Getting ‘shredded’ can seem like an awfully complicated process. Some people try for years and never actually manage to do it. They think they are doing everything right, when in actual fact they are hindering their chances. The fact is, you can’t build muscle and burn fat at the same time. It’s very hard to do, and you’ll more than likely burn your muscle while you burn your fat. This makes it better to do one at a time to begin with. But how do you know where to start? If you want a ripped physique, then this is how you go about it:

Take a Look at How Lean You Are

You need to be honest with yourself about how lean you are to start with. Now, don’t get lean confused with being skinny. There are skinny fat people in the world, who might be a smaller size in clothes but have a lot of body fat, contributing to a podgy appearance with not a lot of ‘tone’. Lean people have muscle tone and a low body fat. You can look up pictures easily on Google to get an idea of what we’re talking about. You can also have your body fat checked out at your local gym, and then research a healthy percentage. This is in no way about your weight; weight doesn’t actually mean anything, and neither does BMI. Focus on your body fat percentage for now.

Lean Out/Build Muscle

Now, if you’re a perfectly lean person (some are naturally, others need to work hard), you can begin to pack on that muscle. You need to be quite lean before you put on the muscle, or you can end up putting on a lot of body fat and end up with a podgier appearance. You will put on some body fat as you build muscle, but not much if you do it properly. So, how do you build the muscle? You build the muscle by eating more calories than you burn off, for a start. Look on a site like and work out how much you need to be eating, and look at the numbers of proteins, carbs, and fats too. Use an app like MyFitnessPal to monitor your food intake carefully to make sure you’re hitting your goals. When you’ve hit your goals for 2 weeks consistently, see if you notice any progress. If not, add more calories in. Just bear in mind that the cleaner the calories, the less fat you put on. If progress stalls, you always change your intake to suit. As well as monitoring your diet more closely, you need to exercise appropriately. Building muscle requires minimal cardio (you can do a couple of short sessions a week if you’re worried about putting on fat), and lots of weight lifting. Keep the lifting in the 6-8 rep range for muscle building. If you need to lean out before you pack on the muscle, do the same with the IIFYM calculator but change your goals. Leaning out requires more cardio; up to 6 sessions a week for 30-45 minutes but no more. Too much will eat away at your muscle. It still requires resistance training too, but you’ll want your reps to be in the 12-15 range and have shorter sets in between. Once you feel you’ve packed on enough muscle, which can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks or more, you can lean out. Leaning out will be different this time, as you’ll have some nice new muscle to show off underneath, giving you that ‘shredded’ look. It can take a number of ‘cuts’ and ‘bulks’ to get to where you want to be, but that’s all a part of the process!

Tailor Your Diet

IIFYM is a good way to do things because you can still fit treats into your diet providing you are meeting your protein, carb, and fat allowance for the day. If you meet those allowances, calories aren’t important. However, don’t use this diet as a way to eat whatever you like. Ideally, you should still be eating 80% good and 20% treats. If you’re leaning out, you might want to cut treats down even more to try to speed the process up. Some people prefer to eat strictly clean as it gives them more structure, but bear in mind a treat meal or two can help to speed up your metabolism and get you better results! You don’t have to cut your favourite foods out forever, so that’s the good news. 2

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Design a Training Split

When you have your diet sorted, you need to design a training split. There are a ton of online trainers you can use if you’d prefer one of them to do it, so get in touch. It’ll be pricy but make your life a lot easier! Your training split can be designed a number of ways, so it really depends on how you like to train. It makes sense to do a big part and a small part each day, e.g. back and biceps. It isn’t smart to do back and legs, as you’ll use far too much energy and won’t be able to give it your all. You probably won’t be able to move the next day either. Remember to keep the rep ranges to suit your goals as mentioned earlier on. You can’t just go with the motions when you train, either. If you spend more time on the changing room benches than you do in the gym, you won’t get very far!

Be Consistent

Consistency is the key when you want to get shredded! You need to get into a good routine and be determined enough to keep it up. Making sure your routine is sustainable is the key, as you need to keep this up forever, ideally. If you don’t make it sustainable, you’ll give up and go back to your old ways.

Be Patient

Patience is a virtue. You need it when losing pesky body fat and building stubborn muscle. Both take time to see results. The longer you train over a period of time, the better results you get. Simply make it your goal to enjoy the journey!

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