MetaShred Extreme

metashredex1Since I loved B.J. Gaddour’s MetaShred 21, I was very excited when he announced the next level–MetaShred Extreme. My husband pre-ordered it for me as a birthday gift. I had already impulse purchased B.J.’s DeltFit Speed Shred and that has been sitting on my shelf for several months. The original plan was to do DeltaFit first, then follow up with a round of MetaShred 21 and end with MetaShred Extreme. But it didn’t play out that way. I previewed MetaShred Extreme and decided I could not wait. I had to do it ASAP. It looked too awesome!

How is MetaShred Extreme different from MetaShred 21? In lots of ways. Now, even tho I love MetaShred 21, it doesn’t really “fit” into the parameters of my normal daily workout life. So I don’t come back to it as often as I would like. I love it in theory (as I love a lot of workouts I own in theory) but in practice it just doesn’t “fit” into the way I prefer to workout. The beauty of MetaShred Extreme, is that it falls perfectly into my workout preferences and workout rotation structure. First, it is a collection of 8 muscle split workouts: 4 lower body workouts and 4 upper body workouts. In addition, these are all cardio + strength workouts. Yes! He alternates the strength work with cardio bursts–even in the upper body workouts! Be still my heart! Unlike MetaShred 21, this program includes warm ups! It also includes very cool finishers for every workout that utilize blood flow restriction occlusion bands. There are no cool downs/stretches however, so it is up to you to stretch yourself out afterward. However, if you do the warm up, the workouts and the finishers, every workout clocks in around one hour. Perfect for my morning workouts!

If you buy the base program like I did, it also comes with three 20 minute recovery workouts and lots of equipment. The afore mentioned occlusion bands, 3 levels of mini bands, 2 levels of big bands, fat dumbbell grips and a peanut lacrosse ball. Let me talk a little about the equipment. You need the equipment for every workout and it is all very cool. First, the strongest level of mini band is literally the strongest mini-band (aka firewalker) that I have ever encountered. I have not yet been able to use it at all for MetaShred–I am not that strong! But I might be able to use it for some Cathe lower body workouts and Edge Booty Extreme 2. Actually, outside of the lower body warm up, I do not recall the heaviest band being used by anyone in any of the workouts–not even the advanced exerciser. They all use the light and medium band, which worked for me, too. The big bands are basically the same. It comes with 2–orange and gray. The gray is way too strong for me, so when I found the orange not heavy enough and I went to the gray–it was unusable for me. Again, I am just not that strong. So I had to stick with medium. In the future however, I have a similar band that came with Michelle Dozois’s Peak Fit System that is stronger than the orange band but not as strong as the gray band–so I will have that at the ready in the future. And finally, the fat grips. Very useful. The fat grip causes greater muscle activation to increase muscle size and strength. I can feel the difference but the problem is they are a tight grip on the dumbbell. That is a good thing–except when you have limited time to get it on and off a dumbbell. There were a few times I had to pause the DVD because I was struggling to get it on or off a dumbbell (or both, off one dumbbell so I could put it on a different dumbbell). They are only used in the upper body workouts and when you are using several different weights of dumbbells–it gets a little frustrating.

Finally, before I get into the breakdowns I want to make a note for people doing these workouts. There are a lot of hip thrusts in this program (YAY!) and if you are using the step like me, you need something to make it more comfortable. So have a folded fitness mat or a towel nearby to lay on the edge of the step and protect your upper back. Or just use a workout bench if you own one–the bench is already padded.

In the actual workouts, you have the option of playing with or without music. I always played with music but to be honest, I can’t remember anything at all about the music. So apparently it is unobtrusive. There is a bar timer along the bottom of the screen counting down the total time for the workout and then another small round timer in the lower right hand corner that counts down exercise and recovery times.

In the break downs below I summarize and give my thoughts on each workout before giving the breakdown. Any dumbbell weights listed in the breakdown are what I used. I do not know the weights of the dumbbells the exercisers in the workout are using. There are 3 levels of most of the exercises: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Jeremy (or Jay? I got confused–B.J. shortened his name to Jay sometimes, I think) does the advanced level, Hannah does the intermediate level and Alexa does the beginner level. I will usually only be listing the level I did during the workout, which is the intermediate or advanced level. So know there is always an easier version than what I list.

Summary: Another awesome program from B.J.Gaddour. I loved this program. Like MetaShred 21 there are exercisers at 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. This can be a very advanced program. Every single strength workout challenged me. Tho this was a gift, I do know it was not cheap ($100 I think) but trust me–it is so worth it. I own a lot of workouts I love. Some I do more frequently than others. A lot of workouts and programs I own, I think of as “good intention” workouts. I love them and I want to do them more often, but I am very set in my ways. I am obviously trying lots of new workouts all the time or this blog wouldn’t exist, but when I structure a rotation to follow (outside of trying new-to-me workouts) I have a certain way I want things to happen. Because of that, many of the workouts I love do not get used very often. That will not be the case with MetaShred Extreme. For me, the strength workouts are exactly the way I like to workout. Muscle splits that group the entire upper body or the entire lower body into an hour long workout–with cardio included. These workouts will actually be used frequently. Now, because I have other new-to-me workouts already slated to sample in the next month, I am not doing another round of MetaShred Extreme right away. Which saddens me. But once I get through my list of workouts I need to try, I plan to do several MetaShred Extreme rotations broken up by Cathe strength workouts (probably ones I create in her workout blender). Other than my discovery of everything Cathe, this is one of the very best fitness programs I have acquired in a very long time.

bjgaddourOther than the fact he puts together incredible workouts, one of the things that make these very tough workouts doable is B.J. He is a great trainer because he brings a lot of personality to his workouts. He is funny and motivating. I discovered this in his 10 Minute Torchers but was really sold on him as a trainer in MetaShred 21. He brings the same energy and humor to these workouts with a slight difference that is worth noting. There is some double entendre going on. Not every joke or comment, but there is a good bit of it. I don’t think he ever made any outright dirty jokes but like I said, there is a good bit of double entendre going on with some of his comments/jokes. I have zero problem with this. I do not feel he was insulting or denigrating anyone and I am no prude, so I chuckled. Especially when it caught me off guard. But if that kind of thing is not your bag and it’s going to offend you–you will want to pass on these workouts. Please do not come to this program expecting it be a dirty joke fest. It is not. But B.J. is a very funny, humorous guy. We all know that guy/gal–the comedian of the group. That’s B.J. And some of those jokes are a little off color. I don’t recall there being anything like that in 10 Minute Torchers or MetaShred 21. Everything in those two programs was clean (and funny!). I guess he is getting more comfortable with his audience in this program. I am ok with that. And as a bonus, if you are a B.J. fan (like me) because of both his workouts and his personality, here is a little something he created for Valentine’s Day to make you smile. And if you are not familiar w/ B.J. then this might give you an idea of what to expect from his workouts–great workouts from a funny guy.

Warm Ups: There is only one warm up for lower body and one warm up for upper body. These two warm ups are on every single DVD except the MetaRecovery DVD. They are little workouts in themselves! I recommend doing them. However, if you are doing several rounds of MetaShred Extreme, one right after the other, I can see these getting boring and monotonous. So substitute something else. But get yourself warmed up first! B.J. starts you off right away with hard work in nearly every workout and you don’t want to come to them cold.

Lower Body Warm up is 10:30 minutes long. You need the step or bench at 14 inches, a mini band and a large band. Each exercise done for 50 seconds w/ 10 second recovery. This warm up starts immediately, so have the mini band above your knees and be leaning back on box/bench, ready for the hip thrusts. BTW–this is where the exercisers are when the warm up starts–in position and ready to go. This warm up is a mini workout on it’s own. Combined with the actual workout and the finishers you are hitting your entire lower body in multiple ways.

  1. Mini-Band Shoulders Elevated Hip Thrust (shoulders on bench and mini band above knees)
  2. Mini-Band Dead-Stop Box Squat (mini band above knees)
  3. Mini-Band Shoulders Elevated Box March (shoulders on bench and mini band above knees)
  4. Mini-Band Low Lunge Abduction–Left (band around front knee and held out to side with both hands; get into lunge w/ back knee on ground, raise knee a few inches off ground and hold, then lower)
  5. Repeat #4 on right leg
  6. Mini-Band Lateral Slide (mini band above knees, stand w/ legs wide and shift side to side into side lunge)
  7. Mini-Band Box Walk (w/ mini-band above knees, squat walk in a box formation)
  8. Mini-Band Leg Raise (mini-band around ankles, lift one leg to side then to back; 25 seconds each leg)
  9. Mini-Band March (mini band around tops/bottoms of feet; do a high knee march)
  10. Overhead Box Squats w/ Band (mini-band above knees and large band held overhead, one end in each hand)

Upper Body Warm Up is 10:30 minutes long. You need the mini band and the large band. Each exercise done for 50 seconds w/ 10 second recovery. Just like the lower body warm up, this is a little mini workout in it’s own right, hitting every muscle in your upper body nicely.

  1. Mini-Band External Rotation–Left (grip mini band in both fists; hold right arm stationary, both elbows kept close to sides, while pulling right arm out to side for 25 seconds, then pulling higher for 25 seconds)
  2. Mini-Band External Rotation–Right
  3. Mini-Band Pull and Press (wrap mini-band around wrists; pull elbows back, widening band as you pull, then push back forward–do this for 25 seconds then do the same motion but pushing band overhead for 25 seconds)
  4. Mini-Band Bear Crawl (mini-band wrapped around wrists, get on all 4s w/ knees raised off floor (so on hands and toes); for 25 seconds walk one step forward and one step back; for final 25 seconds walk one step side to side)
  5. Crab Shrug to Bridge (sit on bottom, hands beside hips, knees bent and feet flat on floor; push hips up into crab, shrugging shoulders at bottom of move)
  6. Downward Facing Dog to Push Up
  7. Split Kneel Band Pull Apart (kneel and hold large band between hands; do a chest fly w/ band)
  8. Dead-Stop Push Up to Superman
  9. Seated Band Face Pull (wrap large band around feet and hold band in hands; pull band up to face so the shape of the band is in a square)
  10. Band T-Rotation (T planks w/ end of large band in each hand and extended across back; alternate sides)


Lower Body 1 (42 minutes; 59:30 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells and your MetaShred equipment. This is the first workout I’ve done in this program and I am seriously impressed. B.J. burned my lower body out–especially my glutes–before dumbbells even entered the picture. Here is the set up: each exercise is done 3x then you do one MetaSet before moving on to the next exercise. Every exercise, including the MetaSet, is done for 30 seconds. The exercises are done in a 30/15 cycle (30 seconds of work, 15 seconds of recovery) then you  go straight into the MetaSet (no recovery). After the MetaSet you get 30 seconds of recovery before you move on to the next exercise. Those three  30/15 cycles seriously do the job of burning the muscle group out. The first 30 seconds seems easy–the third? Not so much. Add in the MetaSets and your heart is seriously pumping. So you are getting excellent strength work and your heart rate is up so you are burning fat, too. Pair it with the Warm Up (which serves as a lighter workout in its own right) and the finisher and my legs were done. That Finisher is way harder than it seems after doing the entire workout. It definitely finishes your legs off. Excellent, excellent workout. You get no cool down/stretch after any of the workouts. After the finisher I spent a few minutes thoroughly stretching out my lower body.

The dumbbell weights listed are the weights I used. I do not know the weights the exercisers are using in the workout. B.J. did say something to the advanced male exerciser that made me think he was using 20 pound dumbbells. All of the exercise descriptions below are for the advanced versions, which is what I did. Remember there is also an intermediate and a beginner version of every single exercise.

  1. Mini Band Skater Jump (mini band above knees) (3x)
  2. MetaSet: Bench Jump (hands gripping edges of bench, do a donkey kick jump from one side of the bench to the other)
  3. Mini Band Hip Thrust w/ resistance band (mini band above knees and large band wrapped around each foot to tops of thighs/hips) (3x)
  4. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  5. Mini Band Box Squats w/ resistance band (mini band above knees; stand on large band and bring over shoulders) (3x)
  6. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  7. Mini Band 1 Leg Hip Thrust—Left side (band around knees, shoulders on bench, one leg raised and bent) (3x)
  8. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  9. Mini Band 1 Leg Hip Thrust—Right side (3x)
  10. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  11. X-Band Bulgarian Split Squat—Left side (large band under front foot and over opposite shoulder, back foot on bench) (3x)
  12. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  13. X-Band Bulgarian Split Squat—Right side (3x)
  14. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  15. DB Lateral Lunge w/ Mini Band—Left (3x) (mini band above knees and one 15# DB)
  16. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  17. DB Lateral Lunge w/ Mini Band—Right (3x) (one 15# DB)
  18. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  19. Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat—Left side (3x) (back foot on bench and one 15# DB)
  20. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  21. Goblet Bulgarian Split Squat—Right side (3x) (one 15# DB)
  22. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  23. DB Front Squat w/ Mini Band (3x) (mini band above knees and one 30# DB)
  24. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  25. Squat Jump (or ploy jump lunges) (3x)
  26. MetaSet: Bench Jump
  27. Skier Swings (3x) (swing DBs from hips to shoulders or overhead, hinging when DBs are at hips; 15# DBs)

restrictionbandthighFinisher (7 minutes) (thighs wrapped): The first 2 minutes are BJ showing you how to wrap your thighs with the band; they are wrapped high and tight (7 out of 10 tightness). You do one exercise: Split Squats for 5 minutes non-stop, changing legs every 30 seconds, no breaks


Upper Body 1 (41:30 minutes; 59 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells & MetaShred equipment including fat grips. Upper body 1 is set up just like Lower Body 1: each exercise is done 3x then you do one MetaSet before moving on to the next exercise. Every exercise, including the MetaSet, is done for 30 seconds. The exercises are done in a 30/15 cycle (30 seconds of work, 15 seconds of recovery) then you  go straight into the MetaSet (no recovery). After the MetaSet you get 30 seconds of recovery before you move on to the next exercise. For the advanced versions of the exercises the fat grips are frequently used–both for the large band and dumbbells. Just like Lower Body 1, this was an excellent workout. Due to the structure of doing three 30 second sets back to back, it really burns your muscles out, even with the bands. And the MetaSet gets your heart rate up there so you are also getting a decent calorie burn–something that doesn’t happen during most upper body workouts.

The dumbbell weights listed are the weights I used. I do not know the weights the exercisers are using in the workout. Just like in Lower body 1, B.J. said something to the advanced male exerciser indicating he was using 20 pound dumbbells. All of the exercise descriptions below are for the advanced versions, which is what I did. Remember there is also an intermediate and a beginner version of every single exercise.

  1. Mini-Band External Rotation (mini-band around wrists, elbows close to sides, pull band out) (3x)
  2. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps (rear jump lunge off step)
  3. Band Front Raise (stand on large band using fat grips and do a front raise) (3x)
  4. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  5. Band Overhead Tricep Extensions (step on large band and do overhead tricep extension) (3x)
  6. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  7. Band Bicep Curl (stand on large band and do bicep curls w/ fat grips) (3x)
  8. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  9. Band Overhead Press (stand on band and do overhead press w/ fat grips) (3x)
  10. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  11. Seated Band Row (sit on ground, legs straight, large band around feet; do back rows using fat grips) (3x)
  12. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  13. Band Push Ups (large band wrapped around back and under hands) (3x)
  14. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  15. DB Seated Overhead Tricep Extension (3x) (one 20# DBs)
  16. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  17. DB Overhead Carry (3x) (holding both DBs overhead, walk 4 steps forward and 4 steps backward) (15# DBs)
  18. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  19. Fat DB Grip Twisting Curl (start holding DBs at sides palms facing behind you; as you do a bicep curl, twist so DBs are facing shoulders at top of move) (3x) (15# DBs)
  20. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  21. Fat DB Grip Triple Chest Press (narrow chest press, bringing elbows out wider for next one, wide chest press for final; keep cycling through these 3 positions for each cycle) (3x) (15# DBs)
  22. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  23. Fat DB Grip Renegade Rows (3x) (15# DBs)
  24. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  25. DB Push Press w/ MiniBand (mini band above knees) (3x) (15# DBs)
  26. MetaSet: Step Up Jumps
  27. DB High Pull (upright rows with a small squat to add power) (3x) (15# DBs)

restrictionbandsbicepsFinisher (7 minutes) (biceps wrapped): The first 2 minutes is BJ showing how to wrap the band around the bicep; they are wrapped above the bicep muscle/under the shoulder (7 out of 10 tightness). You do two exercises. Alternate between the two exercises, doing each for 30 seconds, no breaks
1. Bicep Curls
2. Lying Tricep Extensions
(keep alternating 1 & 2)


Lower Body 2 (42 minutes; 58:30 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells and MetaShred equipment. Wow. This workout was brutal. Now, I did the advanced version of every exercise and OMG. My hamstrings are still stinging. Right in the area where hamstrings meet glutes. My commute to work this morning was very uncomfortable. Each exercise is done for 2 full minutes then you go immediately into the 30 second MetaSet then you get 30 seconds of recovery. The two minute sets are done to a slow tempo or, as B.J. points out, eccentric movement (negative movement so muscles remain in a state of contraction for a long time). Usually they are done to the count of 4 then hold at the bottom of the move for a brief pause. On some–like the squat moves–you will lower to the count of 4 then hold at the lowest point for 4 counts before standing. Only 3 exercise are done to a normal tempo rather than a slow tempo. I will note the ones that are significantly different below, but that is the basic way the exercises are done. So if the tempo isn’t noted then it’s a 4 count w/ a brief pause. Anyone who has done Autumn Calabrese‘s workouts in Hammer & Chisel understands the torture these type of exercises equal. Especially on the lower body. The bonus (or negative? depends on how you look at eccentric torture) is that this entire workout focuses on the lower body. Tho Autumn always hit the lower body hard in her Hammer & Chisel workouts, her workouts are total body workouts. So Autumn does give your legs some breaks. Not so with this workout! The MetaSet for this workout is mountain climbers and several times my legs were protesting! After 2 minutes of whatever exercise I was doing, sometimes they simply refused to do a fast mountain climber. I did do my all of the MetaSets, but sometimes they were a slower mountain climber than what I normally do. As I mentioned above, I did all of the exercises at the advanced level. Where dumbbells are noted below, sometimes only the advanced person used them, other times the intermediate person used one dumbbell while the advanced exerciser used two. The beginner modifier never used any dumbbells. Also, where I note below that the back foot is on the step, that is usually the advanced move only. Intermediate and beginner did not put their back foot on the step. Intermediate might have for 1 of the exercises, but I don’t think so. I wasn’t paying super close attention to anyone except the advanced exerciser. I was able to make it through the full 2 minutes of every exercise with good form, even when it was killing me. That is, until I got to #23 and #25. I kept hitting failure and having to remove my leg from the step for a few seconds to thaw it out so I could continue. BTW–at the 40 second point when the exercise changes slightly, the advanced and intermediate exercisers had to let their muscle thaw, too! So it wasn’t just me who was dying!

  1. One Leg Pause Hip Thrust Left (shoulders raised on step)
  2. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  3. One Leg Pause Hip Thrust Right (shoulders raised on step)
  4. MetaSet: Mountains Climbers
  5. Mini Band Bulgarian Hip Hinge—Left (one 15# DB) (single leg deadlift with back foot on step, mini band above knees
  6. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  7. Mini Band Bulgarian Hip Hinge—Right (one 15# DB)
  8. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  9. Bulgarian Split Squat (4 counts down, 4 counts up) (back foot on step)
  10. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  11. Bulgarian Split Squat—other leg
  12. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  13. Pause Front Squat w/ Mini Band (15# DBs) (mini band above knees; 4 counts down and hold for 4 counts in deep squat)
  14. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  15. Eccentric Hip Hinge w/ Mini Band (25# DBs) (slow deadlift w/ mini band above knees)
  16. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  17. 3 Way Front Squat (15# DBs) (squats at a regular controlled pace; 40 seconds of narrow squats, 40 seconds regular stance squats, 40 seconds wide stance squats)
  18. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  19. Eccentric One Leg Box Squat w/ Mini Band—Left (mini band above knees; 5 seconds to slowly lower to box then stand
  20. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  21. Eccentric One Leg Box Squat w/ Mini Band—Right
  22. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  23. Multi-ROM Bulgarian Split Squat—Left (back foot on bench; pulse 40 seconds at low end of split squat, 40 seconds at high end and 40 seconds of full split squats)
  24. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  25. Multi-ROM Bulgarian Split Squat—Right
  26. MetaSet: Mountain Climbers
  27. Skier Swings & Lunges (15# DBs) (one minute of skier swings w/ DBs (swing DBs from hips to shoulders or overhead, hinging when DBs are at hips) and one minute of lunges still holding DBs)

Finisher (6 minutes) (thighs wrapped; you need your thighs already wrapped before you start the finisher): Constant Tension Squat: you will do a pulsing squat, never fully standing, so “low ends”–40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of recovery. Do this for 5 cycles. On the 5th cycle at the end of the 40 seconds, you hold at the bottom of the squat for 20 seconds.


Upper Body 2 (42 minutes; 58:30 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells & fat grips. Another tough but excellent workout. Not as tough as Lower Body 2, but still tough. Just like in the MetaGainz lower body workout each exercise is done for 2 full minutes then you go immediately into the 30 second MetaSet then you get 30 seconds of recovery. And you do the slow, eccentric lifts or lowers (or both)–but not as frequently as they are done in the lower body workout. They’re still there to burn you out but you also do plenty of exercises with regular paced reps. The MetaSet in this workout seemed particularly appropriate: Seal Jacks. Not only did it give you that cardio interval but it also stretched my arms and chest out dynamically every time I did it. So it was a welcome relief after B.J. burned my upper body out! Again, the dumbbell weights listed below are what I used. I have no idea what the exercisers in the DVD workout are using. In this workout I did a mixture of both the advanced and the intermediate level moves. BTW–B.J. had me laughing a few times in this workout. He’s always pretty funny but for some reason some of his comments in this workout were unexpected and made me crack up.

  1. Fat DB Grip Push Up Complex (15# DBs) (start w/ DBs at feet, body hinged at waist; walk DB/hands out into plank, rotate into a T on each side, lifting DB to ceiling, do one renegade row on each side, then walk hands/DBs back to feet–advanced adds a push up between each row)
  2. MetaSet: Seal Jack
  3. Fat Grip Carry Complex (15# DBs) (for “carry” you walk 4 steps forward and 4 steps back; carry DBs overhead w/ straight arms for 40 seconds, carry DBs at shoulders but not resting on shoulders for 40 seconds, then carry DBs hanging down, arms at sides, for 40 seconds)
  4. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  5. DB Batwing Row (5# DBs) (lay chest on step, knees on floor; do a row w/ DBs, extend arms/DBs straight out to side, bring them back in to upper part of row and lower DBs)
  6. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  7. Eccentric Lateral & Front Delt Superset (7# DBs) (1st minute: swing DBs overhead then lower out to sides w/ straight arms to 5 second count; 2nd minute: swing DBs overhead then lower straight arms/DBs down in front of you)
  8. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  9. Fat DB Grip Chest Press (20# DBs and step) (narrow chest press to count of 4 down and 4 up)
  10. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  11. Bicep/Push Up Complex (15# DBs) (bottom half of bicep curl for 20 seconds, top half of bicep curl for 20 seconds, full bicep curl for 20 seconds, bottom half of push up for 20 seconds, top half of push up for 20 seconds, full push up for 20 seconds)
  12. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  13. Kneeling Fat DB Grip Zottman Curl (12# DBs) (kneeling on both knees, start w/ palms facing back of room, twist them when coming up into a traditional bicep curl lift then twist them at top so palms are facing floor and lower slowly to found of 5)
  14. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  15. Eccentric Chest Fly to Press (20# DBs) (chest fly opening to count of 5 and while arms are out wide, pull them in close to chest and do a narrow chest press up)
  16. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  17. Eccentric Pull Over (one 30# DB and step) (lower DB to count of 5, hold for a pause, then raise to top)
  18. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  19. Eccentric Tricep Extension to Press (10# DBs and step) (intermediate: lying overhead tricep extension–lower to count of 4, bring elbows to side and do narrow chest press to top/Advanced: sitting on step do an overhead tricep extension to count of 4, roll DBs to shoulders and do overhead press)
  20. MetaSet: Seal jacks
  21. Power Body Builder Sequence (15# DBs) (power DBs up to shoulders and press overhead, lower to count of 5 to shoulders then lower to hips to count of 5)
  22. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  23. 3 Way Curl (12# DBs) (40 seconds of forearm curls (palms facing floor), 40 seconds of hammer curls, 40 seconds of traditional bicep curls)
  24. MetaSet: Seal Jacks
  25. 3 Way Plank Tap Complex (intermediate: in narrow straight arm plank, tap each shoulder with opposite hand, do the same in shoulder distance straight arm plank, and again do the same in wide straight arm plank; for advanced, rather than shoulder taps do push ups at each hand distance)
  26. MetaSet; Seal Jacks
  27. One Arm DB High Pull (one 15# DB) (start in sumo stance and do a one arm pull from between legs to overhead then lower to count of 4; 1 minute on each arm)

Finisher (6 minutes) (arms are wrapped above biceps/below shoulder and they are already wrapped when finisher starts): I had to use different weights for the second part of the finisher. Even though you do not use the step in the finisher, it is already set up from the workout so I just set the lighter weights on it and stood behind it so everything was ready to go with little wasted time.

  1. Tricep Crush Complex for 2 minutes (10# DBs) (bicep curl, overhead press, overhead tricep extension; reverse the moves down)
  2. 30 seconds of recovery
  3. Overhead Tricep Extension for 30 seconds (8# DBs)
  4. Overhead Press for 30 seconds (8# DBs)
  5. Hammer Curls for 30 seconds(10# DBs)


Lower Body 3: (39:30 minutes; 56:30 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells and MetaShred equipment. Another very tough workout! And in dramatic contrast to the MetaGainz workout. This one is fast-paced and cardio based. It is structured in tabata format: work for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery; you do eight 20/10 cycles then you do the 30 second MetaSet then 30 seconds of real recovery. The MetaSet was a little different in this workout–probably because the workout is cardio based. The MetaSet is a plank move so it actually does seem like a recovery move! There is a lot of unilateral training in this workout. That, combined with the plank MetaSet, gives you a lot of core work and I was definitely feeling this workout in my core by the time we hit the halfway mark. So this is an all around excellent workout–hits your lower body hard (my glutes are still stinging), works your core very well and gives you lots of cardio. B.J. was particularly evil in this workout. Several times, when me and his exercisers are struggling, he was laughing manically.

  1. Single Leg Hop
  2. Side-to-Side Single Leg Hop
  3. Single Leg T Hop
  4. Single Leg Z Hop
  5. MetaSet: Plank Tap (tapping top of step while in straight arm plank)
  6. Mini-Band Box Jumps (squat jump w/ band above knees)
  7. Mini-Band Jack (squat jack w/ band at ankles)
  8. Mini-Band Box Squat Jump
  9. Mini-Band Plank Jack (band around ankles)
  10. Mini-Band Box Squat Jump
  11. Mini-Band Jack
  12. Mini-Band Box Squat Jump
  13. Mini-Band Plank Jack
  14. MetaSet: Plank Tap
  15. Explosive Single Leg Hip Thrust (8x alternating sides) (in bridge w/ either feet on floor or step, explosively push off the ground with one leg)
  16. MetaSet: Plank Tap
  17. Iso Running Lunge (4x alternate sides) (get into deep lunge and hold, moving bent arms fast like you are running)
  18. Running Lunge (4x alternate sides) (lunge back then jump when you stand bringing lunging knee up as you jump)
  19. MetaSet: Plank Tap
  20. Bulgarian Split Squat Hop (8x alternate sides) (you do a static lunge but you come up, you hop the front foot off ground; advanced has back foot on step)
  21. MetaSet: Plank Tap
  22. Goblet Squat (one 30# DB)
  23. Sumo Deadlift (one 30# DB)
  24. Split Squat (15# DBs)
  25. Sprinter Step Back (15# DBs)
  26. Dumbbell Skier Swing (15# DBs)
  27. Pogo Jumps (15# DBs)
  28. MetaSet: Plank Tap
  29. Skaters
  30. Shuffles
  31. Rotational Spider Jump (180 Jump Squat)
  32. Drop Split Squat to Heel Kick (jump squats but at the top you “kick” one heel forward; 20 seconds each side)
  33. Step Up Jump (plunge lunges off step)
  34. Lateral Lunge Jumps (alternating side lunges w/ a hop in the middle)
  35. Plyo Lunge Jumps
  36. MetaSet: Plank Tap
  37. Speed Squat + Hover Hold (speed squat but instead of a 10 second recovery, you hold your squat for 10 seconds–eight 20/10 cycles like this)

Finisher (6:30 minutes) (thighs are already wrapped when finisher starts): One Leg Hip Thrusts w/ Heels on step: thrust for 20 seconds and hold at top of bridge/thrust for 10 seconds; alternate sides. The beginner does it with both heels on step for the entire 5 minutes. You will do this for 5 solid minutes with no breaks. About 3 minutes in I had to go to the beginner 2 leg version because my glutes/hamstrings were crying for mercy. Remember–this is a finisher after you just completed MetaCardio Lower Body 3, so your glutes and hammies are already in pain. This definitely finishes them off.


Upper Body 3: (39:30 minutes; 56 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, big band, fat grips and dumbbells. Holy sh*t! This was tough. Actually, both of the MetaCardio workouts were brutal. Now, the upper body warm up already gets a head start on burning my muscles out but then this one jumps straight into cardio/strength moves and my arms were quickly protesting. You think the bands are not going to be sufficient to work your upper body but that assumption is a mistake. My arms and shoulders were burning very quickly and craved every single recovery period. Which leads me to the structure. It is structured in tabata format just like Lower Body 3: work for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery; you do eight 20/10 cycles then you do the 30 second MetaSet then 30 seconds of real recovery. Also just like Lower Body 3, the MetaSet is not cardio–but again, that is because some of this workout is cardio based. And man, did I need that MetaSet–every. single. time. Because my shoulders and biceps were so fried, I kind of felt like this workout was prepping you for a gun show–but now, several hours later, my upper back and tricep muscles have a nice burn going on, too. So, another all around tough but super effective workout.

  1. Band Jack Pull Apart (chest fly w/ band as you jack)
  2. Band Plank Jack (plank jacks w/ band around back and under hands)
  3. Alternate 1 & 2 8x total
  4. MetaSet: Heel Shimmy (lay on back, knees bent and feet on floor, raise head/shoulders and alternate reaching hands for same side heels)
  5. Band Jack Curls (stand on band w/ top part of band in both hands; jumping jacks w/ bicep curls)
  6. Band Jack Press (stand on band w/ top part of band in both hands; jumping jacks w/ overhead press)
  7. Alternate 5 & 6 8x total
  8. MetaSet: Heel Shimmy
  9. Band Push Up (band wrapped around back and under hands)
  10. Tall Kneeling Band Chest Presses (band still around back, the end in each hand and press fast w/ constant tension)
  11. Tall Kneeling Band Pull Apart (chest fly w/ end of band in each hand)
  12. Pulsing Band Front Raises (standing on the band, the band in both hands)
  13. Pulsing Band Bicep Curls (standing on the band, the band in both hands)
  14. Pulsing Band Overhead Press (standing on the band, the band in both hands)
  15. Pulsing Bent Over Row (twice) (get into lunge, band under front foot and an end in each hand; top half rows)
  16. MetaSet: Heel Shimmy
  17. Iso Dynamic Fat DB Grip Hammer Curls (12# DBs) (hold one DB at the half curl position while the other does hammer curls; alternate sides for each 20/10 cycle)
  18. MetaSet: Heel Shimmy
  19. Iso Dynamic Bent Over Reverse Fly (8# DBs) (hold one arm at top of move isometrically while other arm flys)
  20. Iso Dynamic DB Lateral Raise (8# DBs) (hold one arm at top of move isometrically while other arm lateral raises)
  21. Iso Dynamic DB Front Raise (8# DBs) (hold one arm at top of move isometrically while other arm front raises)
  22. Iso Dynamic DB Upright Row (8# DBs) (hold one arm at top of move isometrically while other arm upright rows)
  23. Repeat 19-22
  24. MetaSet: Hip Shimmy
  25. Plyo Push Up (plyo w/ the hands)
  26. Hammer Catch Curl (15# DBs) (do a hammer curl with a tiny toss & catch at the top of the curl)
  27. Alternate 24 & 25 8x total
  28. MetaSet: Hip Shimmy
  29. Seesaw Curl (15# DBs) (seesaw = simultaneous or one arm is at top of move while other is at bottom of move)
  30. Seesaw Overhead Press (15# DBs)
  31. Seesaw Bentover Row (15# DBs)
  32. Seesaw Floor Chest Press (15# DBs)
  33. Repeat 29-32
  34. MetaSet: Hip Shimmy
  35. Push Up for 20 seconds and Side Plank Hold for 10 seconds (so no 10 second recovery) 4x
  36. Mountain Climbers for 20 seconds and Side Plank Hold for 10 seconds (so no 10 second recovery) 4x

Finisher (6 minutes) (biceps are already wrapped when finisher begins): 5 solid minutes of work w/ zero breaks. This will definitely finish you off after the upper body workout. At the end of the 5 minutes I frantically undid those occlusion bands as quickly as possible so my arms could breath again. The finisher is all overhead presses. Do a one arm overhead press for 20 seconds then hold it locked at the top of press for 10 seconds, repeat on same arm then do that 20/10 sequence twice on other arm. Keep doing this sequence for 4 minutes then you do the exact same pattern but double arm press for the final minute–again, there are no breaks in this entire 5 minute sequence. That double arm press is murder on the arm that just completed two rounds of the single arm press. Murder.

  1. Single Arm Overhead Press & Hold (8# DBs)
  2. Double Arm Overhead Press & Hold (8# DBs)


Lower Body 4: (39:30 minutes; 56 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells and MetaShred Equipment. This workout was brutal (I say that a lot in this program, don’t I?). A high rep, endurance level workout with plyometrics. It starts out seeming so easy and by the halfway mark my legs were screaming for mercy. This workout is set up in 3 minute segments separated by the 30 second MetaSets. So 3 minutes of lower body work, 30 second MetaSet, 30 second recovery. The first two 3 minute lower body segments are broken down into 3 parts where you work for 45 seconds and get 15 seconds of recovery. The third lower body segment is also done in 3 parts but you work for 50 seconds with 10 seconds of recovery. After that, in each lower body segment you work for 3 minutes non-stop–no breaks. And it is brutal. The MetaSet is just jog/run in place and seemed too easy at first. By the halfway mark it was so welcome to wearily jog in place and let my legs thaw out. So early on, do fast high knee runs–or if you don’t find this workout as challenging and exhausting as I did, do high knee runs all the way through. I started out with powerful high knee runs and by the end of the workout was just jogging in place. But do not think you are not getting much cardio in this one. You are–plyometrics frequently near the end. The final 3 minute segment is done HIIT style. And finally, the first lower body segment is some of the same exercises done in the warm up. So if you want to skip the warm up and go straight into the workout, the first 3 minutes can be your warm up. I did everything–warm up, workout and finisher and afterward I felt it in every single muscle in my lower body. This workout hits everything and hits it hard. For hours afterward my legs were burning–again, everywhere in my lower body burned from this workout.

  1. Shoulders Elevated Hip Thrust w/ Mini Band (band above knees)
  2. Box Squats 2/ Mini Band (band above knees)
  3. Shuffle Walk w/ Mini Band (band around ankles)
  4. MetaSet: Run in place
  5. Loaded Hip Thrust (shoulders elevated in step, one 25# DB on hips)
  6. Rotational Goblet Squat (one 25# DB)
  7. Sumo Deadlift Shuffle (side-to-side sumo squats holding DB in goblet/deadlift position) (one 25# DB)
  8. MetaSet: Run in place
  9. Shoulders Elevated Single Leg Hip Thrust (25 seconds each leg)
  10. Feet Elevated Single Leg Hip Thrust (on back on floor, heels on step) (25 seconds each leg)
  11. Bulgarian Split Squat (back foot on step) (25 seconds each leg)
  12. MetaSet: Run in place
  13. Single Leg Box Squat (30 seconds each leg)
  14. Bulgarian Split Squats (30 seconds each leg)
  15. Box Squat to Jump (2 box squats + one squat jump; repeat for 60 seconds)
  16. MetaSet: Run in place
  17. Bulgarian Split Squat (one 15# DB) (hold one DB in opposite hand from front foot; 30 seconds w/ DB overhead, 30 seconds w/ DB at shoulder level, 30 seconds w/ DB at side; repeat on other leg)
  18. MetaSet: Run in place
  19. Bulgarian Split Squat (one 15# DB) (do exactly like #17 except hold DB in same side hand as front leg)
  20. MetaSet: Run in Place
  21. Bulgarian Split Squats (15# DBs) (30 seconds each leg)
  22. Bulgarian Hip Hinge (one leg deadlift) (15# DBs) (30 seconds each leg)
  23. Split Squat to Hip Hinge (15# DBs) (30 seconds each leg)
  24. MetaSet: Run in place
  25. Seesaw Lunge (pendulum lunge) (one minute each leg)
  26. Triple Squat (jump lunge to jump squat)
  27. MetaSet: Run in place
  28. Alternating Front Lunge + Jump
  29. Alternating Lateral Lunge + Jump
  30. Long Jump + Back Pedal (little hops)
  31. MetaSet: Run in place
  32. Continuous Interval Training (jump lunges on or off the step alternated with low impact lunges)

Finisher: (6 minutes) (band is already wrapped around thighs when finisher starts): You are doing calf raises on the step platform. The exercisers are using a tall box for balance but I used a body bar. The work time is 5 minutes. You will do calf raises for 20 seconds then hold at top of move (on toes/heels raised) for 10 seconds. Continue that 20/10 cycle nonstop for 5 solid minutes. My calves were screaming. **DOMS in my calves and lower hamstrings the next day.


Upper Body 4: (39:30 minutes; 55 minutes w/ warm up and finisher) Equipment: step @ 14 inches, dumbbells and MetaShred equipment. Like Lower Body 4, this is done in 3 minute segments separated by the 30 second MetaSets. So 3 minutes of upper body work, 30 second MetaSet, 30 second recovery. The very first 3 minute segment contains 3 exercises that are done for 40 seconds each w/ a 20 second recovery before moving to the next. There are two more 40/20 segments in this workout but the majority of the 3 minute segments are just non-stop work, changing exercise every 30 seconds. Surprisingly, that first 40/20 three minute band segment after the warm up was killer–so this workout was burning my arms out from minute one! The warm up burns my arms out on it’s own–then you jump right into more similar, painful band exercises and my arms and shoulders were protesting. Another tough but excellent workout. The MetaSet is a little unusual. A karaoke step. I’m used to karaokes having high knees–this was just a hip twisting fast step. I have two left feet so I was tripping all over myself, but I did my best. It seemed pretty low intensity at first, but like all of the MetaShred Extreme workouts, as the workout builds and moves on, so does the exhaustion. I never found the karaoke step intense, but it seemed more intense the more fatigued I got! The final MetaSet is very funny. B.J. tells you to do whatever you want, so him and his exercisers are just dancing and jamming out. None of them are going to win any awards on Dancing with the Stars so it was very funny. Now, there are some set up notes that need to be considered in this workout. You are doing 3 minute segments in which you change to a different exercise every 30 seconds with no breaks. The dumbbells you start with may not be appropriate for every exercise you are doing during that 3 minute segment. So have your dumbbells set up strategically. You do not use your step very often so after your first run through this workout, when you determine what dumbbell weights you need, during your 30 seconds of recovery, quickly grab them all and set them on top of your step. Stand behind or beside it so you can quickly swap out dumbbells. If you are lifting heavy enough to challenge yourself, missing 1 or 2 seconds is not a big deal. It’s more important to challenge your muscles. As usual, the dumbbell weights listed below are what I used.

  1. Seated Band Y Pull (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest)
  2. Seated Band Face Pull (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest)
  3. Seated Band Row (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest)
  4. MetaSet: Karaoke
  5. Close Grip Band Push Ups (end in each hand, band wrapped around back)
  6. Band Pull Apart (end of band in each hand, pulling across chest)
  7. Band Front Raise (stand on end of bend and hold top of band in each hand, pull to shoulder level)
  8. Band Upright Row (still standing on band)
  9. Band Reverse Curl (still standing on band)
  10. Band Shoulder Press (still standing on band)
  11. MetaSet: Karaoke
  12. Seated Overhead DB Press (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest) (12# DBs)
  13. Incline DB Chest Press (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest) (12# DBs) (seated on floor, leaning at an incline against step)
  14. DB Chest Press (narrow chest press, lying on step) (12# DBs)
  15. MetaSet: Karaoke
  16. Fat DB Grip Overhead Carry (one 15# DB)
  17. Fat DB Grip Hover Carry (one 15# DB)
  18. Fat DB Grip Flexed Arm Carry (one 15# DB)
  19. Repeat 16-18 on other arm
  20. MetaSet: Karaoke
  21. Reverse Fly (8# DBs)
  22. Lateral Raise (8# DBs)
  23. Front Raise (8# DBs)
  24. Cuban press (8# DBs)
  25. Arnold Press (8# DBs)
  26. Reverse Arnold Press (8# DBs)
  27. MetaSet: Karaoke
  28. Tricep Kickbacks (10# DBs)
  29. Hammer Curls (12# DBs)
  30. Overhead Press (10# DBs)
  31. Bentover Row (15# DBs)
  32. DB T Push Ups (10# DBs)
  33. Push Up Row (15# DBs)
  34. MetaSet: Karaoke
  35. Single Arm Rotational Curl (30 seconds each arm) (one 15# DB)
  36. One Arm Rotational Overhead Press (30 seconds each arm) (one 15# DB)
  37. One Arm Bentover Rotational Row (30 seconds each arm) (one 20# DB)
  38. MetaSet: Karaoke
  39. Alternating Reverse Flys (8# DBs)
  40. Alternating Lateral Raises (8# DBs)
  41. Alternating Front Raise (8# DBs)
  42. Alternating Bicep Curls (15# DBs)
  43. Alternating Overhead Tricep Extensions (10# DBs)
  44. Alternating Overhead Press (12# DBs)
  45. MetaSet: Karaoke
  46. Feet Elevated Eccentric Push Up (feet on step) (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest)
  47. Eccentric Push Up (on floor) (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest)
  48. Hands Elevated Eccentric Push Up (hands on step) (40 seconds work/20 seconds rest)
  49. MetaSet: “Fitness Riverdance”
  50. Continuous Intervals (burpees alternated with lateral bear crawl–do each for 20 seconds, non-stop)

Finisher (5 minutes) (Bands are already around biceps when finisher begins. You also need the Fat DB Grips.) You will do each move for 40 seconds. You spend 2 minutes on the biceps, take a 30 second rest then 2 minutes on the triceps. There are no breaks/recoveries during the 2 minutes of work. If you are using different dumbbell weights for biceps and triceps like I did you will need to quickly transfer the fat grips to your other set of dumbbells during that 30 second recovery.

1. Zottman Bicep Curl (12# DBs)
2. Underhand Bicep Curls (12# DBs)
3. Cheat Curl (using hip momentum to continue curling) (12# DBs)

30 second recovery

1. Skull Crushers (lying overhead tricep extensions) (10# DBs)
2. Rolling Tricep Extensions (close grip chest press + overhead tricep extension) (10# DBs)
3. Narrow Chest Press (10# DBs)

MetaRecovery: DVD 5 is the MetaRecovery DVD and it contains three 20 minute workouts. MetaCore, MetaMassage and MetaMobility. The calendar says to do them on your recovery days. You can do one, two or all three of the workouts per session. The first time I did them I did all 3 back to back. The only one that made me break a sweat was MetaCore. The other two really are recovery level workouts.

MetaCore is 20 minutes long. Equipment needed: step @ 14 inches, mini bands, big bands, a medicine ball (or a light dumbbell) and light dumbbells. The only thing that makes this a “recovery” workout is that it is different from the MetaShred split series strength workouts. This works your entire body tho the focus is on the core. And if you are following the advanced exerciser, this is not easy! Each exercise is done for 40 seconds with a 20 second recovery. Except the recovery was never much of a recovery–it was quickly getting in place for the next exercise. There is set up to begin almost every single exercise and you use all or nearly all of those 20 seconds hurriedly getting things in place to start the next exercise.

  1. Band Supported Leg Lower: lay on back and wrap large band around one foot, holding an end in each hand and raise that leg to the ceiling; while pulling down on it and keeping leg straight (so hamstring stretch), raise and lower other straight leg almost to the floor then up to meet banded leg
  2. Mini-Band Quadruped Fire Hydrant: place mini-band just under knees and get on all 4s; lift one bent leg to side
  3. Mini-Band Push Up Walk Out: place mini-band around wrists and stand, bending at waist so legs are straight and hands are on floor; walk out to straight arm plank then walk hands back to feet; advanced does a push up
  4. Mini-Band Glute Bridge Walk Out: place mini-band just below knees, lay on back w/ bent knees and feet on floor; keeping hips raised the entire time, walk feet out so they are almost straight then back in so you are in a normal bridge
  5. Mini-Band Superman Pull Up: lay on stomach, mini-band around wrists, raise head/chest, arms in front of you; bend elbows pulling arms back then press arms forward, always keeping head/chest raised
  6. Mini-Band Push Up Jack: mini-band is around ankles and you are in straight arm plank: beginner is plank jacks, intermediate is walk feet out then in then do a push up, advanced is doing a plank jack w/ a push up at the same time
  7. Mini-Band Side Plank Archer Row: get in side elbow plank; hold mini-band stationary in bottom hand and with top hand, pull band across chest
  8. Mini-Band Dead Bug: mini-band is round feet, lay on back, knees bent and feet raised off floor and head/shoulders raised; alternate pushing feet/legs out straight
  9. Mini-Band Feet Elevated Bridge March: mini-band is still around feet, you are laying on back w/ feet/heels on top of step; alternate bending knee and bringing toward chest
  10. Mini-Band Mountain Climber: slow mountain climbers w/ mini-band still around feet
  11. Band Push Up Row to Reverse Fly: mini-band is around wrists and you are in straight arm plank; alternate one row and one fly
  12. Glute Bridge Dumbbell Squeeze: get into bridge position and place a medicine ball or light DB between knees; raise hips and hold, pressing knees into ball/DB for 5 seconds or less, depending on your level (this is much more comfortable w/ a ball)
  13. Dumbbell Chest Fly/Dumbbell Sweeper: lay on back w/ light DBs in each hand, knees bent and feet raised, and head/shoulders raised; do a chest fly while pressing legs out straight but a few inches off floor then bending them again with each fly; at the 20 second point it changes to Dumbbell Sweeper: holding legs out straight but about a foot off the floor, head/shoulders still raised and sweep DBs from hips to overhead
  14. Plank Complex: in forearm plank do a trench crawl (walk forearms forward and back) then raise into straight arm plank and back down to elbow plank
  15. Side Plank Complex: in side elbow plank, reach top arm overhead then underneath body, do an elbow to knee crunch, then raise and lower hips
  16. Grizzly Bear Complex: get into quadruped and do one step forward and one back each side, one elevated bird dog each side, one kick through each side
  17. Crab Cakes Complex: get into crab (on feet and hands, front of body facing ceiling); push up reaching arms across chest to other side (one each side), reach over head/shoulder diagonally (one each side), tap hand to opposite toe (one each side)
  18. Band Resisted Side Plank: hold one end of big band in each hand and get into side elbow plank w/ band wrapped across back and press top arm/band out and hold
  19. Russian Twist Complex: wrap large band around feet and hold in both hands; twist to each side then pull band overhead

MetaMassage is 19 minutes long. All you need for this workout is the peanut that comes with the program. You can also use the step at 14 inches for a few of the “massages” but B.J. shows versions on the floor, so it isn’t necessary. In theory, this is a good recovery workout but I did not like the peanut. It was hard and uncomfortable and it hurt. I understand that discomfort is a good thing in these types of workouts and that you are supposed to focus more on those areas–but this is not discomfort–it is pain. I will probably return to this recovery workout at some point because I do think things like this are important and necessary (plus I like the length) but I will substitute a foam roller for the majority of the exercises. The only one I will continue to use the peanut for is the foot massages since it is perfect for that. This is a “no shoe” workout. I had to pause the DVD and remove my shoes because there is no way you can do the foot portion with shoes on and in my case, the foot portion is probably the most important part of this entire workout (due to my metal heels). I am not going to do a break down of this workout. You spend one-two minutes on each body part, rolling the muscles over the peanut in the different ways B.J instructs you to. Like I said, if you have a foam roller, I would just substitute it for the peanut for everything except the foot portion.

MetaMobility is 20 minutes long. MetaMobility is a flexibility/stretch workout. For this workout you need the step at 14 inches, the large band and the occlusion bands. This is actually a very nice stretching recovery workout. He does add mobility into the stretches so it is different from most flexibility workouts I’ve done. A nice change and I think it works nicely in conjunction with MetaMassage. Do MetaMobility first and end with MetaMassage. Each stretch is done for one minute but in that minute B.J. has you move around in the stretch to get more out of it. I am not going to describe each stretch, I am just going to list them in the order they appear and any equipment needed. Just know you are doing a lot of different subtle movements within each stretch.

  1. Wrist Mobility (on hands and knees with wrists rotated so fingers are facing your knees)
  2. Elevated Prayer Stretch (place both hands on step and stretch back into a child’s pose)
  3. Band Overhead Chest Stretch (holding one end of big band in each hand, raise both arms straight overhead and reach back slightly)
  4. Lying Morpheus Pose (lay on back w/ knees bent and feet on floor, arms are bent so that hands are behind back underneath you and press shoulders to floor)
  5. Ankle Armour (stand and rock from toes to heels while keeping hips and torso stationary)
  6. Couch Stretch (a lunge w/ knee on the floor and back foot up on the step)
  7. Elevated Pigeon (pigeon stretch w/ bent leg on top of step)
  8. Elevated Hamstring Stretch (basic hamstring stretch w/ heel on step)
  9. Shin Box (sit on floor w/ legs in pretzel or Z)
  10. Crossed Leg Hip Stretch (legs are crossed Indian style but w/ ankle directly above/below knee)
  11. Floss Band Knee Wrap (you get a full minute to wrap both knees with occlusions bands–this is actually preparing you for the next exercise)
  12. Floss Band Self-Assisted Deep Squat (this move is done for two full minutes; place hands behind you on bench/step and lower yourself into a deep squat–you will do a lot of various deep squat positions this way)
  13. Lying Knee Tuck Belly Breathing (lay on back and tuck knees into chest, holding them with arms and do deep breaths)
  14. Lying Feet-Elevated Belly Breathing (extend legs straight to ceiling, large band wrapped around feet, one end of band in each hand; pull down on band while breathing deeply)

42 thoughts on “MetaShred Extreme

  1. Hey! Huge BJ Gaddour fan. Fantastic review. But so bummed to discover the package was discontinued! Anyone out there able to burn me copies of the dvd’s and workout charts? I will gladly pay full price (or more). I actually reached out to BJ himself and he said he was a surprised as anyone that Men’s Health suddenly, and without explanation, pulled the product. I have all his other dvds, but this would be the crown jewel. Any help at all would be most appreciated!


    1. Wow! I did not know they discontinued it. I wonder why? It makes no sense. It is an amazing fitness program! Maybe a reader can help you. I don’t have the equipment to burn DVDs and I am also not comfortable doing things like that.


      1. I’m sorry to hear that. I can certainly understand your disappointment. I am not able to burn discs nor do I know how. However have you tried eBay. I’ve found many discontinued DVDs on their site. Good Luck!!


    2. I too was disappointed. I was able to buy a digital version of the Metashred Extreme. I downloaded to MacBook and use a program called VLC (free download) and i can play the videos. i just connect my laptop to my tv via and hdmi cable.


      1. I recently saw the Metashred Extreme DVD set brand new for sale on eBay for $179.99, but was sold today. Quite expensive but hopefully the lucky person will benefit from it greatly.


  2. Thank you! I really appreciate your reply. You are very thorough. Yes! Metashred Extreme it is! I prefer a workout that is more metabolic and focuses on the entire upper or lower body. After all I’m going for a more streamlined look. Body Beast may be too much for me.
    Thanks again. And keep the reviews coming. I can’t tell you how many purchases I’ve made based on your reviews. They are a treasure!


  3. Hi! I was wondering what the difference(s) are between Metashred Extreme and Body Beast. Due to your enabling 😉 I recently purchased 21 Day Metashred. I will try that sometime after I finish my current rotation of JNL Fusion.
    I am leaning strongly towards Metashred Extreme. I like the instructor! In fact I enjoy all the Mem’s Health instructors. They’re eye candy! Lol
    Which do you prefer Body Beast or Metashred Extreme?

    Thank you


    1. Hi Aida, there is a big difference between Metashred Extreme and Body Beast. Body Beast is a strength training with only one short metabolic cardio workout. You also isolate muscle groups. So the focus is building lots of muscle. MetaShred Extreme is a metabolic strength training program that focuses on building muscle while also burning fat. You also do not isolate muscle groups like you do in Body Beast. The workouts are Upper Body or Lower Body unlike Body Beast which has chest workouts, back workouts, arm workouts, etc.

      That’s the big difference but there’s more. Different equipment. Different workout lengths. Both trainers have strong, but very different personalities.

      Personally I prefer MetaShred Extreme. I like BJ better as a trainer, plus I prefer upper/lower splits over isolating upper body muscle groups into one workout (unless it’s back–back deserves its own focused workouts, just like glutes do). I also prefer metabolic workouts over straight strength workouts. I like multifunctional workouts–where I accomplish a lot in a single workout. With Metashred Extreme you get cardio and strength training in a single workout. You don’t get that in Body Beast, however Body Beast workouts are short enough that you can tack a short cardio workout onto the end of it.


  4. Thank you for your awesome review! I am almost done with the first week. It is killer! My entire body aches, and I love it!
    I find the instructor hilarious. Some of the stuff he comes out with makes me laugh out loud! He has great form pointers.
    I think this is just what I need to finally get strong glutes! Whoop!


  5. hi great page you have. Do you have any recommendations of doing a hybrid of the two meta-shred workouts the original and extreme. I also have BJ’s Delta Fit and loved that too. I plan to start my 3 cycle of extreme and just wanted some suggestions for a hybrid thanks!!


    1. Hi Jackie, the only recommendation I can give on that is to do a week of each–one week of 21, one week of extreme and just keep alternating. I don’t know how many days a week you work out so it’s hard to give any specific recommendations. If you worked out 3 days a week you could do an Extreme on Monday, a 21 on Wed. and an Extreme on Friday–with the Extremes, if you do upper on Monday then do lower on Friday.


  6. thanks for all the info. It was very helpful. I’m just getting done with my 2nd round of 21 day metashred. I enjoyed it a lot and I’m looking forward to trying this one out next week.


  7. Do you know what the resistance weights are to the small and large bands? Someone is selling the DVD on craigslist, but they don’t have the bands so looking into getting some but want to get the right ones.


    1. No, they don’t tell you what the weights of the bands are. If you are talking the big bands, those are the ones I am not certain but looking at the same bands on Dicks Sporting Goods website, I would say medium and heavy. As for the mini-band loops, those are light, medium and heavy.


      1. thanks for the response. So do you think I could do the program using free weights or tube bands? (I have both at home) So before I buy the heavy and medium bands want to make sure they are really needed. also are the arm compressions things a gimmick or truly work?

        Thanks again


      2. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been out of town all weekend. Some of the exercises, yes you can substitute dumbbells for. Others, I believe the bands are necessary. The mini-band loops are necessary for just about everything they are used for (in my opinion). The large bands are the ones I am referring to (substituting dumbbells). The large bands are used for some upper body exercises in the Cardio Upper Body workout that it just wouldn’t be the same exercises with dumbbells. They also hit your muscles in different ways than dumbbells.

        As for the occlusion bands, yes they work. But it depends on what you are looking for. They definitely pumped my muscles up when I used them–I had veins popping out! But it’s the same as other technique–it depends on what you are looking for. Here is an article on that might help you decide if you want to use them or not. I just finished another 4 weeks of MetaShred Extreme last week and I used them. I can tell the difference, particularly in my upper body.


    1. I don’t stream mine but from everything I read it is already available. I follow B.J. Gaddour on FB and people were streaming the workout before my DVDs even shipped. But if you purchased the DVDs you should have free access to the streaming.


  8. So every workout has decent cardio? I definitely need that when I workout. Is there anything of Cathe’s you could compare it too? And lastly, is it tough on the knees? Thanks again, as always, for your detailed reviews.


    1. Yes, tho they are not all the same level. I felt like MetaMatrix had the easiest cardio and MetaCardio the hardest. Or at least it felt that way to me. And these workouts are pretty unique. Cathe really doesn’t have anything like them. She does have cardio + strength workouts, but they just aren’t like MetaShred Extreme. I don’t have knee problems so I am not positive about it being tough on the knees but I don’t think so. I know the plyometrics overall in MetaShred Extreme aren’t as hard on the joints as Cathe’s plyometrics. Plus–there is always the beginner modifier. You can always do the strength work at the intermediate or advanced level then do any cardio or plyometric moves at the beginner level to protect your joints.


  9. Thanks for such a detailed review! Quick question- is there any chaptering? Can you skip ahead to the finisher or hit back to restart an exercise if your equipment isn’t ready?


    1. There is some kind of weird chaptering going on but nothing useful like in a Cathe workout. You can’t skip from exercise to exercise or even from section to section. You have to use pause and rewind.


    1. Thank you! In a way, this blog has gotten out of hand. It still serves it’s main purpose–to help me remember all of the workouts I own and my thoughts on them–and it is extremely useful for that. But I actually enjoy reviewing them. I thought it would be more of a chore. But’s fun.


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