REVIEW – 21 Day Metashred


It was unlikely Men’s Health magazine would remain silent during a time of unprecedented interest in home fitness videos.  Hell, every month they discover the secret to six pack abs all over again like rouge archaeologists, so obviously it was only a matter of time before they raided the cookie jar.  Indeed they have answered the call with their own offering, 21 Day Metashred with trainer BJ Gaddour.

What you get:

Nine workouts on 9 DVD’s, fitness guide/calendar, and a water bottle sure to wind up in a second hand store near you.

Does anyone even use those water bottles anyway?

What you don’t get is BJ with a beard like the cover shows.  Oh well.

Six Pack Superset

BJ’s text messages must be all in CAPS as the man seems to have swallowed a megaphone. But despite BJ giving the good natured cast a wicked case of tinnitus, they do their best to play along.

Her eardrums are probably getting the hardest workout.

Six Pack Superset is a cardio/abs core workout where you will alternate between 60 seconds of standing and 30 seconds of ground work.  Each super-set of moves gets increasingly more complex and difficult as you progress.  I should mention this will work the glutes very hard and my legs were shaking at the end.  A good first impression.


Wait, are we breaking out the plyo boxes?

Plyo boxes? EXCELLENT!

This seems to be lots of chest and legs with some rows in there for back work.

A word of caution with the Piston Pulls for you dudes out there…mind your aim.  BJ tells us to churn it fast to make butter, but if you’re aim is off then I can assure you the only butter you’ll be making is home grown nut butter.

All natural.


The names of a lot of these workouts really have no meaning so knowing what you’re in for is a complete surprise most days.   Thus we arrive at Shrednado which is increasing levels of intensity from F1 to F6.  Get it?


This is a cardio/plyo workout that demands full core engagement and has a very Insanity Asylum feel to it.  You go 10 seconds on and 10 seconds off.  Each move alternates from floor to standing.

Lightweight Leanout

No fancy name like Muscle Funhouse ( kind of like that actually ), but rather one that implies what you will actually be doing.  Rows, curls, presses, and squats are the order of the day.  There are six cycles of 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest.  This is total body cardio core with a little weight added to the mix.  The reps are plenty so most guys can get away with 8-10lbs whereas the ladies may wish to go after 2-5lbs.  The weights switch hands a lot so consider some workout gloves to help if grip becomes an issue.

Density Doomsday

Another full body circuit that switches to push ups, curls, rows, abs and some stretching.  The emphasis here appears to be on mobility.  45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest.  The work goes up by 5 seconds and the rest goes down by the same each round.

Again, the plyo box is in play here but it seems to be used more often for modifying, not for going balls to the wall.

Calorie Crushing Combo

You’ll require a low to mid set of weights again due to high reps.  It begins with a better stretch and goes right into 2 minute complexes for ten combos.  The plyo box is back and gets better action with one-legged plyo jumps for example.  The use of lighter weight adds some extra kick to the cardio.  From head to toe, this works it all.


Thermogenic Tempo Training

Weights will be on the heavier side and movements will be slow in keeping with today’s motto: time under tension.  Moves switch from standing to floor work and are 50 seconds long.  Of all the workouts, I’d advise maybe not skipping the rest day after this one.


Bodybuilder Burnouts

We go easier on the legs, but the core and top get the works.  Biceps, triceps, chest, back, shoulder in 6 cycles with 5 moves per cycle.  You can probably add about 5lbs to your standard weights used up to this point.

5 Minute Death Sets

Whereas BodyBuilder Burnouts focused on the top, today it is waist down with marches/crawls/lunges/gorilla/squats. If some of those moves sound a little off the wall it is because BJ is aiming to use primal positions for this workout.  Thus this gives a side benefit of a nice stretch.


BJ Gaddour has created a solid program with 21 Day Metashred which is sure to have broad appeal to those seeking to expand their 30 minute workout collection.

There are some issues that concern me however.  The format of the program is very much cardio/circuit that uses weights to help burn fat.  That means this might be better suited for women as men might desire less reps and bigger weight to suit the more common male desire of trying to pack on slabs of free-range beef.   There are also some lost opportunities as the plyo box is not used as a means of cranking it up, but rather as a modifier.  I built a plyo box some months ago and I can assure you, it will kick your ass if used right.

Modifier? Bogus.

The trainer, BJ Gaddour is quite the character.  He starts with his volume turned up to eleven and does not stop for an instant.  Kind of like my thirteen year old son when he accidentally mistakes a bag of espresso beans for peanuts ( Dad is watching…I’m onto you junior ).  Still, it works for BJ as he’s never mean but rather very eager to keep the motivation going.  Good thing to as it distracts from a mediocre audio track.

The cast too, are very human.  Gideon, Dallas and Kelsey give off a positive vibe without entering “Hip Hop Abs” levels of unbridled happiness and Colgate smiles.  It might seem minor, but happy people who have time to show off their freshly whitened teeth instead of getting to work irritate me to no end.

While the workouts are indeed excellent and at times even grueling, the schedule is way…way to easy.  Three days of workouts a week are simply inadequate to get decent results.  Should you get this program, turn the dial up a bit and try to fit in at least 5-6 days of training.  I was going 6 days a week and had no trouble recovering enough for the next day.

The cost of the standard package is around $90, so I’m a little on the fence for whether this is worth that amount given the influx of other similar programs, some of which are even free.  But then again, I have to replace my furnace soon so maybe BJ is catching me at a time when I’m feeling cheap.

Final score is a solid 4 Feathers out of 5.  21 Day Metashred is a solid program with some minor issues, many of which can be overcome by rearranging the schedule.  As far a mixing this with a hybrid, it feels like it would blend nice with 22 Minute Hard Corps or T25.

© 2016, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

7.5 Awesome

A solid cardio/core program that is high on energy. Those capable might want to fill the rest days with more workouts.

  • Trainer 8
  • Production Values 7.5
  • Music 7
  • Strength 7.5
  • Cardio 7.5
  • Price 7.5

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen – How would you rate 21 Day Metashred compared to T25 Gamma or Nicky Holender’s Stronger?

    • Metashred uses weights better than T25 Gamma and Stronger. but cardio in Gamma and Stronger is superior. Stronger uses bodyweight more effectively and both it and Gamma have a more challenging schedule. Gamma plyo is more intense, while Metashred is more easily do-able.

    • Stephen Smith

      Out of all the programs you have reviewed over the years what hybrid would you recommend with 21 Day Metashred or T25 Gamma? Thanks.

      • With 21DMS…probably adding Max 30 to increase cardio. With T25 Gamma, I’d add P90X3 to up the weight.

  • Hawkman

    It seems like a good collection to use for something you don’t like in another program. Like if you think Kenpo X is too weak, a certain Max 30 workout is too hard, or can’t stand doing X3 Pilates, you could use something from Metashred as a solid substitute just for that day. I see MH has something new called Riptensity & they’ve really pushed Spartacus workouts over the years. I’m not sure if any of them are good though.

    • I quite like the MH videos personally. I haven’t done Riptensity, but I’ve ordered it and will give it a go (it’s trainer, Gideon, is in Metashred). I do recommend Spartacus, MH 60, and Anarchy from MH. And if you like BJ Gaddour (trainer of Metashred), there’s one called 10 Minute Torchers with 10, 10 minute workouts that are really good. Of course, you combine them into one longer workout and with 10, there’s lots of mix and match variety.

  • Elchupinazo

    I’ve never understood the propagation of the “this workout uses low weights and high reps, so it’s for ladies who want to get lean” idea. Like, that’s the opposite of how it works. Isolation exercises with lower weight/higher reps is EXACTLY what bodybuilders do when they wanna pack on the beef. Body Beast, the program that expressly claims to be for bodybuilding, has an enormous rep count in each workout. You don’t pick up the heavy steel and do sets of 6-8 reps if you want to add size, because that’s not how you induce sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

    What bothers me more is that Tony Horton, an actual trainer, pushes this idea in P90X, and it’s maddening.

    • I agree in principle. Although Body Beast generally has a highest rep count of 15 which really is not that high. But the idea of grabbing 10 lb weights and doing long sets that could just as well be done with much heavier weight at a lower rep count ( thinking 8-10 ) is sort of standard practice. But then again, there are many ways and many target goals for what a person wants in physical fitness so I’m open to the possibility that I’m guilty of tunnel vision. I could just as easily be wrong.

      • Elchupinazo

        No I don’t think you’re wrong, per se. If work (as an equation) is force over distance, you can obviously perform the same amount of work while changing those variables. Strength and size are to some degree inexplicable, and in fact some research suggests that doing sets of 20-25 at 50% of your 1RM produces the same mass and fiber gains as doing sets of 8-12 at up to 90% of 1RM. When it comes to building size, fatigue seems to be all that matters. The latter is a lot more attractive to me, as it takes a lot less time.

        The difference is that, from a performative standpoint, how the body responds to load is more than just what our muscle fibers do. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (the kind sought out by bodybuilders) is induced by higher repetitions, while myofibrillated hypertrophy happens at (much) lower reps with higher weights. Doing hundreds of 20 lb bicep curls, for instance, will indeed result in a larger bicep, and by extension a stronger one. But on the other hand, if you one day hope to be able to curl 100 lbs, you will never, ever get there by curling 20s until the cows come home.

        • Informed

          That’s bodybuilding brocscience. All of the recent research has effectively said the key is to go close to failure and you get roughly the same amount of muscle growth regardless of your rep/set ranges.

          • Elchupinazo

            What? No it’s not. If rep ranges and load didn’t matter at all, every athlete’s training protocol would be the same regardless of whether they’re going for aesthetics (bodybuilders) or strength (power lifters). Of course strength and size are related and somewhat inextricable, but it’s insane to suggest that the training approach has no effect on the outcome.

  • Glad to see a review of one of the workout programs from Men’s Health. I’m a fan of their products and BJ Gaddour in particular. I agree 3 days a week is too little, so I supplement it with various strength workouts. I’d like to see more reviews of MH products here; I’d suggest THE SPARTACUS WORKOUT, THE ANARCHY WORKOUT, and 10 MINUTE TORCHERS.

  • Christopher Mele

    Just want to say that I am new to your site and find the reviews HUGELY informative as well as entertaining and well-written. They’ve definitely helped me make up my mind about some purchases that I’ve been on the fence about. Keep up the great work. It truly makes a difference.

  • Orion

    He should review Athlean x.

  • Keith James

    I am just finishing my first week on this program, I would have to agree with you that the workout schedule is not that good and I feel that if I trained more than the three days per week then maybe my results maybe better. I like b.j. gaddour, he’s great fun as well as the other 3 in the dvds.
    The workouts are tough enough for you to get a good solid workout, that being said, you should do the workouts for 2 or 3 rounds, I don’t think that you will get the results in only 21 days.