The 5: Tips to get you ripped

The 5: Tips to get you ripped

As far as health tips and advice go, there are literally thousands of people to ask and twice as many different answers you're sure to receive. Fortunately, there are some fairly agreed upon concepts, many of which are pretty sound.

The 5: Tips to get you ripped

Here's a list of five tips and pieces of advice, dealing with how to get fit and lean, that are actually worthwhile:

1. Never Eat Carbs by Themselves. This goes for both fast-digesting and slow-digesting carbs, even though it would be best to avoid eating fast-digesting carbs as much as possible to begin with. Be sure to eat a good source of fat (nuts, avocados, olive oil, flaxseed oil, etc.) and/or a source of protein along with your carb source, as doing so will slow down its digestion. The longer a food takes to digest, the more calories your body burns actually digesting it. Moreover, this will lessen the chances that your carbs will spike your insulin levels, thereby reducing the chances of fat storage.

2. Lift Weights First. If you plan to perform both a resistance training workout and a cardio workout in the same gym trip, start with the resistance training. Using this approach not only ensures that your muscles are not too fatigued from your cardio session to provide you with an adequate weightlifting session, but also helps avoid muscle catabolization.

3. The Simple Carb Exception. Speaking of catabolization - it is very important that after you complete an intense weightlifting workout that you consume a meal (or meal replacement shake) that is high in protein and fast-digesting carbs. Although you'd do well to avoid these simple carbs (i.e. white pasta and rice, candy, fruit juice, etc.) for the rest of the day, it is vital to muscle growth that you get some into your system within a thirty-minute period after you're done lifting.

4. Go Very Low-Carb for 2 Days. Unlike the infamous Atkins diet, which treated the carbohydrate like spawn of the devil himself, you should be consuming healthy carbs regularly and in abundance. But, to really stoke your body's fat burning fire, take two days in a row every other week to go almost no carb. Do your best to eat foods rich in protein and good fats (again, this is unlike the Atkins approach, wherein bacon was somehow considered to be a good and healthy fat), but leave all carbs out of your diet. The only exception, as explained in #3, is that you still need to consume your fast-acting, simple carbs after a weight training session. By limiting your carb intake for these two days, you force your body to search for fuel elsewhere. As a result, your glycogen stores are tapped, making your fat burning go into overdrive. A word of caution against trying to go no carb for any more than those two days every other week, however.

5. Try Circuit Training. Even if you're a cardio freak or a weight room meat head, you'll still get one hell of a workout form a resistance circuit. For the cardio buff, you'll find yourself gasping for air -- something you probably haven't done in quite some time, chiefly because you've built up a veritable resistance to your own regular workout. And for the avid weight lifters who can't even conceptualize how lifting such light weights and not following a traditional split routine can have even a modicum of affect on your body, you'll soon realize how difficult it is once your arms and legs start to quiver.

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