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What is “getting ripped”?
The term “getting ripped” is a bodybuilding term referring to the loss of body fat and building up of muscle tissue to increase muscle definition. Losing excess body fat actually helps to define muscles and increase density and strength in the body. There also has to be a balance of weight lifting to increase build-up of muscles that you want to be defined.
Excess body fat makes our bodies look softer and curvier. We may have a nice shape, but it is not well-defined and the muscles are not visible under the skin. “Getting ripped” is a very balanced process of taking off excess body fat, while building up muscle at the same time to increase definition. People who just lose excess body fat will not necessarily appear “ripped” if they have no muscle tissue. Weight training combined with proper diet is one way to increase muscle definition. Balance is the key and there are many personal trainers that can help design a program that contains both of these elements.
What are the needed elements to get ripped in 12 weeks?
In order to get ripped you actually need a number of elements present to lose body fat, increase muscle density and build up muscle strength. Weight lifting alone or dieting alone will not cause muscles to “get ripped.” You need the right combination of each at the right times. The elements also need to be done in the right order to have the proper effect on fat and muscle tissue.
Increase Protein Intake and Reduce Carbohydrates. You need to be eating 1.5 to 2 grams of carbohydrates for every pound you weigh daily. You also need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to 25-30 grams daily. You still need to eat some fat in your diet and keep this to 30 to 30% of your daily calories. Make sure you drink plenty of water to flush out any toxins created by increased protein; these (ketones) can be hard on the kidneys. For increased fat burning while on this diet eat 6-7 small meals daily.
What happens when you eat this way is your body learns to burn fat cells better. When we eat a higher carbohydrate diet, we burn the carbohydrates for energy and leave the stored fat alone. Keep your fat loss at around 1 to 2 pounds a week.
Towards the end of 12 weeks, you will need to start adding some carbohydrates back into your diet slowly and back off on excess water intake.
Go easy on the cardiovascular routines. When using higher amounts of proteins and lower carbohydrates in the diet, ketones burn up excess fat for energy. If we run out of ketones, our bodies will start to burn muscle. So try not to use up too much energy with cardio exercise during this time. This is a good time to work on muscle building.
Push yourself when working out. Now is the time to increase your reps and keep the weight the same or a little more. Your muscles know what they need and if you give them more weight, they will grow to maintain your needs. Slowing down on your workout will cause your muscles to plateau or stay the same.
What is a good amount of body fat for appearing “ripped?”
Body builder opinions differ on how much body fat will make you look “ripped.” It all depends on your size, weight and frame. Most people start to notice muscle definition right around 10 to 12%. Body builders usually aim for anywhere from 6 to 9% as a goal for body fat levels.
Determining your percentage of body fat can be done with a body fat calculator, a skin caliper or a formula. Use these steps to try and use the formula at home (you need a calculator, tape measure and a bathroom scale):
- Weigh yourself.
- Measure your waist.
- Multiply your weight by 1.082. Add to that 94.42.
- Multiply your waist measurement by 4.15. Subtract the result from the result of number 3. (This is your lean bodyweight)
- Take your total bodyweight and subtract your lean bodyweight.
- Multiply the result of number 5 times 100.
- Divide the result of number 6 by your total bodyweight. The result is your percentage of body fat.
Example: 150 pound man with a 32 inch waist.
- 150 x 1.082 = 148.918 + 243.338
- 32 x 4.15 = 132.8
- 243.338 – 132.8 = 110.538
- 151-110.538 = 40.462
- 40.462 x 100 = 4046.2
- 4046.2/151 = 26.79% Body Fat
The results of the above calculations are only approximate and need to be measured every few weeks to check your progress. The best way to measure body fat is with a body fat caliper.
What are some good weight training techniques for getting ripped?
- Dips – These will help to define the triceps area of the arms. Place your hands on the bench or bar and lower your body weight on your arms and lift yourself back-up. Do these slowly for most effectiveness. (See Figure 1)
Figure 1: Dips
Photo Courtesy of: health.learninginfo.org
- Pull –Ups – Pull ups work the entire back area. Correct positioning is important. To do a proper pull-up place your hands on a bar above your head, a little more than hip width apart on the bar. Pull yourself up slowly until your chin is even with the bar. Do not let your body drop back down suddenly, rather allow yourself to descend back down slowly. (See Figure 2)
Figure 2: Pull-Ups
Photo Courtesy of: printableworkouts.com
- Bench Presses – Bench pressing weight is the best way to build up pectoral muscles. Lay on your back on a weight bench with the weight bar just above your chest. Place your hands on the weight bar and lift slowly. Make sure you use a spotter the first time and each time you increase your weight on the bar. (See Figure 3)
Figure 3: Bench Press
Photo Courtesy of: answers.com
The steps above will help you know how to get ripped in 12 weeks. They should be done in the order of diet changes first and then add-in increases to your daily work-outs. Remember that fat loss is primary in getting ripped and increasing repetitions is not necessarily the answer, but increasing weight is more effective for muscle definition.