The urban dictionary says that ‘ripped’ does not just mean ‘lots of muscles’. The look that shows off all that bodybuilding effort is that of total muscle definition. Naturally this doesn’t come easily, so here are the four main pillars of the ‘cut’ look.
Like most things in life, the right body fat percentage is very personal to each individual, their lifestyle and their goals. For defined muscles, it is certainly important not to have them blurred under a layer of fat.
Too little body fat can damage your health however, so it is important not to go below the ‘essential body fat’ level. This is 2-4% for men and 10-12% for women.
Strange as it seems, muscles are built by being damaged. When stressed, tiny tears form in muscle fibres. On your recovery days, these tears repair and the muscle fibres increase in size in the process. For best definition, don’t worry about counting reps. Simply ‘push to exhaustion’ which means the maximum reps that you can achieve while still performing the movement correctly.
Upgrading your workout to supersets is another excellent route to defined muscles, as it also helps you to push to exhaustion.
After all that effort, you will need it! Most muscle-building actually goes on when you are horizontal. The marvel of sleep is the best time for body cells to regenerate, so make sure that you get enough of it. Also think about your training schedule to make sure that you build in time between sessions. 48 hours is the accepted figure between heavy muscle training workouts.
There’s no escape – for a ripped look you really are what you eat. What you need to eat for muscles is plenty of protein. Aim for around 40% of your daily calorie intake to come from the protein rich sources. That isn’t just the usual chicken, eggs and tuna but a wide variety of other protein-packed foods.
Strong and defined muscles aren’t just for body building competitions. A version of this routine gives you the strength needed for everyday life and healthy activity, now and for years to come.
40% sounds like a lot of protein, I didn't know it was this much. A bodybuilding friend of mine at 60 eggs a week and I thought he was crazy. Perhaps not!