How bad do you want to build lean muscle and drop body fat? Chances are you’ve heard of the typical techniques to get shredded like…
- Eat healthy
- Drink water
- Don’t eat sugar…
Those are great tips to stay healthy, but they’re not enough if you want to take it to the next level.
In this post, I’m going to show you 7 unique ways to get shredded!
1 – Cycle Your Carb Intake
Let me guess, you’ve read on 10 different websites that carbs are bad. There’s this diet, that diet, and there will be a new one coming soon that preach carbs suck.
But here’s the truth. If you want to get shredded, you need some carbs in your diet. Without getting into types of carbs or amounts you should eat, I’m going to give you a different strategy.
I’m going to teach you how to cycle carbs. In addition, you’re going to cycle your carbs in conjunction with your workout days.
Another important note:
- On high carb days, reduce healthy fat intake
- On low carb days, increase healthy fat intake
You can see that you’re eating high carbs on your workout days (this is assuming you’re working out in the evenings so that you can use those carbs during the day for energy). And you’ll go low-carb non-workout days.
**If you want to learn more about foods that will help you build muscle and get shredded, check out my post: 3-Day Testosterone Boosting Meal Plan
2 – Do A Mix of High and Low Reps
It’s no surprise that working out is part of getting shredded. But you’ve probably heard that doing lightweight for more reps is the best way to burn fat.
That’s not exactly true. Did you know that you burn more calories lifting heavyweights? The reason is that lifting heavy takes more effort.
However, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily be a powerlifter (most powerlifters do not look lean!).
‘Then what’s the real answer? How should I lift weights to get shredded?’
To build lean muscle (which in part will burn fat) and get shredded, you need a mix of both high and low reps.
Here’s a sample fat burning chest workout using both high and low reps:
|Exercise||Sets x Reps|
|Bench Press||4 x 4-6|
|Incline Bench Press||4 x 6-8|
|Dumbbell Flyes||4 x 10-12|
|Cable Flyes||4 x 12-15|
Now all you have to do is take this concept and apply it to your other body parts. You’ll build more lean muscle, get stronger, and get shredded.
3 – Train Agonist and Antagonist Muscles Together
While we’re on the topic of working out, there’s another awesome way to burn more fat and get shredded during your workouts.
Train agonist and antagonist muscles together.
Think of this as a ‘push-pull’ concept. This means if you’re doing a pushing exercise, you would follow that up with a pulling exercise.
Here’s an example:
- Bench Press > Barbell Rows
- Incline Dumbbell Press > Lat Pulldowns
Essentially you would be training chest and back together. This could also mean training back and shoulders together, and well as biceps and triceps.
For the lower body, you could train legs with abs and core. Here’s an example:
- Squats > Decline Sit-ups
- Deadlifts > Leg Raises
4 – Take 4 Specific Supplements to Boost Testosterone
One of the most difficult things is choosing what supplement to take to burn fat. And you may be swayed to the multitude of fat burners out there.
Some fat burners are ok, but most simply don’t work and are a waste of money. So for now, I’m going to discourage you from going that route.
Instead, I’m going to share 4 supplements to boost testosterone.
- B vitamins
- Vitamin D
Now you may be wondering what boosting testosterone has to do with getting shredded. You may be thinking ‘Bro, I want to get ripped, not bulky!’
Here’s the thing…when you increase testosterone, you also increase your body’s ability to build lean muscle AND burn fat. And taking these 4 supplements will ensure you have the nutrients to support healthy testosterone levels.
You can read more about supplements that boost testosterone in my post 7 Ingredients to Look for in Natural Test Boosters.
5 – Control Estrogen Levels with Food
When testosterone is increased, your body naturally wants to increase estrogen. Though your body requires some estrogen, you do not want it to get out of control.
*If you’re not familiar with estrogen, it’s a primary female hormone. You can read more about it on medicinenet.com.
Why? Because an overload of estrogen can lead to extreme fat gain, not to mention gynecomastia (gyno, or bitch tits…not something you want!).
In theory, if you’re doing everything to boost testosterone naturally (I harp on the word ‘naturally’), then your estrogen levels should be under control.
So what’s the best way to control estrogen and make sure your hormones are balanced? Food!
I’m going to give you some nutrition tips that are specific to controlling estrogen levels:
- Eat enough high-quality protein (if meats, make sure the source is grass-fed)
- Eat healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, avocados, fish, natural peanut butter
- Stay away from refined sugar and processed foods
- Drink 2-3 cups of green tea each day
Some of these tips are fairly basic. But it’s important to reiterate them. Remember, high estrogen levels = fat gain, and possibly worse! So read this again if necessary!
6 – Practice Breathing
To some people, this may sound a bit strange, but let me explain why the simple practice of breathing is so important.
Diaphragm breathing requires the use of your abdominal muscles. And you’re also bringing in new oxygen while getting rid of toxins. All of this helps you burn body fat, long-term.
Here are some benefits of the practice of breathing from timesofindia.com:
- Helps eliminate visceral fat on top of your abs
- Improves blood flow
- Releases toxins
- Increase the capacity of your lungs
- Engages your abdominal muscles
What’s the best way to practice breathing?
You can try this technique to start:
- Sit or stand with your back straight and looking forward
- Take a deep belly breath by taking 5 seconds breathing in
- Hold that breath for 5 seconds
- Slowly release the air, taking 5 seconds
You can work your way up in seconds as you practice more. But this is a great place to start if you’re new.
I recommend doing this exercise 3-5 times every morning, and again before bed.
7 – Do Yoga, Tai Chi, and/or Deep Stretching Every Day
I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of doing something like Yoga or Tai Chi. But if you really want to get shredded with lean muscle, then this is going to help you get there faster. Why? To reduce stress.
Stress is one of the core reasons why people cannot get rid of body fat. When you’re stressed out, your cortisol levels are raised. This does damage to your body, your cells, and literally prevents fat loss.
In fact, stress promotes fat gain. When cortisol levels are raised, it can disrupt the body’s processes and have a detrimental impact on your health, per mayoclinic.com.
Both Yoga and Tai Chi require you to focus on what you’re doing at that moment, and the practices instruct you to send all other thoughts away.
You may be thinking this is great way to clear your mind. And it is. But there’s something else that they do that’s extremely powerful. Yoga and Tai Chi both help eliminate stress.
Here’s a Tai Chi beginner’s video from Jake Mace, martial arts and Tai Chi expert:
Another benefit of Yoga and Tai Chi is the deep stretching in some of the poses. This type of stretching, especially of your lower back and hamstrings, promotes muscle health and recovery.
8 – Maintain Healthy Levels of Growth Hormone
I’ve already talked about the importance of boosting testosterone to get shredded. Now let’s talk about another important hormone: growth hormone.
How does increasing growth hormone help you get lean?
Dr. Kellyann tells us exactly how this works below…
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland at the base of your brain. Its key role is to promote cellular growth and repair. Raising HGH in adults with an HGH deficiency has been shown to reduce body fat, especially in the abdomen.Dr. Kellyann, Ignite Your Fat Burning Hormones, drkellyann.com
Now let’s add the benefits of increasing testosterone. Testosterone and growth hormone work together helping you build more muscle, which in turn helps your body burn fat more efficiently.
But how do you increase your natural growth hormone?
Actually, many of the tips we’ve gone over will help. But go back up to tip #4. If you recall, there are 4 supplements I recommend that boosts testosterone.
If you take 3 of those before bed, it can help you increase your growth hormone naturally. But there’s a specific formula that works best…
- Zinc – 30 mg
- Magnesium – 450 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 10.5 mg
This is called the ZMA formula and was originally founded by Victor Conte, a strength training coach. You can read more about Victor and the ZMA formula on his website snac.com.
Taking the recommended combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6 promotes deep, restful sleep. You can read more about this in my post: 9 Ways to Build Muscle While You Sleep.
Growth hormone is released when you are in deep sleep. This is also the time when muscle tissue is repaired, not to mention this restful sleep is necessary for other body functions.
**You should also consider taking a natural testosterone booster that contains all of the essential ingredients you need to balance hormone levels. Read about my #1 recommended test booster here.