The Shortcut to Shred is a six-week program by Dr. Jim Stoppani, with a rather obvious focus of dropping body fat, or getting shredded. The program consists of workouts based on a three-day split, done six days a week. So you get to hit each muscle group at least twice per week. The first group consists of chest, triceps, and abs; the second of shoulders, legs, and abs; and the third of back, traps, and biceps. The first half of the week, Monday through Wednesday, focuses mainly on heavy compound movements following a linear periodization, gradually increasing in weight and decreasing in reps. The second half of the week, Thursday through Saturday, focuses on light single-joint exercises following a reverse linear periodization, gradually decreasing in weight and increasing in reps. The periodization is broken down into two phases, each lasting three weeks. The second phase is essentially a repeat of the first phase, but with some minor tweaks to the exercises. The other major aspect of this training program is the cardio acceleration component, which implies doing short bursts of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) in between sets instead of resting. This makes it that your heart rate goes up and stays up for the majority of the workout.
Additionally, there is a comprehensive nutrition regiment included in this program. The nutrition plan favours a high-protein, low-carb diet split into three phases, each lasting two weeks. Each phase reduces your carb intake, thus also reducing your overall calorie intake. Beginning with a target of 1.5 gram per pound of bodyweight for phase one, it drops to 1.0 gram per pound for phase two, and finally down to 0.5 gram per pound for phase three. There is some good news for nutrition, as the rest day, on Sundays, is a high-carb day to help keep leptin levels at a healthy level.
- Workout program
- Nutrition plan
- Supplement guide
- Workout video examples
- Additional motivational video and advice
- Available in a dedicated app for Android and iOS
The training plan has one major objective, which is fat loss but it also promotes strength and muscle gains. Other benefits include an increase in metabolism as well as an improvement in overall endurance. Depending on your current level of fitness and body composition, the results can vary significantly. However, getting up to a 10% drop in body fat is achievable if you are over 20% currently.
- Includes both strength and hypertrophy training
- Includes some plyometric training as part of the cardio acceleration
- Sample meal plans can help prepare for nutrition requirements
- Includes challenging HIIT which produces significant improvement in cardiovascular fitness
- Most training sessions take over an hour to complete
- Exercise diversity can be difficult to keep up with in some gyms or home gyms
- Shoulder day follows chest day
- Supplement guide can be a bit overwhelming
Before you begin the training, make sure you review the training plan to see all the recommended exercises. Go through the days mentally to see if you have the equipment necessary, and prepare alternatives in advance should the need arise. I also strongly recommend writing down your meal plan ahead of time to evaluation your options as your carb intake drops throughout the program. Performing some bulk meal preparation can also be an incredible time saver. Keeping track of your macro-nutrient intake is key, but I also recommend keeping an eye on a few additional nutrients, such as fibre and sugars. Keeping track of daily water intake can also help you stay on target. I personally use and recommend MyFitnessPal to keep track of all my food and water intake on a daily basis.
The Shortcut To Shred training plan was a fun but challenging program to complete and definitely helps dropping body fat. There are some really good components that I’ve included in my own program, but obviously I wouldn’t use this as my base for my main training program. I think it’s the type of program that makes it a decent change to the routine, however, I wouldn’t go through this program more than twice per year. What I have added to my own workout schedule, is to include one week of low-carb and cardio acceleration every couple of months to change things up.