
matter where they come from) is what makes you
Moreover, fatty acids play an integral role in your
health and well-being. Essential fatty acids, like
omega-3 fatty acids, are necessary for proper
cellular and heart functioning. It is best to try and
take in a variety of unsaturated fatty acids from
sources like avocados, walnuts, almonds,
cashews, flax, olive oil, fish oil, etc. That being
said, saturated fatty acids, like those found in
butter and egg yolks, are also a vital part of your
diet (albeit in lower quantities).
Reality: This is actually a rather odd supposition
given that weight training helps increase muscle
mass, which in turn increases metabolic rate
since muscle is more metabolically demanding
than fat tissue. Moreover, anaerobic training
stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and thus
increases mitochondria levels within cells;
mitochondria are cell organelles responsible for
large productions of oxidative energy.
Reality: Contrary to popular belief, weight training
(especially at high-intensity) can actually
stimulate osteogenesis and increase bone
mineral density. The key to keep in mind here is
that the osteogenic effects appear to be most
pronounced when training intensity is at or
beyond the lactate threshold. In fact, this is one
of the reasons weight training is often
recommended for elderly individuals, especially
those with bone health issues.
Reality: This theory is derived from the idea that
weight training can damage the epiphysis, which
would subsequently disrupt normal bone growth,
but the reality is that weight training, if anything,
could actually serve to prevent such damage. As
noted above, weight training is actually beneficial
for bone health/development, and this effect is
conducive to the healthy maturation of
Reality: As with the “bone health” myth, weight
training, especially at high-intensity, appears to
actually alleviate many arthritic symptoms in
comparison to no training. On the contrary,
running and other forms of cardio may actually
induce osteoarthritic changes. Hence the
rationale for doing tons of cardio (specifically
running) to “save your joints” is rather baseless.
The science of fat
loss explained
Well, frankly, AMPk increases lipolysis
(breakdown of fat), enhances fatty acid oxidation,
improves glucose uptake into muscle tissue, and
inhibits lipogenesis. In essence, it is the
“metabolic switch” for burning fat.
Fat loss is largely regulated by the enzyme
adenosine monophosphate-activated protein
kinase (AMPk), a trimeric protein expressed
throughout many tissues in the body.
Physiology lingo aside, AMPk is activated when
the cell is in a state of energy deprivation (i.e. the
ATP: ADP ratio drops). This occurs during times of
nutrient (specifically glucose) deprivation,
ischemia (lack of blood supply to an organ),
exercise, and/or use of certain chemicals/drugs.
Conversely, things such as eating and excessive
glycogen levels inhibit AMPk activity (since the
ATP: ADP ratio is elevated).
A protein found in almost all cells, called AMPk
acts to "turn on" fat-burning mode
Controlling calorie intake and exercising are
the best ways to activate AMPk and burn fat!
The great news is that the nutritional advice
in this book is specifically designed to
activate AMPk and propel your fat-loss
Ask any 8 year old how to lose weight and they
will tell you “Eat less and move more.”
Make no mistake, there are certainly variables we
want to control, but micromanaging to the point
where adherence is a daily struggle is not what
we want. That being said, a purely reductionist
approach won’t optimize our outcomes.
For long-term adherence, it’s absolutely imperative
to have a basic understanding of how basic
nutritional management works and how variables can
be adjusted. Anyone can follow a cookie cutter meal
plan in the short-term and see results. But what
happens when you plateau or get tired of eating the
same thing every day? Being equipped with the
knowledge of when, why, and how to adjust your
dietary menu or long-term strategy can save you a lot
of time and frustration. Additionally, it will make your
life a lot easier and oftentimes more balanced.
The FIRST thing we need to remind ourselves of when
discussing nutrition is our primary objectives. When
the goal is getting shredded, those objectives are fat
loss and muscle maintenance/growth. Below are the
two very basic rules when it comes to energy balance
and body composition:
Based on the above, you can see why bodybuilders
and physique athletes often have designated periods
of weight loss and weight gain. In a perfect scenario
this could be termed “fat loss” and “muscle gain.”
For our objective, we are going to require a caloric
deficit with the finer details adjusted within our
nutrition and training to accommodate for
maintaining, or potentially gaining muscle
(depending on training history).
In this book we will teach you how to set up and
track macronutrients (fat, carbs, protein), and
how to adjust these variables when plateaus
Caloric management is the absolute foundation
upon which all other recommendations build off.
This is an EXTREMELY important concept to be
aware of, as the specific foods we eat fall
secondary to overall caloric intake when it comes
to weight loss.
Flexible dieting/ “If it fits your macros” also
known as “IIFYM” has become a common
approach to tackling the dietary aspect of
reaching physique goals.
This approach means you can eat any foods you
like, as long as they fit in your daily caloric budget
and your daily macronutrient split (fat,
carbohydrates and protein).
Provide you with adequate nourishment
Enhance your performance (in and outside the
Satisfy your food cravings
The idea behind "Flexible dieting/IIFYM" is that all
you need to worry about is meeting your
macronutrient AND micronutrient quotas;
whatever foods you choose to eat to satisfy that
condition is simply a means to an end.
When your body ingests bacon, for example, that
protein will be utilized in same fashion as protein
from chicken. Carbohydrates that come from Oreo
cookies will be utilized in much the same fashion
as carbohydrates coming from wheat bread.
Notice these aren't being noted as “clean” foods
because that term is nonsensical; these are more
properly foods termed “nutrient dense.”
But again, if someone wants to incorporate some
foods that are more nutrient-devoid/empty calorie
(like Oreo cookies or pastries, for example) they
can do that assuming they still reach their overall
needs (by hitting their macros) at the end of the
day (and assuming they are balancing their
macronutrient proportions at each feeding).
It isn’t about eating pop-tarts all day.
It isn’t about avoiding whole foods or eating artificially made products whenever possible.
It IS about having sauce on your meals if you want to.
It IS about having the flexibility to eat out with friends.
It IS about being able to have a burger with the boys.
It IS about learning HOW to eat for your goals, learning the nutritional value of food and how to fuel your
body efficiently.
It IS about sustainable living and sustainable progress.
50g fat x 9 cal/g=450 calories
200g carbs x 4 cal/g=800 calories
180g protein x 4 cal/g=720 calories
TOTAL calories= 1,970
By controlling our macronutrient intake, we in
turn control our caloric intake. Paired with a wellmanaged resistance and cardiovascular training
protocol, we can fairly easily control both sides of
the energy balance equation.
Let’s say this individual burns an average of
2,500 calories per day (including exercise). This
macronutrient intake should lead to weight loss
(1,970 calories < 2500 calories).
So if caloric management is at the top of the list
of priorities, how do we come up with that
number based on macronutrient intake?
Fats = 9 calories/gram
Carbohydrates = 4 calories/gram
Protein = 4 calories/gram
The discussion and recommendations below are
based on research as it pertains to optimizing
body composition. We are painting in broad
strokes to get you the information you need to
create a starting point in structuring your diet for
improving your body composition.
Since we will require a caloric deficit to get
leaner, protein intake needs to be sufficient to:
maximize muscle protein synthesis (the
building of muscle protein)
minimize muscle protein breakdown (the
breakdown of muscle protein for energy)
If you are interested in optimizing your body
composition then you probably know the
important role protein plays in building muscle.
Adequate protein intake will help retain lean body
mass as we strip body fat, which is vital to attain
the muscular separation we are after.
Through digestion, protein is broken down into
amino acids which are then absorbed and either
used to build new proteins in the body (a term
called protein synthesis), or used as energy.
In the fitness industry it’s not uncommon for
people to have the mentality of “If a little is good,
then a lot must be great.” This is especially true
when it comes to protein. Fortunately, science
has helped bridge the gap between “in-thetrenches experience” and what’s supported in
The “more is better mentality” can come into play
here and research does suggest there to be a
minimal protein threshold (specifically the amino
acid leucine) that needs to be reached each meal
to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Having
too many meals a day may not allow us to achieve
this threshold within each meal. There is also
some evidence that muscle protein synthesis is
refractory in nature, meaning it peaks before
returning towards baseline despite a continued
elevation of amino acid levels in the blood. This
indicates that a return towards baseline is likely
necessary to optimize further elevations in
muscle protein synthesis as a result of a protein
containing meal.
There are entire careers built around the study of
protein intake and body composition, so this book
will only cover the essentials.
The recommendations provided will cover our
bases to ensure we have a suitable intake and
distribution to support getting you shredded.
It’s recommended to split protein up evenly
across 3-6 meals. This will help ensure you meet
the required leucine threshold per meal, while
allowing enough space between meals to reap
the benefits of multiple protein feedings. Just as
importantly, having a more manageable amount
of meals also allows one to fit meals around their
schedule and not the other way around.
Oils (Olive, Fish, Coconut, etc)
Nuts and Seeds
Nut butters (Peanut, Almond, etc)
Chicken Breast
Lean Beef
Low Fat Pork
Cottage Cheese
Whey Protein
Carbohydrates are also the source for dietary
fiber and many essential micronutrients
imperative for overall health. DO NOT neglect
fiber and micronutrient consumption within your
diet. While a multivitamin can offer a bit of a
security blanket, aim for nutrient-rich whole
foods to make up the majority of your diet.
Turkey Breast
Egg Whites
Low Fat or No Fat Cheese
Soy Protein
This isn’t the 1990s anymore, more people are
becoming educated on the importance of an
adequate fat intake. Fat is used in the production
of hormones as well as in the construction of
cellular membranes. From a behavioral eating
standpoint, fats can increase satiety and fullness
from a meal due to their caloric density and
ability to slow digestion.
Within the context of body composition the right
fat intake within our diet will:
 help attenuate decreases in anabolic
hormones as we diet
 leave enough calories for sufficient
protein and dietary carbohydrate
Carbohydrates (specifically in their stored form
as muscle glycogen) are our primary fuel source
when we train.
Carbohydrate intake is VERY individual and
dependent on a number of factors including but
not limited to:
 Amount of lean body mass
 Training volume
 Insulin sensitivity (ability to dispose of
carbohydrates in muscle cells)
Carbs should be distributed in a manner that
allow you to perform your best during training
and keep you alert throughout the day without
wildly variable changes in blood sugar levels.
Sweet Potatoes
Oat Meal
Wheat Bread
Brown Rice
Oat Bran
Fiber provides bulk to waste in the intestines and
promotes healthy gastrointestinal functioning.
Soluble fibers mesh with water to form a
gel and slow the digestive process, which
as aforementioned can help attenuate
blood sugar levels.
Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, travel
through the GI tract without dissolving
and speed the passage of waste through
the gut (i.e. they have a laxative effect).
Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked
Barley, pearled, cooked
Bran flakes
Oat bran muffin
Brown rice, cooked
Bread, rye
Bread, whole-wheat or multigrain
Split peas, cooked
Lentils, cooked
Black beans, cooked
Lima beans, cooked
Baked beans, vegetarian, canned, cooked
Sunflower seed kernels
Pistachio nuts
Artichoke, cooked
Green peas, cooked
Broccoli, boiled
Turnip greens, boiled
Brussels sprouts, cooked
Sweet corn, cooked
Potato, with skin, baked
Carrot, raw
Adults should aim for a diet that contains 30 g to
35 g of fiber per day.
Pears, with skin
Apples, with skin
Figs, dried
The carb cycling diet is very simple; it works like this:
 Throughout the week, you rotate through 5 lowcarb days and 2 high-carb days.
 All days require a high protein intake.
In essence, carb cycling acts as a means of
regulating your endocrine system (and thus
metabolic rate). When you impose aggressive,
chronic energy deprivation on yourself (such as
when dieting for fat loss), your body compensates
by lowering its demand for energy (i.e. metabolic
rate slows).
Lowering metabolic rate is a basic survival
mechanism in many organisms; it would be
counterproductive for an organism to be burning
through energy rapidly when nourishment is
restricted. A lower metabolic rate means your
metabolism is actually becoming more
efficient…yes, MORE efficient.
The most notable endocrine adaptations associated
with chronic energy deprivation are the lowering of
thyroid hormones (thryonines) and the fat-secreted
hormone (adipokine) leptin.
1. First, leptin’s primary role is regulating metabolic
expenditure as well as caloric intake, both of
which have obvious implications with regards to
2. Second, thyroid hormones act on nearly every cell
in the body to increase metabolic rate.
Therefore, the sensible solution to avoid diet-andexercise induced metabolic slowing is to acutely
increase energy intake (especially carbohydrates) to
help revive hormonal and metabolic factors.
A good way to think of this is as your metabolism
being a vehicle and food is your fuel source; you
want a less efficient vehicle as it will need more gas
to travel the same distance than a more efficient
vehicle. So in metaphorical terms, if you want to eat
more (e.g. maximize the amount of gas you need to
get from A to B), you better decrease your metabolic
efficiency...or start shopping for a Hummer.
Stimulate an insulin response that shuttle
nutrients in your muscle cells, causing them to
Replenish glycogen stores that fuel your muscles
Make you feel good and energized
Promote fat loss by tricking your body into
burning fat for fuel (instead of the sugar from the
carbs it would normally get)
Keep your body more receptive to insulin,
improving your body’s muscle-building response
To lose fat, you need a negative energy balance,
also known as a calorie deficit, where you’re
consuming fewer calories than you burn.
Protein contains 4 calories per gram
o Protein (specifically amino acids) are the
building blocks of new muscle tissue.
o An overall protein intake of 40% of your
overall caloric intake for Low-Carb Days
and 30% for High-Carb Days is
recommended when dieting to optimize
body composition.
o Split protein up evenly across 3-6 meals.
Within that, allow the nature of your
lifestyle to dictate meal frequency.
Fat contains 9 calories per gram
o Fat is an essential macronutrient used in
the production of hormones and the
construction of cellular membranes
(amongst many other things)
o An overall fat intake of 25% of your overall
caloric intake for Low-Carb Days and 20%
for High-Carb Days is recommended
when dieting to optimize body
Carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram
o Carbohydrate (specifically stored muscle
glycogen) is the primary fuel source in
resistance training
o An overall carbohydrate intake of 35% of
your overall caloric intake for Low-Carb
Days and 50% for High-Carb Days is
recommended when dieting to optimize
body composition.
Fiber provides bulk to waste in the intestines
and promotes healthy gastrointestinal
o Adults should aim for a diet that
contains 30 g to 35 g of fiber per day.
If you want to take the guess work out and know
exactly what you’re putting in your body, then it is
best to get in the habit of counting your calorie
intake, and also tracking your macronutrient intake
as well.
If you want to roll the dice and play the guessing
game then that’s up to you. However, bear in mind
that you wouldn't expect to bake the perfect cake
by guessing the required amounts of flour, sugar
and butter in the recipe.
You also wouldn't expect that cake to rise
appropriately if you set the temperature of the
oven at random and changed it intermittently
whilst cooking; nor would you expect your cakes to
taste similar from one bake to the next should you
repeat the steps above.
If you're constantly consuming different amounts
of protein, carbs, fats and calories from day to day,
the progress you make and your physique
development will be reflective of the
disastrous/inconsistent baking methods that were
just mentioned.
Scientifically speaking, a calorie is simply the amount
of energy (heat) needed to raise the temperature of 1
gram of water by 1 degrees Celsius.
It is likely that the definition we’ve just given you has
only made the idea of a calorie even more confusing,
so let’s use a real-world analogy to make it more
Of course, if you overload your car’s gas tank with fuel
it would simply start overflowing. Unfortunately,
when you overload your body with more fuel/calories
than it needs, the excess is converted to triglycerides
(fat molecules) and stored as fat.
We’ve already established that your body needs
fuel to function. Every day, your body uses a
certain amount of energy – quantified in calories –
to perform basic functions like breathing,
maintaining core body temperature and pumping
blood through veins.
Your body will perform these vital functions even if
you decide to stay in bed for the entire day.
Therefore, your body is burning fuel – aka calories
– even when you’re resting. This is referred to as
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). You’ll maintain your
current weight as long as you provide your body
with sufficient calories through food.
When trying to lose fat, a calorie deficit is exactly
the scenario we want to create as fat tissue will
start to be burned as fuel—a process called fattyacid oxidation.
Let’s say your body needs 3000 calories per day to
maintain its weight – you can also say that your BMR is
3000 calories. If you consume 2500 calories per day and
burn 500 calories at the gym then your calorie deficit is
1000 calories per day.
BMR: 3000 calories (Amount needed to maintain weight)
- Calories consumed: 2500 (Via food)
+ Calories burned: 500 (Via exercise)
= Calorie deficit: 1000
If you repeated this process for the whole week, you
would’ve burned of 7000 calories which is essentially 2
pounds of fat (1 pound of fat = 3500 calories).
Ideally, a sound diet and training regimen will incorporate
both exercise and caloric restriction, and that is precisely
what this 12-Week Shred Program employs.
You can create a calorie deficit by either eating
less and/or exercising. We recommend a
combination of both for fast and lasting fat loss.
10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) - 5 x age + 5
To walk you through the entire process, let’s use an
example of what it would look like for our fictional
character, John:
That’s it! Hang onto that number as you will need it to
calculate John’s daily calorie requirement (DCR).
Age: 22
Height: 5’10” (178 cm)
Weight: 176lbs (80kg)
Lifestyle: John hits the gym hard 5 times a week,
works a desk job and doesn’t do much demanding
physical activity out of the gym.
Your DCR is an estimation that takes into account
your “activity variable.” Your activity variable is
simply a multiplier set by the daily lifestyle tasks that
contribute to the amount of energy you burn.
There are a variety of equations out there that are
utilized to calculate one’s BMR, but we will be using
the most accurate method which is the Mifflin-St.
Jeor Formula.
Once again, BMR is the amount of calories your
body burns at rest to maintain normal body
functions such as breathing.
1.2 = Sedentary (desk job, and little structured
1.3 = Lightly Active (light daily activity AND light
exercise 1-3 days a week)
1.5 = Moderately Active (moderate daily activity
AND moderate/hard exercise 4-5 days a week)
1.7 = Very Active (physically demanding lifestyle
and rigorous exercise 6-7 days a week)
1.9 = Extremely Active (Athlete in ENDURANCE
training or VERY RIGOROUS physical job)
So once you’ve figured out which bracket of the
activity variable you fall in, simply take that
factor/multiplier and apply it to your BMR.
Let’s use an example of what it would look like for our
fictional character, John:
Lifestyle: John hits the gym hard 5 times a week, works
a desk job and doesn’t do much demanding physical
activity out of the gym. This will put him in the activity
variable “Moderately Active” and will use a multiplier of
However, it is more important to determine your
specific calorie deficit by simply taking a percentage
of your Daily Calorie Requirement (DCR). For fat loss,
it is recommended to deduct about 25% of calories
from your DCR.
Daily Calorie Requirement (DCR) x 0.75
So continuing on with our previous example with
John, since his DCR is 2,711 calories per day, he
would aim to take in: 2,711 x 0.75 = 2,033 calories
per day for fat loss.
This diet is not intended to greatly restrict any
specific macronutrient; instead it favours a
balanced approach. As we discussed in Chapter 4,
each macronutrient plays an essential role in your
health and performance. Recall that proteins and
carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, while
fats contain 9 calories per gram.
So there you have it; pretty simple eh? John can now
move onto the next step which is determining his
calorie deficit.
A pound of fat tissue contains roughly 3,500 calories.
Therefore, if the goal is to lose one pound of fat per
week, you need to create a calorie deficit of 500
calories per day (on average).
Low-Carb Days are important as they enhance the
fat loss process by encouraging your body to burn
fat for fuel. They also keep your body more receptive
to insulin, improving your body’s muscle-building
There will be 5 low-carb days per week, and they will
occur on
To determine your macronutrient breakdown for
Low-Carb Days, simply take your suggested total
calorie intake for fat loss (which is your DCR x
0.75) and apply these percentages:
Protein: = 40% total calorie intake
Carbohydrate: = 35% total calorie intake
Fat: = 25% total calorie intake
High-carb days are an essential component to this
diet as they allow you to:
These particular % breakdowns for Low-Carb Days
will provide you with the following:
A calorie deficit that is large enough to
stimulate significant fat loss, but small enough
to keep muscle intact, control appetite and
maintain high energy levels.
Sufficient protein to maximize muscle recovery
and lean mass retention.
Enough carbohydrates and fats to keep mood
and hormone balance in check, as well as to
keep training performance near its peak.
So for John, since he is aiming for 2,033 calories
on his Low-Carb Days, his macronutrient
breakdown will look like this:
Protein: 2,033 x 0.40 = 813/4 = 203g of protein
per day
Carbohydrates: 2,033 x 0.35 = 712/4 = 178g of
carbohydrate per day
Fat: 2,033 x 0.25 = 508/9 = 56g of fat per day
There will be 2 high-carb days per week, and they
will occur on
To determine your macronutrient breakdown for
High-Carb Days, simply take your High-Carb Day
calorie goal (which is your DCR x 0.90) and apply
these percentages:
Protein: = 30% total calorie intake
Carbohydrates: = 50% total calorie intake
Fat: = 20% total calorie intake
So for John, since he is aiming for 2,440 calories
on his High-Carb Days, his macronutrient
breakdown will look like this:
Refill glycogen stores and help keep your
brain (and metabolism) happy.
Perform better in the gym after you’ve
replenished yourself with a few higher-carb
Protein: 2,440 x 0.3 = 732/4 = 183g of protein
per day
Carbohydrates: 2,440 x 0.5 = 1220/4 = 305g of
carbohydrate per day
Fat: 2,440 x 0.20 = 488/9 = 54g of fat per day
Low-Carb Day Macros 5x/week= 56g/178g/203g or rounding to nearest five grams, 55g/180g/205g
High-Carb Day Macros 2x/week= 54g/305g/183g or rounding to nearest five grams, 55g/305g/185g
While precision and consistency are optimal, being within 5g of each macro is acceptable and isn't
going to derail progress. Being over or under 50-60 calories on the day is a lot different than 500-600.
Context is key.
Macro Goals: 56/178/203 (Fat/Carbs/Protein)
Software/App: MyFitnessPal.com
Macro Goals: 54/305/183 (Fat/Carbs/Protein)
Software/App: MyFitnessPal.com
First, it’s good that you are aware that you have
overshot your macronutrient intake. While that isn’t
ideal, it certainly isn’t the end of the world.
However, if you slip up by a large amount (e.g. 15%
more carbs than your goal called for), for whatever
reason, the best solution is to make up the difference
the next day by deducting carbs and fats from your
goal intake (do not cut protein intake). See below for
an example of how this would work:
Goal Macros: 56g Fat / 178g Carbs / 203g Protein
Actual Macros: 66g Fat / 208g Carbs / 203g Protein
 +10g fat, +30g carbs
 Therefore, the following day we will deduct an
equivocal proportion from carbs and fat intake
We have good news for you. You don’t have to eat
meals on any set schedule to lose weight efficiently.
You see, meal frequency has little relevance on
actual results. You can eat 3 meals per day or 6 and
achieve the same thing if you’re doing everything
else right in terms of hitting your daily macros and
following your exercise regimen.
You will probably find a smaller meal every few hours
most enjoyable, but feel free to experiment.
You can also play with when you start eating for the
day. If you like eating breakfast, do it. If you don’t,
and would prefer to wait until lunch before you start
eating, you can do that too.
Sometimes skipping that first meal helps with
overall compliance as it allows you to eat larger
meals and still stick to your numbers.
Goal Macros: 46g Fat / 148g Carbs / 203g Protein
 As you can see we have deducted 10g of fat and
30g of carbs.
NOTE: If you overeat protein by a large amount, deduct
that many grams from your carb intake the next day.
Look, we get that tracking calories will feel tedious at
first. Heck, for most of us it was the most annoying
thing in the world when we first started tracking
calories. However, if you’re going to track calories – and
believe us it’s worth it – don’t leave things out. Even if it
as little as eating a small chocolate bar or the
mayonnaise in your sandwich.
MFP has the most user-friendly/intuitive interface
of any food logging app on the market. Moreover,
the food database seems to be the most
comprehensive and accurate. Whether you're
experienced with logging food intake or a newbie,
MFP is our top app recommendation.
Basically, you will have to measure your food intake and
will need a food log in which you document every meal.
For some folks, this is painstakingly hard work so they
just don’t do it.
Track your macro intake as outlined in this
12 Week Shred Program. (You will have to
input your macro and calorie goals manually
into MyFitnessPal)
Monitor weight-loss progress
Stay consistent with your diet
Log/track exercise (lifting or cardio) since
this will skew the goal calorie/macro intakes
that you calculated in this chapter.
Log/track your daily footstep count (for
same reason above). Turn off this option in
With today’s modern technologies, it is easier than ever
to simply enter your daily food selections into
software/apps on your PC, tablet, and/or smartphone.
Two great starting places include:
https://www.MyFitnessPal.com (Most popular)
Use metric cups for foods such as breakfast cereal.
You can also use them as measuring scoops,
especially for cooked rice, pasta and noodles.
If you’re new to weighing and measuring, here are
some tips to help you:
Place a plate, a bowl, or a piece of baking paper on
electronic kitchen scales.
Add the food you want to weigh – it may take a
couple of seconds for the scales to settle and
display the final reading.
Use metric spoons for energy-dense foods such as
oil, butter, sugar and honey. And keep the measure
level by flattening off the top of the spoon with a
knife, so that it’s levelled and not heaped.
If you eat out at a restaurant you can always ask the
server how big the portion sizes are and how the food
is prepared. Moreover, both MyFitnessPal and
CalorieKing have huge catalogues of nutritional facts
from restaurants and fast-food chains.
There is no right or wrong way but ask yourself
which way is most sustainable for YOUR lifestyle.
Additionally, make sure you challenge yourself
enough to be comfortable meeting macros when
things don’t go to plan. If you forget your food at
home and have to eat out then be equipped with
the knowledge you need to succeed.
The general rule-of-thumb is that if something is
calorie-free, then you don’t need to be so nit-picky
about tracking it. Contrarily, certain condiments may
be loaded with calories despite their small serving
size, so be sure to read the food labels.
If you feel a bit overwhelmed at the idea of
tracking your macros every day then you are not
alone. However, like anything, it takes consistent
practice. Admittedly, this is a point where many
people want to throw in the towel (and do).
For example, mustard is pretty much free of calories
(it mostly contains vinegar, salt and spices) so if you
put a few tablespoons of mustard on your sandwich,
then don’t worry about tracking it. Same goes for
most any other calorie-free foods. But if you are
instead going to use a bunch of bleu cheese dressing
then you should absolutely be tracking that as it will
impact your calorie intake.
All jokes aside, the learning curve can suck. It can
make or break you. Remind yourself why you are
doing this, and power through it. It WILL become
easier, and in the end the flexibility of
macronutrient management can be liberating.
Some people may do best out of the gate if they
create a menu designed to hit their macros prior to
each day. There is nothing wrong with this, so long as
you become comfortable with tracking and know how
to adjust your day as needed. Other people use the
flexibility offered and thrive by not eating the same
thing on any two days, or have any idea what their
next meal will be.
Yes! We recommended Eatthismuch.com
Visit: http://www.eatthismuch.com
Visit: http://www.eatthismuch.com
1. Simply enter your Low-Carb Day Calorie Goal
and desired number of meals. Then click
2. Find the ‘Current nutrition targets' section and
click 'Edit Targets'
3. Set the ‘Target Macros’ to ‘A percentage of
calories’ and then use the following
1. Simply enter your High-Carb Day Calorie Goal
and desired number of meals. Then click
2. Find the ‘Current nutrition targets' section and
click 'Edit Targets'
3. Set the ‘Target Macros’ to ‘A percentage of
calories’ and then use the following
High-Carb Day: Fat 20% / Carbs 50% / Protein
Low-Carb Day: Fat 25% / Carbs 35% / Protein
Set Fiber to 30 grams
Click ‘Save Changes’
Then click ‘Regenerate’
Your new Low-Carb Day Meal Plan will be
created and you may even tweak the meal plan
even more with the many settings/features the
website has to offer.
Set Fiber to 30 grams
Click ‘Save Changes’
Then click ‘Regenerate’
Your new High-Carb Day Meal Plan will be
created and you may even tweak the meal plan
even more with the many settings/features the
website has to offer.
Create as many different meal plans as you like!
Many people see adaptation and stagnation as
synonymous terms. While in a sense this can be
true, realize that adaptation is exactly what we
want. Every time we go to the gym to train we
create a specific stress on our nervous system,
and musculoskeletal system. From this stress we
are seeking to obtain a downstream adaptation
to allow us to be ready for future stressors. For an
individual trying to build muscle, our adaptations
are actually our goal outcomes (increased muscle
size/hypertrophy and strength). A bigger,
stronger muscle will be better equipped to handle
that training stress in the future.
Training plateaus will inevitably happen to
everyone, but how do we minimize them? Much in
the same way we would increase calories during a
weight-gain plateau, we would increase our
magnitude of training stress to stimulate further
adaptation. And much like our macronutrient
intake, we should be able to quantify our
workloads in a way we can easily assess and
manipulate variables to accomplish our goals.
While going into the gym and obliterating a
muscle group can get you results, usually it’s by
proxy and not by design. At times we may be
doing much more than is required or optimal for
long-term progress.
We MUST do more work over time in a controlled,
sustainable design. At the same time, we want to
milk as much progress as we can out of a given
amount of work before we add more volume.
World-class bodybuilders and powerlifters may
spend hours and hours in the gym each day
across multiple sessions. In most cases this isn’t
because they are trying to get rapid results, it’s
because they require that workload to keep
progressing. We must do more work over time.
As alluded to earlier in this chapter, progressive
overload is the most important thing to keep
improving your body composition and building
skeletal muscle tissue. If you are not consistently
subjecting the body to a new form stress, then
there is no reason for the body to adapt. You need
to push yourself to a point where you haven’t
gone in the past...only after that happens will
your muscles be forced to grow back bigger and
It’s astounding how many trainees nonchalantly
lift the same weight for months, even years, on
end and (not surprisingly) they look the exact
same now as they did on day one.
adding weight to the bar
increasing repetitions
increasing time-under-tension
increasing number of sets per exercise
increasing number of exercises
Training is a stressor; building size and
strength are favorable adaptations to that
Training stress is primarily a product of
volume and intensity
Volume is the amount of work you do (sets x
reps x weight)
Intensity is the relative load on the bar in
relation to your maximum strength in a given
rep range
By properly managing volume and intensity
we can better optimize our strategy by taking
advantage of varying training intensities, and
prevent many plateaus.
Triphasic TRAINING Guide
Propelling your physique and athleticism
essentially entails improving your body
composition and functional strength. Ask any
individual in the gym what their goal is and it’s
likely along the lines of being leaner, stronger,
more explosive and more muscular (i.e.
improving their athletic or fitness performance
and body composition).
The conundrum everyone faces is that improving
body composition is a give-and-take process. It
would be remiss not to mention that the path to a
leaner body and enhanced athletic performance
is an arduous one and the finish line doesn’t
come overnight. But anything worth having is
worth working hard for, so be prepared to give
this journey to shredded everything you’ve got!
This program is ultimately suitable to most any
trainee, regardless of their experience level in the
gym. The main to keep in mind throughout the
process is that consistency and progression are
keys to success and achieving your goals. This
program isn’t magic; no program is. The not-sosecret to success in health/fitness is doing things
that are effective to your goals, repeatedly.
Triphasic Hybrid Power/Hypertrophy Training
encompasses elements of both bodybuilding and
powerlifting training protocols. With this routine
the idea is that, instead of focusing on specific
training adaptations (hypertrophy, maximal
strength, power etc.) individually for weeks at a
time like with linear forms of periodization, you
will perform exercises in both the lower rep
ranges (4-6 reps) and higher rep rages (8-15
reps) within the same given week. This is
achieved by splitting the workouts into “power”
days and “hypertrophy” days which,
subsequently, means you will be training each
muscle group twice a week.
It is, after all, in contrast to more traditional
bodybuilding split-style programs that have
become so popular within the fitness community
over the years.
During this program, you will progress through 3
phases/microcycles that modify your workouts
by increasing the number of sets per exercise,
and level of intensity:
As you will be performing exercises in both lower
and higher rep ranges, it has been designed so
that the workouts are separated into “power”
days and “hypertrophy” days respectively. The
rationale behind this is that you will get more
‘bang for your buck’ so to speak if you focus on
lifting for either maximal strength or to induce
muscular hypertrophy within a given training
On power days the focus will be on major “power”
movements for your upper and lower body like
Bent-Over Barbell Rows, Incline Dumbbell
Presses, Squats and Leg Press. The goal is to stay
within 4-6 reps for all 3 sets (2 sets during Phase
1). Be sure to rest enough in-between sets to be
ready for your next heavy set (it may take a good
3-4 minutes to completely recover between
sets). Keep in mind, the purpose of these
workouts is to move maximum weight! Your
hypertrophy workouts will be quicker-paced and
have shorter rest periods. On power days you
need to have a STRENGTH mentality.
On your hypertrophy days you will be doing sets
of higher repetitions with lighter loads. Emphasis
will be placed on moving the weight through the
concentric phase of the lift as quickly as
possible/explosively. Rest should be no longer
than 90 seconds between each set. Make sure to
stop a rep or two shy of failure on hypertrophy
days or you will fatigue yourself too quickly.
This will help you maintain greater overall force
production and volume during the workout and it
will prevent neural fatigue and burnout.
Failure is a tool and has to be used correctly and
is not necessarily the goal of every set. Once you
get adjusted to the volume and frequency then
you can start adding in sets to failure for power
movements and some of your explosive type
training. Abstain from training to failure
consistently for more than 6 weeks in a row
without at least a brief hiatus. The reason this is
recommended is because if you constantly train
to failure it will impede your performance,
strength, decrease the volume you are able to
handle, and ultimately reduce your training
capacity. There seems to be a notion out there
that any set NOT taken to absolute failure is an
exercise in futility, but that’s utter NONSENSE.
There’s plenty of research that shows volume is
the main dictator of how much muscle damage
Take note that overload is accumulated
throughout your workout and adding more
volume is actually a way to induce more overload,
not just by adding more weight/reps. Again, there
is nothing wrong with taking some sets to failure
once you are adapted to the routine, but it has to
be properly periodized to avoid performance
decrements and excessive central nervous
system (CNS) fatigue.
Compound exercises are the bread and butter of
muscle and strength building. They work multiple
muscle groups and are the most challenging and
rewarding lifts. They should always be performed
first in your workout plan. Isolation exercises
work only a single muscle group at a time. In
general they utilize a lighter weight, and don't
allow for as much progression as compound
movements. Because isolation lifts are less
taxing, they work better as finishing exercises,
helping to work an already fatigued and taxed
muscle. Because the focus of compound
exercises is to tax several muscle groups, you
should not worry as much about feeling the
muscles work when using them.
Make sure to keep proper form at all times.
Sloppy isolation exercises with too much weight
quickly turn into mild, less-than-effective
compound lifts.
1. Don’t shy away from difficult, compound
exercises; they are the best bang for your
2. If you are unfamiliar with technical exercises
like deadlifts and squats, it is imperative that
you research proper form or have a
trainer/strength coach teach you.
During this program, you will progress through 3
phases/microcycles that modify your workouts
by increasing the number of sets per exercise,
and level of intensity:
The workouts are listed in on the next few pages
and there is also a printable workout log included
in this 12 Week Shred Transformation Pack which
we highly recommended you use!
Society has done a very good job of making us
believe cardiovascular exercise paired with eating
nothing but salad is the key to fat loss. In the context
of optimizing body composition, cardio needs to be
treated as a tool for fat loss more so than an
aggressive necessity.
Chapter 9 will discuss plateaus and how to
break through them, but as a spoiler we usually have
to decrease caloric intake and/or increase cardio
Not only does nobody want to spend 2 hours
of their day doing cardio, excessive cardio can
interfere with the positive effects that come with
weight/resistance training.
HIIT is a system of organizing cardiorespiratory
training which calls for repeated bouts of short
duration, high-intensity exercise intervals
intermingled with periods of lower-intensity intervals
of active recovery.
HIIT lasts 20 minutes or less – resulting in a short
workout time nearly anyone can integrate into their
HIIT can increase VO2 max for both high intensity and
endurance athletes. VO2 max is the max amount of
oxygen a person can use and transport during
exercise. You want this number to be high because it
enables you to use more fat as fuel instead of glucose.
Since our fat stores tend to be much higher than
glycogen stores, it is preferential to be able to get the
highest percentage of fuel from fat during exercise.
While sprinting uses a high amount of glycogen
because it is such high intensity, the rate at which you
change from fat burning to sugar burning is higher in
individuals with a higher VO2 max.
HIIT increases EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen
consumption) resulting in an elevated fat loss state for
up to 24 hours after you finish your workout –
something you won’t get from lower intensityexercise.
HIIT trains the body to effectively remove
metabolic waste from the muscles between
intervals. By quickly removing lactate and other
by-products resulting from high intensity
exercise, you enable the body to be primed and
ready for another bout of high-intensity exercise
with less rest.
You can do these workouts using tools, such as a
jump rope, or simply doing jumping jacks, or
sprinting, or working on a stationary cycle. Use
your imagination. Just follow the work-to-rest
intervals as indicated.
Low-intensity cardio doesn’t have the acute
metabolic benefits of high-intensity cardio, but
it’s an easy way to chip away at calories
throughout the week without adversely affecting
your time lifting weights. LISS is a bit like
spending money eating out. At the time, it doesn’t
seem like much but at the end of the month it’s
surprising how much you have spent.
The table below lists the calories burned by doing
dozens of activities for 30 minutes and the
numbers are based on an individual who weighs
185 pounds.
20 seconds: High-intensity exercise (E.g.
60 seconds: Rest or low-intensity exercise
(E.g. Walk)
Repeat another 10 times, followed by a final 20second high-intensity blast.
Incorporating Cardio into the 12 Week
Shred Program
Phase 1: (Weeks 1-2) 1x LISS per week
Phase 2: (Weeks 3-6) 2x LISS per week
Phase 3: (Weeks 7-12) 2x LISS + 1 HIIT per week
HIIT and LISS both have a place in your
training plan.
Adherence, time, and recovery all need to be
considered when structuring your
cardiovascular strategy.
Cardio not only has cardiovascular health
benefits, but will help improve our ability to
recover between sets and thus increase our
work capacity.
Creating a caloric deficit is what’s most
important in getting leaner. Cardio is a tool
to HELP accomplish this, and not a
necessity. Having said that, inclusion of
cardio is suggested for reasons mentioned in
this chapter.
Moreover, studies corroborate that the
proportion of leucine in a given protein source
has direct effect on the peak muscle protein
synthetic rate attained in the postprandial state.
So in short, whey protein is one of the highest
quality protein sources you can take in.
Note: These supplements are all optional
Arguably the most popular sports supplement on
the market, and for good reason. Whey protein
presents gym-goers with a highly bioavailable,
complete protein source to help meet their daily
protein needs. Naturally, since lifting routinely
increases protein demands, whey protein
supplements can be the perfect way to get more
protein in your diet.
Whey protein, the acclaimed gold standard of
supplementation, is one of the best sources of all
nine essential amino acids, and more importantly
of L-leucine. Much of the research thus far has
uncovered that a key substrate in the activation
of mTOR is the amino acid L-leucine.
Promotes recovery and muscle growth
Attenuates soreness/reduces fatigue
Presents an easy option to hit your daily
protein requirements
Upset stomach and indigestion are the two most
common issues with whey protein products. This
might be alleviated by choosing a pure whey
isolate product over a whey concentrate (which
contains more lactose).
You may use it daily as needed to meet your
protein requirements.
Use as needed to meet your protein
requirements. However, DO NOT rely on whey
protein as your sole source of protein; mix it up,
use whole foods when possible.
A: No, whey protein is derived from cheese so it
does contain dairy.
A: No, whey protein itself is not bad for the
kidneys. This myth stems from the issue of renal
impairment in individuals who have chronically
superfluous amounts of protein intake in their
diet. It has nothing to do with the source of the
A: Yes, but this has little ramification in regards
to how your body utilizes the protein since
denatured protein is essentially “hydrolyzed”
protein; you’re still ingesting all the amino acids
that were originally there to begin with.
Before we dive into fat-burners/thermogenics,
keep in mind that these supplements enhance
fat-loss by increasing metabolic rate and/or
adipose tissue oxidation (the use of fat as
energy). Therefore, taking these supplements will
help you burn more energy and utilize substrates,
specifically fat, more effectively.
As noted above fat burners/thermogenics work to
increase your metabolism and enhance adipose
tissue oxidation. These supplements do this by
acting on specific receptors and chemicals in the
body that regulate fat oxidation and increase
metabolic rate. Certain ingredients, like caffeine,
also provide stimulation to the central nervous
system and give users a sense of greater energy
throughout the day, which will help them be more
● Increase metabolism
● Enhance the use of fat tissue (and other
substrate) as energy
● Increase energy and focus
● Lower rate of perceived exertion
Side effects should be rather minimal if you use a
safe, efficacious fat-burner/thermogenic. While it
is impossible to list specific side effects without
knowing the product you’re using, we can say
that SimplyShredded’s VANQUISH ELITE was
formulated to avoid side effects and maximize fat
Most fat-burners/thermogenics are best taken
before working out and possibly again at another
time in the day. The best thing is to simply follow
the instructions on the bottle/label.
Follow the dosing instructions on the label of the
specific product you’re using.
Creatine monohydrate has stood the test of time
when it comes to weight training and athletic
performance. It’s one of the most efficient
supplements to consider when looking at its
cost-to-benefit ratio and safety/tolerability.
The energy currency of the cell is known as
Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP). Essentially, your
muscles are constantly using up and restoring
ATP levels in order to perform work (i.e. contract).
One way to restore depleted ATP stores in muscle
cells is through the phosphocreatine energy
This is achieved upon donation of a highly
energetic phosphate from a phosphocreatine
molecule to an ADP (adenosine di-phosphate)
molecule, thus forming a new ATP molecule.
A; No, it is important to know that no
supplements will “do the work for you” or make
up for poor dietary habits and lack of exercise.
A: Certainly not, but if you buy a properlyformulated product, it can certainly assist you
throughout the fat-loss process.
Increases intracellular water levels in
muscle cells, which in turn increases
protein synthesis
Bolsters ATP production, resulting in
increased power/strength output
Acts as a neuroprotective agent since
brain cells rely heavily on ATP for
membrane integrity
Bloating/cramping (even though
“bloating” in this sense is actually
conducive to creatine stimulating muscle
Dehydration (if not drinking ample water)
Avoid use if you have renal issues or diabetes
A: Unbeknownst to you, it’s likely due to an
increase in the amount of fluids you consume,
not the creatine itself.
Preferably pre-workout but it’s not a major
issue when creatine is ingested so long as it is
kept consistent
Most studies have concluded that once a
saturation point is achieved creatine can be
dosed between 3-5 grams/day to sustain
intracellular levels.
NOTE: Creatine may be “front-loaded” at a higher
dose (generally 8-10g/day, split in two doses) to
achieve quicker saturation of cells, but this isn’t
A: Contrary to popular belief, these purported
“highly absorbable” forms of creatine are actually
less bio-available than the tried-and-true
monohydrate form.
A: Yes, that’s fine (and often times favorable).
A: I have no clue where this common claim
originated from but the answer is no, just no.
A: No, not unless you’re taking exceptionally high
amounts (and even then it’s unlikely). Creatine
may be a risk for those with pre-existing renal
impairment, but there is little evidence that
nominal doses cause such issues.
Multi-vitamins are unique in the supplement
industry in that they present consumers with a
fail-safe to avoid vitamin and mineral
The body requires that we ingest a certain
amount of micronutrients (i.e. vitamins, minerals,
polyphenols, etc.) per day to function properly.
Many processes that we carry out in everyday life
are thanks to micronutrients. In a nutshell, multivitamins work by making sure your body has an
adequate intake of important micronutrients, so
you can perform better and live healthier.
Prevent micronutrient deficiencies
Enhances well-being and cognition
Bolsters the immune system
May cause dehydration if you do not drink
adequate fluid throughout the day
Follow the label’s directions for your specific
multi-vitamin; 1 serving per day is all that should
be needed.
A: Frankly, yes. Multi-vitamins contain a whole
spectrum of micronutrients that may be absent
from your diet, even if you do eat a lot of nutrientdense foods (like fruits and vegetables).
A: More often than not, multi-vitamins contain
fat-soluble micronutrients which should be taken
with food to ensure proper absorption.
It is usually advised to take your multi-vitamin
with the first meal of the day
Adjusting the plan
As we drop bodyweight our Daily Calorie
Requirement (DCR) decreases, and we will need
to reopen the energy deficit for fat loss to
Decreases in overall body mass lead to
lower expenditure from exercise and nonexercise activities. The heavier we are the
more effort we have to exert to move our
Decreased TEF (less food to digest)
Homeostatic hormonal mechanisms
This boils down to individual preference and what
will allow for long-term sustainability.
The following data should ALL be considered prior
to making an adjustment to your fat-loss strategy:
When our stores get low our expenditure is
down regulated in an attempt to close the gap on
the energy deficit and preserve adequate levels of
body fat.
This should trump ALL of the other factors
that will be listed. If you are looking leaner
in the mirror or through progress photos
Progress photos should be taken in similar
light in the same location if possible. This
will prevent any inconsistencies in shadows
that can mask what’s actually occurring.
It’s best to take progress photos facing a
window with the camera between you and
the window. This will allow for the most
consistent light.
The greater the caloric restriction the more
we adapt to an intake. For this reason, we want to
start with our ceiling high for adjustments with
regards to diet and cardio. However, even with
the most well thought out strategy you will have
some metabolic adaptation and you will likely
While we are primarily concerned with fat
loss, there is obviously a correlation between
weight loss and fat loss over time. Weigh in
each day under the same conditions (upon
waking and after using restroom) and track
your weight daily (using the Weight Loss Log
Spreadsheet). A weekly drop of ~.5-1% of
bodyweight will ensure that the drops are
coming primarily from fat stores assuming
you have your bases covered with adequate
protein intake and training design/execution
(which you will). If you see positive changes in
the mirror and/or measurements but not on
the scale then DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING.
There is a lot more that goes into bodyweight
than just adipose tissue.
While the mirror and progress photos are
GREAT, they are also qualitative in nature. If
the scale isn’t moving but say your waist is
going down, then you know you are losing
Measurements worth taking for tracking fat
loss include:
- Waist circumference at navel
- Hip circumference at widest point
Increase the energy deficit by an additional 1015% from further dietary restriction and/or
added cardiovascular work.
When decreasing calories, typically we only
decrease from carbs and fat. The reason we do
not decrease from protein is because it is crucial
for preserving lean body mass (ie. muscle) so
therefore, you want to maintain your protein
intake at a constant level throughout your cut. The
calorie drops would be much better served
coming from carbs and fat.
This will depend what level you are at (read below
for recommendations).
For those at an overweight or obese level you
should go with a bigger drop in the 100 to 200
If you’re a general dieter and dropping calories for
the first time then you should go with a range of
50 to 100 calories per day.
Note: For those of you who have been dieting for a
while, and have reduced calories a fair amount
already on multiple occasions then you should
stick to a 25 to 50 calorie drop. Which would
result in a recommendation of lowering carbs by
5-10 grams per day and fat by 1-2 grams per day.
John (General Dieter) has just reached week 4 of
his 12 Week Shred and has hit a weight loss
As a general dieter the recommendations are to
lower carbs by 10-15 grams per day and fat by 36 grams per day. John wishes to deduct 15 grams
from carbs and 5 grams from fat on both his low
and high-carb days.
Our DCR adapts as we lose body fat to protect
against continued fat loss, therefore plateaus
occur at given calorie intakes and cardio levels.
When fat loss stalls we must reopen the
calorie deficit by decreasing macros,
increasing cardio or both.
Reduce calories in the form of carbohydrate
and fat.
Do not rely solely on the scale to determine if
you are progressing. Many relatively new
trainees can build muscle and lose fat
simultaneously, which can obviously partially
mask drops on the scale.
So there you have it! Simply make the necessary
adjustments to each day’s macros and sprinkle
some more cardio in (like an extra HIIT or LISS
session) and be patient. Progress should pick
back up.
Frequently Asked questions
Many apps allow you to input calories in addition
to the macros. Food labels use rounding, and
there is also a potential for error on behalf of the
person inputting the data in to the database. If
you are hitting your macros (Fat/Carbs/Protein)
then you are hitting your calories. There is no way
around it.
If it’s less than 4% of total weight then hold off
another week or two and reassess. If it continues,
increase calories by 5-10%. If it levels off to the
appropriate rate stay put.
5 to 7 days. You could just be stressed and water
retention is masking fat loss. If you strongly
believe your intake should be yielding a caloric
deficit then it probably is, and you just need to
hold out a bit longer.
This may happen. Strength is not linear. Expect
some bad days and keep grinding.
Alcohol contains approximately 7 calories per
gram and most alcoholic beverages get the
majority of their calorie content from
carbohydrates. While drinking copious amounts of
alcohol is often a socially acceptable form of
entertainment, it behooves you to avoid such
events if you are serious about your physique.
This is NOT to say you can’t have any alcohol, but
just that you should restrict intake to maybe 1-2
drinks per week if you must have any.
Moreover, alcohol impairs cognition and can
interrupt with your ability to perform in the gym
(and elsewhere). If you want to work an occasional
beer or glass of wine into your daily calorie intake,
that is fine. Just don’t go drinking a whole six pack
and think that is considered “moderation.”
We are in a dynamic state of losing and
replenishing water in our bodies; when the
amount of water being taken in becomes less
than the amount being lost, we become
Even acute losses of sleep have been shown to
have a host of harmful effects in humans,
including tendency to overeat the next day and
decrease insulin sensitivity, two things that spell
disaster when combined.
Proper hydration is crucial to maintaining cell
functions, and without enough water,
performance and overall health can be greatly
hindered. The amount of water one needs on a
daily basis varies based on their size and their
activity level (active individuals generally require
much more liquid than sedentary individuals).
Sleep loss usually results in feeling stressed out
as well, which is generally not favorable for proper
appetite regulation. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours
of sleep per night.
While everyone has different fluid requirements
based on size, activity level, etc., 1-1.5 gallons
per day is usually sufficient.
Yes! Endless crunches will not melt away the fat
from your midsection. It just doesn't work that
way. And despite the "burn" of high rep ab
exercises, you barely burn any calories while doing
those endless crunches. Visible abs are simply a
result of low body-fat. (Approx. below 12%)
In regards to ab training, 2 exercises per week is
more than enough for vital stimulation. Another
thing to consider too is your abs get a lot of
indirect work from other exercises mainly
compound movements such as squats, deadlifts,
seated or standing presses and pulldowns, etc.
So just remember if you can't see your abs very
well, you're simply carrying too much body-fat.
The best thing you can do is get lean by hitting
your fat loss calorie/macro goals and training
properly; once that happens, you'll start to see
that six pack peek through.
If you're allergic to a certain vittles, you should
definitely follow standard protocol and avoid
them. Allergies are a serious medical condition
and trigger an immune system response that
could be life-threatening if care is not taken;
please consult a physician if you are concerned
about a food allergy.
The best thing to do if you are intolerant of
certain foods/ingredients is either sparingly
ingest those things or eliminate them from your
diet. If you absolutely cannot eliminate them, you
could try using certain digestive aids like fiber
supplements and digestive enzymes.
Determine if you would like to continue to get
leaner. If the answer is yes, then continue dieting
for fat loss using the recommendations within
this book. If you decide you would like to begin a
mass phase, then slowly add calories in the form
of carbs and fat until you are gaining .5-1 lbs. per
You will want to slowly start adding calories back
into your diet as you transition to a maintenance
phase. A maintenance phase is essentially when
your caloric expenditure and intake are in
equilibrium. To find how many calories you require
for a maintenance phase you will need to simply
calculate your DCR (Daily Calorie Requirements).
You may refer to Chapter 5 or the Macro
Calculator Excel Spreadsheet to calculate this
The goal is to add calories slowly over a few weeks
so you add as little body fat as possible. You may
even get leaner during this process if you keep
training hard and control your food intake.
Sometimes fruits, vegetables, and meats do not
come with nutritional information. Using
websites/apps like CalorieKing or MyFitnessPal
you can simply search the fruit, vegetable, or
meat to obtain the same nutritional information.
Eat your food slowly to give your brain time to
catch up with your stomach. If you eat very quickly
you may end up taking in an excessive amount of
food and not feeling satiated.
Drink plenty of water (or other low-calorie liquids)
The benefits of staying hydrated are numerous,
and keeping enough liquid in your stomach while
you eat will create a sense of fullness (not to
mention it’s great for digestive purposes).
Eat foods that provide more satiety early in your
 Fibrous vegetables and fruits are
micronutrient-dense, lower-calorie options
that provide bulk to waste in the intestines and
make you feel full.
Refer to the printable workout logs to prepare
yourself for upcoming workouts.
Use the provided Excel spreadsheet to
calculate your fat-loss macronutrient goals.
You may also calculate them manually using
the methods provided in chapter 5.
Download a macro/calorie tracking app such
as MyFitnessPal and start logging your meals
Hit your daily macro goals (Fat/Carbs/Protein)
Weigh in each day under the same conditions
(upon waking and after using restroom) and
record your weight.
Get up off your butt and make it happen! This
program means nothing without YOUR
 Water content foods such as soups, beans,
lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, fruits,
veggies and certain cooked grains are generally
lower in calorie density. Essentially, you get
more for your money with these options
because the water promotes satiety and adds
volume to your food.
Please send it all through to
Vacate your mind from food
This sounds like common sense, but when you feel
hunger pain coming on the last thing you want to
do is be around the kitchen when grandma is
whipping up her famous chocolate chip cookies.
Try and keep yourself preoccupied with other
things and you’ll notice you stop worrying about
food so much.
I t
n e v e r
g e t s
e a s I e r.
you just get stronger.