Statue of Bruce Lee
The goal of this ‘Get Ripped‘ series is to give you strategies that both work, and are easy to follow. In order to get ripped, and stay ripped 365 days a year, there has to be alterations in our lifestyle. Dieting and following fads will always fail. But living a healthy life, and living in a way that is both fun, and easy to follow will last forever.
I’ve stayed at – or around – the same weight and same body-fat percentage for more than a couple years now, not because I live a strict life or because I have insane genetics, actually both are far from the truth. Instead I’ve figured out foods that taste great and are great for maintaining muscle, but also fat loss.
I mean, I have French Toast 4 times a week (syrup and all). I have grass fed beef burgers (no bun) with cheese, pickles, and mustard 4 or 5 times a week. I drink beer, Scotch, and smoke cigars. Yet, I’m in the best shape of my life. A miserable life filled with restriction isn’t a prerequisite for a life lived with our ideal physique.
Over this article, we’re going to go over some of the tricks I’ve incorporated in my dieting that have helped me see the results I want to see without making a ton of sacrifices in my lifestyle. We’ll also talk about some effective supplementation techniques that help us build muscle and burn fat at the same time.
So, here we go…
Nutrition Part II: Supplementation & Diet Tricks
The word supplementation is often misused. We see supplements as the answer, not as supplementing an already healthy lifestyle, which is what they are meant to be. Buying a ton of supplements isn’t going to give you your ideal physique. Intense and effective training, and eating the right foods at the right time will.
With that said, supplements can give us an edge and help us see the body we want to see in the mirror faster, and have more success maintaining it.
The goal of the supplements I’m going to be sharing with you:
- Maintaining muscle while focusing on fat loss.
- Boosting metabolism and burning more fat.
- Aiding in recovery.
- Having a positive effect on a hormonal level.
Here’s a list of foods or drinks that we can incorporate in our everyday diet that will promote fat loss, aid in recovery, or help us maintain muscle.
Two cups of coffee before a workout helps speed the lipid burning process. It creates an environment in our bodies where fat is more likely to be used as fuel. It also gives us more energy to train harder, for a longer period of time, and it speeds up our metabolism.
So, two cups, you’re all good. If you get in to having more than 3 cups a day and you’re going to be raising your cortisol levels. Cortisol being the absolute enemy as it burns muscle and bone. Stress also has an effect on cortisol levels, but we’ll talk about that later on in this series.
Avocado’s are packed full of monounsaturated fats that boost our metabolism and actually help us burn more fat while maintaining muscle. One of the problems with a high fat, high protein diet is that it creates an acidic environment in our bodies. Avocado and other vegetables help us remain alkaline.
Water makes up the majority of our muscles (70-80%). It also helps hydrate our bodies and speed up our metabolism. With our intense training, we’re also going to need more hydration than the average person. With that in mind I like 3-4 litres or approximately 1 gallon of water everyday.
3 cups of green tea a day has been shown to not only boost our metabolism and help us fight fat, but also repair muscle. I like organic green tea, but I’m not against regular green tea either. Try it loose-leaf in a French press for a change if you’re up to it. It’s a great way to start the day.
How to Get Ripped: Supplement Guide
We don’t get all of the nutrients we should be getting from what we eat everyday. As such, there are certain supplements that help us in areas that we’re lacking in. They help us promote fat loss, with testosterone production, and in repairing the muscle tissue that we’re going to destroy in our intense training sessions.
Here’s a guide to supplements I’ve used over the years and feel are essential to getting and then maintaing our ideal physique for the rest of our lives.
One of the main goals with losing fat and getting ripped, is not only losing fat, but maintaining muscle. When we focus on fat loss a lot of the time we sacrifice muscle. BCAAs help us maintain muscle and quell cortisol levels during long training sessions, which is why I put them on every ‘must have’ list.
Here are the BCAAs that I use and have used for a couple years now —> High Quality BCAAs
the Right Protein Powder Blend
The best protein blend is important. Ideally you want a blend that, is of course a very high quality product, but also one that has a 3-pronged release. Make sure your protein powder has casein, isolate, and whey proteins. This helps us absorb the powder in phases so we’re able to absorb more of it to the right areas.
When you have your protein shake after a workout, make sure you’re combining it with a carbohydrate. The carbohydrate will help us absorb more of the protein from the resulting spike in insulin.
Protein is a must. If you can get it from food, by all means do so. But it’s hard to take advantage of that 15-minute window right after a workout when our blood is still pumping and we need to feed it a high quality source of protein. Protein helps us repair muscle tissue. When we train, we’re breaking it down. Without a source of protein after a workout, we’re slacking on the recovery process.
Here’s what I use —> ISO SMOOTH - it fits all of the criteria I just mentioned. Great blend.
I’m a big fan of a good pre-workout powder. The strength and intensity of our workouts determine our degree of success. The more focused, alert, and energetic we are, the higher the quality of our workout is going to be. To me, this is maybe the most important supplement we can take. Coffee, of course, is a great alternative that costs a fraction of the price.
A good pre workout shake should give us greater bloodflow to the muscles through Arginine and Creatine, as well as an energy boost through caffeine and taurine.
I’ve tried a lot of different pre workout blends and this is by far the best one —> Extreme Rush
Monounsaturated fats like Omega 3 fatty acids promote fat loss. They also improve brain function and help promote raised testosterone levels if taken before bed. Personally, I think it’s tough to ‘overdose’ on Omega 3′s.
I have 2 jell caps in the morning and 2 more before bed, but I know people who have a lot more than I do as well. Quality is key when grabbing Omega 3′s. Not every company will use the best source, but this company does –> Omega BLUE (what I use).
Greens Powder + Men’s Multi
I’m all for getting as much nutrients from whole food sources, but the reality is that food today doesn’t contain the same amount of quality nutrients that they did in the past. Nor do many of us have the time, or the appetite, to eat all the foods we need to eat to fill our daily requirements.
Thus, Greens Powder or a multivitamin are a great resources to have. I take both before and after a training session, when our bodies are broken down and needing nutrients.
How does this help us stay and get ripped?
We’re going to stay healthier for longer periods of time. This means not getting sick and not having to take time off of our training. The nutrients and minerals we get from both are also great for aiding in the recovery process which means more muscle growth and greater fat loss.
Here’s what I use for men’s multivitamins —> VITALITY for MEN
Here’s what I use for Green’s Powder —> Living Fuel Super Greens
Use supplements to stay healthy, speed up your metabolism and aid in the recovery process. Don’t look to supplements to give you your ideal physique, but adding the right ones to an already healthy diet is a good idea.
Next time: How to Get Ripped Part III
The Lifestyle Guide
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