PLENTY OF GUYS have asked this simple question at one point or another: “How do I get shredded?”
Of course, the answer is a little more complicated, since there are multiple factors in play when it comes to getting a ripped six-pack. We’ve broken down the process into five easily digestible steps.
1. Work out in the morning on an empty stomach
Not a morning person? Maybe you should be. If you’re familiar with the term “fasted cardio,” now’s the time to put it to use. Waking up and working out on an empty stomach is key to scorching fat and may help melt away the pounds, according to a recent study published in the journal Physiology.
When researchers conducted the study over six weeks, they separated men into three groups: the first group increased its caloric intake by 20%, while half performed exercises and the rest remained inactive; the second group scheduled a workout post-breakfast; and the last group followed the exact same exercise at the crack of dawn.
They found that the first group gained nearly 6lbs, the second hiked up about 3lbs, and the last group not only stayed the same weight, but also burned more fat throughout the day.
2. Go into carb depletion mode
Completely slashing your carbohydrate intake will certainly help with dropping the pounds (and fast).
Gradually drop your total carb intake by 25g each day for a week so your body can acclimate as it operates on less while dropping weight.
3. Lift a lot of weights
Want to see the fat really fall off? Train with weights. Lifting is a crucial component to get results, and according to a recent study published in the journal Obesity, it’s more effective for maintaining a flat stomach than cardio.
4. Go with more greens
While fruit is great, it’s also full of sugar. Going with more greens will provide you with key nutrients and antioxidants, but your sugar, carb, and total calorie intake will be reduced. One apple has 125 calories and 25g of carbs. One large red pepper has 40 calories and 5g of carbs. See what we mean?
5. Use the “metabolic window”
The key to building quality muscle mass relies heavily on nutrient timing. Schedule your carbohydrate intake post-workout to replenish your glycogen levels and prepare you for the next training session; take in protein to help repair and rebuild your muscles. To build muscle, consuming post-workout protein is essential. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle, and true growth cannot occur if you don’t feed them.
For quality recovery meals try a protein shake with fruit or tuna on whole-wheat toast. The amount of carbohydrates and protein mostly depends upon your weight, the workout, and your fitness goals. In general, consuming 20-40g of protein within the metabolic window will score you a visibly more ripped physique.