Shortcut to Shred Review a Workout Program by Jim Stoppani
Somewhere in the upper bowels of bodybuilding.com lies a workout program from Jim Stoppani called Shortcut to Shred. It is about science meets training, nutrition, and supplementation to get superior results.
This is not an easy program and the name “shortcut” is a BIT misleading. As the workouts are grueling and for intermediate to advanced athletes in their weight training journey.
The program is free and relies on periodization training, mixed with cardio acceleration during rest periods, a phased nutrition program, and supplementation to get results, by annihilating fat, growing muscle, and increasing strength.
I would not recommend it for beginners. For those who have some experience lifting weights and have good cardio vascular fitness this is a great way to move to the next level.
First the Program:
The program is a 6 Day Program with a day of rest on Sunday. You will work your: Chest, Triceps, and ABs on day 1 and day 4, then Delts, Legs, and Calves on day 2 and day 5, and finish with Back, Traps, and Biceps on day 3 and day 6.
There is no Cardio. Instead you inter-disperse Cardio Acceleration in between your weight lifting sets for an increased intensity. Rest is non-existent unless you really need it.
This six week program progresses in weight each week, a method called periodization. In the first set of lifting days 1-3 you are basically doing 10 reps, and in the second set of lifting days 4-6 you are doing 12-15 reps. All with fat burning cardio acceleration in between.
These acceleration techniques include things like step ups, kettlebell swings, goblet squats, skipping in place, battle ropes and more.
The weight lifting is brutal on its own with 8 or more exercises per day, And when you pair those with the cardio acceleration you can get gassed real quick.
Second the Nutrition:
The nutrition program is fairly straight forward with easy to follow meal plans. It relies heavily on supplementation and eating the correct nutrients throughout the day.
Basically you eat 6 meals in 3 phases of eating. The first Phase is for one week and is about 3000 calories per day, and revs up your metabolism by getting it ready for the extra work you will be doing. Phase 2 is for two weeks and reduces your calories to about 2600 per day.
Some of the things you can eat on the plan are;
Cottage Cheese and Pineapple
Turkey, Swiss Cheese, and Avocado Rolls
And finally Phase 3 is for the last three weeks and lowers the calories down to 2200 for the final shred. The good news is that on your Sunday rest day, it is a high carb pig out day. This one day only you consume 3100 of good quality carbs.
Some of the things you can enjoy on this single day are;
Pancakes and maple syrup
Whole wheat cheese pizza
Subway Turkey and ham (double meat) on wheat
Baked Lays chips
Third is Supplementation:
This is where the science comes about in this program as it relies heavily on supplements. Of course like most programs on bodybuilding.com they are trying to sell you these supplements so you need to be a little wary.
Here is the list of supplements that you can use on the program:
Preworkout drink – for energy during your workout, and you will need this.
Protein Powder – you usually have about 2-3 servings of this per day.
Post-workout drink – consists of BCAAs
Vitamins – Fish Oil, CLA, and more
Fat Burner – to help in the final three weeks of the shredding process.
Gummy Bears or Wonka Pixy Sticks for right after workout.
As you can see there is a lot of supplements that you can use on the program and it can get overwhelming at times. When I did the program I did not use most of them. I stuck with Creatine, BCAAs, and the Protein Powder. But if you want to you can purchase all of Jim Stoppani’s supplements in his JYM lineup and maybe go farther.
Fourth is my Experience:
I started this program after I had been working out steadily for about 6 months and had lost about 30 lbs. I wanted to get down into a more favorable weight range and start to cut some serious fat from my diet. When I started the program I was about 225 lbs or so. My fitness level was pretty good, I had some good muscle and could do steady cardio for an hour easily.
The weight training part of the program was easy. 8-10 exercises per day with a warm up set and then 3 sets per exercise. The multi joint lifting with more weight and less reps is the goal on days 1-3 and then you move to single joint with increased reps and less weight.
It was the cardio acceleration part that really kicked my can. At first it was difficult but week after week I got used to it and it got easier. So my advice is to stick with it.
On the nutrition side I was never really hungry and during Phase 1, I did have a hard time eating all those calories. Even on the end shredding phase I was never to hungry because of the constant weight/cardio training.
The meal plans were easy to follow. Although I did not mix it up to much and just stuck to simple easy to make foods. I did enjoy the turkey avocado rolls! Finally in Phase 3 the high carb pig out day really helped and it does help jump start the fat burning furnace in the week to come.
As far as the supplements go I found it very difficult to use all the supplements recommended. Basically I supplemented with protein powder, creatine, BCAAs, and a multi-vitamin. The one thing I did use was gummy bears immediately after each workout to help improve my glycogen levels.
In the End my Recommendation is:
To DO THIS THING! In the beginning I wondered what I got myself into. But as I went through it I got stronger and my fitness level grew stronger each and every day. There were times I wanted to quit!
Sometimes I felt like I looked silly running from machine to cardio jumps, back to the weights in and endless circle. Or other times I felt so gassed and like I couldn’t go on but somehow summoned the energy needed to push through.
But each day you get stronger, more fit, and you burn through the fat. As long as you stick to the program. Just execute each exercise, set, and rep perfectly and you will shred it like mad. The key to this program is to stick to the nutrition plan, and make sure you do the cardio acceleration with little to no rest.
At the end I was so ready to be done. And I don’t believe I could of done another round. But it took me down about 10 lbs and into a new realm of fitness. So it was worth it for me. To see the program in its entirety and try it for yourself, head on over to bodybuilding.com, and give it a try.