One of the age-old questions in gyms across the globe is, ‘how do I get that razor sharp conditioning?’ You can push through gut-wrenching cardio sessions until your legs feel like they’re going to melt from beneath you, or you can starve your body in hopes of revealing shredded abs. However neither of these tactics alone, or even combined, are going to peel away your fat & reveal the razor-sharp condition you’re after. Just like anything else in your daily bodybuilding routine, getting completely shredded to the bone is going to require a balanced combination of hard work in all areas, starting with the most crucial of all: nutrition.
High Gear Nutrition
All the cardio in the world is not going to help you if you’re going home to scarf down a cheesecake. You have to diet just as hard as you work in the gym. Good nutrition is absolutely key when it comes to getting shredded. This means you’re going to have to pillage through your cupboards & toss the junk. These are ’empty calories’ that won’t get you to your goal of being shredded. So, as tempting & delicious as that cheesecake may seem, the result is nothing more than fat storage.
Eating Enough Protein
If you’ve been training for any length of time, you already know one undisputed fact: Protein is a staple in any serious bodybuilding diet. Many experts have recommended approximately one gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. For the serious trainer looking to pack on muscle while getting ripped, one & a half grams of protein per pound will better help your muscles repair & rebuild for growth & help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. & when your stomach feels full, you’ll be more likely to avoid the fridge & any snacks that may halt your progress.
[box style=”note”]“Protein is a staple in any serious bodybuilding diet.”[/box]
Lastly, few realize that large amounts of protein from a quality supplement can help to rev up your metabolism. Interestingly enough, it takes considerably more energy for your body to metabolize protein than it does for carbs. So, by following a diet high in protein you’re burning more calories while eating!
The Vitals on Carbs
Many people think that if you eat carbs, you’re going to get fat. But, contrary to the common belief, this is actually not the case. Carbs are vital to help keep glycogen stores full & provide energy while training. If these stores are depleted, the body will begin to burn muscle to help keep itself from starvation. As you burn more muscle, your daily caloric expenditure becomes lower & lower, because there is less muscle available to burn calories. Limiting starchy carb (oatmeal, potato, etc.) intake to earlier times in the day is a strategy used by some bodybuilders to help prevent these carbs from being stored as fat. Consuming a potent supplement that contains dextrose after a workout provides simple carbs to help replenish muscle glycogen stores & will help keep your body from storing these carbs as fat.
Fats: Friend or Foe?
All fats are NOT created equal. The fact of the matter is, there are bad fats & good fats. Hamburgers, bacon, sausages & ice cream are full of bad fats called saturated fats. In excess, these types of fats are very unhealthy. However, salmon, nuts, flax oil, & olive oil, just to name a few, contain good unsaturated fats, & should be a part of every bodybuilder’s diet not only because of their beneficial effects on health & cholesterol levels, but also because they help boost metabolism & get you shredded.
[box style=”note”]“Approximately twenty percent of your total caloric intake should come from good, unsaturated fats.”[/box]
It’s also important to note that some dietary fat is necessary in order to maintain optimum testosterone levels, which is another important factor in losing weight. Approximately twenty percent of your total caloric intake should come from fats, particularly good fats, if you’re looking to increase your fat-burning potential.
The more water you drink, the more you retain – this idea is completely backwards. The fact is, the body only retains the amount of water it needs to protect itself from dehydration. When you consume an abundance of water, the body will flush out the excess because there is no fear of running out. Two to four liters per day is sufficient for the weekend warrior, & six to eight liters is recommended for hardcore trainers.
The Bottom Line
All macronutrient calculations aside, the bottom line is that calories consumed must be out-weighed by how many you’re burning. If your body has a caloric intake of two thous& calories per day for example, & you’re ingesting three thous& per day, then you’re not on the road to getting ripped. The number-one rule in shredding away the fat is ensuring there is a calorie deficit. This doesn’t need to be drastic to drive you into high-fat-burning mode. Training intensely, doing cardio will burn the calories you need to get shredded without cutting vital macronutrients from your diet, which would result in muscle loss. Follow the tips in this article to a tee, & you could be on your way to shredded in no time at all!