Plus a secret from the pros your competitors don’t want you to know.
shredded: (ˈʃrɛdɪd/) adjective – having extreme, defined muscularity.
Alright listen up. It’s time to stop wearing two layers of clothing and flexing your fat under your baggy sweats at the gym. If you want to look like a bodybuilder or carry around more definition than a dictionary then it’s time to get to work and put in motion the strategies that will decrease your body fat percentage and bring out all that hard earned muscle. Be forewarned, this is not an easy journey but one that will give you more self- satisfaction than anything you’ve ever experienced before in the end. By putting the following measures in order you will be ensuring your seat in the ripped zone and experience what it’s like to live in the upper echelon of physical superiority in our society.
1. Reduce Overall Caloric Intake
To achieve the lowest body fat percentages possible, the very first step in the process is to decrease your total caloric consumption each day.
If calories are always at a high, then you are in surplus and whatever energy does not get used during your daily activities, will go towards growth; both good and bad. Strategically decreasing your calories on a weekly basis so as to preserve muscle is a very daunting task but one that if perfected will leave you huge and shredded. Your aim with this protocol should be a loss of around 2-3 pounds per week. This way you chances of keeping your muscle significantly increases while burning up all that unwanted body fat. Do this while increasing the frequency of meals you consume daily to keep your metabolism firing.
2. Increase Energy Output
This strategy goes very closely with #1. The energy that you put out each day should supersede the energy that you are taking in. When this formula is correct, your metabolism starts revving up and you turn yourself into a walking, fat burning machine. To increase energy output look at increasing the volume of your workouts a little bit at a time and adding in additional cardiovascular activities. This could be as simple as adding a session on the treadmill to your program or participating in other physical activities.
Whatever your choice is, it will be beneficial to your fat loss efforts.
3. Reduce Rest Times Between Sets
If you’ve ever noticed, people who are lean always seem to be moving. Taking a cue from this observation, limiting the amount of time you rest in between sets could be a very valuable tool for you in the gym. Rather than waiting around for 2 to 3 minutes before crushing your next set, as soon as you catch your breath, hit it hard again and attack the weights.
You’ll be killing two birds with one stone here by utilizing both your anaerobic and anaerobic energy systems which is a sure fire method for fat loss.
4. HIIT Cardio
High Intensity Interval Training is an advanced form of cardiovascular training that when employed leads to extreme fat loss. By cycling the rate at which your heart is beating, you take your body through a cycle that has peaks and valleys that cause your body to keep guessing. This in turn increases your metabolic pathways ultimately leading to fat loss both during the exercises and in the after burn known as EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption).
Studies have shown an increase in metabolism and fat burning up to 24 hours post exercise by utilizing the principles of HIIT.
5. Increase protein Intake With Fast Digesting Sources
Who doesn’t like a great steak right? Well as good as red meat is for gaining and preserving muscle, it may not be the best choice for getting shredded. As much as 30 pounds of red meat and feces can get lodged as paste inside your colon and intestines so when trying to get as lean as possible this is not the best way to go. Instead look to increasing your protein intake with fast digesting sources such as chicken, turkey, white fish and egg whites. By increasing your protein intake you are creating an anabolic environment which is conducive to muscle growth and fat loss and due to the increase in portion sizes, the fast digesting sources will be in and out quickly while giving you all the amino acids you need.
6. Increase Healthy Fats
Here’s a new concept if you haven’t been paying attention; fat actually helps burn fat. By increasing your healthy fat intake through omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids you allow for fat oxidation to occur which is the process of the fat cell burning up or shrinking. Sources such as coconut oil, walnuts, almonds, fish and egg yolks are great additions to your diet when trying to get shredded. One added bonus of these foods is the sustained energy they give you for those grueling workouts.
7. Decrease Carbohydrate Intake
Unfortunately one of the hardest things about getting as shredded as possible is the lowering of your carb intake. Your brain looks for glucose, which is produced when your carb sources get metabolized, as its primary source of energy. When that energy isn’t there in surplus, you start to feel tired and lethargic. This is a byproduct of getting shredded so suck it up. Low carb intake is a strategy that is difficult but effective.
Keep your carb intake limited to your first meal of the day and then around your workouts. After that, forget that carbs even exist.
8. Increase Water Intake
We are all basically just big bags of salty water walking around. The more hydrated we are, the healthier we are. For that reason, increasing your water intake is a must when reaching extreme levels of conditioning. The increase in water will support your metabolism and help you digest all the good food you’ve been eating as well as flush out all the ketones in your body which is a byproduct of fat burning.
9. Keep Training Heavy
Plain and simple, the more muscle mass you carry the more energy your body needs and the more energy you’ll burn at rest. Science has proven that to build extreme amounts of muscle and trigger hypertrophy you have to lift heavy enough to break down the muscle so that it can recover and grow. Whatever you do, never lighten up on your weight training and aim to crush your bests each workout. You’ll have more muscle and burn more fat even while you’re sitting down and relaxing at the end of your day.
10. Optimize Hormone Levels And Choose A Great far burner
Using supplements is an important part in the process. supplements can significantly add to your overall fat burning quest by supporting your training efforts.
A great testosterone booster and a growth hormone potentiator should be staples in your protocol. Both hormones have been shown to significantly improve muscle growth and simultaneously reduce fat. Secondly, use an omega/amino hybrid product with a high EPA ratio to further support your efforts. And finally, a great fat burner that helps stimulate your CNS and get you jacked up for your workouts without wigging you out is the final piece of the puzzle.
Secret of the pros: This may be very unconventional in its approach but it works. Intermittent fasting, where you drop your calories to roughly 500-600 calories a day a couple times a week, will activate brown fat stores in the body which will in turn help burn up intramuscular fat. When this happens, you reach a level of conditioning worthy of an Olympia stage.
So there you have it; 10 proven and surefire ways to get shredded and be in the best shape of your life. Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me and watch what happens. I guarantee you’ll be back here again looking for more ways to improve your physique and begging for more strategies and secrets. Welcome to the ripped zone!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer
Inside Fitness Magazine Staff writer
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