Beyond Ripped: Enter The Shredded Zone This Summer - The Diet!

Summer will be here soon and it's time to start preparing to get in your best-ever condition. Whatever your reason, here's a plan to help you achieve your goals.

Summer will be here soon and it's time to start preparing to get in your best-ever condition. If you've only dreamed of having the ripped six pack, it's time to make it a reality.

You might want to enter your first contest this summer or just look good at the beach. Whatever your reason, here's a plan to help you achieve your goals.

What's Your Goal? What Is Your Goal?

Is Your Goal Not Listed?
Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.

In almost every contest there are many athletes who are ripped, but only one or two go beyond the level of conditioning of the rest of the pack. These guys have paper-thin skin, which reveals rippling muscles that have deeply-etched striations. Thick, bulging veins protrude and look as if they might pop. It is the ultimate look for the competitive bodybuilder and only a selected few achieve it. These elite bodybuilders have gone beyond ripped and crossed over to the Shredded Zone.

Shredded Abs
Shredded Abs
Danish Teen, Klaus Myren Riis.
Photo By Per Bach.
Week #26 - 9/05/2006
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Years ago a pearl of wisdom regarding contest preparation was published in a muscle magazine. I don't remember which magazine it was but it featured an article on Ernie Santiago, a former USA champion, who dropped down a weight class to achieve an ultra-ripped look that everyone referred to as "shredded." That aforementioned pearl of wisdom was:

"When you begin preparing for a contest,
decide in advance a realistic weight you'll come in at
- and then subtract seven pounds!"

It's a fantastic guideline to allow you to cross over from being ripped to shredded! Seven pounds, of course, isn't a magic number and it isn't a scientific formula. It simply means that you're going to need to lose more weight than you think.

First Time Around

It's not easy judging how much weight you need to lose for your first competition. If your abs are barely visible, you'll most likely need to drop 20-25 pounds so 12-16 weeks will most likely be necessary to give yourself enough time. This will allow you to burn off one to two pounds of body fat per week. Some weeks you'll drop two pounds and some weeks it might only be one, but that's okay. Anything more and you'll start to lose too much muscle.

6 Dietary Steps To A Summer Six Pack! 6 Dietary Steps To A Summer Six Pack!
The winter months are almost upon us and it is time to shed the winter coat and show off that summer six pack like a diva parading her new poodle. Try these 6 steps for great summer abs.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Getting Started

Even though weight loss and losing pounds will be used as a reference, make no mistake; burning body fat is the ultimate goal. So no one gets confused, it'll make it much easier to simply say losing pounds in this article.

Perseverance is the biggest factor, or secret if you prefer to call it, for getting shredded and dialing in for a show (or the beach perhaps). Plain old hard work with your nose to the grindstone combined with unwavering determination will produce the results you want. It won't be easy, but a few tricks do exist to make the journey easier and, in some cases, even tolerable.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Dial It In For The Beach.

Your diet will last 16 weeks. The first four weeks are your adjustment period. Include a cheat day one day per week. It doesn't matter which day you decide to choose, but I like Sundays as my cheat day. Eat whatever you want to make your mouth happy. If you eat clean the other six days, then this one day won't hurt you.

Cheaters Always Prosper: OFFICIAL Guide To Dietary 'Cheating'. Cheaters Always Prosper: OFFICIAL Guide To Dietary 'Cheating'.
If you are following our program then cheating is not an option, however it never hurts to be normal and have a cheat every once in awhile.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

Proteins, Carbs & Fats:

    This whole plan is based on someone who weighs 200 pounds. If you weigh a little less decrease the amounts a little. If you weigh more, increase the amounts. Contrary to what some have you believe, this ain't rocket science. It's more about willpower and sticking with it than magic formulas and ratios. That's right, the guy who eats his veggies and skips starches and sweets will most likely win out over the guy who weighs every gram of starch he eats.


      When it comes to protein you'll be eating between 200-250 grams of protein per day. It'll depend on if it's a low-carb day or medium-carb day. On low-carb days eat 250 grams of protein. On medium-carb days, eat 225 grams of protein. On a high-carb day, eat 200 grams of protein.

      Your sources of protein should come from:

      • Chicken
      • Turkey
      • Fish
      • Egg whites
      • Lean beef

      I suggest you rotate these sources as much as you can. If you eat nothing but chicken for sixteen weeks, you'll never want poultry again. Mix it up. Variety will get you through.

Everything You Need To Know About Protein! Everything You Need To Know About Protein!
In this article I will break down the science of proteins into easy to understand analogies to help you get a grasp on what it is, where it should come from, and how it can fit into your personal diet.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


      Carbohydrates need to be monitored but I don't think you need to count every gram. Knowing how much you're consuming is important, but don't weigh everything. Base it on portions and serving sizes.

      It's simple. When eating a starch, which could be oatmeal, rice, or a potato, don't eat more than a one-half cup serving. If it's a potato or yam, it should be a portion the size of a clenched fist.

      Which carbs? For carbohydrate sources, choose from a variety of complex carbs such as:

      • Yams
      • Oatmeal
      • Steel cut oats
      • Whole wheat pasta
      • Baked potatoes
      • Rice
      • Brown rice
      • Rye bread

      Although fruit is really good for you, this plan won't be utilizing much due to the high sugar content in most fruits. Don't eliminate it. Stick to apples, bananas and cherries. Eat fruit only on your high- or medium-carb days.

Fruits And Vegetables: Why You Need Them! Fruits And Vegetables: Why You Need Them!
While you are getting ready for a competition you may wish to cut out certain foods that cause you problems, but boycotting fruits and vegetables is a big mistake.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


      Fats should come from the meats you eat, salad dressings and EFAs like fish oil or flax seed oil. Some veggies can be sautéd in a small amount of olive oil too on low-carb days. You can also add some extra fats from walnuts, almonds, or cashews on your low-carb days too.

      View Fish Oil Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.
      View Flax Seed Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

A Sample Plan

Rotating high-, medium- and low-carb days is the backbone of this plan. You basically eat low carbs for a couple days, medium carbs for a couple days with a high-carb day throw in here and there. Sounds simple enough, huh? It's very effective too.

Here's what the first four weeks look like:


    High-carb day ( Cheat day. Eat whatever you want.)

Monday, Tuesday:

    Medium carb day (100-150 grams of carbs)
    • Eat six meals with protein for each meal
    • Eat one serving of complex carbs in three of the meals
    • Eat green veggies in four of the meals.
    • Eat a salad for one of the veggie meals with Italian dressing

Wednesday, Thursday:

    Low-carb day (no starches)
    • Eat six meals with protein and veggies for each meal

Friday, Saturday:

    Medium carb day (100-150 grams of carbs)
    • Eat six meals with protein for each meal
    • Eat one serving of complex carbs in three of the meals
    • Eat green veggies in four of the meals.
    • Eat a large salad for one of the veggie meals with Italian dressing

    Repeat cycle.


Well, that's it. Nothing fancy. Nothing earth-shattering or secretive, but it works. Give it a try; it works. In the next article we'll discuss training. How much cardio? Should your weight training routine change? These questions and more will be answered in part two. Part three will be for the competitive bodybuilder who wants to take it one step further and wants to dial in for a show.

Click Image To Enlarge.
Enter The Shredded Zone!

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