Achieving the ripped physique is something many strive for but only few ever achieve it. With the summer days only around the corner, many in the gym are already excited to start their cutting diets in hopes of achieving that shredded body.
Unfortunately, it’s quite common that most people struggle to achieve the results they want, and within a month of their diet, many find themselves very frustrated. Most the time, they’re halfway through their cut and feel like they have hit a roadblock and that most efforts are in vein. I have heard my fair share of rants and complaints from many of people of the years, all sharing a lot of common problems with one another. With this article, I will aim to show you the common mistakes and traps people fall into when shredding, and show you how to better achieve your desired results.
YOUR BODY FAT:
Asking the following questions has to stop: “What’s my body fat percentage”, “How much body fat do I have?”, “What’s the best body fat percentage?” and “Dude, what’s your body fat?”.
Whether you are dieting for a bodybuilding show, looking better for the opposite sex, or you just want to look better for yourself, no one is going to look at you and think: “wow, that guy has 6.89% body fat”, all that should matter to you is if you look in shape or not, shooting for a body fat % can be detrimental to your goal for a ripped body.
What you should be striving for is the look you want and keep shredding fat until you have the look you desire, whether you want striations in your muscle or you just want to have good visible abs, we all have a desired look in mind.
What I’m trying to convey across is, what if you reached your goal of 7.5% body fat but haven’t got the look you were aiming for? Do you quit cutting diet right there? This brings me on nicely to my next point; body fat testing which is affordable, in general can be hit or miss and often misleading. The best way to measure yourself is visually, chasing numbers is ok at times, but ultimately it’s the visual aspect in which we measure ourselves.
Your best tool for measuring your success has always been the mirror, and not a set of plastic callipers. A bodybuilding judge won’t come up on stage and measure my body fat with callipers, and neither will that hot person on the beach, being shredded isn’t judged on your body fat it’s judged on your appearance.
There is a misconception amongst many; that carbs and fat loss don’t go together.
Unfortunately, dieting is paired with very low carb or no carb diets. You will still have to cut some carbs out your diet to achieve your ripped body, but sometimes, what is suggested is too extreme. The simple answer to this is to cut out as many carbs as you can whilst still losing fat at your desired paced. Our bodies come in all different unique shapes, sizes and types, so knowing how many carbs to cut out your diet will be unique to you, so experimenting until you find a good medium is crucial.
For example, two guys the same age, weight and height start out with very similar training programs, will usually need two different approaches to their diets. One may need 120 carbs a day, whilst the other may need twice of triple that amount. One thing that is pretty common; is people often intake a lower amount of carbs and calories than what would be recommended. If you diet with too little carbs than what you require the following will occur: You will come flying out the blocks at the start, and then you will come to a very sudden halt, with your only solution being to implement aggressive protocols; Increasing your cardio to a ridiculous level or dropping food intake even lower. This will ultimately cause you to plateau to a stage where no more progression will be made, this is one of the most common road blocks people encounter a few weeks into their dieting plan.
You want to use as many carbohydrates as you can, what you want to aim for is a slow drop in fat whilst maintaining a good energy level. This will help you maintain a good workout intensity and keep your metabolism rate at a healthy and efficient rate. Cutting should be looked as a marathon not a sprint.
A DEFAULT DIET:
“It worked well for him, so it should work well for me”, If only things were this simple, everyone would be ripped, unfortunately this isn’t the case. Everyone has a different body with many factors which you need to take into consideration when planning your diet.
Whilst it may be interesting to read up on what other guys have done to get their amazing ripped body, your interest shouldn’t have anything to do with wanting to replicate their approaches. The more diet plans you read, the more you’re made aware at how different each one is, and that there is a tonne of different approaches that work.
You will find some people need 4 intense cardio sessions a week, whilst others can count on their one hand the amount of cardio sessions they have through their whole diet program. This can also apply to other factors too: different caloric requirements, varied protein intake and training guidelines, etc.
The things that remains consistent amongst most people who are successful with their diets are; trial and error, consistency and attention to details. Some of these people will be genetically gifted which will help too, for these type of people almost anything will work for them, and let’s get to the point, if you were genetically gifted to be muscular and lean, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.
The most productive diet will come from: hard work and persistence, whilst using better physiological approaches, bespoke diets and not some copy and paste diet.
This is aimed more towards the guys who spend 30+ minutes solely working out abs. Not only is this a waste of time, but there are better ways to spend your “time burner” times at the gym. Unfortunately we can’t shred fat from a targeted area, so doing ab crunches or other variations of ab work, isn’t going to get you a six pack.
Your abs will be worked in every heavy compound movement you do, it’s more ideal to hit your abs 2-3 times a week for around 10-15 minutes at the end of a workout. Well defined and sculpted abs will come from a good workout, but it’s the diet that is key, the old saying; “Abs are made in the kitchen” still holds true today.
The greatest diet regime ever made, will not work if the user cannot study and apply the small details that matter. The user will need to be able have a diet that makes sense; mentally and physically. If a diet doesn’t have these two variables accounted for, they will leave the user with a greater potential for failure, as opposed to reaching their desired look.
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