If you’ve ever wondered what it really means to get “ripped”, or how you can achieve that look, check out these tips.
Say you’ve been diligent about exercise, and you’re feeling stronger, but you wish you could really see those muscles. Not just fit or toned, but muscular. After all, you’ve put in so many hours at the gym, and you want more to show for it. What you’re really saying is that you want to get “ripped.” But what does getting ripped actually mean?
In bodybuilding, when someone is “ripped”, it means they’ve leaned out their body fat percentage so that their muscle tissue is more visible. And the truth is, in order to lose body fat, you need to focus on diet and nutrition.
Nutrition for Fat Loss
You may have heard the saying, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Basically, you can spend all the time you want in the gym, but if you don’t pay enough attention to your eating habits, you won’t see the results you want. You need high-quality protein to build and repair muscle and carbohydrates for energy – sweet potatoes, whole grains and vegetables are good options. It’s especially important to limit sugary and high-fat foods if getting ripped is your goal. It takes planning and dedication – you may need to track calories and macronutrients to make sure you’re getting the right amounts of protein, carbs and fat to build muscle and lose body fat.
You already know that if you eat more calories than you burn, you’ll put on weight. But if you eat too few calories thinking you’ll lose fat more quickly, you risk going into starvation mode, meaning your lean muscle mass is depleted while fat is stored. If it sounds counterproductive, that’s because it is.
What About Fitness?
To encourage fat loss, you can continue your strength training, but you’ll want to add HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or speed and power-based cardio (sprinting, for example) to your routine. These types of all-out exercises interspersed with recovery periods allow for body fat reduction while still promoting muscle growth. Plus, your workouts will be shorter, and you might even find them more fun. HIIT can also boost your resting metabolism after a workout, which can further maximize fat loss. On the other hand, endurance-based cardio is not recommended if your goal is to get ripped, as you risk losing muscle mass while burning fat.