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How to Get Ripped (Part 2)

Get-Fit Guy has 5 more ways to get ripped, build muscle, burn fat and tone your body as fast as possible.

By
Ben Greenfield,
April 1, 2013
Episode #132

How to Get Ripped (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, you learned my first 5 Quick and Dirty Tips for getting ripped, building muscle, burning fat and toning your body as fast as possible. Let’s jump right into the next 5!

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Tip #6: Lower Stress

It’s important to realize that most people are already relatively ripped – but the muscles are just covered up by a layer of fat! And nowhere is this truer than in the abdominal section. Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel, described in her recent episode about getting rid of belly fat how cortisol levels affect body fat. Cortisol is a hormone released in response to stress and chronically high cortisol levels have been linked to more belly fat stores. Monica recommends getting more sleep as one potent way to reduce stress, which I highly agree with. I talk more about the importance of rest in this sleep enhancing article.

Check out my episode What to Do if You’re too Stressed to Exercise for some of my favorite stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, and even simply planning ahead and creating checklists. 

Tip #7: Don’t Overdo Supplements

Back when I was a bodybuilder, I was sponsored by a protein shake company, and since I was a relatively poor college student, I’d suck down 4-5 canned protein shakes each day. Unfortunately, these shakes were filled with preservatives, cheap whey protein, artificial sweeteners, and other chemicals that left me constipated and gassy with a less than impressive mid-section due to all the bloating.

So even though they may feature photos of ripped models on their label, those big tubs of fancy powder may actually be doing you more harm than good. I’ve found it to be far more effective to choose supplements with the fewest additives and ingredients as possible and to eat real food whenever possible. The less bloating or indigestion you have, the better your abdominal muscles are going to look.

Tip #8: Fast

Many studies have shown that different forms of fasting – from intermittent fasting, to alternate day fasting, to simply limiting the amount of snacking and grazing you do – can work very well for fat loss. Here are a few recent studies:

In spite of what you may have heard, you don’t have to starve yourself to fast! For example, on most days of the week, I simply try to not eat anything within 2 hours of bedtime, then not eat anything for 2 hours after I wake up. With 8 hours of sleeping, that gives me a 12-hour fast each day. Another popular method is to simply choose one day per week to fast, and on this day, you basically drink water, coffee, and take a supplement such as a multivitamin.

One important caveat: I do not recommend hard or long workouts in a fasted state, as they can decrease testosterone levels and increase cortisol levels – two effects which stand directly in the way of you getting ripped!

Tip #9: Avoid the Wheat Belly

In her episode The Whole Truth about Whole Grains, Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel, describes how all of those healthy whole grains that we’re encouraged to eat for fat loss can actually trigger a significant release of insulin, which can cause fat storage if you’re not exercising or if you’re eating too many calories. And while whole grains and whole wheat have a lower effect on insulin and blood sugar levels compared to refined grains and processed sugars, they still can pack a wallop when it comes to inhibiting your fat loss progress.

Because it can lower blood-sugar fluctuation, along with reducing bloating and indigestion, I’ve personally found that avoiding wheat is one of the fastest ways to six-pack abs. As Monica describes in her episode on whole grains, you can start by simply replacing some of the grains in your diet with vegetables and other nutrient-dense foods.

See also: Why Is Sugar Bad?

By the way, two of the other main food groups you can eliminate to get ripped faster are alcohol and processed sugar – two things that most bodybuilders and magazine cover models know to avoid, especially in those last few weeks before a show or a photo shoot. You can use these same strategies for those last few weeks before your attempt to fit into your summer swimsuit.

Tip #10: Be Consistent

In the same way that always moving can get you ripped fast, it’s fairly rare to meet a ripped person who doesn’t have a consistent exercise routine. In other words, when it comes to getting ripped, 2 big training sessions each week are not nearly as effective as 6-7 smaller, shorter training sessions each week. (Check out Tip #1, in Part 1 of this series, for tips on how to move more).

With what you already know about lifting heavy and sprinting from Part 1 of this series, here’s a sample workout routine for getting ripped. It includes consistent movement and exercise on every day of the week!

Day 1: Full body weight training workout

  • Warm-up

  • 4 sets of 8 repetitions bench press, paired with 4 sets of  8 repetitions squats.

  • 4 sets of 8 repetitions deadlifts, paired with 4 sets of 8 repetitions pull-ups.

  • 6 sets of maximum 10 second sprints.

  • Cool-down

Day 2: Sprint intervals on the treadmill, bicycle, elliptical trainer, or pool. Try 10 x 30-60 seconds as hard as you can go, with full rest between each effort.

Day 3: A full body, functional training routine that will get you moving gracefully and give your ripped body a nice athletic appearance. I recommend the routine I describe in my episode The Best Workout for Becoming a Better Athlete.

Day 4: Same as Day 1

Day 5: Same as Day 2 (but choose a different “mode” of sprinting)

Day 6: Same as Day 3

Day 7: Easy morning fasted walk with yoga and stretching.

So that’s it, your top 10 tips for getting ripped! Let’s review: always be moving, sprint, lift heavy stuff, increase testosterone, use cold thermogenesis, reduce stress, don’t over-do supplements, fast, avoid the wheat belly, and be consistent.

If you have more questions about how to get ripped, then post them in the comments section of the Get-Fit Guy web site or join the conversation at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

Muscular Man and Muscular Woman images from Shutterstock

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