Workout Tips

14 Tips to Make Getting Ripped Easier

There's no way to make it "easy," but these fitness, diet, and lifestyle tips can help.

14 Tips to Make Getting Ripped Easier

Truth time: You can’t really shortcut getting a rock-hard body. However, there are some smart ways for you to achieve your chiseling goals without wasting time or—worse—doing things that undercut your efforts. Here, Colette Nelson, professional bodybuilder, personal trainer and coach, and registered dietician, and Doug Miller, professional bodybuilder and co-author of Biology for Bodybuilders, share their dos and don’ts for sculpting a competition-worthy physique.

Track your food intake

First, a bit of a surprise: You don’t necessarily need to put in more gym time. “Working out is really only 15 percent of the equation,” says Nelson. Instead, you’ll be spending more time at the grocery store and in the kitchen. “The diet is 85 percent.” Miller suggests tracking what you eat to start with, so you can then look at how to tinker with it.

Focus on fiber

Major chiseling means seriously changing up your carb intake. Nelson recommends focusing on fiber-full legumes, vegetables, and berries, especially on the days you’re not working out. “Many studies have found that people experience increased satiety, lower insulin levels, and greater weight-loss success on a low-carb/high-fiber dieting approach.”

Don’t skip carbs entirely

No carbs at all means no ready energy. Therefore, increase carbs slightly on hard workout days. “The less impactful carbs that are found in sweet potatoes may be eaten one to two per week and post-workout,” Nelson says. Limit it to a small portion, though, such as half a sweet potato or a half-cup of quinoa.

Increase protein and fat

OK, so most carbs are out. What’s in? Protein and fat, of course. Nelson suggests a diet of 40 percent lean protein, 30 percent healthy fat (such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados), and 30 percent fiber-dense carbs.