Return to Ripped: 6 Week Fat Loss Workout Program

Ripped man doing crunches in the gym

This versatile six week workout routine is designed to help you torch unwanted fat and can be complete in the gym or at home, with simple modifications!

Workout Description

Whether you were in control of your circumstances or something unexpected took place, most people who are dedicated to fitness occasionally take time off and, often times, it shows when they look in the mirror.

Unfortunately, instead of recommitting to achieving that body and shape they want, they end up feeling discouraged and unmotivated. But just because you aren’t where you feel you should be doesn’t mean you can’t get there.

Let this routine help you lose that unwanted fat and return to the glory that you once felt and enjoyed.

Program Overview

This six week routine will have one series of workouts. Most programs change exercises and sets/reps schemes. That won’t be the case here. What changes is the training split over the course of the program.

Now if you follow a sound nutrition plan, stay dedicated to the workouts, and get enough rest, then you should see other things change as well – like strength levels, clothes sizes, the development of your muscles combined with increased definition, and yes, the scale.

Weight Training

You’ll find that there isn’t much that is too complicated about this program. The exercises are basic and simple in design.

These training sessions are created so they can be done in a gym as well as many home gym setups. You will need a rack, barbell, plates, a bench, some version of dumbbells (either fixed or plate loaded), and fitness bands. If you don’t have those items, you can check out some at home or bodyweight alternative exercises you can do based on what you do have readily available.


You’ll be doing some form of cardiovascular exercise every day. Don’t skip a single day doing this. First thing in the morning, before you have breakfast, you’ll go out for a walk or exercise on a cardio machine if you have access to one at a moderate pace. Drink a little water, slip your shoes on, and go.

The length of time you’ll do this will increase gradually over the course of the eight weeks and that schedule is below.

  • Weeks 1 and 2 – 20 minutes
  • Weeks 3 and 4 – 25 minutes
  • Weeks 5 and 6 – 30 minutes

The other sessions you do will take place after your weight training session and those will be High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. You can pick the type of cardio you do based on what you have access to.

The length of those sessions will be as follows.

  • Weeks 1 and 2 – 15 minutes (60 seconds moderate, 30 seconds high intensity)
  • Weeks 3 and 4 – 18 minutes (60 seconds moderate, 30 seconds high intensity)
  • Weeks 5 and 6 – 20 minutes (45 seconds moderate, 15 seconds high intensity)

Most smartphone app stores have apps that include timers based on HIIT settings. Find one to download and follow the instructions provided on how to set up the timers based on the above recommendations. You can also go old-school and watch a clock.

Related: The Best HIIT Routines: Cardio Equipment and Bodyweight Workouts Included

The Workouts

These sessions are based on muscle groups you’ll be training. Make sure you check out the training splits at the bottom because that is how you will plug these workouts into your schedule. Commit 10-15 minutes to warm up before you start training and do at least one warm-up set of each exercise before going into work sets. The guide below only includes work sets you’ll perform.

Try to add weight each set if possible. If you can’t do so then slow the speed of the reps you perform to make them more challenging. For example, if you do a two second negative on the first set, do a three second negative on your second.

Return to Ripped Day 1: Chest and Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Incline Dumbbell Fly 3 8-12 1min
Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 8-12 1min
Pushup with Band or Feet Elevated 3 10-12 1min
Barbell Front Raise 3 8-12 45s
Seated Lateral Raise 3 8-12 45s
Band Pull-Apart 3 10-12 45s

Return to Ripped Day 2: Legs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Deadlift 4 8-12 1min
Lying Leg Curl* 3 10-12 1min
Walking Lunge 3 12 45s
Goblet Squat 3 10-12 1min
Single Leg Squat 3 12 45s
Leg Extension* 3 12 45s
Seated Calf Raise 3 15 45s
Single Leg Standing Calf Raise 3 15 45s
*Machine, Bands, or Dumbbell Between Feet

Return to Ripped Day 3: Back and Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Dumbbell or Barbell Pullover 4 8-12 1min
Two-Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8-12 1min
Single Arm Lat Pulldown* 3 10-12 1min
Dumbbell Reverse Fly 3 10-12 45s
Superman 3 10 45s
Lying Leg Raise 3 12 45s
Crunches 3 12 45s
Side Plank (each side) 3 20-30s 45s
*Machine or Band

Return to Ripped Day 4: Arms

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
Barbell Curl 3 8-12 45s
Lying Tricep Extensions 3 8-12 45s
Hammer Curl 3 10-12 45s
Tricep Kickback 3 10-12 45s
Band or Cable Curl 3 12 45s
Cable or Band Pressdown* 3 12 45s
*Substitute Close Grip Pushup if you can’t do this exercise.

The Workout Split

The workouts above look simple enough to follow but that isn’t where you will notice the increase in intensity and effort over the course of the next six weeks. You will find that in the way you perform the above split.

What you’re going to find is that this split doesn’t follow a seven day protocol. Whatever the day is in the week just happens to be the day that you do the corresponding workout. The guide below should make this easy to follow.

The First 2 Weeks

In Weeks 1 and 2 you will perform the workouts every other day. So it will be one day on and one day off.

The first two weeks of your program will look like this:

  • Days 1 and 9 – Chest and Shoulders
  • Days 2 and 10 – Off
  • Days 3 and 11 – Legs
  • Days 4 and 12 – Off
  • Days 5 and 13 – Back and Abs
  • Days 6 and 14 – Off
  • Day 7 – Arms
  • Day 8 – Off

That might appear confusing at first but again, don’t look at this as a weekly plan. Take it one day at a time.

The Next 2 Weeks

Here is where you will notice the first big change. For Weeks 3 and 4 you will perform the workouts with a two days on, one day off split. That second day of training in a row will challenge the body so it will have to respond accordingly. This also means you might notice a difference in strength.

Keep in mind the goal is physique development, not powerlifting. Do whatever it is that challenges the muscles while minimizing the risk of injury. You’ll pick up the workouts where you left off at the end of Week 2 so follow the guideline below for this phase of the program.

  • Day 15 – Arms
  • Day 16 – Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 17 – Off
  • Day 18 – Legs
  • Day 19 – Back and Abs
  • Day 20 – Off
  • Day 21 – Arms
  • Day 22 – Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 23 – Off
  • Day 24 – Legs
  • Day 25 – Back and Abs
  • Day 26 – Off
  • Day 27 – Arms
  • Day 28 – Chest and Shoulders

The Last 2 Weeks

For Weeks 5 and 6 we start with a day off but then the split increases in intensity again. Now you’ll train for three days in a row before taking a day off. Keep in mind you should be doing the cardio post-training as well. By now you should be seeing positive results and that will be the source of motivation to push you through to the finish.

  • Day 29 – Off
  • Day 30 – Legs
  • Day 31 – Back and Abs
  • Day 32 – Arms
  • Day 33 – Off
  • Day 34 – Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 35 – Legs
  • Day 36 – Back and Abs
  • Day 37 – Off
  • Day 38 – Arms
  • Day 39 – Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 40 – Legs
  • Day 41 – Back and Abs
  • Day 42 – Finish (Arms Workout Optional)

By the end of the six weeks, you should have noticed a decrease in overall weight as well as significant fat loss. If you haven’t reached your goal just yet, then take a week off and repeat this program for another six weeks.


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