It is interesting to know the various reasons that men often quote for getting ripped. Some want to increase their overall physical size and others want to stay fit.
To put it straight the sole reason for which one would want to get ripped is to have a body that is lean enough to make its muscle definition visible.
Being ripped not only makes you look bigger, but it boosts your confidence level as it is an accomplishment in itself.
Concept of Ripped
The human body is said to be ripped when it contains very low levels of fat, with respect to the bodyweight.
It makes your appearance lean and the striations of the muscle and the separation between them become very prominent. Not more than 7% body fat in a man is considered to be ripped.
Knowing whether to get ripped: You should be able to realize the need to have a ripped body.
Getting extremely ripped can lead to health concerns, and thus, you should know to what extent you want to have a lean body.
There is a weight to the fat level ratio that has to be achieved in case you want to get ripped, for which there is a chart available online.
The basic measure used by people to determine the ideal ratio for an individual namely Lean Body Mass (LBM). So, the basic idea of having a ripped physique is to lose as much body fat as possible but retaining your own LBM at the same time.
Before starting off it is very important to know how it is to be done. Whether to follow a strict diet, a particular exercise routine, take a supplement or is a combination of all the three.
Given below is how you can get the best results for your body if you put in sufficient amount of hard work and have a smart approach towards getting ripped.
1. Intake of Carbohydrates
Cutting out too much on carbohydrates intake can leave you feeling exhausted and tired after every workout session.
Even though you will lose weight at a faster rate but not at the cost of causing you dizziness and making you feel weak.
Carbohydrates are crucial for the central nervous system and for the proper functioning of the brain. In the absence of carbohydrates, muscle mass tends to be metabolized to give energy to the body.
But overeating of carbohydrates is to be restricted as it won’t result in faster loss of fat. So, you need to strike the right balance and consume carbohydrates as desired by your body.
2. Reducing alcohol intake
When it comes to losing fat and having the perfectly ripped physique you have to be careful with your alcohol intake.
Alcohol increases the storage of fat in the body instead of burning it for the release of energy. It also dehydrates your body thereby reducing energy levels.
Alcohol has been found to reduce testosterone, which is effective in creating muscle, in the body.
Combination of good nutrition and workout sessions
Nutrition to Get Ripped
One fact you have to understand is, abs are built in the kitchen, no matter how hard you workout in the gym or how many good form crunches you can do in a set.
If you get this wrong, you will be stuck in a spiral that will only end up in frustrating you. Here are some good tips to follow:
Cut the calories from carbs and eat more protein: For more muscle definition, the right intake of proteins is essential. Reduce the intake of calories from carbohydrates and consume more protein.
A protein intake of 1-1.5 times your weight in pounds is good enough to build strong muscle tissues.
For instance, if you weigh 160 pounds, protein intake in the range 160-200g per day will help you get leaner and stronger. That said, the right quantity of carbs are essential to fuel your body with energy before you hit the gym hard.
A thumb rule: Do not consume excess carbs after a workout. Also, go for complex carbohydrates that take more time to get burned and have high fiber content.
Oats, sweet potatoes, whole grain bread, brown rice, are some good sources of carbohydrates.
Avoid bad carbs like processed foods, chips, white bread, pasta, biscuits, candies, sweets, etc.
Now that the amount of protein intake is clear, the question is: what are the good sources of protein?
When it comes to choosing the right protein sources, it is important to know about what is called “complete amino acid profile”.
There are around 20-22 standard amino acids, out of which 8 are called “essential amino acids”. These are the basic building blocks of your muscle tissues.
Most of the protein sources, particularly vegetarian foods, do not contain a complete amino acid profile. They tend to miss out on one or more of the 8 essential amino acids.
A general observation is: protein sources from animal meat have the complete profile. Foods such as fish, chicken breast, turkey, egg whites are some rich sources you can hog on to take care of your daily protein intake.
Though plant foods miss out on many EAA’s (Essential amino acids), there is no reason to believe that vegetarian people cannot build lean muscle mass.
Each plant has a different profile, for instance, cereals and grains contain low amounts of lysine.
Focusing on eating only grains and cereals is not a good choice if you want to get ripped. O
n the flipside, peanuts, dry beans have good amounts of lysine. They do not contain sufficient amounts of tryptophan, cystine, methionine, that are found in cereals and grains.
A good habit for vegetarian fitness freaks would be: combine these complementary vegetarian food sources. No need to eat these together in every meal of the day, just ensure that the intake is consistent throughout the day’s meal plan.
Protein supplements is another good investment. Whey protein, for instance, is the best quality protein for lean muscle building. It has the best amino acid sequence.
The main categories in whey protein are whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and whey protein concentrate.
Grab a good quality whey protein supplement and consume 1-2 scoops daily. Avoid taking in too many scoops, though, as the excess would just go wasted then.
What about fats?
Against the common notion that fats are an absolute no-no if you want to get ripped, here is the truth.
Fats are essential for the body. Eating no fats will be detrimental to the health as well as the body composition.
When the body has a lesser amount of fats, it starts to convert carbs into fats and thus, the complaint that “I eat no fats, still I get fat”.
What you should keep in mind however is, consume good sources of fats.
Vegetable oils, nuts, muesli, fish oil, olive oil, etc. contain monounsaturated fats that help burn body fat faster.
People these days tend to have a liking for these so called low or no fat foods. These have artificial sweeteners in them that are not recommended if you want to progress towards your fitness goals.
Try to consume more of fiber-rich foods, such as yogurts, green leafy vegetables like broccoli, oats, etc.
Fiber-rich foods get digested easily and prevent you from hogging on unhealthy foods later on in the day.
Remember to divide your meal plans well. Around your workout schedule, stock your meal with proteins and good sources of carbohydrates.
You are going to burn a lot of energy and tear those muscle tissues hard. For glycogen replenishment and efficient muscle recovery, make sure your pre workout and post workout meal is good.
Many gymmers workout right after bed. For some who do not take care of their diets, this means heading to workout without the gas tank of the body.
The body then utilizes all the amino acids from your muscles and converts them to glucose for fueling your workout. Before sleep, try to consume lesser amount of carbs.
If you want the feeling of satiety during sleep, consume fiber rich foods. The ideal food would be a slow consuming protein like casein or cottage cheese protein that will aid muscle recovery while the body rests.
#1 Go for compound exercises
Compound exercises such as squats, bench presses, deadlifts, shoulder military raises are great for building muscle mass.
Many people tend to focus on a single body part, most commonly arms, in their workout regime. If you are aiming for good symmetry and muscle proportion, do not neglect compound exercises.
Many ripped bodybuilders had a separate day for compound exercises. “Big lifts day” for instance is a common inclusion every week.
#2 Cardiovascular activity, weights and circuits
Cardio exercises are essential to lose that extra bit of fat. These exercises help you to burn those calories faster and consequently lose body fat.
But doing cardio alone will not help you to get a lean physique.
For muscle growth stimulation you need to undertake weight training.
Working out for 3 to 4 days a week and doing a circuit on one of these days will help you in getting ripped. One day of cardio for 20 minutes with fast-slow intervals can be an add-on.
With weight training, you will be able to increase your lean muscle mass thereby increasing the size of the muscle cell. This, in turn, increases the mitochondria inside the cells that burn oxygen to produce energy for the sustenance of aerobic metabolism.
As more oxygen is used to produce energy in the body fat, which is stored in adipose tissue, get burnt. The entire process speeds up the process of burning fat in the body.
#3 Bulk phase and cut phase
The professionals have a separate phase for building muscle mass and then aiming to get ripped.
Bulk phase, for instance, includes focusing only on building muscle mass by doing heavier weights and lesser reps at the gym.
The period of bulk phase differs from person to person. “Clean bulk” is a common term among bodybuilders.
While bulking clean, although the focus is not much on abs or cardio, it is recommended to do 1 or 2 cardio sessions every week and abs workout 1-2 times.
Once the bulk phase is done, it is time actually to get ripped and aim for more muscle definition. Aim for lesser weights and more repetitions.
For example, if you are performing 6-8 bicep curls with 40lbs during the bulk phase, reduce the weight you lift in the cut phase: Bicep curls with 15-25 lbs and pushing the muscle till failure.
The workout as well as nutrition routine is an entirely different viz-a-viz bulk phase exercise and diet.
Abdominal muscles are going to be hit almost every other day, add to that lots of grueling cardio sessions for burning the additional fat in your body.
The basic concept is to reduce the body fat proportion. There is no use doing hardcore abs sessions and neglecting cardio or nutrition. The ripped look cannot appear at 15-20% body fat levels.
Exercises To Help You to Get Ripped
1. Reverse crunches: good for lower abs. Keep your body flat on the floor and raise your knees slowly towards the chest. Push the abdominal muscles till failure.
2. Hanging leg Raises: This exercise is an intermediate level exercise. Beginners can start by raising their knees to the chest level.
Suspend your body against a hanging rod and start raising your legs slowly. Hold at the final position and do as many reps as you can.
3. Bottoms up: Support your back by lying down on a bench or a gym mat. Raise your knees towards the chest level, and flex the hip muscles.
Do not do the reps too fast or else you will just end up injuring your lower back.
4. Swiss ball weight crunches: Place your body on a Swiss ball and do crunches. Do not forget to keep your back arched.
5. Bicycle crunches: Lie flat on a gym mat, keeping the legs straight. Raise your right leg and touch with your left elbow and vice versa.
Try to feel the burn by slowing the pace of the workout. It will hit your muscles harder.
Bench press: This compound exercise is the best for building chest muscle mass. Make sure you pick the right weights, do not go too heavy and injure yourself. Take care of the form while you perform any set. Consider super-set chest bench press with wide grip pushups.
You can do pushups daily to increase your strength and endurance that will improve workout performance.
Incline bench press hits the upper chest while dips and decline chest press hits the lower chest muscles hard.
Wide-grip pull-ups: Beginners normally find it hard to do even a single perfect pull-up.
Don’t quit there!
Persist and gradually you will.
You can try doing wide grip lat pull downs, for instance, to build the strength in your lats. Having a spot while doing wide grip pullups helps.
Once you can do a considerable number of pull-ups, try adding weights to your body (weighted pull ups)
Perhaps one of the most neglected muscle groups. To build a good physique, you have to take care of quads and hamstring muscles too. The best exercise for this is weighted squats.
Doing free squats daily will help build the strength in leg muscles. Start with a comfortable weight and make sure you do not go too down, straining your lower back.
Squats is an effective full body exercise – can be performed maximum twice a week.
Don’t you just love showing off those guns? Try super-set skull crushers for triceps with barbell curls. For skull crushers, lie on a bench, pick an EZ bar with a comfortable weight. As soon as you are done with the adequate number of reps, pick up a barbell rod and do bicep curls.
You can change the grip to hit the outer bicep and inner bicep muscles. For instance, taking a wide grip hits the inner biceps well.
Military presses is a great compound exercise. You can do them on a Smith machine or free barbell rod. Make sure you take care of the lower back though. Pick a comfortable weight and focus on a high range of motion. That said, do not bring the rod too low, for that will only help in injuring the shoulder muscles.