How Long Does it Take to Get Ripped Naturally?
Most of us know that exercising has some seriously great benefits for your overall health. It can help prevent injury, reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, and boost your mood beyond belief. But let’s face it—the main reason people work out is to get totally ripped.
Bulking up looks different for everyone, but it mostly means gaining muscle mass and toning your muscles to enhance your physical appearance. It’s the best way to increase your self-confidence and enhance your self-image.
But how long does it take to get there, especially if you’re trying to avoid using supplements or performance enhancers? If you’re just purely working out regularly and eating right, your results might show up even faster than you think.
One of the biggest misnomers about getting ripped is that people think you should only engage in weightlifting exercises. You’ll definitely gain muscle doing this, but it won’t make you look “ripped” because it will not allow your muscles to appear defined or contoured.
In order to really show off all of your hard work, you need to lose body fat. And there are right and wrong ways to do this, especially if you’re engaging in an intense lifting regimen as well.
Losing body fat requires you to reach a calorie deficit in which you are consuming fewer calories than your body requires to stay at your current weight. This doesn’t mean you starve yourself. Eating proper nutrition is essential to losing weight, as you need to ensure your body is getting the essential nutrients it needs to keep going.
To shed a pound of body fat, you need to burn 3,500 calories. This equates to 500 calories per day in order to lose one pound a week.
Something important to remember, though, is that your body won’t just burn fat: it will also burn muscle. That’s why eating a proper diet with protein and carbs (yes, carbs) is important, as your body will take from the energy in food before it starts taking from other places in your body. And since protein facilitates muscle growth and repair, eating a high protein diet can help you maintain your muscle-gaining goals.
Cardio Isn’t So Hard-io
Bodybuilders and gym buffs really don’t like doing cardio because it doesn’t help you gain muscle mass. However, cardio exercises are the best ways to shed fat.
You don’t need to do that much cardio every week to maintain a healthy body weight. It’s recommended that you get at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. That’s the equivalent of going for a jog or doing a HIIT routine for only 15 minutes each day.
We recommend doing cardio before weightlifting because it can help your body warm up. A good warm-up literally raises your core temperature allowing your muscles to become looser. This lets them be even more flexible when it’s finally time to pump some iron (or resistance bands).
As you continue to burn body fat to let your muscles become more defined, you should still engage in strength training to make them bigger and more toned.
Muscle gains are more prominent during your first year of working out. Lovingly referred to as “newbie gains,” people who are just beginning a proper weightlifting journey have the potential to gain upwards of 25 pounds of muscle mass during the first year.
Of course, this is reliant on how often you lift and how heavy your weights are. In general, if you want to gain muscle mass, you should focus on increasing the weight and lowering the number of repetitions. To tone your muscles, lower the weight and increase the reps.
The number of reps that you can make it through is a good indicator of how much muscle you’re gaining. You can test if your hard work is paying off by perfecting the form of an exercise and then seeing how many you can do before failing. If you can continually increase the number of reps, you’re doing great.
Quality of the form is always more important than quantity, and you’ll get results a lot faster by making sure you’re doing each move correctly rather than trying to do as many as you can. Plus, it will help you avoid unnecessary injuries that can set you back.
If you’re new to working out and don’t really know where to start, check out our guide to resistance training at home. It will give you all the skills necessary for building muscle gains without aches or pains.
The Perfect Plan
If you want to achieve the best and bulkiest bod as fast as possible, then sticking to a workout regimen that encompasses your goals is extremely important. The three main components are cardio training to burn fat, strength training to build muscle, and proper nutrition to keep your body healthy.
It might feel natural to want to work out every single day to maximize your gains. However, that might actually do more harm than good. You really only need to work out the major muscle groups twice a week with a two-day break in between.
This is because muscle growth happens after the workout, not during. When you lift, tiny tears in your muscle form and have to be repaired. Over time, this leads to an increase in muscle mass.
Rest days are important, so one thing you can do is a full-body workout twice a week that incorporates every single muscle group. These are great for people with busy schedules that might not have the time to work out every single day.
However, if you’re a fitness junkie, you can increase the number of days you can work out by staggering the muscles worked. For example, you can work out your biceps and chest on Monday, triceps, and back on Tuesday, then shoulders and core on Wednesday. Then you can repeat the process from Thursday to Saturday.
Since you’re working different muscles each day, you’re giving those groups adequate rest without overworking them. However, it still lets you put in some satisfying training time throughout the week.
When Will I Look Like a Bodybuilder?
Improving your physique shouldn’t all be about getting results fast. Working out doesn’t just affect your physical wellbeing, as it has a way of making you feel amazing on the inside, too. There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment that you’ll feel at the end of each workout that’s pretty unmatched.
Even if it doesn’t immediately seem like you’re gaining muscle, the best advice to get results is to stick to it and never give up.
With all of that said, you probably just want a straight answer. If you can stick to a routine that matches your goals, you will likely be able to obtain a physically fit and toned body after a year of hard work.
This might seem like a long time, but a perfect body doesn’t happen overnight. Plus, you’ll start to notice results in as little as a few weeks, which will be enough to keep you going for the long term.
Just remember that fitness is a lifetime journey. While your results will start to dwindle over time, they’ll never cease entirely. That’s why it’s important to keep at it for as long as you’re able.
It takes time to look like the bodybuilders on TV, but it’s worthwhile. Through hard, consistent work, you can gain as much as 25 pounds of muscle throughout the year.
Of course, building muscle isn’t the only part of the equation. In order to gain the perfect, defined composition, fat-burning cardio is also essential. You can burn a pound of fat a week if you can reach a 500 calorie deficit per day.
The best fitness plans incorporate strength training, cardio, and balanced nutrition. Just make sure you’re giving your muscles adequate time to rest in between sessions, as rest periods are when your muscles are actually rebuilding in order to come back stronger.
If you’re not exactly sure where to begin, or you just want some comprehensive guidance toward achieving your fitness goals, the Gorilla Bow All-Access Membership is like having a personal trainer at your fingertips. From live classes to on-demand training sessions, you’ll look ripped without ever needing to leave your home.
I want to lose a pound of weight. How many calories do I need to burn? | Food and Nutrition Information Center | USDA
"Exercise: How much do I need every day?" | The Mayo Clinic
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