The road to success can be a turbulent one. Just ask Anton Antipov, whose current status as an IFBB Pro League men’s physique star and a social media sensation was hard-earned, to say the least. 

Born in Belarus, Antipov emigrated with his family to the U.S. at the age of 13. He didn’t know anyone, let alone how to speak English. So he went door-to-door asking neighborhood kids to play street hockey as a way to make friends. Years later, he moved to New York City, where he picked up a bartending gig while striving to kick-start a modeling career.

One day, his agent called him up and suggested that he look into men’s physique competitions. His agent thought Antipov would be a good fit since he was in great shape. And Antipov saw it as an opportunity to combat his fear of being in the spotlight. (Yes, the guy you see on the cover is not a fan of attention.) As fate would have it, a co-worker suggested that he tag along to check out a men’s physique show that he was competing in the following day. The two worked through the night and then headed to the show at 6 a.m. the next morning. 

Caught up in the moment, Antipov registered to compete on the spot—he paid for a tan and asked his cousin to pick him up a pair of boardshorts. He placed fourth. 

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Then he set out to earn his pro card. Antipov kept his day job and spent the weekends traveling to various shows in the tristate area to compete. No money for a hotel room meant that Antipov slept on park benches, still covered in spray tan and oil, between morning pre-judging and nighttime finals. 

“I used to ask fellow competitors if I could crash in their cars, too,” Antipov recalls. “They all said no.” 

After four months of this arduous routine, Antipov earned pro status. Since then, he has won eight IFBB shows and appeared in the Mr. Olympia lineup five times. 

To stay in top shape, Antipov has five rules to live by (in addition to putting the work in at the gym, of course).

Antipov’s Rules of the Ripped

Can you get shredded in four weeks? Sure, but only if you’re dialed in. Below, Antipov lays out his rules for speeding up the fat-burning process. 

  1. Make sacrifices:

    “It’s only four weeks,” Antipov says. “So give it your all and then go on living your life. If that means you have to get up early to hit the gym to accommodate your nine-to-five or not go out with your friends to drink, then so be it.” 

  2. Be consistent:

    “Don’t take it easy on yourself,” he says. “People will have a salad and pat themselves on the back. You had a salad because you have a goal to achieve. Being consistent is what will really help you go far, not allowing yourself a day off or to skip a meal. Do that and you’ll just end up with no results a month later.” 

  3. Stay ready:

    “If you stay ready, then you never have to get ready,” says Antipov about killing your excuses. An example: “I pack my gym bag the night before, and then all I have to do is wake up, grab it, and go. Even if I don’t plan on being at the gym, if for some reason I walk by one and decide to get a training session in, I’m ready.” 

  4. Don’t fear takeout:

    Antipov doesn’t cook at home a lot, due to his busy schedule, yet he’s still able to carve out a cover-worthy physique. “With Grubhub, I just modify my order in the notes section,” he says. “If I’m ordering sushi but am watching carbs, I’ll just order the sashimi and have them put the sauce on the side. Or at Wendy’s, I’ll order a grilled chicken sandwich, scrape off the crap, take it off the bun, and cut it up to put on top of a salad.” 

  5. Toss out the unnecessary:

    If your goal is to get as lean as possible in four weeks, then Antipov urges you to streamline your efforts. “Toss the stuff you don’t need out of your diet,” he says. “If you’re having a cheat meal once a week, get rid of it. If you put condiments on your chicken and rice, stop. Stick with keeping it as simple as possible.” 

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