Your Guide to How to Get Ripped and Build Lean Muscle Mass Fast !

Once you make the decision to lose weight and get toned, it is often not easy to figure out exactly how to get ripped. Muscle building routines structured around unrealistic goals such as overnight abs or plans to exercise three times a day will lead to frustration and ineffectiveness. Although you may be eager to forge ahead full speed, remember that burning fat and muscle takes time and patience, and you won’t get results overnight.
The first thing you’ll want to do is establish an exercise and diet regimen that is not only effective at burning fat and building muscle but one that you can stick to.

Boost Your Metabolism and Resting Metabolic Rate While Activating the After-burn Effect  

build lean muscle

The key to effectively getting ripped is boosting your metabolism! To burn fat, you must boost your metabolism and increase your resting metabolic rate or RMR.
Metabolism is simply the process by which your body converts the food you eat into energy.  To achieve this, your body burns calories in the food with the help of oxygen.
Your body needs to continuously burn calories to provide energy for most of its functions, whether or not you are weight training or doing cardio. Your Resting Metabolic Rate is simply the number of calories you burn when at rest.
By increasing your metabolic rate and RMR you will burn more calories than you consume between your intense workouts.  This results in effective fat burn around your muscles and helps you get ripped.

How Do You Boost Your Metabolism and RMR?

Now that you understand why you must boost your metabolism and increase your RMR to get ripped. How do you achieve this?
A combination of intense strength training and intense cardiovascular exercise!
You must combine the two!  Simply will not get ripped if you just lift weights or only run on a treadmill 3 times a week…it just won’t work!

Intense Strength Training 

So let’s talk about strength training first…What is “intense strength training”?
There are many essential components to an effective, metabolism-boosting, intense strength training program.

Component #1. Maximum Muscle Fiber Activation and Muscle Fatigue 

When trying to boost your metabolism through strength training you must workout in a way that allows for the recruitment of as many muscle fibers as possible.  The way to achieve this is by performing weight resistance exercises to what is known as muscle fatigue.

Muscle fatigue is the point at which your muscles can no longer complete a single exercise repetition and is best achieved by lifting a set of heavyweights (e.g. 75 – 85% of your one-rep max) for a low number of repetitions (e.g. 5 to 8 repetitions).
Using this weight training technique results in maximum fatigue of as many muscle fibers as possible.  Why is this crucial?  This is crucial because it requires a much longer recovery time between workouts.  It is during this recovery time that your body will burn calories from your food to generate energy to assist in the muscle repair process.  This results in an increased RMR and faster fat burn around your muscles.
Choosing the right weight for each exercise you perform is very important here. A weight that is too light will not work your target muscle to the desired point of fatigue, and a weight that is too heavy will prevent you from performing a sufficient number of reps.
The best way to determine this is by calculating your one-rep max for each exercise in your workout routine.  
  1. First determine how much weight you can lift for 10 reps of an exercise, no more, no less.
  2. Then multiply this weight by 1.33
For example, if you can bench press 160 lbs for 10 reps, then your one-rep max would be 160lbs x 1.33 =approximately 213lbs
Once you have determined this, using this example, you will want to train with a weight between 159lbs (75% of your one-rep max) to 181lbs (85% of your one-rep max) for this particular exercise, bench press.  You should only be able to complete 5 to 8 reps at this weight before reaching muscle fatigue.
If you find yourself struggling with weight early into your first set of reps, then this means you are trying to lift a weight well above your one-rep max and should choose a lighter weight. As you get stronger and find you can complete reps easily, without so much as a little bit of muscle fatigue, it’s time to upgrade to a heavier weight.

Component #2. Workout For 45 Minutes Minimum - Activating the After-Burn Effect 

Heading to the gym and working out for 25 – 30 minutes using weight machines is NOT an intense strength training workout.  In order to increase your metabolism rate, you must workout for a minimum of 45 minutes, preferably 60 minutes, per workout alternating workout days with cardio days.
When this type of intense strength training regime is combined with an intense cardiovascular workout regime (e.g. 30 minutes of cardio, 3 days a week) your body will experience a significant increase in metabolic rate and what is known as the Afterburn Effect!
Essentially what these means is that your body will continue to burn calories and fat even after your strength training and cardio workouts by remaining in a fat-burning – calorie deficient state.  Once this afterburn effect starts to wear off your body will continue to burn fat due to the additional increase in your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

Component #3. Perform Compound Strength Training exercises 

Now that you understand why you need to reach muscle fatigue during your workouts, that you must strength train for a minimum of  45 minutes 3 days a week combined with intense cardio on alternating days to activate the Afterburn Effect, the 3rd important key to getting ripped is performing the right type of exercises.
These exercises are compound strength training exercises.  Often you will hear muscle enthusiasts discussing two types of exercises, compound exercises, and isolation exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that activate multiple muscles at the same time while isolation exercises target a single muscle.
The reason it is so important to perform these types of strength training exercises over isolation exercises when trying to get ripped is that your goal is to burn calories and fat from around your muscles.  Compound exercises require more energy and calories than isolation exercises because you are working multiple muscles at the same time.
Some of the most popular compound strength training exercises include:
  • Bench Press (Chest)
  • Squats (Quads)
  • Deadlifts (Hamstrings)
  • Bent-over Row (Back)
  • Pullups (Back)
  • Barbell Curls (Biceps)
  • Tricep Dips (Triceps)

Component #4. Choose Free Weights Over Machines 

use free weights

There are many types of workout equipment to choose from to perform these compound exercises.  However, when trying to get ripped you want to avoid using weight machinesWeight machines use an assortment of weighted plates combined with tension to work for desired muscle groups. However, remember that we are trying to activate and recruit as many muscle fibers as possible to achieve maximum muscle fatigue. The problem with weight machines is that, due to their design, they provide a small amount of assistance throughout your repetitions.
The alternative to this is what is known as free weightsFree weights are simply weighted that you hold in your hands, such as a dumbbell, and are therefore not attached to anything.
The major benefit to this is that your muscles are not being assisted when lifting free weights.  This results in the recruitment and activation of what is known as your stabilizer muscles, that jump in to assist your major muscles to help keep you steady and stable during each rep.
By activating your stabilizer muscles as well you essentially boost the “Afterburn Effect” and burn more calories during and after your workout.
Regardless of the equipment you choose, please make sure you are utilizing proper form when executing reps. An improperly executed rep is not effective to your ultimate goal of muscle building and fat burn and results in wasted time and energy.

Intense Cardiovascular Exercise 

Now as mentioned early you must combine an intense strength training routine with intense cardiovascular exercise. The reason it is so important to incorporate intense cardio into your get ripped program is that high-intensity cardio will burn calories, and ultimately fat, not only during your workout but after the workout!
Because it will boost your metabolism & Resting Metabolic Rate while helping to activate the “Afterburn Effect”!
However, there is a very important difference between strength training and cardiovascular exercise that you must understand when trying to get ripped.

Glycogen Burn is for wimps Fat Burn is for Winners 

When performing intense cardiovascular exercise your muscles use a chemical known as Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP for energy. ATP is essentially the way our body stores energy. Through a process known as oxidative phosphorylation, a phosphate group is released from an ATP molecule thereby releasing energy for the body to use.
Along with ATP, your body also converts carbohydrates into what is known as glycogen and uses glycogen to fuel your strength training and cardio workouts.
The major difference between strength training and cardio is that strength training is an anaerobic type of exercise which simply uses glycogen fuel and ATP for energy, while cardiovascular exercise is a form of aerobic exercise and therefore utilizes both glycogen and fat as fuel and ATP as energy.
Now, why is this so important to understand?
Well if you want to burn fat you must perform cardiovascular exercise, which everyone knows! But during cardiovascular exercise, your body must deplete its glycogen stores before it starts to use fat as fuel.
If you simply jump on a treadmill for 25-30 minutes, run at a moderate speed and your body does not deplete its glycogen stores by the end of your run you will not have reached the point of fat burn!  This is why you must perform intense cardiovascular exercise, not simply cardiovascular exercise!  You must push your body past the point of glycogen burn and to the point of fat burn!

Intense Cardio = Increased Recovery Time = Increased Fat Burn 

The second reason you need to perform intense cardiovascular exercise is that the harder you push yourself during cardio the more muscle fibers you will exhaust and fatigue.  This will result in a longer muscle repair and recovery period post- cardio workout.  During this recovery time, your body will continue to burn calories and fat to fuel the muscle repair process.
And what does this all mean??
That’s Right!!!….. A higher metabolism, a higher Resting Metabolic Rate, and a longer-lasting Afterburn Effect!

Intense Cardio = High-Intensity Interval Training 

The best way to take part in intense cardiovascular exercise is through the use of what is known as high-intensity interval training.
High-Intensity Interval training is performed by doing quick bursts of cardiovascular exercises (intervals) alternated with short rest periods.  During the initial intervals of cardio, your body will utilize all of its glycogen stores quickly, ultimately resorting to fat as its fuel by the time you are midway through your cardio routine.
There are a large number of variations of interval training routines.   The most important thing to remember is that your goal here is to do quick bursts of cardio followed by short rest periods.

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