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If you’re following any of the carb cycles featured in our book, Choose More, Lose More for Life, Shredders are the final component in the exercise part of these cycles. And when combined with 9-Minute Missions, both work to burn fat and increase fitness. These exercises are called Shredders because that?s exactly what they do?they shred the fat off your body! In fact, Shredders maximize your calorie use so you literally burn 200, 400, 800?even up to 1,000 more calories a day than you would without them!


The goal with Shredders is to move your muscles and raise your heart rate for a prolonged period of time. To put it simply, the longer you move, the more calories you burn. But don?t worry, you won?t have to spend hours on the treadmill or doing some other type of cardio workout to be successful, because Shredders make it possible for you to reach your weight loss and fitness goals in the least amount of time possible. Sound good?

Shredders are made up of two training principles: Ups and downs and power surges. With ups and downs, otherwise known as interval training, you exercise at two different intensity levels?low and high. The idea behind power surges is to step up your cardio training every week, so your workout is constantly changing. Incorporating both ups and downs and power surges into your workouts tricks your body and keeps it at peak calorie burning capacity throughout your workout and for the rest of the day. Your body doesn?t stand a chance of becoming acclimated with this program, so you don?t have to worry about slowing rates of fat loss or weight-loss plateaus! Awesome, right?! 🙂

While Shredders do vary from week to week, each workout has these common components:

  • Shredders are done five days a week sometime during the day after your 9-Minute Mission is completed. They don?t have to be done at any set time, so they can be worked into any schedule, no matter how busy that schedule is.
  • Shredders begin at 5 minutes, work up to 20 minutes by the end of month 1, 40 minutes by the end of month 2, and 60 minutes by the end of month 3.
  • You get to pick the activities you do, and you don?t even have to stick to one activity each workout?you can do multiple activities in the same workout!
  • While there are four different Shredding protocols, the work out pattern for each is the same: Shred at low intensity for a set period of time, then Shred at high intensity for the same set period of time, repeating low and high for the total duration of that Shredder for that day.
  • While the eventual goal is to Shred for 60 minutes each day, five minutes of Shredding is always your promise to yourself every. single. day. Only five minutes. Everyone can find five minutes during the day to do some Shredders! Of course, the more minutes you spend Shredding, the faster you?ll reach your goals.

So…let?s get Shredding! 🙂

Learn even more about Shredders?including instructions and weekly schedules?in our book, Choose More, Lose More for Life.

25 Responses

  1. Hello Heidi & Chris,
    I’m looking for help on ways to regain strength in my body and to lose weight. 3 1/2 years ago I was walking and slipped and fell on concrete landing on my right knee and right hand, which resulted in a labral tear in my right hip, 2 herniated disc, tendinitis in my right shoulder and elbow. I was also left with excrutiating numbness in both legs and later diagnosed with chronic regional pain syndrom. I’ve been to every specialist and have done physical therapies and injections to no avail; none has cured me. I’m not in the level of pain as i was and at the time before my fall I was walking/ jogging 5 miles a day, taking care of my family of 7, and involved in many social activities .At present, I can barely walk an 1/8 of a mile and cannot lift any weight without my shoulder feeling sore & in pain thereafter.
    I’m 50 years old, 5’7″ and weigh 186 lbs. I”m also a diabetic and I’ve eliminated all sugars, breads, processed and fast foods. Not being able to do cardio and pain increased my glucose levels, hence my doctor increasing my insulin amounts. Do you have any suggestions in regards to exercising to regain muscle tone for someone with CRPS?
    Sincerely, Lisa Denning

    1. Hi Lisa: Thank you for your post and for sharing a bit of your story with us. With all of your medical issues, it is best that you work with your healthcare team on any exercise programs since they know your exact issues and can work with you on a one-on-one basis. On the show, Chris and Heidi work with a complete team of medical professionals who help them put together the correct programs for all of their contestants who have any medical issues. We truly wish you the best and hope you can find what will help you reach your goals.

  2. Hello,
    I am reaching out to you because I’m at a stand still of trying to help my daughter loose weight. See my daughter wants nothing more that to join the Marine corp. to take after her father, but she has to loose 70 pounds before this can happen. She is becoming depressed because she can’t get over the emotion of not seeing the change happen soon enough. It hurts me as a mother to see this happening to her. Someone wanting something so bad, to server her country and can’t do that because she fills she does not have the tools it takes to change her life style. Powell family, I am asking you for your help. Please if you have any thoughts that I could share with my daughter to make her know she can be successful I would greatly appreciate you advise. She wants to be the very best marine and she knows with the weight lose this will also give her the confidence to be the best. Thank you for your time.


    1. Hi Melanie: Thank you for sharing a bit of your daughter’s story with us. She can begin her transformation journey today with all the tools Chris and Heidi have provided for all of us to use to achieve our transformation goals, and you can find these tools in this post: And be sure she follows all the links within the blog. Her first step is to make and keep that first simple, small promise to herself – these are definitely Chris and Heidi’s #1 transformation tool. They work! Then she can choose a cycle and go! She can totally do this! And what an awesome goal she has!

  3. I’m starting your plan tomorrow; the only question I have is do I still eat the 1200 calories and 1500 calories even though I’m burning calories from 9 min missions and shredders OR do I increase my calorie intake?

    1. Hi Carrie: You’ll consume 1200 calories on low carb days and 1500 calories on high carb days. The exercise calories burned are figured into these recommendations and into the program, so any calories you burn through exercising will add to your daily calorie deficit, which adds up to lost pounds. You can do this!

  4. i love going to the gym….i go for an hour 5 days a week…i usually do a mile on eliptical and a mile running adn then soem ab machines. i do not have the greatest diet adn i know that has a lot to do with it but i do drink a TON of water through my day. i am staying at my weight of 165-175…i do not look that heavy because i have a lot of muscle. any advice on how to trim up and shed the layer of chunk i can’t get rid of? does this system work in this area?

    1. Hi Kayla: It sounds like you’re on the right track as far as exercise goes. With Shredders (cardio) you do up to an hour a day of any type of cardio activity. Here’s a post about the nutrition part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program that might also help you reach your goals: It also sounds like you could use some strength training exercises in your routine as it is so important to work out all your muscle groups. You can learn about the strength training (9-Minutes Missions) part of their program here: You can do this!

  5. Hi Heidi,
    could you please give me an advice about shredders and swimming?
    Swimming is my favorite activity but it’s quite difficult to keep to time (1 min – 2 min – 3 min) while doing it.
    Is it ok to trasform the intervals in pool’s laps?

    Many thanks!

    1. Yes! Do whatever will work best for you! The most important thing is that you’re doing your Shredders and doing them regularly. And swimming is an awesome option!

  6. For 9 minute missions are there alternate missions to incorporate dumbells with combination moves for additional strength and muscle building exercises. I have a lot of bodyweight to move around and one sore knee (its getting better) but I’m concerned with a lot of the impact exercises for missions and shredders. I’m confused about shredders, are these more cardio type exercises like jogging/running, bike, swim, rowing, skipping rope for various times?

    1. Hi Joe: There are no alternate 9-Minute Missions in addition to those in Chris and Heidi’s book (“Choose More, Lose More for Life”). However, since 9-Minute Missions are the strength training part of carb cycling, you can substitute your own strength training program if you’d like to. And Shredders are cardio exercises.

  7. Hi! Thank you for helping us!
    I got the second book as well but some information is different from the first book.
    I am now my 4 th week, so I’m not doing shredders everyday(from the first book information) but in the second book it says I should do it everyday.
    Which one is right?
    Also about reward day, is it should be 2400 or 2500 calorie?
    Please give me advice.
    Thank you!

    1. Great questions! You’ll want to do your Shredders 5 days a week – Monday thru Friday. And you’ll eat up to 1,000 extra calories on your Reward Day. Happy carb cycling!

  8. I absolutely love what you and Chris do for people. I am about 170lbs overweight and limited leg mobility and even am considering weight lose surgrey because of it. But I was wondering if there are some excersises that I can do to help me loose more. I have lost about 50 lbs with diet alone but I have so much more to loose. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

    1. Hi Diana: Check out Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life” (you can find the link to purchase this book in this Shredders post). The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it’s the same one they use on the show. It will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn about the nutrition basics here: With your leg issues, it would be best to discuss the exercise part of their program with your healthcare team so they can help you make any necessary modifications. They are best able to help you with this since they know your exact health history and can work with you on an one-on-one basis. We want to keep you safe as you’re working to reach your goals! You can do this!

  9. HI Chris & Heidi,

    Heidi, do you have any suggestions for saggy skin due to c-section? I feel like I can’t get a flat stomach.

    Thank you!
    Katie Dobbins

  10. where can I find your book on carb cycling, ive looked all over and I really want to take my life back and get into shape, and I have the biggest motivation in the world , im expecting my first grandbaby in april and would love to be able to keep up with her/him (not sure what my daughter is having yet) all I do know is this has made me the happiest person in the world and the other thing that could make me happy is loosing all this extra weight, I weight 221 and am so ashamed, I know I stress eat ALOT, and I have been going through alot of stress lately, please let me know I have started walking and taking yoga and I NEVER EVER miss your show its such an inspiration to me and makes me really feel like I can do this

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