For many people, losing weight and becoming lean are easy tasks. But many people find it difficult to get really, really lean. Here are five tips that will get you “super shredded.” (This doesn’t apply to individuals who are taking steroids.)
1. Let yourself get “light.”
Attention men: If you want to lose body fat, you’re probably going to have to lose body weight too. Unless you are very young or just started a weight training program, you likely won’t be able to pack on 20 pounds of muscle while you lose 20 pounds of fat.
Gaining muscle is a possibility, but it’s more likely that you’ll gain a pound or two of muscle while you drop 10 to 20 pounds of fat. Therefore, you’ll probably have to weigh less than your “ideal” body weight in order to get leaner.
Here’s a rule of thumb to remember: Think of the weight you want to be when you get “shredded” – then think lower than that number. You will be considered lean when you weigh 90 to 95 percent of what you think you should weigh.
Thinking “light” will rescue you from the mental block that is keeping you from being truly shredded. Do you want to be shredded, or do you want to weigh in at a predetermined number?
2. Let your diet work for you.
A super lean body comes from a restriction of calories. You must take in fewer calories than you burn during a day. “Protein guilt” and “muscle anxiety” put roadblocks in your path to being lean, whether you’re following the Eat Stop Eat program or a different program.
If you feel guilty about not eating enough calories or protein while you are dieting, you’ll likely ingest an extra nutrition shake with 50 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbohydrates after you workout. If you do that, the calorie deficit you’re trying to create will disappear.
If you want to get really lean, do your best to block out “protein guilt” and “muscle anxiety.” Let your diet help you get lean. If you are weight training properly during the time that you’re dieting, you will not lose muscle.
3. Don’t compensate with cardio.
Many people, afraid of dieting “too hard,” don’t cut many calories and instead try to create the remainder of their calorie deficit with cardio exercise.
But the truth is, many people overestimate the number of calories they burn during a workout session. You can’t become “shredded” by doing only cardio.
Lose fat with the help of your diet.
Maintain muscle mass with the help of workouts.
4. Don’t be fooled by the Sine Wave:
What is a sine wave?
The dotted line represents your normal activity level. Hard core workouts help you burn extra calories. The top of the red line indicates your activity level during your workout.
If you exercise and then crash on the couch for the evening, your activity level, or the bottom of the red line, will actually be lower than normal. Doing nothing will make your workout less effective. In order to make your workout effective, you should pretend like they never happened and keep moving like you normally would.
5. Measure, measure, measure.
If you want to get shredded, measurements become your best friend. Measurements tell you whether you’re progressing. You should measure your arms, legs, waist, hips, shoulders, and everywhere in between.
If you keep track of your measurements, you can refer to them on the days when you look in the mirror and think you’ve lost muscle mass or gained weight. Besides, if you’re losing weight in your waist and keeping mass in the areas you want to keep, does the rest matter?
Those are my five tips for anyone who wants to get truly “shredded.” Follow these tips, and you’ll see results.