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How to Get Ripped Muscles

Posted on 08. May, 2011 by in Diet / Nutrition, Physiology

How to Get Ripped Muscles

Whether we’re willing to admit it or not, we all want that ripped look.  That chiseled physique that screams strength and power and makes people stop and take notice.

Many of us after years of effort have gotten frustrated.

We’ve seen results but just not the ones we were looking for.  We burned fat, we gained muscle, but that last little bit of fat just kept clinging to us.

It’s kept us from reaching our goals and led to our frustration.

We may have even gone so far as to assume a “sour grapes” attitude about it all.  Maybe by assuming that we just didn’t have the right “genetics” or that we’d have to break the law or abandon our principles in order to cheat with anabolic steroids.

In truth we may have just been trying too hard.

We were trying to force the equation by assuming more was better and failed to work with our bodies.

For instance, look at your diet.  Many of us follow a ketogenic style diet to burn fat.  Call it Paleo, Primal, Atkins, South Beach, whatever, the gist is a low carb diet high in protein with a “reasonable” intake of healthy fats.

In order to eat enough, feel full, and promote muscle growth we usually go real heavy on the protein.

This can work against us.

Gluconeogenesis is the creation of glucose from non-carbohydrate resources. It can take place in your body with the consumption of too much protein.  If you are eating more protein than your body can process as protein your body then breaks it down and uses the parts to make glucose.  That extra glucose can throw you out of ketosis and, worse, be stored as fat.

Another way we can work too hard is in our training.

We read and are told that cardio is a great way to burn fat.

Logic tells us that if x minutes of cardio burns y amount of fat, then even more cardio will burn even more fat.

What’s missing from this equation is the interplay of our hormones.

High levels of cardio, especially long duration cardio, can cause elevated levels of the hormone cortisol which can cause increased fat storage in the abdomen.

If you suspect you are doing too much cardio, training cardio five or six days a week in addition to your weight training, take a break.

For three or four weeks remove cardio entirely from your weight training days.

When you do train cardio, focus on trying to do more in less time.  Intervals are one way to do this.

Another way is to take the same time you normally spend and try to do more work in that same amount of time.  For instance, if you normally run six miles in 45 minutes try and push for more, say 6.1 or 6.2 miles. The point is rather than increasing the amount of time you do cardio increase the amount of work you do in that time.  Conversely you could keep the work the same but try and finish it in less time.

Training this way can help increase your testosterone levels and lower your cortisol levels which in turn can lead to lowering your body fat.

That ripped look you’re craving is a function of body fat.  We’ve all seen power lifters who are as round as toddlers.  Clearly muscle mass and body fat are not inversely related.  You can have tons of both.

The ripped look means eliminating as much of your body fat as you can.  Diet and training go hand in hand to achieve this.

Don’t sabotage all of your effort by assuming you’re just not trying hard enough.  Learn how your body works and work with it.

You may just find that you’ve been doing too much.

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