I’m going to be discussing in this long (but informative) article the best diet to get ripped. But before I get into the diet aspect, which is the most important by far, I just want to get a weight training myth out of the way.
Most people believe that in order to “tone the muscle” and get more cut, one should perform higher reps in their work out routine. The logic of this method is that doing more reps will burn more calories, which will theoretically burn more fat.
I disagree with this opinion.
I feel like in any cutting program there are two distinct goals. First and foremost, obviously the main goal is to burn fat. But secondly, it is of the utmost importance to retain muscle.
The traditional approach attempts to achieve both goals through work outs like I discussed earlier: higher reps will burn fat, while still working the muscle.
The problem with this method is that higher rep work outs are usually NOT enough to burn fat satisfactorily.
And on the muscle retention front, higher rep work outs definitely do not induce enough muscular stress to hold onto muscle optimally.
Bottom line is, there’s a better way to get ripped faster, and with more muscle spared (so you have the abs, AND arms, pecs and shoulders come beach season).
So here’s how I approach a cutting program:
1. Muscle retention is best achieved by lifting heavy weight, which means lower reps. Think 4 to 8 reps per set.
2. Fat loss is best achieved by doing HIIT, complexes, and manipulating diet.
See what I do here?
I let work outs do what they’re meant to do – to gain or at the very least, retain muscle mass. Even “the Ultimate Beginners Work Out” would be a great place to start while on a cutting program. It’s not too high volume, but focuses on heavy weights that will be certain to scare your body into gripping its muscle tightly no matter how low you are on calories.
Or better yet, try out Visual Impact which combines many different training techniques to not only retain muscle, but to make sure it is shaped in all the right places.
Discussion of the Best Diet to Get Ripped… It’s a Process
And now that you are in a place where your muscle is safe from the ferocious jaws of catabolism, you can start putting different techniques into play to get super ripped using diet and cardio techniques.
It’s usually best to ease your body slowly into a diet and cardio plan. This way, your physiological systems won’t start getting freaked out and protect its fat reserves.
To start, try simultaneously lowering your carb and calorie intake. This isn’t as complicated as it sounds. For instance, sometimes I’ll have a bagel, eggs, and turkey bacon for breakfast.
Now that I’m starting to diet down, I’ll cut out the bagel, and just eat eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast. I’ve effectively cut out 300 calories and around 55g of carbs from my daily diet just from that small change.
A week or two later, I might do something similar with another meal. Maybe cut out the rice from my chicken and veggie stir-fry meal before bed.
I’m about a month in, my body is gradually easing itself into fat-burning mode, and this is where I turn to cardio to heat up my internal furnace. I start doing Bagels near me twice a week on non-work out days.
Next, perhaps 6 weeks in, I cut down to 100g of carbs per day, and I eat those carbs only pre or post-workout (within an hour). Pre- workout carbs are quickly used up by the intensity of workouts, and post-workout carbs are used to fill up muscle glycogen stores. No carbs will be left over to fill fat stores… this is a good thing.
By now, I’m down to around 2400 calories per day, 100g of carbs and two HIIT work outs. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s maintainable without too much trouble. The odd craving comes up every once in a while, but is extinguished during my pre and post workout carb meals.
Noticeable Results Will Come Fairly Quickly…
My ab outline starts to appear. A web of veins starts to protrude from my forearms. The anterior and medial delts start to separate.
The jaw line becomes more defined. “You look good, your face looks different.” Female friends start to comment.
I feel good. I look better than 99% of the population on the beach. I know how hard this is going to get, and contemplate stopping here and enjoying my summer.