When you are looking to get ripped, there are a few things to consider. There are a lot of exercise programs out there – but you have a lot more flexibility if you make your own workout. If you customize your own workout, you can change it up as you need. Eager to find out how to get ripped? Before you rush off to the gym with a vision of workouts to get ripped, take some time to do a little planning because it might be a lot easier than you think.
The first thing you might want to look at is what you are eating – and how much. The saying goes – calories in equals calories out. The amount that you are eating will make a big difference is whether your exercise routine will work. The process of how to get ripped is basically a function of losing fat while maintaining muscle. Eating too many calories will prevent you from burning off the fat.
If you don’t burn the fat, your muscles won’t show through. You probably need to calculate your basal metabolic rate using a free online calculator – then add in the number of calories you think you are burning. Once you get that total, you will know how many calories you have to work with, but you need to eat less than you are taking in to burn the fat off. Don’t cut your calories back so far that you can’t function but you can easily aim for a couple of pounds burned off per week. Remember that one pound of bodyweight is equal to about 3,500 calories.
Second, consider what you are eating. If you are looking to get ripped, you will want to maintain the muscle while burning off the fat. That means that you need to keep plenty of protein in your diet as protein is what helps you build and maintain muscle. Obviously meats like beef, pork, lamb and chcken are good sources of protein along with fish and other seafood. Don’t discount the vegetable proteins such as soy, legumes (beans and peas) combined with whole grains like rice and oats to make the protein a complete source of the amino acids you need. And of course protein shakes can be an excellent backup source when needed.
Also consider the carbs you eat. You need carbohydrates but you want to make sure they are “complex” carbs which are harder to digest but give a longer lasting supply of energy. Complex carbohydrates digest more slowly so you avoid the immediate spike in blood suger that is great at first but leaves you just as fast as it came in and bottoms out your energy. Complex carbs such as vegetables and whole grains tend to have a lot of fiber too – which will help you avoid being hungry.
Don’t completely cut out the fats – as you need them to make hormones, build and repair body cells and lubricate your joints. Remember though, that fats contain over twice as many calories per gram as carbs and proteins do – so cutting back on fats is a good idea. Most experts will recommend that your dietary fats include sources that are high in Omega fatty acids such as olive oil.
Frequency of your workouts
The main thought used to be that the more that you did the better your results would be. The simple fact of the matter is that if you overdo it, you will actually hurt your efforts to reach the goals that you are aiming for. Overwork won’t keep you from losing the weight but it will decrease the “quality” of your muscles. You may also put your body into a stress mode – which releases stress hormones that can actually begin to break down those muscles you worked so hard for – and make you retain fat which is the exact opposite of what you want to do. The key to avoiding overwork is to let your body rest in between workouts for that particular body part – expecially when you are considering workouts to get ripped.
Choose a few days of the week that you can work out. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday is a good routine that you can go with. This will give you Wednesday along with Saturday and Sunday to rest up and get ready for the next week’s workout. This way you can go all out on Monday/Tuesday – rest Wednesday and go for it again on Thursday/Friday. This alternating schedule is mostly important for muscle work – but if you want, you can do some cardio on the off days – taking at least one day a week that is truly “off” when you are completely resting.
Again, more is not always better. If you are going with the two-on, one off, two-on plan, consider doing upper body on day 1, lower body on day 2, cardio on the rest day – and then repeat.
The upper body would include everything above the waist – arms, back and chest. The lower body would include legs and abs.
- Day 1 – arms, back and chest
- Day 2 – legs and abs
- Day 3 – cardio/rest
Other people like to go with muscle groups – something like
- Day 1 – chest, triceps and abs
- Day 2 – biceps, back and legs
- Day 3 – cardio/rest
Really it just depends on how much muscle work you want to do. If you are doing this to get ripped, muscle building is not what you are focusing on – but losing the top layer of fat, toning and maintaining the muscles should be your center of attention.
Muscle building vs. toning and maintenance
In addition to making sure that you aren’t going too heavy on the muscles – you want to watch how you are structuring your workouts. Heavy weights with low reps are what you use to build muscle – while lower weights with higher reps are for toning and refining.
So for getting ripped, you want to do sets of at least 10 reps, preferably 15-20 – and 3 sets of each. You also want to consider limiting your time spent resting and do a kind of circuit training where you go directly from one exercise into the next with only a minimum of rest. This helps keep your calorie burn high – with your heart rate and respirations up.
Back: For your back, you want to look at a few main areas and the basic exercises you use for each area. The areas of your back that need work are –
- Traps – the trapezius muscles. This is the top part of your shoulders and upper back.
- Rhomboids – the Rhombus muscles are the center back muscles.
- Lats – the latissimus dorsi mucles are at the sides of the back, underneath the arms
- Lower back – just above your rear and often overlooked
The main exercise we can do for the back include;
- Pull downs for the lats and traps – making sure to contract the traps at the end of each pull
- Rows for the traps and rhombus muscles – upright rows focus more on the traps and deltoid muscles of the shoulders – while traditional rows work mainly on the traps and rhombus muscles
- For the lower back – some careful deadman’s lift or back raises work pretty well but this is an area that is easlity injured and often already stressed in a lot of people due to poor posture – so don’t overdo it
Chest: The chest is pretty obvious but you do need to consider a few exercises –
- Bench presses – these can be done using the traditional barbell on a flat bench but also consider
- Incline (head higher than hips) presses to work the upper chest
- Decline (hips higher than head) presses to work the lower press
- Butterflys – done with dumbbells are using a machine. You can also focus a little more if you consider incline and decline ‘flys as well.
- Dumbbell presses – these aren’t exactly different but they offer a bit more in the auxiliary muscles – which give you the small ripples that you are looking for when developing workouts to get ripped.
Arms: Again pretty obvious with the biceps and triceps but don’t forget the deltoids and forearms –
- Curls – obviously a must – dumbbell curls tend to provide a little more definition. Adding preacher curls allows you to focus more on each specific muscle – good for definition.
- Triceps raises or kickbacks – overhead raises, make sure you don’t bonk your head. Kickbacks are a big favorite.
- Deltoids – are worked with a number of different exercises that focus on other body parts. Delts are sometimes worked with the shoulders – in upright rows and shrugs. Some of the chest exercises help with the deltoids – mainly the presses and they get some work in the curls – but consider adding some arm raises – front and side.
- Forearms – the best exercises tend to be ones that use a reverse grip with the fingers pointing away from the face.
Abs: Not much to say here – crunches and leg lifts but make sure you also do some crossover exercises to work both sides of the abs.
Legs: Again usually a no brainer but you need to work the quads (fronts), the hamstrings (backs) and calves – and by all means don’t leave out the glutes.
- Squats – the best overall exercise for the legs, hands down. Wroks all parts of the leg and butt.
- Leg extensions – works the quads. Pretty basic.
- Leg curls – hamstrings and glutes –don’t’ ditch this exercise but don’t expect a lot of definition here.
- Calf raises – calves won’t grow much – either you have ‘em or you don’t – but you can get some definition.
With some planning – and not forgetting the cardio, most workouts can be modified for any goal. You need to change the intensity and speed of the workouts – but the basics are usually the best.