V Shred University (VSU) is no Ivy League college like Princeton. Though, if it were, we have a pretty good idea of who would attend. (Picture a sea of backward caps and sleeveless hoodies).
Frustrated with the fitness industry’s often misleading tone, personal trainer Vince Sant launched what he dubbed V Shred University: a VIP members-only program built for you.
Sant provides a brand new diet and training plan fit for your physique goals and current stats each month. (According to him, that’ll help you dodge plateaus and chronic boredom.)
But while the concept could likely put personal trainers out of business, we have to wonder … is V Shred University effective? Learn more below.
About the Creator – Vince Sant
Vince Sant — which is evidently not a play on the name “Vincent” — is a certified personal trainer and the face of two leading fitness brands (supposedly): V Shred & SculptNation.
As the co-founder of both, Vince Sant’s resume includes:
- 1.38+ million Instagram followers and 11.6+ million Facebook likes between the two
- Over a dozen V Shred programs (including Six Pack Shred, 90 Day Clean Bulk, & Ripped In 90 Days)
- 16+ supplements in the SculptNation product lineup (protein, pre-workout, BCAAs)
- A client base of 900,000+ “ordinary” people in just three short years
But the face of V Shred is also low-profile. All we know about him is that he hails from Ohio, has quite the collection of tattoos, and is a Capricorn (which apparently means something).
Now, what about this whole V Shred University thing?
What is V Shred University?
After digging through VSU top to bottom, we still can’t figure out what inspired the whole college theme. Other than maybe learning how to achieve your goals with this program.
V Shred University is an exclusive members-only program for users caught in the misleading and confusing chaos that is the fitness industry. (Is carb cycling a fat-burning miracle or not?)
Vince Sant designed VSU to be as non-generic as possible.
(We’ll get to whether he earned an A+ on that assignment or failed miserably later on!)
Before you start VSU, there’s a short quiz. Sant uses the answers to your questions — weight, height, fitness goals — to match you with the proper training and diet plans.
He then delivers a brand new diet and training plan every month as you progress. You can update your stats and questionnaire responses any time to get an even better-tailored plan!
The V Shred team describes this subscription-based monthly plan as:
- Ideal for any fitness goal, whether you’re bulking, slimming down, or both
- Handwritten by Vince Sant and his team of trainers
- The fix to boredom, plateaus, and downright confusion
- A good bargain ($1 for the one-month trial before automatically charging $19.99/month)
- A risk-free investment that you can cancel at any time
- An approach that’s somehow 400% and 10x faster for reaching a dream physique (?)
- Constantly updated to provide you with the latest trends in the industry
- Full of dietary hacks and training advice, including weekly Q&A sessions
Now, that’s a lot to unpack.
But here’s what we do know: if V Shred nails all of those expectations and then some, you’d never have to buy another program in your life once you outgrow your previous ones.
V Shred University Details & Features
The only way we could access VSU was if we answered the questionnaire. Kyle plugged in his body stats, so this review only analyzes month one of our “Shredded” plan for 6’0”+ men.
Disclaimer: We have no idea how different the other plans are; proceed at your own risk!
The V Shred University dashboard includes four sections:
Your Monthly Plan
Right out of the gate, we’ll say that the monthly plan section is where you’ll spend 99% of your time when attending VSU, which sounded much cooler in our head. (You’ll see why later on.)
Here, you’ll find four buttons:
FREE Supplement Guide
Tucking this long guide into the monthly plan section gives off the impression that this is some exclusive secret to supplements. It’s not; Sant includes this guide with nearly every program.
Now that he has your attention, Sant personally hypes up 16 — not a typo — SculptNation supplements that can change your training and physique forever (maybe).
Each supplement comes with its own several-paragraph sales pitch practically begging you to buy it, a video detailing the same information, and falls into one of several categories:
- Performance enhancers, like probiotics and protein
- Pre-workout, such as, well, pre-workout powder
- Muscle-building, including HGH boost and creatine
- Weight loss, featuring multiple products in the “Burn” line
- Bundles and stacks
Sant strutted in on his high horse blaming the fitness industry for being misleading.
Then, he advertised 16 supplements that either imply 1) you won’t succeed unless you buy each and everyone, or 2) you should already know which ones best match your goals.
Also, Sculpt Nation products aren’t any better than other supplements out there!
For example, you see a full review of Sculpt Nation’s creatine here: https://noobgains.com/sculpt-nation-creatine-review
This Month’s Training Plan
Vince Sant labeled this month’s training plan as “Shredding,” but we haven’t seen much mention of that word throughout the rest of the program.
This particular plan follows a 2-on-1-off schedule, alternates between heavy and light days, calls for three weekly HIIT sessions, and has some set variety (supersets, drop sets, circuit).
Here’s a closer look at what you might encounter in the next 30 days:
|Workout Type||Sample Exercises||Rep Averages|
|Heavy Lower (90–120 seconds rest)||SquatDeadliftLunge||4 x 8|
|Heavy Upper & HIIT (90–120 seconds rest)||Incline Bench PressLat PulldownOne Arm Dumbbell Row||3 x 6–10|
|Light Lower & Abs (<60 seconds rest)||Standing Calf RaiseLeg ExtensionLeg Press||3 x 15–20|
|Light Upper & HIIT (<60 seconds rest)||Dumbbell Chest PressPull-UpShot-Gun Cable Row||3 x 15–20|
|Abs & HIIT||Floor WipersAdvanced Plank||3 x 10–12|
Similar to V Shred’s Fat Loss Extreme program, there’s a decent bit of variety from the HIIT standpoint. Sant includes battle ropes and treadmills (and then some), generally lasting between 12 and 15 cycles per session.
What’s odd here, again, is the repetition. Though each of the five weekly workouts has its own unique edge, you’ll also repeat them four times until Sant hands your next month’s plan.
If you’re not sure how to perform an exercise, you can also click on the name of it. V Shred includes both a video demonstration as well as a step-by-step explanation for how to do it.
The bummer: there’s nowhere to log your weight, sets, or reps.
This Month’s Diet Plan
Our first month’s diet plan is labeled with our goals and stats, including “lose fat and build muscle” and “6,0’,” which is still a bit generic but proves there’s some difference between plans.
This meal plan — dated October 26, 2016 — spotlights seven days’ worth of meals that you’ll repeat until the month is over. (We thought Sant was anti-repetition and boredom, but okay.)
Here’s what we can tell you about the meal plan provided:
- It highlights six meals a day, which apparently begin at midnight with a post-workout protein shake and almonds.
- It breaks down meals by time (i.e., breakfast is at 7 AM and dinner is at 5 PM).
- Each meal includes an overview of the calories, carbs, proteins, and fats consumed.
- It seems to follow a carb cycling format, though it doesn’t blatantly say that anywhere. We start with 51g per day before cycling through 269g and 337g days right after.
- The protein count remains at a steady 213–220g per day.
- Calories sit within the 2074–2861 range.
The guide ends with a highly detailed shopping list revealing the exact quantity of each ingredient you’ll need during the week plus a portion guide.
Overall, the diet plan seems easy to follow, especially when you’re cooking meals from scratch. But it’s also the same three collections of meals repeated for a full month so there’s basically no variation and very far from being a V Shred Custom Plan.
Private Facebook Group
The private Facebook group and round-the-clock support apparently inspire 97% of users. Of course, the caveat is that you need to install Facebook (or whatever we’re calling it these days).
The V Shred team takes pride in its 100% positive, creep-free, members-only group. But while the support is unrivaled, the place can feel a bit crowded, with 250,000+ active members.
If you test out the 30-day free trial, we’d suggest joining for the hell of it.
Prepare yourself; we’re venturing into perhaps the most underwhelming part of VSU.
The Nutrition Basics bit was a big ole swing-and-a-miss for Vince Sant.
But that’s only because he labels VSU as being “constantly updated,” but then only publishes nine posts, the last of which is time-stamped August 25, 2017 — over four years ago.
Featured articles include:
- All About Fats
- 3 Best Times to Eat Protein
- How to Choose Which Protein Bar Is Best for YOU
Each article also includes a video of Sant rambling on and on about the topic. (If you’ve tried to purchase V Shred MOVE and sat through the 30-minute intro, hoo, you know this boy can talk.)
Some of the links also send you ten-minute-long videos without a written breakdown. Why Sant converts every thought into a video instead of a short article is completely beyond us.
That’s at least one thing we can say V Shred did right in our review of their recipe guide.
The Meal Prepping section is just a continuation of the last. With just four published posts, the last with a July 19, 2017 upload date, VSU looks more like a ghost town than a hoppin’ lounge.
We can list them all because there are so few:
20 Minute No Carb Meal Bodybuilder Breakfast Quick And Cheap Grocery Store Trip Looking for an Easy Vegan Recipe?
As if the Nutrition section couldn’t possibly get worse, these four articles aren’t even articles, they’re videos, this time featuring a V Shred trainer named Christina.
VSU Supplement Guide
Though we’d largely consider VSU an abandoned pet project of Sant’s, the VSU Supplement Guide is the most detailed of all. It includes a whopping ten articles instead of nine!
The topics in this section include pre-workout, the “truth” about BCAAs, and whether you really need creatine. (He also talks up a few non-SculptNation products, which is out of character.)
We know what you’re thinking: we haven’t seen a shameless SculptNation ad in a while … What gives? Don’t worry; he includes some of his favorites in the sidebar, like his top:
- Fat burner
- Testosterone booster
- Growth hormone booster
If you click on those links, it’ll automatically direct you to the supplement guide from earlier. Again, the V Shred sales model is janky, which explains the lack of “buy now” buttons here.
(This section is a missed opportunity to double-down on the college trend and call it “Honors” or something, but what does our opinion matter?)
The VSU Advanced section essentially includes anything that didn’t fit into the previous parts:
“You Ask, We Answer” – Q&A
Sant’s weekly “Couch Talks” — where he answers user questions — is one of the top-selling points of the entire program.
Too bad it ends on episode 22, which aired in August 2017. (VSU is like your first real relationship: a lot of effort those first few months, and then everyone gives up six months in.)
We’d describe this section as more like a cemetery of old episodes.
Just read the description to learn which questions Sant answers in the clip. Because why would we do something convenient like provide a written answer too?
Oddly enough, there’s still an “Ask a Question” button, though we’d have to figure these questions land in some digital abyss somewhere.
Tips & Tricks
The Tips & Tricks section is yet another collection of videos where Sant explains training and nutritional concepts not featured in the other sections, such as:
- What Is a Drop Set?
- 2 Ways to Improve Your Squat
- How To Develop Lower Abs
These are all concepts newbies want to master. But when it feels rushed and like an afterthought (i.e., spelling “breathe” as “breath”), it’s hard to take it seriously.
The Bonus Workouts section is Sant’s last-ditch effort to convince you that he didn’t totally rip you off with your $19.99/month VSU subscription. It includes three blue buttons for:
The At-Home Workouts bit highlights six short, follow-along at-home workouts, including:
- 5 Minute Bodyweight Leg Workout
- At Home Booty Exercises
- 5 Minute Upper Body Workout (No Equipment Needed)
- Boxing HIIT Workout
- 8 Minute At Home HIIT Workout (Follow Along!)
- 8 Minute Ab Workout (Follow Along!)
The workouts are short, easy to follow, and there’s even a description at the bottom listing the exercises demoed in the clip. (Sant somewhat redeems himself with this section … somewhat.)
The Cardio Workouts take a cue from the At-Home Workouts piece, highlighting five cardio-based topics like:
- Why You Should Be Doing Sprints
- Low Impact
- HIIT Cardio Workout
- LISS Cardio HIIT Cardio
- Fasted Cardio
The problem, of course, is that there’s very little “follow along” in these videos. For the most part, they’re just videos of Sant explaining the concept, with an occasional Christina cameo.
The How-To Exercises section is somehow even older than the other outdated uploads, with most of these videos hitting the airwaves in November 2016.
These videos star Sant (duh), who — in tandem with a training partner — reveals how to perform exercises like heel taps and dumbbell press squats with perfect form.
The workouts themselves also include similar videos. But if you decide to DIY your own routine in the future or learn more about how to perform each, these clips will be super useful.
6 Cool Benefits of V Shred University
- It could’ve been a huge hit. V Shred University had tons of potential, had Sant updated it continuously. Weekly nutrition-based blog posts or fresh 10-minute workouts released every Friday would’ve added plenty of value to the program. But it’s hard to believe each month will feature a new training and diet plan when everything is date-marked 2016–17.
- The inclusion of HIIT was a solid decision. Although HIIT isn’t some miracle fat-burner like some fitness experts would like you to believe, it does shred fat. Some researchers go as far as calling it a “magic bullet” for fat loss, with a 2019 meta-analysis discovering it leads to 28.5% more total absolute fat mass loss than standard cardio.
- There’s some training variety. The results may not match your expectations. But there’s definitely some excitement in these VSU workouts, varying set type (circuits, drop sets), rep ranges (8–12, 15–20), intensity (heavy, low), and more. Research published in 2019 also shows that exercise variation boosts motivation to train, one of the tallest barriers in the fitness industry.
- The diet plan has plenty of detail. Sure, the meals are repetitive, and Sant hopped on the carb-cycling bandwagon without clearing it with you first. But the built-in shopping list makes grocery trips a breeze, and portion confusion is where most newbies fail!
- You’ll probably see some results. It’s well-proven that calorie deficits (whether through carb cycling or other means) can trigger weight loss, HIIT can burn fat, and weightlifting can sculpt lean mass. If you follow this plan, you’re bound to see changes either on the scale or in the mirror.
- The Facebook group could prove useful. Sant abandoned ship a few months after creating the program, it seems, so good luck getting him to personally answer your questions on Couch Talk. But there are thousands of experienced users and trainers on the V Shred Facebook group that can provide assistance if you need it!
8 Negatives of V Shred University
- The marketing approach is either odd, rushed, or a cringe-worthy combination of the two. Why would you post a screenshot of somebody’s impressive weight loss stats without removing the repetitive comments asking, “what app is that?” (It was Fitbit, by the way.) Or, why plug SculptNation products obsessively but then create a video hyping up supplements from another brand?
- It’s tacky to include so many SculptNation mentions. That’s it, that’s the whole con. How are newbies supposed to trust your training and diet advice when you use them as pawns to advertise your own products at any chance you get?
- VSU is constantly updated if you’re still living in 2016–17. Sant hasn’t published a new article/video since mid-2017, and those weekly “Couch Talks” that allow you the opportunity to ask Sant questions stopped airing around the same time.
- Everything doesn’t need a video. Sant includes a video for just about everything, which is helpful for teachable moments, like exercise demos. But is there really a need for him to describe the workout you’re about to do or talk endlessly about HIIT or tell you about his personal favorite pre-workout powders? The dude loves to hear himself talk.
- Sant didn’t include any logging tools. The whole point of a training program is progressive overload — or gradually improving from week to week and session to session. This program would thrive with a meal-logging feature (like MyFitnessPal) and a place to record your reps, sets, and weight (even if on a sheet of paper).
- Good luck canceling. We can’t personally attest to this. But from reviews submitted by dissatisfied customers, it seems like canceling this auto-renew subscription can be quite the challenge. Plus, after the 30-day $1 trial, the price tag jumps to $19.99/month.
- Sant calls boredom one of the biggest buzzkills for training, then builds a repetitive routine. The meal plan repeats the same few daily plans, just as the training plan cycles through the same five workouts. We haven’t seen what month two has in store, but we really hope there’s a noticeable difference.
- The only things tailored to you are the diet and training plan (supposedly). Every other added resource is completely generic for all V Shred users.
Wrapping Up This V Shred University Review
V Shred University had so much potential … if only Vince Sant continued to update it and make it worth every penny (all 100 of them during that first month).
The training and diet plans make decent sense, the subtle variety will help you overcome those plateaus and boredom, and having a new plan sent to you each month sounds like a bargain.
But VSU is also full of mile-wide flaws.
There’s a video overload (for no reason at all), the constant SculptNation mentions are corny, and the thing hasn’t been updated since 2016 or 2017.
Overall, it’s worth a try if you remember to cancel it before they charge you $19.99 a month. Otherwise, a free program and a gym membership offer more bang for your buck.