Saturday, February 4, 2017


At some point last year, I started following BJ Gaddour (of Men's Health) on social media.  His posts always caught my attention because I liked his personality and his video clips motivated me to add certain movements to my routine.  I found myself creating entire split routines molded around some of his innovative exercises.  So, I eventually got sucked-in and was somehow convinced that I needed his latest home workout offering: MetaShred Extreme.  I bought it.  I tackled it.  And guess what?  I loved it!


MetaShred Extreme is a 5-DVD set containing four 40-minute lower-body workouts, four 40-minute upper-body workouts, two 10-minute Warm-ups for both upper and lower body, two 5-minute Finishers for both upper and lower body, and three 20-minute workouts for Core, Mobility, and Stretch.  Wow, that's a lot!

There are two different ordering options with MetaShred Extreme: the Standard Package and the Ultimate Extreme Package.  The only difference between the two is that the Ultimate Extreme Package includes The MetaShred Diet book and meal plan.  Both packages include the workouts, 3 mini bands, 2 Fat Dumbbell Grips, 2 big bands, a mobility peanut lacrosse ball, and occlusion bands for blood flow restriction training.  

Each MetaShred workout contains an upper- and lower-body workout option as well as the Warm-ups and Finishers.  Below is a brief description of each workout.

Disc 1 - MetApocalypse
Lower-Body 1 contains 14 exercises and you will do 30 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest.  In between each exercise, you will complete 30 seconds of Bench Jumps (known as a MetaSet).  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Skater Jumps, Glute Bridges, Box Squats, and Bulgarian Split Squats.  
Upper-Body 1 contains 14 exercises and you will do 30 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest.  In between each exercise, you will complete 30 seconds of Step-up jumps (MetaSet).  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Front Raises, Triceps Extensions, Drop Set Push-ups, Overhead Carry, and High Pulls.
Disc 2 - MetaGainz
Lower-Body 2 contains 14 exercises and you will do 2 minutes of work followed by 1 minute of rest.  The rest period includes a MetaSet of Mountain Climbers.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include One Leg Hip Thrusts, Bulgarian Hip Hinges, Front Squats, One Leg Box Squats, and Skier Swings.
Upper-Body 2 contains 14 exercises and you will do 2 minutes of work followed by 1 minute of rest.  The rest period includes a MetaSet of Seal Jacks.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Fat Grip Dumbbell Push-ups, Batwing Rows, Kneeling Fat Grip Zottman Curls, Eccentric Triceps Extensions, and One Arm High Pulls.
Disc 3 - MetaCardio
Lower-Body 3 contains 64 exercises that are separated into groups of 8.  After each set of 8 exercises, you will complete a MetaSet of Plank Taps on the Step.  Each exercise is performed for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Leg Hops, Band Jacks, Single Leg Hip Thrusts, Running Lunges, and Speed Squats into Hover Holds.
Upper-Body 3 contains 64 exercises that are separated into groups of 8 (some segments are 8 different exercises while other segments are 2 different exercises that are repeated 4 times each).  After each set of 8 exercises, you will complete a MetaSet of Shimmies.  Each exercise is performed for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Band Pull-Aparts, Dynamic Hammer Curls, Delt Raises, Plyo Push-ups, Seesaw Rows, and Plank Variations.
Disc 4 - MetaMatrix
Lower-Body 4 contains 3 minutes of work followed by 1 minute of rest.  You will complete a MetaSet of Running in Place as part of your 1 minute rest.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Hip Thrusts, Seesaw Lunges, and Box Squats to Jumps.  This workout concludes with a brief series of "continuous interval training".
Upper-Body 4 contains 3 minutes of work followed by 1 minute of rest.  You will complete a MetaSet of Carioca as part of your 1 minute rest.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Band Pulls, Overhead Presses, Fat Grip Carries, Cuban Presses, Rotational Presses, and Burpees into Bear Crawls.
Disc 5 - MetaRecovery
This disc contains three 20-minute workouts that are considered "optional".
MetaCore contains 20 exercises and you will work for 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Mini Band Quadruped Fire Hydrants, Side Plank Archer Rows, and Russian Twists.
MetaMassage contains 9 exercises and you will use the peanut lacrosse ball (included with purchase) to give your muscles a deep tissue massage.  You'll tackle everything from your feet and outer thighs all the up to your forearms and pecs.
MetaMobility contains 18 exercises and acts as a stretch routine to compliment the tough metabolic workouts in this series.  Examples of exercises completed in this workout include Elevated Prayer Stretch, Lying Morpheus Pose, Elevated Pigeon, and Assisted Deep Squat Stretch.

The Warm-ups & Finishers
MetaShred Extreme includes a 10-minute Warm-up for the upper-body as well as a 10-minute Warm-up for the lower-body.  Both Warm-ups are included on each Disc.  The lower-body Warm-up utilizes a mini band with Glute Bridges, Low Lunge Abductions, Box Walks, and Overhead Box Squats.  The upper-body Warm-up utilizes both the mini band and the long band with External Rotations, Band Pulls, Bear Crawls, and T-rotations.  The series also includes two 5-minute Finishers using the black bands (included with purchase) for blood flow restriction.  The lower-body Finisher is Split Squats and the upper-body Finisher contains Bicep Curls and Lying Triceps Extensions.
Here's a peek at the schedule using all of the discs

I LIKE ...

OMG!  There are so many things about this program that I like ... where shall I begin???  Let's start with the cast ... I love them.  I really do!

BJ Gaddour's sense of humor is awesome and, unless you're offended by continuous sexual innuendos, you'll be giggling throughout each routine.  But let's talk about the sexy bodies who are doing all the work!  They're so motivational!  Hannah ... I have the biggest Girl Crush on her!  Head on over to @hannaheden_fitness on Instagram and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Her physique is amazing!  Then there's quiet Jeremy Scott who you could just drool over all day long.  His shoulders looked earned and awesome!  His Instagram content is also impressive.  Check him out at @jeremyscottfitness.  Finally, there's the "Queen of Workouts", Alexia Clark (@alexia_clark).  She may be modeling the exercise modifications but you can tell she's capable of doing the most-challenging of exercises.

Speaking of exercise modifications, I like how this program showcases three different levels of difficulty for all of the exercises.  This will allow me to recommend this program to nearly all of my clients who are at different fitness levels.  So, even if you're new to exercising, you can follow along with this program by shadowing Alexia who demonstrates the "easiest" way to complete each exercise.  

One of my favorite components of the MetaShred Extreme program are the two Warm-up routines.  Each Warm-up is 10 minutes in length and they both elevate the heart rate while also prime your body for perfect mind-muscle connection.  Why is this so important to me?  It's because I complete my workouts first-thing in the morning so a proper and effective warm-up is non-negotiable!  The MetaShred Extreme Warm-ups utilize a mini band (resistance loop) and trust me, these simple exercises turn up the heat and get your muscles burnin'!

I also like the length of each workout (40 minutes).  The 10-minute Warm-ups plus the 40-minute workout allows me additional time for Core work or for stretching.  I will often hop on Instagram and see what BJ, Hannah, Jeremy, and Alexia have posted recently.  They always have great exercise videos on there!

I like how the workouts are scheduled and arranged.  You alternate each day with Upper and Lower body splits (my preferred method of training).  I also like how the MetaSets (cardio bursts throughout each workout) allows you to rest the working muscles while keeping your heart rate elevated.  For example, during MetApocalypse Upper Body 1, you do 30 seconds of Step-up Jumps in between each upper body exercise.  The MetaSets tie in a total-body approach and ensure that no muscle gets by untouched.  

Finally, I love the Fat Grips that come with your order.  These are great for building your forearms and they fit perfectly on any dumbbell, barbell, or resistance loop.  I plan on using these often!


I had high hopes for the MetaRecovery workouts.  I was slightly disappointed with all three of them.  For me, there are a handful of exercises that I really liked and that I will incorporate into my regular routine but I doubt I will ever complete all of them together (or individually for that matter).  Recovery Days are optional in the MetaShred Extreme program (although two Recovery Days are scheduled).  I usually take a Rest Day after completing six workouts so I agree that recovery is important, I just didn't love these particular routines.  If I had more time to exercise each day, perhaps I would appreciate them more.  

Each workout ends rather abruptly (right at the 40-minute mark).  There's no Cool Down segment.  I've been working on my flexibility and mobility for a long time and I understand (and appreciate) the importance of stretching at the end of each session.  But, for those who don't know about the benefits of stretching, you're sort of left hanging.  I'm afraid that some people who follow this program precisely may be doing their bodies a disservice by not cooling down or stretching after each workout, simply because it's not included in each workout. 

The jury is still out regarding the blood-flow restriction Finishers.  There are two 5-minute Finishers included on each disc of MetaShred Extreme - one for lower body and one for upper body.  These Finishers utilize the black bands that are included in your purchase.  You will use these bands to restrict the blood flow in the working muscle.  I have done ZERO research on this topic so I'm completely unfamiliar with the risks or benefits associated with this type of training.  I have, however, seen comments 'here and there' regarding blood flow restriction training and there seems to be a lot of different opinions, both good and bad.  Until I've studied up on the topic, I will refrain from completing these Finishers.

If you order the Ultimate Extreme Package, you will get a nice and shiny hardcover book, The MetaShred Diet.  This book probably has a lot of great information in it.  I don't know for sure though since I haven't read it yet (and, let's be honest, I probably never will).  But, there are some interesting recipes in the back of the book so there's a slight chance I may try out a few of those.

I highly recommend MetaShred Extreme program!  Because the program demonstrates easy, moderate, and difficult levels of each exercise, I can confidently recommend this program to my clients that cover all fitness levels.  If you exercise at home, MetaShred Extreme would be a great addition to any DVD library.  If you exercise in a gym or other public space, you can still use these workouts to expand upon your existing routines.  A definite must-have, in my opinion.  Happy Sweating!  


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Hi Jacob! If I spent months designing a workout program and was able to cast, film, and distribute that program to the masses, I'd be pretty darn ticked if someone reviewed my program and listed the entire set of details online. Wouldn't you be upset as well? Therefore, I won't be posting each individual exercise. However, I will say that MetaShred Extreme is an excellent program and I highly recommend it!

  2. What a ridiculous thing to ask

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Where can I buy the dvd series for metashred and metashred extreme?