How to Get Shredded Naturally


There are many theories out there about how you can get shredded naturally, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be up to you to execute a lot of the simple things in life that are going to allow you to get that lean, mean, muscle machine of a body. I’m going to separate theory from fact, and let you all know just what you need to do to get the body you dream of.

How to Get Ripped The Natural Route

Getting in shape is different from getting absolutely shredded to the bone. Few people actually get to the point where they have a physique that “pops” or features “rock hard abs.” Being ripped is having a very low body fat percentage. For women, that rate is usually considered having a body fat percentage of lower than 14%. For men, it’s about 10% and lower. When you get that low, your abs will start to show. It’s not easy to get there, but when you do, it’s highly rewarding.

Steps to Getting Shredded

1) Lift Heavy

Heavy Lifting

If you are looking to get chiseled, you need to build up your muscles while retaining muscle so you can get that lean look. If you are doing weight training, you need to know that to get your body fat this low, you need to do it about 5 times per week. 3-4 times will help, but may not be enough. Look for 45 minutes to an hour for each session. Of course, depending on which workout routine you follow, they will have you on different programs. I like to follow the shortcut to size program.

You’ll need to focus on muscle growth, which will mean you need to work out like I outline below:

  • Rep count – look for the 6-12 rep range.
  • Number of Sets per specific exercise – you’ll need four sets to really grow muscle depth. Five to six will only help.
  • Volume – this will vary from person to person, but it’s the way to describe the amount of work put in per body part.
  • Rest – important as anything, you need a good 60 to 90 seconds of rest between heavy lifts.
  • Time Under Tension – your muscles will develop to the best of their ability if you are able to get this time frame to about 40 to 70 seconds. Slow your reps down and use control. You don’t want to risk injury working too fast. Bad form also happens when you rush your sets.

2) Being Your Day’s Intake with Protein and Fat

Everyone harps on the notion that you need to have carbs in the AM to get energy. That’s simply a falsehood. We have a solid amount of energy residing in our fat, and if ideally if you are looking to get lean you want to burn that off. Limiting carb intake in the AM can help you use fat for fuel, which will help get rid of it.

Look to start your day with eggs and other lean proteins. Yes, even a sirloin steak or other slab of lean beef (I hear the carnivore dieters howling) along with some nuts and an avocado is a great way to kick off your day. You’ll also stay full for a longer period of time, so you’ll eat less over the course of the day.

See also: starting your day with a healthy breakfast.

3) Too Much Cardio Can Reduce Muscle Mass

Sometimes the hours of jogging around is actually hurting your ability to lean up and get shredded. You’ll want to make sure you don’t burn too much muscle mass with cardio that will do that. Look at long walks and other simple cardio if you are on the final cutting phase and want to keep your muscle mass.

4) Your Carb Intake Must Vary

To lose weight in the early stages, cutting carbs is a solid idea. However, science shows that as you get leaner, you actually need them more for recovery. Add 50 grams of carbs to your post-workout and see if you become leaner. If you do, you can add more carbs incrementally.

5) Boost Your Protein Intake

This is needed to build muscle as well as repair broken down fibers in your body due to heavy training. One gram per pound of body weight is ideal.

6) Address Lifestyle Factors

sleeping well

Getting a good night's sleep is uber important to getting in shape.

Sleep well! This is very important and is often overlooked. Stress is also another factor you can’t look past.


We all want to get ripped. The truth is, there are no short-cuts. Women, you can jack yourself up with pre-workouts supplements, eat clean, and exercise daily and you will have a hard time reaching 14%. Men, you can boost your testosterone levels as high as you want, but at the end of the day if you aren’t on a clean diet, your work is all for naught.


T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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