How to Get Ripped (Part 1)

Discover Get-Fit Guy’s top 5 ways to get ripped, build muscle, burn fat, and tone your body as fast as possible.

Ben Greenfield
6-minute read
Episode #131

How to Get Ripped (Part 1)

For some, getting ripped means looking like Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Demi Moore in GI Jane. For others, getting ripped means being able to at least see a few of the muscles on your abs, or perhaps not be embarrassed about getting into a swimsuit. And for others, it means finally fitting into that tight t-shirt or pair of fitted jeans that have been hiding in your closet.

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Whichever your personal goals, in this two-part series, you’ll get my top 10 Quick and Dirty Tips for getting ripped, building muscle, burning fat, and toning your body as fast as possible.

How to Get Ripped

Tip #1: Always Be Moving

It’s rare that I find a ripped person who doesn’t have a high amount of movement in their life, and it’s one reason why the ectomorph body type, with a screaming high metabolism, tends to find it very easy to get ripped if they exercise the proper way. (Wondering if you’re an ectomorph? Take the questionnaire and find your body type at GetFitGuy.com.) But even if that’s not your body type, you can keep your metabolism elevated with movement, and you can do it without stepping foot into a gym.

Here are some simple ways you can always be moving:

a.  Grease the Groove

“Greasing the Groove” is a concept I originally discovered in a book called The Naked Warrior. The idea is basically this: Instead of doing a long workout at the gym, you simply spread your exercises throughout the day. This not only allows you to become proficient at certain movements, but also elevates your metabolism throughout the day. For example, I have a pull-up bar installed above the door of my office. Every time I walk under that bar, I have a rule that I have to do 5 pull-ups.

Other examples of “Greasing the Groove” include:

  • Doing 20 body weight squats every time you go to the bathroom

  • Doing 25 jumping jacks for every hour that you sit at your desk

  • Doing 10 push-ups during every commercial break of a television program

See Also: How to Get Fit While Watching TV

b. Fidget

Motion detectors have shown that the more active you are, the more likely you are to burn extra fat, and that motion can take place via tiny, seemingly insignificant daily activities such as:

  • chewing gum

  • tapping your feet

  • rolling your head in circles

  • shrugging your shoulders

  • twiddling your fingers

Of course, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator counts as an even more advanced form of fidgeting!

c.  Stand

In the episode 7 Ways to Burn Calories By Standing More, you learned about how standing can increase the activity of your fat burning enzymes and keep many of your tiny core, leg, and feet muscles working all day long. What are some easy ways that you can stand more?

  • Stand when you’re waiting, such as at a doctor’s office or the DMV.

  • Stand when you’re working. Check out episode How to Turn Your Workstation Into a Calorie-Decimating Standing Desk or Workstation.

  • Stand while you’re flying. When I’m on an airplane, I’ll often read, listen to music, and watch programs on my phone or eReader while standing in the back of the plane.

  • Stand when you’re snacking. You’re prone to eat less and metabolize calories more quickly when you eat in the standing position.

  • Stand while on the phone. When you talk on the phone, try to stand up, pace the room, or even stretch.

Tip #2: Sprints

Many people already are “ripped” with good muscle definition, but that muscle is simply covered up by a layer of fat. And one of the fastest ways to strip fat off your body fast is to sprint.

So how can you implement the strategy of sprinting to get ripped? Try performing several sprints on the treadmill after you’ve lifted weights at the gym, or just head out into the backyard, park, or your neighborhood street and do a few sprint repeats on your days off from weight training. You can even do your sprints on a bicycle or elliptical trainer. Try to include 5-10 short sprints when you do a sprint workout, sprint no longer than 15 seconds, and get full recovery after each sprint (generally 3-4 times longer than you actually sprinted). Do a sprint workout 2-3 times a week for optimal results.

Tip #3: Lift Heavy

While you can certainly get fit by lifting high reps with low weights or low reps with high weights, if you actually want to get ripped, it works best to burn your fat with metabolic conditioning like the sprinting described earlier, combined with heavier lifting, which will result on a fat-burning hormone release that exceeds what you’ll get from lighter lifting with lots of repetitions.

Full body, heavy exercises like squatsdeadliftsbench presses, and Olympic lifts should ideally be used, at 85-95% of your 1RM (or one repetition maximum). You need to do 2-3 full body weight lifting workouts per week, combined with a few sprint or interval workouts per week to get the best ripped results (in Part 2 of this series, I’ll give you a sample workout).

And by the way, if you're a beginner or new to weight training, don’t let this concept of heavy lifting scare you away. You can simulate many of these exercises on weight training machines until you’re strong and skilled enough to perform the free weight barbell or dumbbell versions.

Tip #4: Increase Testosterone

Whether you are male or female, higher levels of circulating testosterone will allow you to burn fat and build muscle faster. Fortunately, a couple of the tips you’ve already learned in this episode – sprinting and lifting heavy stuff – will also increase testosterone quickly. What are some other ways you can increase testosterone?

a. Rest Long

Scientists have studied the effects of very short rest periods on testosterone and found that longer rest periods of around 120 seconds between weight training sets are better for building testosterone (although you can still build other hormones, such as growth hormone, with shorter rest periods). You can learn more about why long rest periods work to increase testosterone by clicking here.

b.  Forced Reps

You can also do forced reps, in which you perform a weight lifting exercise for as many reps as you can, and then have partner (a “spotter”) assist you with completing several additional repetitions (anywhere from 1-5 extra reps).  Research shows that this type of forced rep set generates more testosterone than simply doing as many reps as you can do by yourself.

c. Train Legs

In another study that investigated the hormonal response to weight training, participants were split into an arm-only training group and a leg-plus-arm training group. Testosterone increases were significantly higher in the group that added lower body training to their upper body training.

d. Eat Right

From grass-fed beef to oysters, you should include traditional testosterone boosting foods in your day. But as you learn in this article about natural supplement and dietary methods to boost testosterone, you can also include adequate levels of zinc, Vitamin D, cholesterol, boron, and natural herbal anti-inflammatory supplements in your diet to help boost testosterone even higher.

Tip #5: Cold Thermogenesis

In the article How to Burn Fat Without Exercise, you learn that one trick to burn fat without exercising is to implement a daily hot-cold contrast shower, which is better for enhancing fat loss compared to the cold showers and cold weather exposure that I discussed in the episode How to Use Cold Weather to Lose Weight. To do this free fat burning correctly, you simply take a shower and alternate between 10 seconds of warm water to 20 seconds of cold water, 10 times through. That’s just 5 minutes, but it’s free fat burning!

I also personally wear a Cool Fat Burner vest when I’m working on my computer at home, and typically jump start that cold fat burning process with a 5-minute cold shower each morning. Finally, on cooler spring and fall days, I go outside each morning to do a goose bump-packed stretch routine. All of this adds up to a significant amount of fat burning, without any actual exercise.

So those are the first 5 tips to get ripped: always be moving, sprint, lift heavy stuff, increase testosterone, and use cold thermogenesis. In the next episode, you’ll get 5 more tips to get ripped!

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!

Pull Up, Treadmill and Shower Head images from Shutterstock

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.