How to Get Ripped: 8 Strategies to Get Fit for the Summer in 2016
JDP Fitness’s 8 Strategies for getting ripped for the summer.
The popularity of social media has led to an increasingly growing trend of people wanting to become ripped. But what does that mean and what is the best strategy for getting ripped.
For us here at JDP Health & Fitness ‘ripped’ brings to mind connotations of a muscular physique with a low body fat percentage. It’s not the case of adding large amounts of muscle it’s about sculpting out the ultimate ripped body. Think more of Brad Pitt in Fight club as opposed to The Rock.
But what is the best strategy for getting that ultimate ripped physique. Don’t worry, we are going to give you our 8 best strategies for getting lean body. Follow these simple steps and you will be rocking a six pack in no time without spending a penny or wasting your precious time in the gym. Quick fire results in half the time.
How Long Does It take to Get Ripped?
According to Livestrong.com, Getting ripped takes time, particularly if you are starting from scratch and need to build muscle as well as cut body fat. Unfortunately, getting ripped is not a linear process — you won’t experience a set rate of muscle gain or fat loss every single week. There are “rules of thumb” that provide a rough guideline of what to expect over time, however. If your progress trends according to those guidelines, you’ll see significant changes to your body within months.
To get started, check out these 8 strategies for getting a leaner and ripped body for the summer:
1. Don’t drop weight too fast
Don’t get greedy; lose weight gradually. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but we need to make sure we are dropping the right kind of weight. Our weight is a combination of muscle, fat and water. We are looking to retain the water and muscle and lose the body fat.
We’re all impatient when it comes to changing our bodies, but the best strategy is gradual and steady. If you drop more than 0.5kg a week of weight, you can be sure a lot of it was water and muscle.
Have a target of losing about 2kg of weight in a month as you keep lifting hard to sculpt your muscle. You’ll be amazed at what shedding some body fat and gaining some rock-hard muscle will do for your total look and how you feel, from both a health and a self-confidence standpoint.
And remember, if you do it right, you’ll be bringing out the muscle and losing fat, in a sense, morphing mush to muscle, so the scale isn’t something you should pay attention to very closely.
In other words, if you lose 4kg of fat and gain 4kg of muscle, you will look completely different (so much better), but the scale will read exactly the same. It’s the fat-to-muscle reshuffle.
A better strategy to gauge your progress is to take photos every week. They’re real eye-openers. We advise our clients to take weekly progress shots. Every Monday at the same time, in the same place to see the realtime differences in their body composition
2. Compound Exercises
If your current lifting program isn’t producing the lean results you’re after, take a close look at the exercises you’re doing. If you’re doing set after set of single-joint exercises, this could very well be your problem – specifically, chest routines that are heavy on flyes and cable crossovers instead of presses and leg workouts where leg extensions take precedent over squats and lunges.
But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do isolation exercises. Calf raises, concentration curls and dumbbell kickbacks will always have their place in bringing out the finer points of a physique, but they’re not what’s going to make you fit. Compound (multi-joint) movements need to be the foundation of your program, since they’re the exercises that will build the most muscle, and hence keep your metabolism revving.
Generally speaking, the more weight you can use for an exercise, the more muscle that will be stimulated, resulting in a faster metabolic burn. This means more muscle and less body fat. If getting ripped is the objective, hitting big muscles with big weights is the way to go. You’ll get the most bang for your buck this way, and your metabolism will respond. It also means spending less time in the gym which can only be a good thing.
3. Don’t do too much cardio
One of the great training misconceptions is that lifting weights gets you bigger and cardio gets you leaner, period. As a result, anyone whose primary goal is to get more “ripped” often makes cardio the centrepiece of their program, while lifting takes a backseat. And by “centrepiece”, we’re talking 45-60 minutes on the treadmill followed by 15-20 minutes of lifting weight. What you end up with is some weight loss, perhaps (provided good food is consumed), but a body that’s no more ripped than before.
Here are the facts: Weight training can, and will, help you get leaner, and cardio can actually have a negative impact on body composition (percent body fat), as too much of it creates a catabolic (muscle-wasting) environment in the body, which slows metabolism. In the presence of adequate protein and carbohydrate consumption, lifting will help build muscle.
More muscle means a faster metabolism, which means more fat is burned and the physique becomes leaner. And while you may burn more calories during a cardio session than a lifting workout, you’ll burn more calories at rest (like when you’re sleeping or sitting around watching TV) as a result of lifting versus cardio.
If you want to know what type of physique results from a lot of aerobic exercises, attend a local marathon. Granted, long-distance runners and other endurance athletes are thin and very lean, but who’s more ripped: the Olympic marathoner or the world-class sprinter?
4. Don’t do too little cardio
That’s not to say that giving up cardio completely is the answer; but rather, those endless sessions on the stair-stepper and elliptical machines have to go. A better cardio alternative is higher-intensity, ‘stop and start’ interval-type training, which burns more fat and spares your hard-earned muscle at the same time. The key here is the intensity.
These types of cardio workouts will typically top out at around 20 minutes in duration, it’s critical that you push yourself hard. A short, low-intensity session is, literally, a walk in the park, which will produce little, if any, results. Interval cardio training at its core means alternating between heart-pumping, fast runs and jogging or walking to provide temporary recovery before ramping the intensity back up again.
Timing is important too. We suggest that, whenever possible, you separate your lifting and cardio sessions – as opposed to doing them back-to-back in the same workout – to minimise muscle-wasting. An off day from lifting is a good time for a high-intensity cardio session.
5. Cut the booze!
Party boy….are you? If you’re serious about losing weight and getting slimmer, you’d better start seriously considering the effects of alcohol on the body.
Alcohol causes fat to be stored instead of being used for energy. Essentially, your body will put a hold on the digestion of any food until the liver can excrete the alcohol. Alcohol also hurts you in two other areas: It’s a diuretic, which dehydrates you and reduces energy levels. It also can decrease testosterone in our bodies, which is critical for creating muscle.
Next time you’re planning a guys night, stick to one or two light beers or a hard liquor with a diet soda mixer. A six-pack starts in the kitchen. Even better would be to cut the booze completely. The more committed you are to plan, the faster the results will come. Remember, we are looking for efficiency to get ripped a fast as possible.
6) Have a carbohydrate plan
You’ve probably heard that “carbs are the enemy.” Well, not really, completely slashing your carbohydrate intake will certainly help with dropping the pounds (and fast), but you’ll also be left feeling cranky, tired, and lethargic.
Carbs are essential for life, as our brain and [central nervous system] require them continue to work properly. Restricting carbs completely will allow for any muscle mass we do have to be metabolised to provide us with energy.
Therefore, it all comes down to consuming carbs correctly, not cutting them completely. To get fit, a balance of the right amount of carbs first thing in the morning and after workout is ideal. When it comes to carbs quantity and quality are key.
7) Swap fruit for veggies
Fruit is great—it’s full of nutrients and antioxidants to help protect the body—but the downside is that it’s also full of sugars (granted healthy sugars). How do you not lose out on all the benefits? Swap in veggies (or fruits that people typically consider as vegetables) for fruit. , kale, , , ,
This strategy allows you to keep the necessary nutrients and antioxidants in your diet, but reduce your overall sugar/carbohydrate and total calorie intake. One apple has 125 calories and 25 grams of carbs. One large red pepper—okay, technically a fruit, but generally prepared like a vegetable—has 40 calories and 5 grams of carbs. You do the math.
- Red cabbage
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts
8) Drink Plenty of Water
What is the importance of drinking water?
Many people do not understand the benefits of water, and therefore do not meet their recommended daily intake. The idea that the more water you drink, the more you retain is completely backwards. The fact is, the body only retains small amounts of water simply to protect itself from dehydration. When you consume an abundance of water, the body will flush it because there is no fear of running out. Three to four litres per day is sufficient for the weekend warrior, and six to eight litres is recommended for hardcore trainers. Water will also lead to an increase in a performance in the gym. If your body is dehydrated then your performance will suffer, leading to a slowing of your progress. Remember, we want maximum bang for our buck and efficient workouts to get ripped in double quick time.
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