Ask The Ripped Dude: What's The Best Way To Stay Ripped Year Round?
Q Dear Ripped Dude, how can I stay consistently ripped? I'm tired of losing weight only to gain it back. How can I end the cycle?
If you're looking to get ripped with marketing gimmicks, don't bother: They're mostly hogwash. The quick-fix tricks you see touted as cure-alls on the Internet or spewed on television infomercials by so-called fitness experts aren't going to work. They're going to keep you on a roller coaster ride of weight loss and gain.
Staying in tip-top shape year-round requires hard work and discipline. Of course, many factors come into play and shape each individual's success, but some factors are more important than others. Here are the key ones—and what you can do to master them.
1 Fueling Your Body
Genetics play an integral part in how hard each person has to work to stay consistently lean and ripped. Your body type and metabolism dictate how often you have to train and which exercises are best suited for your muscle building or fat-loss goals. For naturally thin ectomorphs—who are characterized by a low body fat percentage, small bone size, and high metabolism—a high-calorie diet is essential. To fuel muscle growth, aerobic activity should be kept to a minimum.
For muscular, athletic mesomorphs, a diet of lean protein, slow-digesting carbs, and healthy fats—combined with moderate aerobic activity—will help prevent body fat gains. Endomorphs can fend off fat gains with lean protein and minimal carbs.
2 Train Smart
While body type partially dictates how hard you have to work on diet and training to stay ripped, training smart is something everyone can benefit from. I'm an advocate of mixing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) 2-3 times per week with low-intensity steady-state cardio (LISS) once or twice each week. Since HIIT is taxing, I don't recommend doing it every day. Having a rest day in between workouts allows my body a full day of active recovery, which is where LISS comes into play.
For me, a typical HITT treadmill workout includes 5-7 minutes of warm-up to get the blood flowing followed by a 25-minute workout of 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off. When I'm "on," I go all out at an 8 or 9 mph pace. Then I walk for 20 seconds at a 3.0 pace.
On a lighter day of LISS cardio, I typically go for a 3 or 4-mile trail or road run. I keep a slow pace and aim for a 9-10-minute mile.
3 Follow THE 90/10 Rule
When you're on a clean diet, it's hard to stay disciplined 24/7. Healthy eating seven days every week isn't always possible, which is why having a cheat meal or two during the week is important. Consider it a necessary pause—a chance to satisfy a craving that, if ignored, could lead to major dietary sabotage. I believe in the 90/10 rule: Eat clean 90 percent of the time, indulge for the other 10 percent.
Cheat meals take care of much more than cravings; they're important for your psyche. According to nutrition expert Alan Aragon, M.S., as long as you follow your meal plan 90 percent of the time you can—and should—include one or two "free meals" each week to stay sane. A slice of pizza or a small hamburger will make a fine choice. Just remember: It's a cheat meal, not a cheat day.
4 Keep Your Appetite Under Control
Changing your diet can be tough—especially when you're accustomed to eating sugar-fueled junk food. To suppress your appetite throughout the day, drink more water. Aim for at least eight glasses per day. Try drinking a glass of water before each meal for an extra sense of fullness. Aside from keeping your thirst quenched, studies have shown that downing some quality H2O before meals can result in consuming fewer calories and lead to weight loss.
Pile on the produce. Eating high-fiber fruits and vegetables with your meals or as an in-between snack can help you feel fuller longer and curb your appetite, which means you'll be less tempted to reach for food that's a fat-filled nutritional zero.
5 Monitor Your Progress
When it comes to motivation, mirrors can work magic. Skip the scale and gauge your progress by checking out your reflection. Scales can be skewed and don't measure a loss of body fat. Stop focusing on the number in front of you and instead think about how your clothes fit. Really looking to hone a fit physique? Monitor changes more accurately by checking your body fat every few weeks.
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I like the 90/10 approach discussed about dieting. I struggle with dieting. Up until the past few years, I have never struggled with my weight. This approach sounds like something I can incorporate into my life style.
Yes there was an article published not long ago at www.simplyshredded.com that cites research results proving that meal frequency does NOT have an effect on metabolism. But frequent meals are beneficial to avoid hunger, control blood sugar levels, and get all your nutrients in if you can't eat big meals. Besides, it's the dream: eat more and lose weight.
then why does a large majority of the bodybuilding community follow the same regimen and always rave about it?
Because it's been preached for so long. Read again, it does not affect metabolism, but it has other benefits, all of which necessary for fitness, wellness, and bodybuilding.
I eat six meals a day, even after I read that article, because of the other things I mentioned. I can't devour 1,000-calorie meals, so I break it up. All this is saying is, if it's not practical for you to eat every three hours, it's ok. Eat fewer meals but make sure to get all your macros and calories.
Oh I forgot one thing: that was one study, and it may be wrong. We've seen so many "facts" in the fitness industry get disproven after years of being held in high regard.
It really just comes down to personal preference.
Some people like to have the three big meals, whilst others split it up.
One is not better than the other per se.
To everybody reading this article I never said eating small meals will speed up your metabolism and this was never in my original article to the editor. I am deeply sorry for this error in this article. I dont believe that eating small meals will speed up your metabolism....This was not from my words whatsoever!!!!! And I dont believe eating small meals will speed up your metabolism and that is broscience.....
All good Obi. I remember talking to you one day via e-mail and you said the exact opposite. Hence the confusion. Combating BroScience one day at a time!
raponte22: I never wrote that in my original article as this an editor mistake and I dont believe eating small meals will speed up your metabolism. Sorry for the confusion raponte 22! This statement will hopefully be removed!!!!
You also need to keep it real! Find a body fat level that is healthy for you. You need to consider energy level , muscle growth and ability to recover . Being ripped 12 months out of the year is not a real option for most of us.
good article - i like the 90/10 approach too - doesn't work for me to be super dogmatic and it helps fit into life with friends/family/work meals etc. helped me a lot to go into sugar "recovery" and i think of it a lot in AA terms - for me it's an addictive substance i need to stay away from.
about the 90/10 rule, I think that it also depends of the person, for example, I have a background related with eating disorders (bulimia) since I was 12 years old. When it comes for eating disorders, the behavior you develop is kinda similar to an addict, we have no control over what we eat, because we have the chance to throw it once you tasted, I had a combination eating compulsively followed by vomiting all what I ate. Me having a "cheat meal" it's like putting a glass of wine in front of an alcoholic, it's almost the same reaction, once you tried again, you can't stop (already happened to me), for me is better to eat clean ALL the time and keep my food options atractive, tasty, realistic and sustainable, in order to not sabotage my health
nice article, inspire me a lot. My bodyweight keep scaling up from 90 in 2012 to 105 now. i just figure that i am gaining weight along the year, as i train my body for some time , trapped in this cycle.