When it comes to getting ripped, you need to instruct your body to tap-into stored body fat for energy. However, while it’s always tempting to go on a ‘crash diet’ and slash calories in an attempt to see your abs virtue in two weeks on a 1000 calorie diet, this strategy is a recipe for ab-solute disaster – and unhealthy! Excessive calorie cutting promotes a hormonal environment in the body that results in the metabolism of amino acids from skeletal muscle and a blunting of fat burning – you’ll get ‘skinny’ and not ripped with this approach! The solution is a much less drastic approach of moderate calorie restriction.
I always advise my clients to start by cutting their calorie intake by 250 per day, then reassess every seven days. This gives you some space to play with over the course of 6-8 weeks, because you can gradually increase your calorie deficit as your fat loss stalls. I therefore generally recommend a calorie deficit of 250, moving to 500 and then 750 over the course of a few weeks, as you approach peak condition. Once you’re ripped you should increase your calories to a maintenance level to stay ripped without risking muscle loss. Ultimately your physique will look better with a moderate energy deficit, combined with more intense training.
Rule 2: Manipulate your macros
Experts and those with real-world experience of getting ripped, agree that the type of macronutrients consumed (i.e. carbs, fat and protein) can have a powerful impact on the body when it comes to fat loss. Focusing on carbohydrates to mobilise and metabolise stored fat is key! Carbs increase insulin secretion, which directly blunts the production of fat burning hormones. Furthermore, consuming a large amount of carbs results in high levels of muscle glycogen. This gives your body a pool of energy to use in preference to the body fat that you want to burn.
To really force your body to tap into fat for energy, it’s beneficial to deplete muscle glycogen for several days during the week. It’s also vitally important to replace some of the calories you cut from carbohydrates, with healthy fats from sources such as nuts, eggs, fish oils, olive oil and good quality meats. If you fail to increase your fats, then your energy will slump and you’ll also find it physiologically harder to mobilise and burn adipose tissue effectively!
Rule 3: Protein protection
Protein is the easy part of the fat loss equation, because your intake of the nutrient should always remain the same – approximately 2g of protein per kilogram of body mass, daily. As you lose weight, this amount will alter slightly, but to be safe, simply multiply your current weight in kilos by two and stick to this protein intake (e.g. 85kg x 2 = 170g protein per day). This level of protein is imperative, because it’s key to maintaining lean muscle when dieting and training hard, which in turn, will promote the loss of body fat. I recommend consuming your protein evenly throughout the day, since this approach is proven to boost protein synthesis effectively.
Rule 4: Cheat on your diet!
I’m serious – strategically cheating on your diet will help you to get ripped! However, cheating (i.e. a high calorie meal or a day of increased calories) needs to be used strategically. Essentially, after 5-7 days of eating with a moderate calorie deficit, restricting carbohydrates and training hard, your metabolism begins to slow down and the generation of fat burning hormones is blunted. Your muscle glycogen stores are also extremely low, which inhibits your capacity to train hard and puts tissue at risk of being broken down to supply the brain and other organs with essential glucose. In addition, the hormone ‘leptin’ is a big talking point when
it comes to fat loss and refeeds; the compound instructs fat cells to release fatty acids into the bloodstream where they can be metabolised, but prolonged periods of reduced calories lowers leptin levels, which reduces your capacity to get leaner! Leptin is known as ‘the famine hormone’ because scientists believe that it evolved as a survival mechanism to preserve fat stores!
How to use cheat days to your advantage: Train hard and eat clean for 5 days in a row. Then throw in a cheat such as a three course restaurant meal to re-set your fat burning physiology. As you get leaner and go below 10% body fat (when guys typically begin seeing defined abs), you may get best results with 2 cheat meals per week, or a weekly cheat day.
The Rippedcore Diet.
Meal 1 – 6am, meat & nut breakfast: The ‘Meat & Nut Breakfast’ has been made famous by Charles Poliquin, one of the globe’s most prominent training and nutrition gurus.
Skipping carbs at breakfast time promotes the maintenance of fat burning hormones, while good quality meat delivers muscle protecting protein. By adding nuts to the meal, you’ll aid beneficial hormone production and trigger the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain, boosting productivity both in and out of the gym. Cruciferous vegetables boost testosterone – so don’t skip them!
CLA 1000 LEANCORETM provide essential fatty acids the body is unable to produce, supplying high levels of pure conjugated linoleic
X-PLODE RIPPEDCORETM is a powerful pre-workout with a unique complex of Thermo-CoreTM nutrients to ensure you feel the burn, every workout! While BCCA INTRAHARDCORE and WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM keep carbs low but protein & growth essential amino acids high to protect lean muscle.
Regular protein and fat meals will supply your body with the amino acids it needs to maintain muscle mass when training hard in calorie deficit. By also keeping carbs very low, your biology will efficiently start burning stored body fat.
When you combine intense training with a calorie deficit, the over-night fast can be a time when muscle tissue is at risk of being metabolised into energy. Consuming GRS 9 HOUR® PROTEIN – a blend of fast, medium and slow release proteins to stimulate muscle growth and repair while preventing breakdown, ensuring your body taps into body fat for extra energy. ZMA PLUS HARDCORETM contains zinc to support testosterone which is essential for the ‘rippedcore’ trainer.
High Intensity Training
No pain – no gain! workouts for rapid fat loss & definition
Keep lifting heavy!
Although you should make the move to circuit style training and higher reps when looking to maximise fat burning, performing one heavy full- body workout per week will help you to maintain strength and muscle mass. For example: perform a strength circuit consisting of 5 – 10 reps of the squat, bench press, deadlift and row. Repeat for 3 circuits and then perform 20 minutes of interval training.
Generate GH to burn the fat and get defined
Once you’ve performed your weekly strength workout, it’s time to up the reps and generate an increased time under tension, which dramatically elevates lactic acid. When combined with minimal rest intervals, the result is an increase in growth hormone secretion, which is a potent fat burning hormone. High intensity and metabolic circuits are ideal options (see workout diary on following pages).
Train HIIT style
When it comes to a form of exercise that gets you ripped, HIIT is a brutally effective option that takes your metabolic rate to another level. It’s a training that will get you ripped fast for competitions and shows. The challenge is to beat your rep/weight totals from workout to workout, in a set time limit. Try our HIIT workout for the next 4-6 weeks and see your abs emerge fast!
4 signs you’re winning! Sweat: Aim to have your training T or vest drenched in the labour of your workout by the time you’re done – a guaranteed sign of working at an optimal intensity! However, make sure you’re replacing the fluid as you train.
Heat: A workout that makes you seriously hot is an excellent sign that you’re burning a lot of calories. Use compound exercises and very short rest periods.
Heart rate: You need to work at a high percentage of your max heart rate to kick your metabolism into the zone that elicits maximum post-workout fat loss. Keep your blood pumping.
Breathing: If you can chat in the squat rack during your workouts then it’s time to get serious. In fact, if anyone tries to speak to you, you should be sucking-up the air too hard to offer them much more than a grunt!
The HIIT Challenge
Workout 1: Strength training
Squat x 5-10 reps Bench Press x 5-10 reps Chin-up x 5-10 reps Deadlift x 5-10 reps Complete 3 circuits
Workout 2: The miracle mile
1 mile run
Pull-ups x 100
Push-ups x 200
Squats x 300
1 mile run
Time: As fast as you can!
Workout 3: Brutal back burner
Deadlift x 15
Weighted crunches x 5
Crunches x 20
Time: As many rounds as you can in 30-40 minutes
Workout 4: Lactic leg hell
Front squat x 12
Bench press x 15
Front squat x 12
Bench press x 15
400m sprint, rest 2 minutes
200m sprint, rest 2 minutes
Time: As fast as you can!
Workout 5: Interval training
Warm-up. Phase 1: 30 seconds high intensity + 30 seconds low intensity x 5-10 rounds.
Phase 2: 10 second max sprint + 30 seconds low intensity x 5-10 rounds. Cool-down
Support your diet with precision nutrition
Feel the burn!
It’s not possible to ‘spot reduce’ body fat (for example trying to do sit-ups to directly burn fat from your abs). However, certain nutrients are proven to boost results. Green tea extract has been found in clinical trials to mobilise and metabolise adipose tissue leading to long-term reductions in fat stores.
Take 2 caps of SHRED-X RIPPEDCORETM on an empty stomach to get the benefits.
If you want the most out of every workout, a pre-workout is essential. X-PLODE RIPPEDCORETM is a unique formulation, designed to boost workout intensity and pump, whilst an added Thermo-CoreTM complex ensures you feel the burn, every workout!
Post Workout Primer
After training, your muscles will be trashed if you’re following a rippedcore workout plan such as HIIT or metabolic circuits. To protect lean muscle and promote the burning of stored body fat, have a serving of whey protein to rapidly boost protein synthesis. Better still take WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM which contains green tea to promote fat oxidation, plus CLA to support body composition.
Super lean smoothie recipe
2 scoops WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM
1 tablespoon natural almond butter
1 tablespoon crushed flax seeds
The benefits: Helps you get ripped by slashing the carbs and replacing some of the calories with healthy fats. Flax seeds are also associated with healthy testosterone levels.
3 Top Tips to Get Ripped
Visualisation is the most powerful tool you have! See your body as you want it to be, or find a physique icon and keep the image very close to hand. This will keep you focused. If you believe then you will achieve.
Leave your old-school bodybuilding behind and get to work with far more ferocious metabolic workouts: HIIT, circuits, complexes, full body workouts.
Know your carbs &fats:
Learn how carbs and fats work for your body and learn how you respond to changing them up in your diet. Most people who train will lose fat when carbs are dropped, but you may need to replace the lost calories with healthy fats. To burn fat, train without carbs in your system and have a low carb protein shake like WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM after workouts.
Get Ripped Supplement Strategy
Upgrade your effort
X-PLODE RIPPEDCORETM contains a blend of scientific nutrients targeted to boost workout intensity, pump and burn, while reducing the risk of workout fatigue.
for 9-hours and protects lean muscle. ZMA PLUS HARDCORETM – zinc for healthy testosterone + Vit B6 for hormone regulation.
Post-workout muscle & metabolic support
WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM contains whey isolate for fast amino acid delivery to help maintain muscle mass when dieting + green tea fat burning & CLA to help support lean physique development.
6 Pack Power Guide
All your 6-pack questions answered
Q: Can you burn fat directly from your abs?
Answer: Sadly, no real evidence of ‘spot reduction’ exists, which means that specifically performing stomach exercises with the goal of burning away the layer of fat covering your abs, doesn’t work. In fact, adopting this strategy will simply waste your time in the gym.
Q: Does doing 100 sits-ups build a 6-pack?
Answer: Although high reps can help you develop good abs, it’s a myth that doing hundreds ofsit-ups builds the best 6-pack. In reality, to build abs that ‘pop’ like a fitness model’s, you need to train them with heavy resistance, just like any other muscle in the body. As an example, 3 sets of weighted crunches for 10-12 reps is likely to give you better results than 100 light reps, which would build muscle endurance.
Q: What’s the best exercise plan for getting a ripped core?
Answer: You’ll get the best results by using a workout plan that attacks both elements of ab development – systematic whole body fat loss and intense abdominal muscle stimulation. Heavy free- weights circuits are the perfect workout choice, especially if you utilise moves such as front squats that deliver a huge metabolic boost and fully activate the abs.
Q: What are the best supplements to help sculpt defined abs?
Answer: Supplements that promote the oxidation of stored body fat such as caffeine and green tea are ideal for anyone following a nutrition and training plan in pursuit of ripped abs, which means a supplement such as SHRED-X RIPPEDCORETM offers effective support. Additionally, optimal protein intake is key to supporting the growth and maintenance of muscle (including your abs), and will correspondingly help to promote the burning of stored body fat when combined with an energy controlled diet. Therefore a protein shake fortified with green tea such as WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM is an excellent option following intense workouts.
What about cardio?
When it comes to ripping fat from your body and maintaining lean muscle, it’s very tempting to hit the treadmill to ‘burn the calories’. However cardio should be used strategically.
If you want to get ripped then firstly focus on your nutrition plan, combined with intense weight training and circuits. Forms of training such as CrossFit often contain exercises like rowing sprints and 1 mile runs, so you may not need extra cardio sessions.
I suggests starting out with a maximum of one specific interval training session per week for 20-40 minutes, and only resorting to more cardio if your results stall. What’s more, low intensity cardio has been proven to be an ineffective way to get ripped.
When you do cardio, opt for interval training, not long sessions of low intensity jogging that can burn muscle and reduce anabolic
hormone levels – and always take BCAAs before/during your sessions to mitigate muscle breakdown.
Effective interval training workout: Warm-up
Phase 1: 30 seconds high intensity + 30 seconds low intensity x 5-10 rounds
Phase 2: 10 second sprint + 30 seconds recovery x 5-10 rounds
6 pack workout
Here’s an awesome circuit workout that’s designed specifically to trash your abs. Get it into your routine once a week and you’ll be well on your way to 6-pack glory.
How to do the workout?
Perform each exercise in a circuit style without resting Start with a very heavy set of 5 reps
Take each set to muscular failure Move from exercises 1-3 as quickly as possible without resting
Reduce the weight used on each circuit to hit the designated reps
Take 1 serving of X-PLODE RIPPEDCORETM 20 minutes pre-training to give you that all-needed boost and focus, and ensure you have eaten 20-30g of protein in the last 1-2 hours. Avoid eating carbs before you train, to maximise fat burning hormone production!
Circuit 1: 5 reps
Circuit 2: 8 reps
Circuit 3: 12 reps
Circuit 4: 15 reps
1. FRONT SQUATS
Whichever workout plan you choose to follow to get ripped, including the front squat in your routine will provide you with an exercise that burns fat, builds and protects lean muscle mass and provides an incredibly powerful workout for your abdominal muscles.
Why the front squat is a killer ab move?
When you perform a front squat, you’re forced to keep your torso rigid and upright as you descend deep and then explode upwards. If you don’t – you’ll drop the weight! This procedure is reliant on a strong back and shoulder girdle, but the real hero of the move is your abs, which are forced to fire hard rep after rep.
Key tip: Squat as deep as you can with good form to fully activate your core (you should feel your abs contract more powerfully the deeper you go!). Descend slowly and explode upwards.
2. AB CRUNCH
The classic crunch will always be a simple move that fries the abs. Use a load that allows you to move slowly and deliberately and crunch hard at the peak of the muscle contraction!
3. PRESS-UP ROW
The press-up row is an excellent core activator and torches the metabolism by activating your whole body for stability. Keep the abs contracted at all times.
Post-training after-burn: After training consume a serving of WHEY PLUS RIPPEDCORETM to supply muscles with a rapid source of amino acids to kick-start protein synthesis and support muscle maintenance. Added green tea ensures fat oxidation is effectively supported during the metabolic increases which can last for up to 36 hours following this workout.
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