Meta Shred 21

metashred2Never has marketing sold me on a program as strongly as it has Meta Shred. I am familiar w/ BJ Gaddour from 10 Minute Torchers and though I liked him and his workouts, his name is not what sold me. I follow Men’s Health on Facebook and the ad for Meta Shred kept popping up. I watched the trailer and was intrigued but I had just bought ICE and Hammer & Chisel plus my husband had also just bought me Weider P.I.N.K. And I still have a few other fitness programs sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I had no intention of purchasing yet another program. At least not now. Maybe some time in the future.

But Men’s Health kept bombarding me with the ads. Plus these very cool little videos by BJ. Usually only 1-2 minutes but they showed these awesome exercises. They looked tough and I wanted to do them all! I probably have 20+ of these little videos featuring BJ saved on Facebook. I grew more intrigued. Plus, BJ looks really good. He is a good looking man, but he is serious eye candy in these workouts. Then I came across a coupon code on a fitness forum and well… that was it. I ordered. So in this case–marketing won! I completely caved.

Meta Shred is a 21 day program. It contains 9 workouts and you do 3 workouts a week, never repeating a workout until you reach the end of 21 days. Then repeat if you want. I got the base kit that came with a workout calendar and a water bottle. If you buy the “ultimate pack” you also get a meal plan, protein powder and a shaker bottle. I did the program exactly as laid out–3 times a week for 3 weeks. The actual workouts come in a cardboard sleeve that holds 3 plastic DVD clamshells; each clamshell represents one week or phase of the program and holds 3 DVDs. Each DVD has one workout. You have a music or no music option for each workout.


There are 3 exercisers w/ BJ in each workout: Gideon, Dallas and Kelsey. Kelsey is always the modifier. Gideon usually shows the advanced version of the moves, but occasionally Dallas shows them. And Dallas is usually doing the intermediate version of the exercises. Frequently Dallas and Gideon are doing exercises at the same level. One big thing I noticed (especially in Workout #9 BodyBuilder Burnouts), is that BJ and Gideon use heavy dumbbells and Dallas and Kelsey use light dumbbells–usually dumbbells that are too light for women who workout regularly. I found it a bit insulting, to be honest. Why not have Dallas at least using dumbbells appropriate for someone who is actually fit and works out regularly? Kelsey is modifying, so that isn’t such a big deal. But why are the women the ones using barely challenging dumbbells?

Summary: These workouts were challenging for 30 minute workouts. Though the workouts themselves are very different, BJ’s approach reminded me of Jillian Michaels–cramming as much as possible into 30 minutes. You do not get a lot of recovery during these workouts and they are very metabolic. I found these to be excellent workouts and I loved them. However, if you came to this program expecting some heavy strength work, that is not what it delivers. There is some–but for the most part it is metabolic weight training. The workouts are very unique and each is different. I used these workouts as doubles workouts when trying them out for the first time and I will continue to use them that way. Tho you are getting some strength work in most of them, it is not the type of strength work that will hinder lifting heavier on the same day. So for most of the workouts you don’t need 48 hours of recovery time before you strength train again. There are a few brutal workouts that it probably wouldn’t hurt, but most of these workouts could be done on back-to-back days w/out causing any problems.

As far as level–it all depends on who you follow. If you follow Kelsey then these workouts are appropriate for beginners. If you are looking for something more intermediate then BJ always shows an intermediate version (and Dallas is usually doing that version). If you are advanced? BJ will also show an advanced version that is usually done by Gideon. So it doesn’t matter what your fitness level is–Meta Shred is appropriate for everyone.

Something to keep in mind about these workouts is that they are 30 minutes of pure work. None of them have a warm up or a cool down/stretch. You are on your own for that. Now, in some of the workouts the first circuit or round is lower key than the ones that follow and serves as a sort of warm up–but that is definitely not the case in every workout. And they all generally end on a very high, intense note. So you need to cool yourself down and stretch yourself out afterwards.

BJ was very motivating in these workouts but not in the same way in every workout. Sometimes he was very upbeat and funny. Other times he was encouraging. And sometimes he was pushing you, yelling. He has a very quirky personality as I noticed in 10 Minute Torchers and he makes a lot of quips and jokes that frequently had me laughing when I was working very hard. I noticed it seemed to affect his crew, too. Sometimes they were struggling physically but also laughing.

Overall, these are very enjoyable, effective and well done workouts. Tho they did pull me briefly from my moratorium on purchasing any new workouts, there is no buyers regret. Like my discovery of Cathe Live workouts, I am already wanting to do nothing but these workouts for my daily doubles workout.

Oh–and a little bonus. Men’s Health really is working hard to promote these workouts. Every single workout has it’s own little article and video. I have linked to them in each of the workout reviews below.

metashredphase1Phase 1: Sizzle & Chisel

Workout #1 Six-Pack Supersets is 31:30 minutes; 1 minute intro, no warm up or cool down/stretch. Equipment needed is dumbbells. There is a modifier (Kelsey) and if you follow her, she uses a box. You could also use a bench or a high step. But if you are not modifying, all you need is dumbbells. You will need at least one heavy dumbbell and a set of medium dumbbells. I used a 35 pound dumbbell, a 20 pound dumbbell and two 12 pound dumbbells. In the future I will probably swap the 20 pound dumbbell for a 25 pound dumbbell. For the first 2 supersets (deadlift and goblet squats) I used the 35 pound dumbbell and in the beginning I thought it would be too light–but it wasn’t! It actually was beginning to feel pretty heavy by the end of the deadlift and goblet squat supersets. Which brings me to the basic structure of this workout. BJ has you alternate between two exercises (a superset) but each time you do the superset he alters it slightly to make it more difficult. You do a total of 4 supersets, but within those supersets you do many varieties. Also, in the first 3 supersets, each superset is set up as exercise 1 is done for 30 seconds, 15 second recovery while BJ demonstrates the next exercise, do exercise 2 for 60 seconds then a 15 second recovery. However, during the final superset those 15 second recoveries disappear.

I loved this workout! It was tough, it moves fast, the exercises were challenging but not complicated or hard to perform, and BJ is motivating and funny. Here is a little video on Men’s Health Website where BJ demonstrates a few of the exercises (and an article he wrote, too).

For the first two supersets you will only use one heavy dumbbell for the second exercise.

Superset 1:

  1. Hip Thrust for 30 seconds and Sumo Deadlift for 60 seconds
  2. Hip Thrust w/ marching legs for 30 seconds (hold in hip thrust while raising knees to chest; alternate knees) and Sumo Deadlifts for 60 seconds (at the bottom of the squat you pause and hold for a second before raising)
  3. One Leg Bridge Hold, 15 seconds each leg, and Sumo Deadlift Shuffle for 60 seconds (start w/ feet together and step out into sumo deadlift; alternate sides)
  4. Reverse Plank hold for 30 seconds and 2 Sumo Deadlifts and on second deadlift, jump, do this variation for 60 seconds

Superset #2:

  1. Plank Hold for 30 seconds and Goblet Squat for 60 seconds
  2. Extended Plank Hold for 30 seconds (hands or forearms will be further out in front of you than a standard plank) and Staggered Goblet Squats for 60 seconds (bring one foot further back so toe is in line with heel and come up onto toe so all of your weight is on one foot; 30 seconds on each leg)
  3. One Leg Plank Hold, 15 seconds each leg, and Rotational Goblet Squats for 60 seconds (between each squat, pivot to one side at top of move; alternate sides)
  4. One Arm Plank Hold, 15 seconds each arm, and Drop Pause Sumo Squat for 60 seconds (sumo squat jack w/ a pause at the bottom of the move when you are in deep squat)

This is where I dropped to my medium DB (12#).

Superset #3:

  1. Side Plank Hold for 30 seconds (while in side plank you will also be holding one DB overhead) and Split Kneel Static Lunges for 60 seconds (get into a lunge w/ one knee on ground and raise and lower knee; you are holding one DB and throughout the 60 seconds he has you change where you are holding DB; first at side, then at shoulder, then overhead)
  2. Side Plank Hold for 30 seconds (DB is still held overhead but this time you raise your top leg and hold for 15 seconds, then bring bottom knee into chest and hold for last 15 seconds) and Split Knee Lunge for 60 seconds (this starts the same as the first one but it’s not static, you go from kneeling to standing; you are still holding one DB and he gives arm variations as you progress through the 60 seconds)
  3. Repeat 1 & 2 on other leg

For this final superset your 15 second recovery between exercises disappears and you do every exercise for 60 seconds. However, he does have to demonstrate each exercise which eats away at your 60 seconds. But once you do this workout a few times you will know what is coming and not lose much time. You also need two medium dumbbells and one heavy. This is the superset where on #3 I used a 20# DB but I can probably do a 25# DB in the future.

Superset #4:

  1. Crunch to Bridge for 60 seconds (lay on back w/ knees bent and arms held straight toward ceiling; crunch then do a hip thrust; alternate, never changing arm position) and Skier Swings for 60 seconds (stand w/ feet close together and a DB in each hand swing (like a kettlebell suitcase swing); do this for 30 seconds then open legs and do a “sumo swing” (kettlebell swing between legs) for the final 30 seconds)
  2. Crunch to Hip Thrust for 60 seconds (lay flat on back w/ legs straight and arms straight and overhead on floor; sit up, bending knees and placing feet flat on floor and arms behind hips and press up into crab/tabletop; alternate these two moves) and Shoveling for 60 seconds (holding one medium DB in both hands you will swing it side to side, pivoting feet, basically a woodchop variation; do this for 30 seconds then he changes it to rotational reverse lunge; as you lunge you bring the DB down along the same side thigh; alternate legs)
  3. Single Leg Crunch to Hip Thrust for 60 seconds (do the same thing as you did in #2, except one leg is bent throughout and the other leg is kept straight throughout so when you are in crab/tabletop it is on one leg rather than 2; change legs after 30 seconds) and Sump Deadlift to Squat (you need one heavy DB; alternate sumo deadlift w/ goblet squat)

Workout #2 Metaconda is 33:30 minutes long; 1 minute intro, no warm up or cool down. BJ introduces 6 exercises. You do each exercise for 30 seconds then you get a 30 second recovery… at least in the first round. In subsequent rounds he alters the exercises, making them harder, and takes away 5 seconds of recovery until the very last round when you get zero recovery, you just blast through each move for 30 seconds, one right after the other. This is a tough workout! BJ is hilarious tho. He had me laughing even when I was working and breathing hard. He has a lot of energy! There are 3 exercisers; one person doing a modified version of the move, one doing intermediate version and one doing advanced. So you can make this workout as easy or as hard as you want. I followed the intermediate or advanced version. You need dumbbells and a plyo box for this workout. In place of a box you can use a high step or a workout bench. BJ did a little article and video about this workout for Men’s Health website (it also appeared on Facebook and is one of the many little videos that encouraged me to buy this program). The video shows the moves in Round 1 only.

Round 1 (30 seconds of work, 30 seconds of recovery):

  1. Dumbbell Swing (kettlebell swing w/ a DB)
  2. Blast Off Push Up (start in plank then bend knees coming back into a sort of child’s pose but w/ knees off ground, then thrust back into plank or push up)
  3. Squat
  4. Piston Push Pull (holding one DB in both hands, hinge at waist and quickly push and pull DB, like you are churning butter–that’s BJ’s example)
  5. Mountain Climbers
  6. Hollow Body Hold (this is a banana core hold)

Round 2 (30 seconds of work, 25 second recovery):

  1. Staggered Swing (KB swing w/ a DB but all your weight is on one foot; change feet at 15 second mark)
  2. Feet Elevated Blast Off Push Up (same as in round one but this time your feet are on box)
  3. Drop Squats (squat jacks; start w/ feet together jump out into squat and hold squat then jump feet in)
  4. Lawnmower Pull (one arm row; start w/ DB at shin level, legs staggered, then pull DB up, pivoting torso and feet as you bring DB to shoulder; 15 seconds each side)
  5. Feet Elevated Mountain Climbers (mountain climbers w/ feet on box)
  6. Hollow Body Rock (rocking while in hollow body)

Round 3 (30 seconds of work, 20 seconds recovery):

  1. Alternating Dumbbell Swing (KB move w/ DB; alternate hands)
  2. Close Grip Blast Off Push Up (same as Round 1 except hands are close together)
  3. Squat Jump
  4. Juggle Row (hinge at hips w/ one DB and do one arm rows between legs but alternate arms, tossing DB quickly from hand to hand)
  5. Spider Mountain Climber (wide mountain climber; feet come to outside of hands)
  6. Hollow Body Roll (this time you roll from one side of the body to the other side)

Round 4 (30 seconds of work, 15 seconds of recover):

  1. One Arm Staggered Swing (same as round 2 except you only swing w/ one hand then change at 15 seconds)
  2. Close Blast Off Push Up (same as Round 3 except both hands and feet are close together)
  3. Drop Split Squat (start w/ feet together; jump into lunge then jump feet together; alternate sides)
  4. Power Row (double arm row but you do it quick; start hinged w/ flat back and when you pull up, you do it w/power and your torso comes up to 45 degrees)
  5. Semi-Circle Mountain Climbers (do a standard mountain climber but your feet will run to the side in half circle, then to the other side in a half-circle)
  6. Hollow Body Pump (hollow body then bring elbows and knees together, return to hollow body)

Round 5 (30 seconds of work, 10 seconds of recovery):

  1. Shuffle Swing (DB swing where you step to side and back between each swing; alternate sides)
  2. 1 Leg Blast Off Push Up (same as Round 1 but one leg is raised throughout; change legs at 15 second mark)
  3. Split Squat Jump (get into deep lunge; push up, raising front leg/foot off ground then lower back into lunge; change sides at 15 second mark)
  4. One Arm Snatch or High Pull (change arms at 15 second mark)
  5. Cross Body Mountain Climber (knee goes to opposite elbow)
  6. Hollow Bridge Hold (lay on back, legs straight; push hips up so all your weight is on shoulders and heels)

Round 6 (30 seconds of work, 5 seconds of recovery):

  1. Walking Swing (do a KB swing w/ a DB and alternate stagger stance feet w/ each swing)
  2. Blast Off Side to Side Push Up (wide hands/wide feet; do the same thing as in round 1 except when you come forward into plank or push up, you lean to one side; alternate sides)
  3. Alternating Split Squat Jump
  4. Two Arm High Pull Snatch
  5. Jumping Mountain Climbers (in plank, jump feet in and out)
  6. Hollow Body Pull Ups (lay on stomach and raise arms and feet, arms in goal post to start; reach arms in front of you and pull them back to sides)

Round 7 (30 seconds of work, no recovery):

  1. Plyo Hip Thrusts (lay on back and do bridges/hip thrusts but jump feet each time)
  2. Push Ups
  3. Alternating Reverse Lunges
  4. Rolling Side Plank (start in plank and rotate to side, reaching arm to ceiling; alternate sides)
  5. Running Mountain Climbers
  6. Hollow Body Pogo Jump (pogo jump, feet close together, arms overhead)

Workout #3 Density Doomsday is 31:30 minutes long; 1 minute intro and no warm up or cool down. Equipment needed: dumbbells, a 2×4 piece of wood or the topper for a step (or two 3 or 5 pound dumbbells–to raise your heels). If you are modifying you will need a box (or a workout bench or a high step). BJ gives you a circuit of 6 exercises. You do each exercise for 40 seconds w/ 20 seconds of rest. When you repeat this circuit he not only makes the exercises harder but he shaves off 5 seconds of your recovery, adding that 5 seconds to your work time–so 45 seconds of work w/ 15 seconds of rest. You continue to repeat the circuit in this fashion until you get no rest and you are doing each exercise (the hardest version of each exercise, that is) for a solid minute w/ no recovery. Just like in the first two workouts, there are 3 exercisers, each doing different levels of the exercise: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

This was a tough workout but different from the first two. The exercises were all done slower and more controlled but they were hard. BJ really pushed me hard in this workout! The very first exercise in each circuit was, for me at least, the most brutal. I was yelling in pain by the end of the exercise as I came out of the the deep squat I had held for so long while doing the upper body strength move. BJ also wasn’t a comedian in this workout. In fact, by the end he was yelling like a drill sergeant. An all around different workout from the first 2–but just as challenging. Here is a little video and article by BJ on Men’s Health website that shows some of the exercises from the early circuits of this workout.

Circuit 1 (40 seconds of work; 20 seconds of recover):

  1. Squat Press (heels are elevated on 2×4 or step topper and you are holding one DB with both hands gripping the bar; squat deeply and push DB in and out, slowly, at chest level)
  2. Dead Stop Push Up (a full push up except you come all the way down to the floor and lift hands off floor then push body up, keeping it straight)
  3. Low Switch (alternating side lunges; squat down, legs wide and lunge side to side, hands touching ground near feet)
  4. Pull Complex (two double arm rows + 2 bicep curls)
  5. Straight Leg Sit Up (at top of sit up, place palms on floor and push into floor)
  6. March (high knee marches)

Circuit 2 (45 seconds of work; 15 seconds of recovery):

  1. Overhead Squat (same starting position as Circuit 1, #1, except you are holding the DB by the bells; arc the DB overhead from shoulder to shoulder, or overhead press it, straight overhead)
  2. Plyo Dead Stop Push Up (push up off hands at the top)
  3. Low Switch (the same as Circuit 1 except now you are holding one DB in both hands and shifting it from foot to foot as you lunge)
  4. Pull Complex (two double arm rows, one double arm upright row, one double arm bicep curl)
  5. Butterfly Sit Ups (lay on back, soles of feet together, knees bent and open, arms overhead; sit up, tapping hands to feet)
  6. High Knee Runs

Circuit 3 (50 seconds of work; 10 seconds of recovery):

  1. Overhead Squat Press (this time–while still in raised heel deep squat–do a single arm overhead press, passing DB from hand to hand at bottom)
  2. Dead Stop Push Up w/ feet elevated
  3. Low Switch Squat Press (lunge from side to side, holding one DB by bar in both hands at chest level and pressing it in and out w/ each lunge)
  4. Bent Leg Sit Up (same as sit up in Circuit 1 except knees are bent)
  5. Repeat the Pull Complex from Circuit 2 or replace the upright row with a snatch overhead
  6. Skip (slow and controlled)

Circuit 4 (55 seconds of work; 5 seconds of recovery):

  1. Low Switch Squat Press (deep squat, heels raised on 2×4 or step topper and holding two DBs at shoulders; alternate overhead press)
  2. 1 Leg Dead Stop Push Up (switch legs about halfway through)
  3. 1 Arm Squat Press Switch (holding one DB at shoulder, do an overhead press as you side lunge then switch hands and lunge to other side and do an overhead press on that side)
  4. Pull Complex (one arm row each side, one arm bicep curl each side)
  5. Sprinter Sit Up (full sit ups but as you sit up, you raise one knee and opposite elbow like you are running; alternate sides)
  6. Sprinter Skip (step back w/ one foot touching hand to ground then skip/jump up; change legs halfway through)

Circuit 5 (60 seconds of work; no recovery):

  1. Overhead Squat Press (same squat, double arm overhead press)
  2. Archer Dead Stop Push Up (same as Circuit 1 except fingertips of one hand and palm of other hand; switch finger/hand placement each push up)
  3. Squat Speed Switch (start doing it just like Circuit 2 w/ a DB except faster; after 30 seconds put DB down and continue doing it fast but touching foot w/ opposite hand and raising other arm behind you)
  4. Pull Complex (one arm row each side, one upright row each side, one arm bicep curl each side)
  5. Cross Jab Sit Up (sit ups w/ cross jab at top)
  6. Runner Skip (same as Circuit 4 except you do do not touch floor w/ hand and you do a reverse lunge before jumping/skipping forward; change legs after 30 seconds)

metashredphase2Phase 2: Sweat & Destroy

Workout #4 The Lightweight Lean Out is 32 minutes long; one minute intro and, as usual, no warm up or cool down. This is a very cool and fun workout. I loved it. It is set up tabata style–20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of recovery. You do 8 of these 20/10 circuits and end w/ a 30 seconds active recovery. That is one round. There are 6 rounds in this workout. At the end of each round you get 30 more seconds of recovery (not active recovery–just time to get a sip of water and towel off) before moving on to the next round. The workout ends w/ a full minute of burpees. You cannot use heavy dumbbells in this workout. BJ recommends 2-5 pound dumbbells for women and 7-10 pounds for men. I used 5 pounds throughout but I could have used 7s or 8s for some of the exercises. Due to the way it is set up tho, I’m not sure how to cue myself on dumbbell changes in the future. I’ll figure something out. As usual, there is a the beginner modifier (Kelsey) and Gideon shows some more advanced levels of the moves. But for the most part Dallas and Gideon are doing the same thing, just with different size dumbbells. However, it is obvious Gideon is working the hardest. He is using 10 pound dumbbells and this workout is challenging him. Dallas is using 3s or 5s and doesn’t look nearly as challenged. This workout has a lot of intensity potential once I get the weights right. I will say that for the majority of the moves, due to speed, 5 pound dumbbells were appropriate for me; but there were also quite a few moves that I felt the intensity drop and I know, had I increased to 7 or 8 pound dumbbells, it would have kept the intensity high throughout. Here is a another little video and article by BJ about this workout. The video only shows 8 of the moves done below (8 out of 54), so it is only giving you a taste.

BJ is very funny again in this workout and had me laughing several times. Including during the final move–one minute of punching burpees. Not an easy move and yet he was telling a silly story of his “origins” which had me laughing even when working hard.

Remember, you hold 1 or 2 dumbbells for every single exercise in the entire workout, and each move is done for 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of recovery, except for the final active recovery move in each round which is done for 30 seconds. You get 30 seconds of actual (non-active) recovery before moving on to the next round.

Round 1:

  1. See-Saw Press (split knee on floor, fast alternating overhead press)
  2. Punch (standing, alternating fast front punches)
  3. See-Saw Bicep Curl (fast, alternating bicep curls)
  4. Power Punch (start facing front then do full side punches, pivoting to the side w/ each punch; alternate sides)
  5. See-Saw Press (same as #1 but this time other knee is on floor)
  6. Staggered Punches (same as #2 except one foot is forward; switch feet at 10 second mark)
  7. See-Saw Row (split stance, lean over and do fast alternating back rows; switch feet at 10 second mark)
  8. Power Punch (fast upper cuts, driving from the hips)
  9. Active Recovery: Glute Bridge (raise hips in bridge and hold, also holding DBs overhead; alternate raising and lowering knees to chest)

Round 2:

  1. Skier Swing (swing DBs from knees to above shoulders, fast, bending knees on down swing)
  2. Thruster (hold DBs at shoulders; bend knees and when you push up, punch/thrust DBs at 45 degrees in front of you)
  3. Discus: Left (holding one DB, start by bringing it down low until end of DB hits the palm of the opposite hand then arcing it diagonally overhead and tapping the end w/ the palm of the hand (so hand w/out DB will be following DB hand through arc); you will also be lunging when DB is at bottom of the move and standing/pivoting to bring DB to top of move)
  4. Discus: Right
  5. Skier Swing w/ Staggered stance (same as #1 except one foot is in front of the other and you hops as you swing; switch feet at 10 second mark)
  6. Thruster (squats w/ overhead press)
  7. Discus: Left
  8. Discus: Right
  9. Active Recovery: Bird Dog (get done on hands and knees (or DBs and knees since you are always holding them); alternate raising and lowering a DB w/ straight arms)

Round 3:

  1. Downward Chop (holding one DB in both hands, bring it up behind head and then slam it down between legs, bending knees when chopping)
  2. Upward Chop (basically the same as #1, except you start between legs and thrust DB upward and overhead)
  3. Diagonal Chop (start hold one DB in both hands, DB is by one knee and knees are bent; chop it upward to other side of body, pivoting feet; change sides at 10 second mark)
  4. Rotational Chop (hold DB in both hands straight in front of you; chop it side to side at chest level, pivoting feet w/ each chop)
  5. Downward Chop (same as #1 except you are doing it w/ one hand; switch hands at 10 second mark)
  6. Upward Diagonal Chop (same as #3 except you start w/ DB between legs and chop upward to the side, alternating sides)
  7. Diagonal Chop (same as #3 but you have a staggered stance, one foot forward; switch feet at 10 second mark)
  8. Rotational Chop (same as #4 except this time you are in a lunge and your lunge pivots side to side w/ each chop)
  9. Active Recovery: Dead Bugs (lay on floor, knees bent and raised, arms holding DBs overhead; alternate lower DBs to floor overhead)

Round 4:

  1. Gunslinger (hold DBs at hips (like holsters) and punch DBs from hips straight in front of you)
  2. Upper Body Sprinter (knee on floor (both knees on floor) and do running man arms, fast)
  3. Split Squat Shoulder Raise: Left (get into static lunge and raise and lower DBs w/ straight arms like a bird flapping its wings, as fast as you can w/ good form)
  4. Split Squat Shoulder Raise: Right (same as #3 but right leg is forward now)
  5. Gunslinger (same as #1 but w/ split stance; switch feet at 10 second mark)
  6. Upper Body Sprinter (same as #2 but you are standing this time)
  7. Split Squat Shoulder Raise: Left (the same as #3 & #4, except this time you will raise up (rather than holding the lunge static), pushing front foot off floor–BJ calls it flying crane)
  8. Split Squat Shoulder Raise: Right
  9. Active Recovery: Hollow Body Flys (lay on back, legs straight and raise legs and shoulders/head a few inches off floor; do chest flys in this position)

Round 5:

  1. Downward Strike (lunge/knee on floor, knee on ground and punch DBs at floor fast–ground and pound)
  2. Speed Z press (get into C sit on floor, heels on floor, torso leaned slightly back; push DBs overhead fast)
  3. Shot Put: Left (hold one DB at shoulder, standing sideways, lunging slightly to side, pivot forward, punching DB high to front)
  4. Shot Put: Right
  5. Downward Strike (similar to #1 except this time you are on both knees, legs spread wide, and rather than punching DBs you are slamming them down, bell first)
  6. Speed Z Press (same as #2 except feet are elevated)
  7. Shot Put to Shuffle: Left (same as #3 except you shuffle a few steps forward before pivoting and punching DB high to front)
  8. Shot Put to Shuffle: Right
  9. Active Recovery: Hollow Body Sweeper (lay on back, legs straight and raise legs and shoulders/head a few inches off floor; arc DBs to side, from hips to overhead)

Round 6:

  1. Crab Press: Right (get into one arm crab, DB in other hand; press DB to ceiling fast while holding body in crab)
  2. Crab Press: Left
  3. Bear Row: Right (get on all 4s, holding one DB in one hand and raise knees of ground so you are in 3 leg bear; row DB fast while holding 3 leg bear position)
  4. Bear Row: Left
  5. Jumping Jacks (jumping jacks w/ DBs but only raise DBs to shoulder height)
  6. Jack Press (step to side and punch both DBs in front of you, step back in then step to other side and punch both DBs in front of you; alternate sides)
  7. Jumping Jacks (this time you bring the DBs all the way overhead–note: Gideon set his 10# DBs aside for this move because they are too heavy and could injure the shoulders; but for me, the 5# DBs were fine for this move)
  8. Jack Press (similar to #6, except this time, as you punch DBs out, you do a squat jack)

Finale: Punching Burpees for 60 seconds (do a burpee but at top, instead of jumping, you do 4 punches w/ DBs)

Workout #5 Thermogenic Tempo Training is 32 minutes long; 1 minute intro, no warm up or cool down/stretch. But you need a stretch after this bad boy. Equipment needed: a box, a block and dumbbells. I used my weight bench (instead of a box), two 3 pound dumbbells (instead of a block since they are just using a 2×4 to raise their heels) and several different dumbbells: 35s, 30s and 20s. I also used 12s for push ups since my wrists are bothering me. For this workout BJ gives you a circuit of 5 different exercises. You repeat the circuit 5 times, sometimes w/ minor variations, sometimes not. The difference each time you do the circuit is the tempo. It is always slow–brutally slow. Your muscles will be on fire. I finished this workout 30 minute ago and my quads and glutes are still weak and trembley. Oh, each move is done for 50 seconds w/ a 10 second recovery. So even tho the exercises are done slowly, you will move quickly between exercises to set up for the next exercise. My workout room was a mess when this workout was over. This is an excellent workout and a nice contrast to the other, very fast paced workouts I’ve done so far in this series. Here is an article and video BJ did about this concept.

In the breakdown below I am describing which version of the exercise I did and what weight I lifted (this is for my own information). Just like in all of the workouts he has three exercisers: Kelsey, Gideon and Dallas and they are all doing different versions of the exercise. Kelsey always does the easiest/least advanced version. Dallas is intermediate and Gideon is advanced. I never follow Kelsey but listed below is either Dallas or Gideon’s version–what I did when I did the workout. So there is something easier for other people and sometimes something more advanced.

Circuit 1:

  1. Hip Thrusts w/ back on bench and 30# DB on hips (raise hips, squeeze glutes then lower to the count of 3)
  2. Goblet Squat w/ 35# DB (squat to count of 3 pause at bottom and stand)
  3. Push Up (lower to count of 3, pause at bottom and push up)
  4. Flat Back Bent Over Row w/ 20# DBs (lower DBs to count of 3 and pull up fast)
  5. Split Squat w/ one 20# DB (lower to count of 3, pause at bottom and raise) (50 seconds each leg)

Circuit 2:

  1. Hip Thrusts w/ back on bench and 30# DB on hips (start w/ hips raised and hold to count of 3, lower hips then raise and hold for 3 counts)
  2. Goblet Squat w/ 35# DB (hold at bottom of squat for 3 counts and stand)
  3. Push Ups (hold at bottom of push up for 3 counts then push up)
  4. Flat Back Bent Over Row w/ 20# DBs (hold DBs at top for 3 counts and lower)
  5. Split Squat w/ on 20# DB (lower to bottom of lunge and hold for 3 then raise)

Circuit 3:

  1. Hip Thrusts w/ back on bench and 30# DB on hips (raise hips slowly to count of 3 and hold for a second then lower)
  2. Goblet Squat w/ 35# DB (lower into squat quickly then raise slowly to count of 3)
  3. Push Up (hold at bottom of push up for a second then push up slowly to count of 3)
  4. Flat Back Bent Over Row w/ 20# DBs (raise DBs to to slow count of 3, hold for a second at top of move and lower DBs)
  5. Split Squat, no DB (start w/ knee of floor and raise knee slowly to count of 3 then lower back to floor) (50 seconds each leg)

Circuit 4:

  1. Hip Thrusts w/ back on bench and 30# DB on hips (raise hips to count of 2 and lower hips to count of 2)
  2. Goblet Squat w/ 35# DB, heels are elevated (squat and stand to count of 2 but do not stand all the way, so tension always remains on quads)
  3. Push Up (to count of 2 both up and down)
  4. Flat Back Bent Over Row w/ 20# DBs (raise and lower DBs to count of 2)
  5. Split Squat, no DB, one foot raised on to box/bench behind you (squat and stand to count of 2) (50 seconds each leg)

Circuit 5:

  1. Hip Thrusts w/ back on bench and 30# DB on hips (hold hips at top full 50 seconds)
  2. Goblet Squat w/ 35# DB (hold at bottom of squat for full 50 seconds)
  3. Push Up (hold at bottom of push up for full 50 seconds)
  4. Flat Back Bent Over Row w/ 20# DBs (hold DBs at top for 25 seconds, then stand and hold DBs in half bicep curl for remaining 25 seconds)
  5. Split Squat, no DB, one foot raised on to box/bench behind you (hold at bottom of squat for 50 seconds each leg)

Workout #6 5-Minute Death Sets is 31:30 minutes long. Tho there is no warm up or cool down, the first “death set” serves as a warm up since it isn’t very hard. For this workout you need a box (or a bench or a high step), dumbbells and a pad or mat for your knees. This is another unique and interesting workout. I actually liked it more than I thought I would. I also found it easier than I thought I would. It wasn’t easy–it was an excellent, challenging workout, but probably not as hard as some of the others in this collection. It is made up of 5 “primal positions”–the march, the crawl, the lunge, the gorilla and the squat. You spend 5 minutes in each position doing 5 different exercises; each exercise is done for one minute–except the squat position. That one is done differently then the rest. Between each position there is a 40 second active recovery–a jumping jack variation–then you get 20 seconds of actual recovery before moving on to the next position. Here is a video and article BJ wrote about this concept.

Position 1: March (each move done for 60 seconds)

  1. Glute Bridge March (hold a glute bridge while bringing one knee to chest; alternate knees–so marching)
  2. Mountain Climber March (done slow w/ hands on bench or box)
  3. Kneeling March (kneel w/ one knee on floor; lift front foot off floor, while back knee remains planted on floor, lower front foot and raise up from lunge to a standing split stance; switch lead leg halfway through)
  4. Step Up March (you need the box/bench/high step; place one foot on top of box then raise it off box but hold it suspended there for a count, place it back on box then push up into a step up; switch legs halfway through)
  5. Standing Marches (slow, standing marches)
  6. Active Recovery: Seal Jacks for 40 seconds

Position 2: Crawl (each move done for 60 seconds); all moves start in crawl position which is hands and toes–so like being on all 4s/hands and knees, but knees are raised a few inches off ground and weight is supported on hands and toes.

  1. Bear Crawl (crawl a few steps forward and a few steps back)
  2. Bear Crunch (twist, bringing knee underneath you to tap opposite elbow)
  3. Bear Squat to Walk Out (for 30 seconds you will go from bear crawl to straight leg pike; for final 30 seconds you will start in bear crawl and walk hands out to plank, then walk them back to bear crawl)
  4. Bear Rolls (start in bear crawl and bring foot underneath you, turning body to crab then return to bear crawl position)
  5. Lateral Bear Crawl (in bear crawl, crawl side to side)
  6. Active Recovery: Overhead Jacks for 40 seconds

Position 3: Lunges (each move is done for 60 seconds)

  1. Reverse Lunges (alternate legs, bringing knee to floor w/ each lunge)
  2. Forward Lunge (alternate legs, bringing knee to floor w/ each lunge)
  3. Lateral Lunge (alternate legs, bringing hand to opposite foot w/ each lunge; at 30 second mark bring arms straight in front of you w/ each lunge)
  4. Peacock Lunge (alternating curtsy lunges)
  5. Levitating Lunges (set mat or pad on floor behind you; raise bent leg behind you and lower knee to pad; alternate legs–balance move; you can hold light DBs in front of you for counter balance)
  6. Active Recovery: Cross-Body Jacks for 40 seconds

Position 4: Gorilla (each move is done for 60 seconds)

  1. Gorilla Squat (get into deep, wide squat w/ hands wrapped around feet and chest up; keeping hands on feet, straighten legs then squat)
  2. Gorilla Push Up (get into straight arm plank; tap fist to chest with each arm then do a push up)
  3. Gorilla Walk (get into the Gorilla Squat and, using hands, jump/walk forward two steps and back two steps, staying in low squat–just like a gorilla)
  4. King Kong (hold DBs and come down into deep gorilla squat holding DBs between legs; do bicep curl while in gorilla squat, stand, keeping DBs at shoulders then do overhead press and return to squat)
  5. Gorilla Lateral Walk (in Gorilla Squat, using hands and staying in squat, jump/walk side to side)
  6. Active Recovery: Split Jacks for 40 seconds

Position 5: Squats

  1. Deep Squat Hold (place DBs on floor between legs, come down into deep squat and hold squat isometrically, hands on DBs, for 30 seconds)
  2. Active Squat Hold (stay in squat, lift DBs and hold them under chin while you continue to hold squat isometrically another 30 seconds)
  3. Loaded Squat (do squats, continuing to hold DBs, for 30 seconds)
  4. Loaded Rack Hold (stand for 30 seconds, holding DBs under chin)
  5. Unloaded Squats (place DBs on floor between legs and do 30 seconds of fast squats, no DBs)
  6. Repeat 1-5
  7. Active Recovery: Floor Jacks (plank jacks) for 60 seconds

metashredphase3Phase 3: Crush & Burn

Workout #7 Calorie Crushing Combos is 31:30 minutes long. BJ’s intro is approx 1 minutes and talks again for 30 seconds at the end, when the workout is over; so workout time is 30 minutes. As usual, no warm up or cool down, however I think the first combo is low key enough to serve as a warm up. Equipment needed is a box (or a bench or high step), dumbbells and a block to raise heels; BJ and crew use a piece of plywood but I just used 3 pound dumbbells. Due to the nature of the exercises, I used 12 pound dumbbells for everything and they worked well for me. The concept of this workout is compound exercises. BJ puts several exercises together into one complex and you repeat that complex for two minutes. Each complex/combo is separated by a 30 second squat mobility/stretch (active recovery) then you get 30 seconds of actual recovery before the next complex/combo. There are 10 complexes total. Some of the titles of the complexes are pretty self-explanatory, so I will only describe them if I think what you are doing isn’t obvious.

This is another great and innovative workout from BJ. I am very impressed with this program so far. His workouts are generally interesting, sometimes fun, he is usually funny (he is in this workout)–and they always challenge me. Here is yet another mini article and video by BJ about this concept. In this one minute video BJ demonstrates complexes #3, 5, 11 & 20.

  1. Squat Walkout to Twisting Spider Lunge to 3 Legged Dog Flow (2 minutes)
  2. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (get onto knees but with legs wide and press down, stretching inner thighs; he also has you rocking)
  3. Bridge Press to Pull Over (hold in glute bridge while pressing DBs overhead then doing a pull over, lower DBs and hips; repeat for 2 minutes)
  4. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (sit on knees, knees together, but resting on heels and raise one arm to ceiling, twisting side; alternate sides)
  5. Jumping Jack/High Knee Run/Mountain Climbers for 2 minutes (you change exercise when BJ tells you to; you are doing each exercise for 5-10 seconds)
  6. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (wide plie squat, hands on feet, elbows pushing knees out)
  7. Crunch to Leg Raise to Windshield Wiper (while flowing through these exercises for two minutes you will also be holding DBs overhead in an isometric hold)
  8. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (same as #6 except this time you will also alternate raising one hand to sky and twisting torso toward it)
  9. Squat Jump to Mountain Climber to Step Up to Face Melter (you will do each of these moves for 30 seconds; Squat Jump you sit on box/bench/high step, raise feet off ground then jump up; Mountain Climber is done w/ hands on box/bench/high step; Step Up is alternating step up onto box/bench/high step w/ a hop at top; and for Face Melter get into plank w/ feet on box/bench/high step and run feet to floor and back to box)
  10. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (grab block and squat w/ heels raised by block, wrapping arms around knees–which are together)
  11. Kneeling One Arm Curl to Press to Stand (holding one DB and starting in a kneeling position, both knees on ground, step one leg forward, curl DB then press overhead then stand, return to lunge/knee then to double leg knee then lower DB; repeat this move alternating lower body but not upper body; halfway through the two minutes, put DB in other hand and continue, but this time doing upper body moves in other hand for a minute)
  12. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (squat down, knees together, hands on floor and rack back and forth, working on trying to get heels as close to the floor as possible)
  13. Burpee Complex for 2 minutes (two arm burpee, one arm burpee (do each arm), one leg burpee (do each leg)
  14. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (deep side lunges w/ hands on floor; move from side to side)
  15. Reverse Lunge to Hang Clean to Push Press to Front Squat for 2 minutes (for reverse lunge do each leg before moving on; at the one minute point he adds side lunges after front squat–you need DBs for this complex)
  16. Squat Mobility Hold for 30 seconds (one heel is elevated on board, the other is extended straight in front of you and you are sitting as deeply in this position as possible)
  17. Rolling Squat for 2 minutes (this is just a deck squat w/ 2 DBs instead of a kettlebell: hold DBs in front of you and squat down until butt touches floor, roll back bringing DBs to tap floor over head then roll back up to feet, never using hands; however, BJ starts you on the floor rather than standing but it is still a deck squat)
  18. Repeat #16 on other leg
  19. Bear Crawl to Row to Donkey Kick (get into bear crawl position holding DBs; step left hand/right foot forward then back, right hand/left foot forward then back, row each arm, then donkey kick; repeat this for 2 minutes; after one minute BJ adds a move–the row turns into bear row to crab press, so you flip into one arm crab and press DB overhead)
  20. Finisher for 60 seconds: long jump forward, 3 hops back, 4 lateral skaters

Workout #8 Shrednado is 31 minutes long. No warm up or cool down/stretch, and BJ gives an approximately 1 minute intro describing the concept of this workout. It is basically a tabata/HIIT workout, but instead of 20/10 cycles (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest) it is 10/10 cycles. He does the 10/10 cycles in sets of 3 then separates multiple sets into levels; usually one level contains 5 sets of 3 10/10 cycles. He uses tornado terms to label the levels. So the level 1 is “F1” and you go all the way to F6. As for the sets of 3, usually you do an exercise once at its easiest level for 10 seconds, then you take it up a notch for the next 10 seconds, and the final 10 seconds is the move at it’s most advanced. Occasionally, you do the move all 3 times at the same level, but usually he has you change things a little each time. Here is a little article and video where BJ talks about his Shrenado concept.

No equipment is needed for this workout unless you are doing it at the easiest/modified level w/Kelsey–then you need a box/bench/high step. I really enjoyed this workout. It’s really not as complicated as my above description makes it sound. Since there is no equipment needed, just do everything BJ says and you will be fine. It is intense and fun. BJ is full of energy and having a great time with his Shrednado theme, so he’s being pretty funny.

Remember each number beneath an “F” level contains three 10/10 cycles; so F1 contains a total of 15 10/10 exercises.


  1. 3 levels of Plyo Hip Thrusts (both feet, then right foot only, then left foot only)
  2. Fast Punches (3 times; the only thing that changes each time is foot stance)
  3. Skier Swing (swinging the arms from overhead down to sides of body; the only thing that changes is foot stance)
  4. Upper Body Sprints (move bent arms fast as if running; the first time on both knees, the next two times in lunge)
  5. Run in place, then run side to side, then do heisman runs


  1. 3 levels of plank jacks
  2. 3 different jumping jack varieties
  3. Tapping planks (tap hands, then elbow pits, then shoulders)
  4. Pogo Jumps (3 different hand/arm positions)
  5. Quad Press (get into bear crawl position except hands are close together forming a triangle; fast push ups, then hop it in this position, then side to side hops in this position)


  1. Quick Feet (in place, then forward/back, then side to side)
  2. Quick Feet Bear Crawl (3 times)
  3. Hop forward and back, then hop side to side, then forward back/side to side
  4. Mountain Climbers (regular, then jump both feet in and out last 2 times)
  5. Shuffle (side to side legs, shuffle side to side, then side to side with direction changes)


  1. Break Dancer (get into bear crawl and twist knees under you, tapping them to floor on opposite side, then bring leg out straight underneath you to opposite side, then kick leg out underneath you to opposite side)
  2. Squats (3 times)
  3. Donkey Kick (small hops, big hop/kicks last 2 times)
  4. Split Squat: Left (fast static lunges, then hop front leg when doing fast static lunges, then do static split jumps)
  5. Slams (hold an imaginary ball between hands and slam it down between legs; the only that changes is feet position)
  6. Split Squat: Right (same as #4)


  1. Walk outs (bend at waist w/ straight legs and walk out to plank then walk hands back to feet–fast, then hop hands out and walk them back in, then hop hands in and out)
  2. Jumps (in place, then side to side, 90 degrees each side–quarter turn jumps)
  3. T’s (start in plank and quickly bring straight arm to ceiling and then back down; first right, then left, then alternate sides)
  4. Tuck Jump (little hops with hopping single knee raise, then 2-3 little hops alternated w/ tuck jump, then fast tuck jumps)
  5. Blast Off Push Ups (start in plank then bend knees coming back into a sort of child’s pose but w/ knees off ground, then thrust back into plank or push up; either continue to do these all 3 times, or on last two when you come into plank do a push up)


  1. Squat Jumps (3 times)
  2. Push ups (hands close, then under shoulders, then wide)
  3. Split Jump (shallow, then deeper, then deep while split jumping side to side)
  4. Plyo Push Ups (fast push up, then plyo push up hands only, then plyo push up hands and feet)

Workout #9 BodyBuilder Burnouts is 32:30 minutes long; 1 minute intro and he talks for 1:20 at the end of the workout, so workout time is approx 30 minutes. This is the final workout in the program and as the title suggests, this one is the most strength-training focused of them all. It consists of 6 circuits with 5 exercises in each circuit. The first 4 exercises are upper body exercises and the fifth is a lower body exercise. Each exercise is done for 50 seconds with a 10 second recovery. Although I did like this workout, it is probably my least favorite of the lot.

First, the positives. This workout contains a lot of effective and unique exercises to hit your muscles in new ways and I really like that. I also like how he cycles through muscles groups and ends each circuit with an active recovery of working the lower body. There is a great deal of potential to this workout. You have to go through this workout at least once to get an idea of the appropriate weight to use for each exercise because one set of dumbbells is not going to work. I used 5, 10, 12, 15 and 20 pound dumbbells. But that is also the con. So, you run through the workout and get an idea of the proper weight for you to use to get the most out of the workout. You create your workout card and have it ready for when you return to the workout–so you can select the proper weight. The problem is–you only have 10 seconds of recovery between each exercise. You better have everything in a central location and move fast, otherwise you may be lagging behind a rep or two because you’re scanning your workout card for the weight you need. I will have to take some time to consider how to structure the workout card to make it easy to follow. The first time through, sometimes I got the weight right the first time, sometimes it was too light and a few times it was too heavy and I lost time swapping the dumbbell out.

Equipment needed: dumbbells, box/bench/high step, a mat (something to pad your knees if you are on a hard surface) and a block or something to raise heels (I use 3 pound dumbbells).

Unlike the other workouts in this program, BJ actually does the entire workout and he is struggling sometimes, because with the right weight, it is tough. And him and Gideon were using good sized dumbbells. The women? It was embarrassing. This is actually a problem through the entire program but I never paid as close attention to it as I did in this one. Gideon and BJ are working hard. Dallas and Kelsey didn’t even break a sweat. And who would with 5 pound dumbbells? Granted, Kelsey is always modifying, so that’s her excuse, but not Dallas. She is supposed to be doing the intermediate version of the exercises. So why the 5 pound dumbbells in a strength workout? She should have been using challenging weights, setting the proper example for exercisers. I found that pretty irritating.

Finally, here is the article and video about this concept by BJ.

Circuit 1:

  1. Crunch Flys (flat back chest fly w/ crunch at top, while DBs are over chest)
  2. Seated Row (hold one DB in both hands at chest level; press DB out while leaning torso back, then pulling it in while returning torso to start)
  3. Kneeling Tricep Kickbacks (kneel on both knees)
  4. Clutch Curl (remaining kneeling; bicep curl but you bring DBs together at top of curl)
  5. Ankle Rock (stand w/ heels on block and raise and lower toes)

Circuit 2:

  1. Chest Squeeze Superset (get into plank holding DBs, DBs are touching; do push ups in this position for 25 seconds then roll onto back and do fast close grip chest presses for remaining 25 seconds)
  2. Reverse Fly to Row (lunge/kneel w/ one knee on ground; two bent over rows in this position alternated w/ one reverse fly)
  3. Hover Superset (lay on back holding DBs w/ elbows bent, triceps/elbows hovering over the floor and hold isometrically in this position for 25 seconds then do fast presses remaining 25 seconds)
  4. Zottman Curl (start hammer curling up but turn DBs at top to tradition curl position and when you lower DBs, turn hands so palms face floor and you are doing a reverse curl)
  5. Calf Raise (elevate toes on block and raise and lower heels)

Circuit 3:

  1. Bottom Half Push Up (get in plank, lower halfway and pulse)
  2. Shoulder Sweepers (kneel on both knees; w/ straight arms, raise DBs overhead then lower slowly to count of 5; each time you change the direction your palms face)
  3. Elbows Out Press (lay on back holding DBs, elbows out, knuckles facing each other and DBs over chest; straighten arms then lower back to start position)
  4. Cross Body Curls (bicep curls bringing DB to opposite shoulder)
  5. Shoulders Elevated Hip Thrust (shoulders on box/bench/high step and one leg raised; raise and lower hips and change legs at 25 second mark)

Circuit 4:

  1. Wide Grip Push Up/Chest Fly Superset (each move done for 25 seconds)
  2. Hip Hinge and Row Ladder (basically a deadrow, but you do one row, then two rows, then 3 rows, and so on, but you only do one hinge/deadlift each time)
  3. Close-Grip Push Up/Press Superset (tricep push ups for 25 seconds then kneel on both knees and do alternating overhead shoulder presses)
  4. Twister and Curl Superset (curl DBs halfway and hold isometrically while twisting wrists; do this for about 8-10 seconds then do bicep curls 8-10 seconds, keep alternating)
  5. Feet Elevated Hip Thrusts (lay on floor by box/bench/high step with one heel on box; raise and lower hips, change legs at 25 second mark)

Circuit 5:

  1. Push Up Dropset (you will do push ups w/ feet elevated, then on floor, then with hands elevated–each one as long as you can, changing to the easier push up version when you are unable to do it at the more advanced level)
  2. Pullover to Sit Up to Press to Twist (hold one DB in both hands and sit on ground; do pullover, sit up and press DB overhead then twist DB to each side of body)
  3. Triceps Get Up (lay on one forearm, back knee bent, bottom leg straight and one arm holding DB straight overhead; in this position, push palm into floor, raising and lowering elbow–change sides at 25 second mark)
  4. Bent Over Row to Bicep Curl (hinge and stay in this position; do a back row then at top of row, curl DBs so they touch forehead)
  5. Heels-Elevated 1.5 Squat (elevate heels on block; squat but only come halfway up, squat back down then stand all the way)

Circuit 6:

  1. Push Up Hover (get into plank, lower halfway and hold)
  2. Side Plank Lateral Raise (side elbow plank holding one light DB overhead; lower DB to hip and raise, change sides at 25 second mark)
  3. Cross-Body Tricep Extensions (kneel/lunge w/ one knee on ground, same side arm as front/lunge leg holds DB overhead; do behind head tricep extensions for 25 seconds then change sides)
  4. Spider Concentration Curls (still in kneel/lunge, place elbow on inside of front thigh and do concentration curls; change sides at 25 second mark)
  5. Low Lunge Pulse (pulse in low static lunge; change legs at 25 second mark)



66 thoughts on “Meta Shred 21

  1. So! I just made a mistake of getting back into this program after not exercising for a week. Moreover, I decided not to follow the calendar and went back into it with Calorie Crushing Combos and ouch! A warning to people doing this for the first time: the workouts are done in progressive difficulty. I advise you follow the calendar. Calorie Crushing combos as written above has you doing an exercise sometimes with weights for TWO WHOLE MINUTES-that’s a long time to be repeating a movement if you’re a sedentary cat like me. And to the author, mad respect for your Amazon strength using 35 lbs dumbells. I use 20 lbs max.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Supposedly, BJ Gaddour was one of the first to start an online streaming workout service years ago when he debuted into the fitness video scene. He did mention on his instagram that the business failed but boy, did he recover business-wise! One of the programs there was the T30 series and designed to help people get back into shape. They were are dumbbell based workouts like Metashred. It consisted of two compound movement exercises that were in superset, like, a set of dumbbell cleans for about a minute followed by a minute of squats then about a 30-45 seconds of rest. Afterwards, you moved on to another superset like Push press and Sumo Deadlifts. I found a youtube clip of it I think there was a body-weight cardio program included in T30 too. He looked younger and not as “jacked” back then in the clip.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha–thanks for sharing. BJ always makes me laugh. It does look like a similar program. I still haven’t done his Delta Fit but it looks similar to that, too.


  2. Hi, I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas for a workout rotation after doing a 82 day workout rotation with BJ Gaddour mixing up the two Meta shreds and Delta Fit. I know his workouts are mainly metabolic routines, so do you all think maybe like a Cathe Weight lifting rotation would be good for a shocker? Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. Thanks and Be well!!!! Jackie


  3. What do you mean by your “daily doubles” when you wrote, ” am already wanting to do nothing but these workouts for my daily doubles workout”? What does daily doubles mean?


    1. Hi Sandy–when I do “doubles” it means I workout twice a day. I workout for an hour every single morning but frequently I also do a second 30-40 minute workout when I get home from work. That second workout of the day is my “doubles.”


  4. Hi there, Just started Meta Shred today and plan on doing 1 cycle then moving onto Meta Shred Extreme and completing 1 cycle. Do you recommend to keep doing the rotation as that or stick with the Meta Shred Extreme? I am avid exerciser and workout 7 days a week so on the off days Tues. Thurs and Sat. I’m doing either cardio or other toning exercises. Could you offer a workout rotation mixing up the Meta Shred or even using the RIPT 90 ones too.. Thanks always for your wonderful reviews.


    1. I think that sounds like a great rotation. If you want to incorporate RIPT90, you can use the cardio workouts (Metabolic Mania, Dirty Dozen, Ups & Downs) during either (or both) of the Meta Shred cycles. Since RIPT90 is made up of specific muscle splits you could insert a week of RIPT90 muscle splits between Meta Shred cycles. Sounds like a rotation I might try when I can lift weights again!


      1. Hey there, starting my 3rd week of Meta shred and meta shred extreme and so am loving it! I plan to do at least 6 weeks or more. I don’t take a rest day until Sunday, usually yoga and doing some Rip90 dvds on those recovery days. Just thinking ahead to shock my body after I’m done with rotation to do some heavy lifting Cathe tapes. What are your thoughts? Thanks for the input, Jackie


      2. I think that sounds like a good idea. It’s definitely mixing things up. What Cathe workouts are you going to use? I am mapping out my own plan of action for the next year since I am finally on an uphill climb with no (foreseen, that is) derailments. I want to end my year (not calendar year) with Cathe’s STS. But between now and then I have a lot to choose from!


      3. Hi, i was looking at Muscle Max, PHA, the Pyramid upper and lower, and even some of the gym style dvds too, and maybe some Delta Fit too. But, loving Meta shred now both the regular and extreme.


      4. I have not tried Delta Fit yet but I do own it. One day I will try it. Gym Styles strength workouts are very advanced and tough. They are all good choices. I would mix them all up in a rotation.


  5. Hi!
    I’m going order 21Metashred then do Metashred Extreme. I see that they use a wooden box for some exercises. What height is appropriate? I looked on Amazon and saw size 12/14/16 then 16/18/20. I’m only 5’2″ but still want the size that will be most effective.


    1. The tallest I have is 14 inches, so that’s what I used. I am 5’5″. I worked for me. I’m not a trainer so I don’t know what would be appropriate for you. I just do the programs and share my experiences. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance.


  6. I really needed to lose weight and tone up last minute for Pride Season. I believe in BJ Gaddour because I tried his T30 workouts and his Monster workout really delivered what he said it would: it gives your muscles that swollen, “pumped” up look even hours after working out and you really get a good full body workout. I decided to buy this last month. I usually come to this website before doing a program because the author details every exercise included in the workout videos and I can come back to the articles as a reference of what I need to do that day before doing the video. I really appreciate that. Anyway, the Meta Shred program worked! I lost 10 pounds by the before my last two workouts from the program-of course I changed my diet to be healthier and lower in calories while doing the program, which is, really what I ought to be doing all the time. By the 5th workout I was down to five pounds and felt and saw my upper abs coming back and felt my lower obliques coming back and the ab flab was disappearing! By Pride weekend I had a flat stomach again and my abs were hard, although not perfectly defined yet-that will require much more work. Mind you I probably lost another 5 lbs during Pride weekend because I refrained from eating mainly because I was too busy getting my skank on but damn! I was happy with the results! Also, to top it off while I was texting in the middle of the crowded event I briefly looked up and caught a gorgeous man steal a photo of me! I was good enough to be photographed at Pride by a tourist! Yay! Damn…I should have turned around and asked the guy for his number. Anyway, BJ Gaddour has your back and you can trust him to help you get into shape with this workout. Do it with a proper diet and some gay male vanity and you can accomplish anything.


  7. Whoa…defensive much? I guess being physically fit doesn’t do much for emotional health or developing a sense or humour. Man the the author of this blog totally misconstrued what I said. I get it you’re obsessed with exercise-I’m sorry to have caused a personal doubt in you about your commitment to physical fitness even though that was never my intent. I just wanted to know if it helps get good results fast. But thanks for putting me and another person down for no reason at all.


    1. I apologize if I misconstrued your comment but “I wonder though…if the author of this website has ever committed to a single workout program for the length of its recommended time to validate it’s claims of physical transformation” sounds you like you are insinuating I didn’t bother doing the program simply because I did not post results. I also apologize that I cannot give you the information you are seeking and was explaining why–not insulting. It is the law of diminishing returns and it is a fact of life, not an insult.


  8. Summer’s hear and I’m desperate. I wonder though…if the author of this website has ever committed to a single workout program for the length of its recommended time to validate it’s claims of physical transformation in 90 or 60 or 21 days. Anyway I’m desperate maybe I can help out in filling out that information in 21 days from now.


      1. Actually, I don’t think Darryl is trolling. I read your review carefully and it does not explicitly state that you completed the Metashred workout in at least 21 days as recommended. However in the comments you did mention, “I have only done it as a program once (so one cycle) but I have returned to the workouts many times (and still do)” from August 5, 2016. However, how as your physical results from completing the program?


      2. Since I workout every single day, regardless of whether I am doing a “program” or not, and I have lifted weights regularly for 15+ years, I don’t get amazing results from programs. But that is not a negative for any program. Those amazing result testimonials you see are from people who are starting in a completely different place (physically) than I am. I’m not trying to lose weight or build big muscles–I am happy with my current muscle mass and my weight. I do programs to vary my training and keep things interesting. So I cannot give people that kind of “results information”. If you are “desperate” as Darryl is, that means you are out of shape and/or overweight–correct? Looking for amazing results. I am in shape and not overweight. So when I do these programs they don’t do anything major except KEEP me in shape. However, the fact that I do workout regularly and do a lot of programs means I can give a valid opinion on how good a program is. That is the point of the reviews. Oh, and for my own reference since I own hundreds of workouts and if I haven’t done them in a while, I forget what I thought of them.


    1. Honestly, I don’t remember. I posted that review over a year ago. A google search brings up a 25% off Rodale coupon: Customer25. I can’t vouch for it being valid tho.


  9. Thanks for responding.
    How does this program compare to Ript90?
    Since they are both metabolic weights given one or the other which would you chose?
    Last, which one will asset my Martial Arts practice(2 days 30 minutes to maintain only).


    1. Hello! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply–I have been out of town for the past week. Personally, I feel RIPT90 is more focused on hypertrophy–or muscle building more than MetaShred 21. They both do the job–but in my opinion, MetaShred 21 is more of a metabolic fat burning program. RIPT90 definitely does that too, but due to the muscle split workouts, you spend a lot more time focusing on isolation exercises. MetaShred 21 focuses primarily on compound exercises and total body workouts. In short, they are both metabolic and will both build muscle, but RIPT90 is leaned more toward the muscle building.


  10. Wow. Thanks for such a thorough review. I was on the fence because of the “marketing” fluff but your review coupled with a 25% discount has sold me. No question. Just showing my appreciation.


    1. Actually, I do have a question. What’s the deal with the payments separated by 5-6 weeks each? I can afford to pay outright but that option isn’t available. The unusual payment schedule gives me pause.


  11. I am about to finish my first week of 21 day meta shred, I like the workouts so far, I am just wondering what you think of training only 3 days per week.


    1. Well, I know 3 days a week is the minimum recommendation for working out. And as for strength training, 3 days a week is a good number. However, I personally workout every day. I work a sedentary job, so it is important for me to exercise daily. But it’s a personal to everyone–depending on schedules, etc. I strength train 3-4 days a week and do cardio the remaining days. I also do yoga on Sundays.


    1. I have only done it as a program once (so one cycle) but I have returned to the workouts many times (and still do). I lost no weight. But that is not why I work out. I did not do Meta Shred with the intent to lose weight. I workout an hour and a half every day and did not change my diet when doing Meta Shred, so just doing this program as part of the 90 minutes a day I workout anyway isn’t going to cause me to lose weight. If you are looking to lose weight, Meta Shred is a great system for that because the workouts are very metabolic, but you also have to do the work in the kitchen.


  12. Hi, thanks for your thorough review. Can I ask what you mean when you say you used these as doubles workouts? I’m used to doing Jillian Michaels or other hiit workouts 5-6 days a week. Do you think I could do this program at that frequency? 3 days a week just feels like dialing it in, noatter how challenging it is.


    1. Hi Michelle, a doubles workout is a second workout of the day. I workout for an hour every morning then, when I come home from work in the afternoon, I do a second workout that is usually 20-40 minutes long. That second workout is a “doubles” workout. So yes, I think you can do these every day! When tried it out, I did it as he laid it out (3x a week), but I was still doing an hour workout every morning and on the days I wasn’t doing Meta Shred, I did a different workout for my doubles. So I work out every day, twice a day. Now when I do these workouts I sometimes do them every single day as doubles workouts (so 5 a week). I also have plans to put them together to make an hour long workout for my morning workout. Some of them I think would work really well together. I also do Jillian Michaels workouts this way. When I do her workouts, I almost always do them after work as doubles workouts.


    1. It’s pretty simple–3 workouts a week for 3 weeks. Monday=workout #1, Wednesday=workout #2, Friday=workout #3. That’s week 1. Week 2, Monday=workout #4, Wednesday=workout #5 and so on. Get it? For 3 weeks.


      1. And how about Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday? Are they just rest days? Is HIIT ok to do too during those in between days?


      2. I workout every day, so yeah–the 3 days a week only wouldn’t work for me. I wouldn’t do HIIT on consecutive days but yes, I think doing it 3 days a week and using Meta Shred to break it up an alternate days would be perfect. Of course monitor how your body feels because if you are doing HIIT at a very intense level, then 2 times a week may be plenty. Then the 7th day could be a rest or yoga day.


  13. I just bought Metashred and did the first workout this morning. Pretty intense and I had to take a couple of 1 minute breaks to finish without totally breaking form on the exercises. My question is . . .Do you think it is appropriate to do more strength exercise on the days I do this workout (i.e. chest/arm workouts)? Your overview was great–I like being able to read and view the workouts in advance of doing them to prepare.


    1. I personally think it is appropriate. When I was doing Meta Shred I did it as an second workout of the day in the afternoon. In the morning I did my serious strength training. The only two I felt that I probably should give my muscles some recovery time after were #5 Thermogenic Tempo training and #9 Bodybuilder Burnouts. But I didn’t do that my first time through. My second run through Meta Shred I planned my workouts better so I had a day of recovery after those two.


  14. Hi, I would love to buy MetaShred but I am in the UK & the website to order it seems only to ship to the US. I have looked on eBay & Amazon’s US site (as they sometimes still ship to UK) but nothing! Do you have any idea how I could get hold of this here in the UK. Any help would be greatly appreciated! X


    1. So sorry you can’t get your hands on Meta Shred. But I don’t work for Men’s Health and I don’t know the trainer (or anyone who works for/produces the workout) so I can’t help you. If I were you, I would just keep checking ebay and Amazon. That’s what I do with many workout programs that are expensive–I follow them on ebay and Amazon and try to get them cheap. Since it’s a 3rd party seller, they will hopefully ship overseas.


  15. How do you like this as compared to the Anarchy. This seems to have more “depth” and different workouts than Anarchy, but would you consider this a “step-up” or more of a lateral move with different exercises. I can still challenge myself with the Anarchy workouts but would also like to find a new routine or two. Thanks!


    1. They are both great programs, but I definitely like Meta Shred the most. There is a lot more variety in Meta Shred, I like BJ a lot and I do think there is more room to grow. I also think it would work really well in conjunction with Anarchy. But yes, I think it would be a step up–particularly if you are doing the advanced versions of the exercises in Meta Shred.


      1. What a quick response. Thank you. I (like you) have been lured by the ads and think I have finally landed on this one as my next program. Thanks again!


  16. So funny how you say marketing won! I just ordered Anarchy and 10 minute torchers based on your reviews, so I guess I am just as bad. This one looks really great too, but I’ll hold off (for a while, anyway!). Have you ever considered the MH 60 day transformation and/or their Spartacus workouts?


    1. Hi Loretta, I have not heard of the 60 Day Transformation. I have heard of Spartacus and I do remember looking at it a while ago, but didn’t end up buying. I honestly do not remember why either. Have you looked into them (or done them)? What are your thoughts? What I am currently trying to abstain from buying is BJ’s other program–Delta Fit Speed Shred. After doing Meta Shred I want it. But I am trying to stop buying workout DVDs for a while. But it is hard. But when I do–I am buying Delta Fit!


      1. Hi again: Here is the FAQ for the 60 day program:
        Looks like 9 workouts on 4 DVD’s….same creator as the Spartacus workout (David Jack), which I believe are only 2, 30 minute workouts. I haven’t done them, but it seems like Men’s Health put out some pretty interesting workouts. Now, of course, I need to look up the other one that you mentioned and add it to my list! You are a bad influence!! Where do you find all these programs? Even when you go to the sites, like Men’s health, they are not obvious…I had to dig to find DVD programs, and that’s only because I knew the specific titles. Do you have your current “wish list” posted anywhere on your blog?


      2. Looks interesting! That may go on my wish list! I find programs and workout ideas by perusing fitness forums. There are two I visit–Cathe’s forum and’s reader forum. I need to stop visiting them both because I need to stop buying workout DVDs for a while. I own way too many and now I subscribe to Cathe Live and do that frequently. I just keep a wishlist on Amazon to keep track of what I want. Even if I don’t end up buying the workouts from Amazon, they almost always have everything listed on their site, so I can at least save it and keep track of it there. Even Delta Shred is listed on Amazon even tho it isn’t currently available. I really don’t have much on my wishlist right now. The only thing I really want is BJ’s Delta Shred and I’m interested in a few P57 barre workouts. But right now, nothing else I don’t already own. Unfortunately I still have workouts I have purchased and not done yet.


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