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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2 Tips To Get Ripped For The Summer

As summer is getting closer, all serious lifters are shifting into the “get ripped” mode, looking forward to the pool parties, barbeques and beach days, just waiting to take off their shirts and show their rock-solid physiques.

The bulking days are over now, and most people begin their cutting phase by lightening up the weights and performing a higher number of repetitions. Most trainees were told that "heavy weights bulk up the muscle and lighter weights define the muscle"...a mentality that is totally wrong and will only slow down your progress in the gym, making you lose precious muscle mass. 

This strategy might work for some professional bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids and will not lose their muscle even when lowering the weights, but will not work for most trainees. Not only you will lose some muscle mass due to not using the same heavy weights as you did in the winter, but you won't burn the fat either.

The main issue is that you can't spot can't target fat loss from a specific area of your body. Doing 100 sit-ups won't make you burn JUST the belly fat, and doing 30 reps on the bench press will not magically burn fat off your chest or cause your pecs to look harder and more defined.

The only way to “define” a muscle is by lowering your body fat percentage in order to make your muscles more visible...while maintaining your existing muscle mass. If you haven't built a good amount of muscle during the winter, there's no need to start cutting since you won't have much to show after the fat goes away.

There are 2 ways to burn off the unwanted fat:

1. Change Your Diet

While in the winter you were eating pretty much anything, it's time to do some changes! First of all you should lower your overall caloric intake to about 200 calories below maintenance level and consume small frequent meals evenly throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism raised at all times making you burn more calories.

Reduce your intake of simple carbs and sugars to a minimum and focus instead on consuming lean protein, healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates.

2. Perform Proper Cardio Workouts (HIIT)

Forget about the classic type of cardio where you have to run on the treadmill for 30-45 minutes. If you want to burn more fat while keeping your muscle mass at the same time, HIIT is the way to go. It means High Intensity Interval Training and it focuses on alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercises with less-intense recovery periods.

A session can last for as low as 10-15 minutes but the impact will be huge. Not only you will burn fat during that workout, but the effect will last throughout the entire day, due to an increase in your resting metabolic rate. You can try uphill sprints followed by walking back down to the starting point (4-6 circuits), or pedaling as fast as you can on the stationary bike (on a high level of difficulty) for 30 seconds, followed by 90 seconds of slow pedaling on a light difficulty level (warm-up, 4 sets and 60 seconds of cool-down).

That's it! Follow these 2 simple steps and forget about the notion of "light weight and higher reps". Continue lifting heavy weights just like you did in the winter, modify your diet and include 2-4 sessions of HIIT each week and you will be all ripped for the summer, showing off that nice six-pack. 

This was a Guest Article by Wilbert from Australian Supplements Online.