How do you get ripped without losing muscle?
This question is something we all ask ourselves.
My buddy and partner in crime Joe Meglio, who I teamed up with to create STRONG and SHREDDED (coming out soon!) has a kickass guest blog post for you below.
I’d listen to him as he knows what he’s talking about as not only is he pretty shredded, he’s strong as a damn ox as he can deadlift over 600 lbs…
Here’s Joe Meglio…
Too often, I see guys who lose fat but in the process, they also loose muscle. When you loose muscle and fat simultaneously you will get the unattractive skinny fat look, (you should avoid this at all costs). Basically, the skinny fat look you means you look like a shrunken version of yourself.
This will happen when you focus too much of your time and energy on cardio and not enough on strength. When you focus solely on training for fat loss you will not get the results you want.
Here is why…
If you are weak, your strength outputs are low, which means you can’t produce enough force to get a desired result. Imagine these 2 guys. The first guy can bench 5 X 5 at 135lbs while the second guy can bench 5 X 5 at 275 lbs. The guy who is benching 135, won’t need as much rest, nor will he be as fatigued because his outputs are lower. Unless you have a solid foundation of strength, benching 1 to 1 ½ X your bodyweight, squatting and deadlifting 2-3 X your bodyweight, you won’t get much benefit from using fat loss methods.
In fact, not only is it useless but also it’s counterproductive. You see, doing too much cardio will eat away at your muscle that you worked hard to build. Instead of focusing on fat loss training, the best way to bun fat is to finish each workout with a short but intense finisher. This will ensure that you are not sabotaging you muscle gains.
So if you want to avoid being a skinny fat dude, then you better listen up…
The key ingredient to putting on muscle while getting ripped is getting STRONGER. Ultimately your nutrition plays a major role in what you look like BUT if you aren’t training for strength then you aren’t going to look better naked.
In other words, if you are not getting stronger, you are getting weaker. When you get weaker, your muscles get smaller. Simply put, to get STRONG and Shredded at the same time, you must train for strength.
More muscle mass equals a faster metabolism. In a nutshell, the stronger you get, the more muscle you will have, and the more fat you will burn. This is one of the main reasons why guys who ditch strength training while trying to get shredded usually end up with the soft, skinny fat look.
One of the easiest ways to prioritize strength is to start every workout with a big barbell lift. Here is a 4-day split of how you can setup your strength training to get shredded.
Day 1 – Squat
Day 2 – Bench Press
Day 3 – Deadlift
Day 4 – Overhead Press
By using big compound, multi-joint exercises, like the ones above you will recruit more muscle fibers to build muscle and strength.
In order to make sure you preserve muscle and stay strong while getting shredded stick to the 3-5 rep range for your big barbell lifts. All your assistance work should be done in the 6-10 rep range.
Contrary to popular belief, you should not do a whole lot of high rep training to get shredded. Remember, getting stronger is a major key to getting shredded, so don’t sacrifice strength for high rep training. The only exercises you should do high reps (10-15 reps) for is isolation exercises which should be limited.
So remember, if your goal is to get shredded, don’t let your strength work to a backseat to other forms of training.
So there you go. STRENGTH is the KEY.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been conducting some Aggressive Strength Talk interviews in which I’ll be posting within TrainAggreesive.com.
In talks with these different highly successful and very knowledgeable strength coaches, each one has his/her own view on training and looks at things a bit different, but one thing that was common across the board will each was that STRENGTH is the one key ingredient to ALL things in fitness.
Doesn’t matter… If you’re weak, it NO good.
That’s why I always stress STRENGTH. It’s that important…
PS – In a few days Joe and I will be launching Strong And Shredded which is a program we created together to help serious athletes and lifters alike achieve gains in STRENGTH and FAT LOSS all at once.
You can sign up right now to join the early bird list and be notified first as soon as we unleash this program.