Okay, so you’ve decided that you want to get ripped … That’s great, but where do you start? Sure, working out harder will help, but is there a smarter way?
So what should you be doing? Getting ripped is very attainable if you follow the below roadmap. Apply this proven formula and work hard and will get there in approx 12 weeks.
1. Use Tempo Training
95% of people have no idea what their training tempo should be, or what it even is, to begin with. There are different muscle fibres that make up any given muscle group, that respond differently to the time spent under tension. Similarly to how a well-done steak takes much more time to prepare than fish.
By adjusting the tempo of your training i.e. reps, you are able to target what we know as fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibres. Fast-twitch muscle fibres are the ones that are recruited immediately when we start performing an exercise and thus are much more able to generate explosive power.
Powerlifters and sprinters have a larger degree of fast-twitch muscle fibres, as their particular sports disciplines require explosive strength and speed, but over a short period of time. On the other hand, slow-twitch muscle fibres take longer to fatigue and need to be stimulated over the course of many seconds.
Your training tempo consists of four “phases”, starting at the lowering or negative of the rep. So for example, considering the popular bench press, a tempo of 2121 means that you take two seconds lowering the weight, one second stop at the bottom position, two seconds actively pushing it up back, and one-second pause at the top position before starting the next rep.
Thus, 10 reps performed in this fashion will take 60 seconds to complete, done correctly. There are many different tempos to use, depending on the particular muscle group being trained, and which I take advantage of when training clients using the ripped program.
2. Train the WHOLE Body; Not Just certain Muscles
A big myth is that by training only the muscles you can easily see i.e chest and arms, that they will automatically develop a world-class physique. While it is imperative that you do not neglect these muscle groups, put together they still comprise a very small volume overall and are unlikely to result in huge results.
One approach is to emphasise the largest muscle groups first; which means to make your legs and back. It is much more likely that you develop a well-balanced physique if you train these muscle groups alone, compared to all the others put together.
Emphasising training of these muscle groups will also yield the greatest increases in testosterone synthesis, and metabolic changes, which equates to significant changes in your physique.
3. Train the Posterior Chain
The muscles of the posterior chain are the most neglected in common training programs, which leads to an overdeveloped upper body and an underdeveloped lower body. The way to avoid this is by training the posterior chain, which works multiple important muscle groups to get ripped, and of course the core.
So what exactly are the muscles of the posterior chain? To simplify, you can think of all the muscles on the rear of the body, even though more correctly they consist of the hamstrings, calves, glutes, erectors of the lower back and the rear traps.
These muscles are the most important for ensuring upright posture and are what we have to thank for being able to walk freely. Common examples of exercises that work the posterior chain include almost every form of the deadlift, hamstring curls, calve raises and hyperextensions.
Posterior chain training should be arguably more important than the muscles of the anterior chain, or the front half. Stronger posterior chain muscles equate to a reduced likelihood of injury, unhindered movement well into old age, and a general degree of fitness.
For athletes, training these muscles contribute significantly to maximum power output, as these muscles play an integral role in the generation of power. Virtually all of the heavy compound lifts require a great degree of stabilisation and support from these muscles. Now you know why lower back injuries are so common in ego lifters.
4. Optimise Your Rep Range
In order to truly become ripped you need to vary your rep range. Rep ranges are generally clumped into strength, hypertrophy, and endurance brackets respectively, each category increasing in the total number of reps as we move along.
8 to 12 rep range is best suited to invoke metabolic and muscular stress, as well as very decent working time per set, all critical to muscle growth and strength gains plus helping to kick into motion fat loss.
However, this should not be the end-all to your training rep ranges, as you will inevitably stagnate after a prolonged period of hypertrophic specific ranges. You also need to incorporate your rep arranges of 3 to 5, as this target is able to improve power generation in the shortest amount of time. A large aspect of maximal power outputs deals with nervous system acclimation, with burnouts being the opposite of this.
Higher rep training, exceeding 12 reps and up to 25, teaches the body to buffer the effects of lactic acid more efficiently since the accumulation of this compound in muscle is the number one contributing factor to muscle failure within a training set.
Knowing when to employ each of these rep ranges in your training program is a sure way to get you closer to your goal of becoming ripped.
5. Prioritise Compound Exercises
Compound movements, as the name implies are those exercises that utilise a diverse range of muscle groups, or that involves movements through more than one joint. For instance, the bench press is a compound movement since it involves both the elbows and shoulder joint, being, in essence, multi-jointed (which is what compound movements are).
Compound movements result in the greatest metabolic burn, or post-exercise oxygen consumption stimulates a large number of muscle groups, and are what the ripped program, and ideally all workouts should be centred around.
One technique is to place emphasis on movements such as the bench press, squats and deadlifts as these are big compound movements. Targeting abs and arms alone all day long one won’t do much for you in the long round.
6. Follow a Diet Designed for Getting Ripped
You can do everything right when it comes to training, but if your diet is shoddy you will never ever come close to being ripped. You cannot out-train a bad diet – no exceptions. Diet is arguably responsible for 80% of the progress you make. This is why even though the training is critical as a stimulus for initiating change, it is a diet that will actually give your body the material necessary for structural rebuilding.
So which diet works best? It depends largely on individual differences. These days, a moderate protein high-fat diet, more commonly known as the ketogenic diet is really popular and there is some interesting research being done to understand the true benefits of a keto diet. Keto is regarded as one of the fastest ways to build muscle and shed body fat, accelerating your goal to ripped.
Diets high in meat and assorted nuts supply both of these important macronutrients and keep your satiety high. Nothing derails a good diet plan faster than hunger; just call it an evolutionary trait. Nuts are also loaded with various trace minerals that keep your metabolism revving on high, and testosterone synthesis optimised.
Don’t forget vegetables, as they are typically very low-calorie and filling, making them the perfect complement to meals. Carbs are best suited around work out time since uptake into muscle cells is greatly favoured at this interval.
7. Using the Right Supplements to Get Ripped
The reality is that even if you have a great diet. You often cannot get all the minerals, vitamins, protein and acids you need without supplements.
For instance, many people do not get the required daily intake of many vitamins or micro minerals, which could stall progress over the long term. Plus, unknown to many people, the more active you are (and sweat), the more urgent is the need for supplemental zinc. Zinc plays a critical role in hormone synthesis and many cellular processes.
Protein powders are also essential to help you reach your targets for this macronutrient as well. At the very minimum, you need about 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight and ideally more than 2g.
Depriving yourself of such nutrients won’t help you in the quest to getting ripped anytime soon, so supplement wisely for gains but be smart don’t overdo it and make sure the supplements you take are well-known high quality.
8. Watch Your Hydration
You cannot skimp on the water to get ripped and ripped.
Your body is more than 70% water, with it being absolutely necessary for a range of biological functions.
Want to have a poor workout? Don’t drink water. Just 2% dehydration can decrease your performance by over 40%, so why would you risk it? Don’t depend on thirst alone. Set a quota and get it down.
9. Strategic Cheat Meals
As you progress in your quest to become ripped, and your duet tightens up more and more, it also becomes harder to maintain your gains and stay lean. This is when you can start schedule days for reloading muscle glycogen, to keep performance high, and your sanity to an extent.
The best strategic use of these “cheat days” can be found on a cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD). In a nutshell, you go very carb low for 3-4 days in a row, then follow it up with a “cheat day” that is forgiving and allows you to recharge with carbs.
Doing this helps keep metabolism higher, performance up and supports muscle hypertrophy. Just don’t overdo on your cheat days. Eat sensibly using high-quality carbohydrates. But remember it is a cheat meal and not a cheat day.
10. Rest is Best!
Does working out more equate to greater gains? Not necessarily. While it is necessary to subject your body to regularly scheduled stimulus, there is a point of diminishing returns that can occur from working out day after day with no rest in between.
It is very important to realise that growth and progress do not occur in the gym, but rather all the other hours you spend on nutrition and sleep. Take sleep away from the formula and you are unlikely to progress at all.
Since we were kids we learned that during sleep the body takes the time to repair damaged tissue. Why would this change now? Without sleep, the body is unable to rebuild stronger in order to handle the stressors of training.
Take days off from the exercise completely, even if it is a single day. Not resting hinders your progress; not the other way around.
11. Don't Overcomplicate the Process: Use Proven Training Programs that Work
There are virtually thousands of training programs out there that may apply one or two of the principles mentioned above, but which fail to comprehensively look at the larger picture.
Sure, you may see a little weight loss here and there and gain a few pounds of muscle, but you will never be satisfied with subpar results.
Follow this proven program used by thousands of people before and continues to deliver results day and after.
Getting ripped takes work. But a ripped physique is far from impossible, and it's easy to take steps to get started. Follow the above steps you’ll not start seeing serious results. Take the right supplements to support your body and you will start to build lean muscle and lose fat while becoming fitter and healthier. Not only will you become ripped but you’ll also become far stronger and bigger using the above. Using evidence-based training, nutrition and supplements have helped thousands of people become stronger, leaner and healthier. It can help you too!