Building muscle and losing fat go together in the same way that toothpaste and orange juice make a perfect match — they usually don’t.
But you want to get that ideal physique relatively soon or in time for summer, not a year from now after multiple cutting and bulking phases.
It’s time to take a look at this four day split workout routine that can make both a potential reality!
Table of Contents
About the Creator – Max Riley
We’re a little nervous writing this, so brace yourself — we don’t know much about the creator of this workout routine, a guy named Max Riley.
But here’s what we know based on his online bio.
Riley has had online articles published about both muscle building and nutrition. He also has 13 years of experience in the gym to help him craft a shredded physique evident in pictures.
And he looks pretty jacked.
In terms of creating workout routines, this routine isn’t the first or last that Riley is responsible for. He also shares his ab, shoulder, and HIT workout routines that seem to woo the internet.
This routine specifically drew more than 4.6 million views online.
What is the 12 Week Fat Destroyer: Complete Fat Loss Workout & Diet Program?
The name of this routine doesn’t do it the justice it deserves.
Yes, when paired with the recommended supplements and diets, this routine can help you to burn fat as advertised. But other goals include building (or maintaining) muscle mass and improving cardio.
Here’s what you need to know about this beginner routine before getting started.
- Prepare to drag yourself to the gym four times per week.
- Plan to work your upper body and your lower body twice per week.
- Make room in your schedule for workouts lasting 30 to 45 minutes.
- Be sure your gym has kettlebells, dumbbells, cable machines, and barbells.
- Stick to the routine for 12 weeks for the best results.
There’s also an extensive diet and supplement plan that changes from one week to the next. Every week, you’ll chop an extra 100 calories off your daily calorie count and splurge on moderate and high-carb days.
You’ll also be doing three to four cardio sessions a week.
But don’t worry!
You’ll be gradually adding cardio time per week, so you don’t burn yourself out too quickly.
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This 12-week workout routine will get you to focus on what we can describe as the muscle building (hypertrophy) and muscular endurance rep ranges (8 to 20 reps). Each workout consists of 18 sets.
No rest time was provided in the guide, so we’ll recommend 90 to 120 seconds between sets.
Let’s take a look at what this workout routine entails.
Day 1 – Upper A
- Incline Bench Press – 3 sets x 8-10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- One Arm Dumbbell Row – 3 sets x 10-12 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Seated Barbell Press – 3 sets x 8-10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Pull-Ups – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Skull Crushers – 3 sets x 10-12 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Dumbbell Curl – 3 sets x 10-12 reps (90-120 seconds)
Day 2 – Lower A
- Squats – 3 sets x 8-10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Leg Curl – 3 sets x 12-15 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Leg Extension– 3 sets x 12-15 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Leg Press Calf Raise – 3 sets x 15-20 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Plank – 3 sets x 60 seconds (90-120 seconds)
- Twisting Hanging Knee Raise – 3 sets x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)
Note: High volume squats are nothing to sneer at! You might want to slap on some supportive gear like this belt by ProFitness to help brace your core as you get stronger.
Day 3 – Upper B
- Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Barbell Row – 3 sets x 8-10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 3 sets x 12-15 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Lat Pulldown– 3 sets x 10-12 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Cable Triceps Extensions – 3 sets x 10-12 reps (90-120 seconds)
- EZ Bar Preacher Curl – 3 sets x 10-12 reps (90-120 seconds)
Day 4 – Lower B
- Leg Press – 3 sets x 15-20 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Stiff Leg Deadlift – 3 sets x 8-10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Walking Dumbbell Lunge – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Seated Calf Raise – 3 sets x 15-20 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Cable Crunch – 3 sets x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)
- Russian Twist – 3 sets x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)
Pros of the System
- Cardio & Dietary Progression: Riley understands that the average guy can’t suddenly cut down to 2,700 calories or run more than five minutes on day one. Weekly progression helps the body to adapt and keep you motivated as you see success.
- Women vs. Men: There’s no doubt that the female and male body function very differently. The fact that there are separate dietary guidelines makes fat loss and muscle building a reality for both.
- Hits Several Goals at Once: Let’s be honest, there are very few routines out there that can help with hypertrophy, fat loss, and conditioning. This workout routine seems a bit too good to be true to think that you can do it all at once (instead of doing one at a time).
- Up to Four Days of Cardio Per Week: Now, we get that this comes with the territory when you’re looking to shred fat. But doing too much cardio is likely going to slow your muscle gains significantly, especially if you’re burning more calories than you’re eating.
- Not a Long Term Solution: Although this sounds like a quick way to completely transform your body, it’s definitely not a long term plan. This workout plan is designed to shock your body and promote fast results, but such an aggressive caloric deficit and combination of strength training and cardio aren’t sustainable for the average person longer than the 12-week cycle.
Wrapping Up this 4-Day Split Routine for Muscle and Weight Loss
This program has a lot going for it.
You can do the impossible all at once: Gain muscle mass, pack on the pounds, lose fat, and condition your body.
The workouts are short (thankfully), you’re only in the gym four days a week, and there are unique weekly guidelines for men and women.
But we have to point out the downsides too.
Four days of cardio per week and strength training can really sap your energy (and your free time).
This routine can be great for cutting fat and building mass, but you’re going to need a lot of free time to prepare the right diet, commit to four days of cardio, and hit the gym four times a week.
If you’re looking for something easier that you can follow to gain muscle definition while losing body fat in only 3 workouts per work. Check out our full review of Superhero X12.
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One
Getting in shape isn't easy. But this program gives you a real-life approach to building a leaner, more muscular body without obsessing over fitness 24/7.