The Bodybuilding 8 Week Shred Program

Guess what? No cardio!

a split image of two bodybuilders

Shredding is the next best thing after adding on pounds of muscle mass. After all, you won’t have a sculpted physique to show off without adding the size first.

Some people are just born with some great-ass genetics that they don’t have to worry about shredding. All they have to do is focus on consuming enough calories so that they can add a few pounds of muscle mass.

And then there are the people who have a hard time shredding. If you’re one of those people, then this bodybuilding 8 week shred program is just the thing you need to succeed!

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Spot Me Bro’s 8 Week Program Overview

The 8-week shred program is built around five different phases. Each phase leads off of the other and into the next phase.

The 5 phases:

Phase 1 (2 weeks) — Hypertrophy

Phase 2 (2 weeks) — Strength

Phase 3 (2 weeks) — Hypertrophy

Phase 4 (1 week) — Shredding

Phase 5 (1-2 weeks) — Maintenance

As mentioned above, each phase builds on the next, piggybacking off of the last phase.

Nutrition

Nutrition is vital to achieving your goal with this shredding program. Without a formulated nutrition plan, your efforts that you’ve put in at the gym are all for nothing.

Each phase has its own unique number of calories that need to be consumed.

Phase 1 — 3,000 kcals

Phase 2 — 2,850 kcals

Phase 3 — 2,725 kcals

Phase 4 — 2625 kcals

Phase 5 — 2,650 kcals

As you can see, the program starts off with 3,000 calories in the first phase and then easily tapers down into the last phase.

These calories won’t be a one-size-fits-all scheme concerning macronutrients. However, everyone will be consuming 3,000 calories at first, but not everyone will consume the same number of protein, carbs, and fats.

mike o'hearn doing t-bar rows

Before we get to explaining your macro needs, keep in mind that a gram of protein and carbohydrates are equal to 4 calories, and a gram of fat is equal to 9 calories.

The way that your macronutrient needs are calculated will be as follows:

1. Calculate Protein

First, you’ll have to determine what your protein intake should be. Do this by multiplying your bodyweight (in pounds) with 1.1 — 1.3. Whatever number you end up with, put that number to the 3,000 calories.

So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you would do this:

180 x 1.3

= 234 grams of protein

To get the number of calories from that, you’ll need to multiply 234 with 4.

234 x 4

= 936 calories

Now take the 936 calories and put it towards the 3,000. So, 936 calories out of the 3,000 are reserved for protein.

2. Calculate Fat

Next, you’ll have to determine your fat intake. To get the number of calories and grams from fat, you’ll have to repeat the same process as above, except this time, multiply your bodyweight with 0.4 — 0.5.

Remember to multiply that number with 9. For example:

180 x 0.5

= 90 grams of fat

To get the number of calories from that, you’ll need to multiply 90 with 9.

90 x 9 

= 810 calories 

Like with protein, take the 810 calories and put it towards the 3,000. So, 810 calories out of the 3,000 are reserved for fat. Add that with your protein and you’ll have a total of 1,746 calories that are reserved for protein and fat.

bodybuilder doing curls in the gym

3. Calculate Carbs

All that’s left is to get the number of carbs that you’ll need to consume. This one is really straightforward. All you have to do is fill the remaining calories with carbs.

3,000 – 1,746

= 1,254 calories for carbs

1,254 / 4

= 314 grams of carbs that our 180-pound fictional subject needs to consume.

Calorie Reduction

To reduce your calories with each phase, you’ll have to do it as such:

Phase 2 — Reduce calories by 5% by reducing carb and fat intake

Phase 3 — Reduce calories by 5% by reducing carb and fat intake

Phase 4 — Reduce calories by 5% by reducing carb and fat intake

Phase 5 — Add 1-2% more calories than Phase 4 by adding to protein and carbs

Nutritional Plan

In total, you’ll be consuming 6 meals (including snacks) each day throughout the whole 8 weeks of shredding. With regards to meal timing, try to eat every 2-3 hours to ensure that you get all of your calories in before the day ends.

a bodybuilder looking at his food in the kitchen

Remember that you need to adjust each meal to suit your macronutrient needs. For this reason, quantities of the foods are not included in this plan. Make sure to eat your pre-workout meal an hour to an hour-and-a-half before you train.

Pre-workout Meal (Consumed before your workout)

  • Whey protein powder
  • Pretzels
  • Water (16oz)

Meal 1 (Breakfast)

  • Oatmeal
  • Egg whites
  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Water (16oz.)

Snack (2 hours after breakfast)

  • Apple

Meal 2

  • Chicken breast
  • Brown rice
  • Coconut oil
  • Salad greens
  • Carrot
  • Red bell pepper
  • Italian dressing
  • Water (16oz.)

Meal 3

  • Salmon
  • Black beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Avacado
  • Water (16oz.)

Meal 4 (Evening snack)

  • Whey protein powder
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Water (16oz.)

The Training Program

With the program broken down into 5 phases, it’ll be easier to break the training cycles up. The movements will remain the same throughout the entire 8 weeks of training, but the exercises will be alternated with different variations.

The variations will be included in the program below, so all you need to do is choose one and stick to it for that training phase.

Training sessions will be performed in either the morning, afternoons or evenings. The training programs are laid out in detail below.

Phase 1 & 3 — Hypertrophy

Training Days: Monday — Chest, Tuesday — Arms, Wednesday — Back, Thursday — Shoulders, Friday — Legs.

Note: In Phase 3 of hypertrophy, add 1 set to every exercise.

Chest

Flat Barbell/DB/Machine Bench Press — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Flat DB Flye/Pec Deck — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Incline Barbell/DB/Machine Press — 4 sets, 8-12 reps

Incline DB/Cable Flye — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Parallel Bar Dips — 3 sets, failure

Arms

Barbell/DB/Cable Curl — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Close-grip Bench Press/Bench Dips — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Incline DB/Hammer Curls — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Tricep Pressdowns (Vary attachments) — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Back

Bent-over Barbell/DB Row — 4 sets, 8 reps

Pullups/Pulldowns — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Seated Cable Rows — 4 sets, 10-12 reps

Reverse Push-ups — 3 sets, failure

Shoulders

Seated Military/DB Press — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Arnold Press/Behind-the-neck BB Press — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Side DB/Cable Lateral Raises — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Bent-over DB/Cable Raises — 3 sets, 12-15 reps

DB/Barbell Shrugs — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Legs

Back/Front Squat — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Split Squat/Walking Lunges — 3 sets, 12 reps/steps per foot

Leg Extensions — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Barbell/DB Stiff-leg Deadlift — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Lying/Seated/Standing Leg Curls — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Standing/Seated/Donkey Calf Raises — 8 sets, 12-20 reps

jay cutler doing rear lateral raises

Phase 2 — Strength

Training Days: Monday — Squat, Tuesday — Bench Press, Wednesday — Deadlift, Friday — Squat, Saturday — Bench Press.

Squat Day

Low Bar Squat — 5 sets, 5 reps

Olympic Squat — 3 sets, 8 reps

Low Bar Pause Squats — 3 set, 5-8 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Bench Press Day

Medium Grip Bench Press — 5 sets, 5 reps

Close-grip Bench Press — 3 sets, 8 reps

Spoto Press — 3 set, 5-8 reps

DB Skull Crushers — 5 sets, 12 reps

Deadlift Day

Deadlifts — 5 sets, 5 reps

3″ Block Pulls — 3 sets, 8 reps

Stiff Leg Deadlifts — 3 set, 5-8 reps

Phase 4 — Shredding

Training Days: Monday — Chest, Tuesday — Arms, Wednesday — Back, Thursday — Shoulders, Friday — Legs.

Note: Superset the exercises with the matching letters, i.e. superset “a” with “a” and “b” with “b”.

Chest

a) Flat Barbell/DB/Machine Bench Press — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

a) Flat DB Flye/Pec Deck — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

Incline Barbell/DB/Machine Press — 4 sets, 8-12 reps

Incline DB/Cable Flye — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Parallel Bar Dips — 3 sets, failure

Arms

a) Barbell/DB/Cable Curl — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

a) Close-grip Bench Press/Bench Dips — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

b) Incline DB/Hammer Curls — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

b) Tricep Pressdowns (Vary attachments) — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Back

Bent-over Barbell/DB Row — 4 sets, 8 reps

Pullups/Pulldowns — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

a) Seated Cable Rows — 4 sets, 10-12 reps

a) Reverse Push-ups — 3 sets, failure

Shoulders

a) Seated Military/DB Press — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

b) Arnold Press/Behind-the-neck BB Press — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

a) Side DB/Cable Lateral Raises — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

b) Bent-over DB/Cable Raises — 3 sets, 12-15 reps

DB/Barbell Shrugs — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Legs

Back/Front Squat — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

a) Split Squat/Walking Lunges — 3 sets, 12 reps/steps per foot

a) Leg Extensions — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

b) Barbell/DB Stiff-leg Deadlift — 4 sets, 12-15 reps

b) Lying/Seated/Standing Leg Curls — 4 sets, 15-20 reps

Standing/Seated/Donkey Calf Raises — 8 sets, 12-20 reps

ronnie coleman performing pull-ups

Phase 5 — Maintenance

Training Days: Monday — Chest, Tuesday — Arms, Wednesday — Back, Thursday — Shoulders, Friday — Legs.

Chest

Flat Barbell/DB/Machine Bench Press — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Flat DB Flye/Pec Deck — 3 sets, 12-15 reps

Incline Barbell/DB/Machine Press — 4 sets, 8-12 reps

Incline DB/Cable Flye — 3 sets, 15-20 reps

Parallel Bar Dips — 3 sets, 12 reps

Arms

Barbell/DB/Cable Curl — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Close-grip Bench Press/Bench Dips — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Incline DB/Hammer Curls — 3 sets, 12 reps

Tricep Pressdowns (Vary attachments) — 3 sets, 12 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Back

Bent-over Barbell/DB Row — 4 sets, 8 reps

Pullups/Pulldowns — 3 sets, 8-10 reps

Seated Cable Rows — 3 sets, 10-12 reps

Reverse Push-ups — 3 sets, 12 reps

Shoulders

Seated Military/DB Press — 4 sets, 8-10 reps

Arnold Press/Behind-the-neck BB Press — 3 sets, 12 reps

Side DB/Cable Lateral Raises — 3 sets, 12 reps

Bent-over DB/Cable Raises — 3 sets, 12 reps

DB/Barbell Shrugs — 4 sets, 12 reps

Planks — 3 sets, 30 seconds

Legs

Back/Front Squat — 4 sets, 8 reps

Leg Extensions — 4 sets, 12 reps

Barbell/DB Stiff-leg Deadlift — 4 sets, 12 reps

Lying/Seated/Standing Leg Curls — 3 sets, 12 reps

Standing/Seated/Donkey Calf Raises — 8 sets, 12 reps

Conclusion

We hope this program that we’ve laid out for you will help you to achieve your goals. And that it also teaches you to take a step in the right direction with your training.

This program isn’t the easiest to follow, but it sure is rewarding when followed down to every jot and tittle.

Remember to follow each phase accordingly as-well-as reducing your calories as you begin to advance in each phase. This program won’t turn you into a Mr. Olympia competitor, but it will certainly help point you into the right direction.

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