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How to get ripped through diet and exercise

Updated on July 1, 2012

When I was growing up, I wasn't exactly overweight. I was a normal size and weight for my age. That all changed by the time I reached my teenage years. I'll always remember being called "Earthquake", or "Fatso", and any other names that insult your weight. I dealt with the name calling and shrugged it off, although the damage it caused never left my mind.

By the time I was 18, I was 5'10 and 140 pounds. The only thing in my diet was a light breakfast, a skipped lunch, and a salad for dinner. I was practically starving myself because I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of being called those names and I was tired that women didn't even give me a glance of interest.

I eventually picked up smoking which kept my weight in check, and if you've read my article about how I quit, you'll know that I was a smoker for quite a few years. You'll also know that working out and doing a lot of cardiovascular exercises was the key for me to finally quit for good. Since I was finally able to quit smoking through workouts and exercise, it became a daily routine for me. Through trial and error, I've learned how my body works and what I need to do to stay in shape. I'm going to share with you what I've learned.

Every body is different

The first thing you'll need to understand is that everyone's body is different. Some people have a faster metabolism and can eat whatever they want. You know that friend that can eat Burger King every day and still stay skinny? That's called metabolism. Some people are born with a body that produces massive amounts of it. You may have to exercise a lot to increase your metabolism, but you will also gain muscle and get bigger a lot faster than those with high metabolism. People with high metabolism have a hard time gaining muscle in general because they are burning what muscle they gain very quickly. Usually people with high metabolism tend to stay on the skinny side unless they really dedicate themselves to becoming bigger and stronger.

Stay away from fitness center diet and routine plans

A three or four thousand calorie diet for one person may not work for another. Fitness centers will try to sell you on their eating plans where they have you eating a certain amount of calories a day. I was on a similar plan once. The fitness trainer had me on a 3500 calorie diet along with a fitness routine that was less than what I do currently. I gained 15 pounds from it because I was following his instructions and eating 1500-2000 calories too much daily. The only one that can understand your body is you. Don't let someone else tell you otherwise, because they are full of it.

Carbohydrates turn into fat

If you want to get into shape you'll need to cut the amount of carbohydrates you are eating. Carbohydrates turn into fat, and fat causes weight gain and less room for muscle to build. You don't want to completely cut carbs out of your diet because that's not healthy, but if you can cut the amount you are eating 3/4 of the way, you'll be in good shape. If you are a runner, then you are going to need carbs. It's your fuel to keep on going.


Foods to eat

Foods you should concentrate on eating are things like fish, chicken, and meat which have next to no carbs and are high in protein.

Here's a list of some good foods:

  • Eggs / egg whites are better for you
  • Shrimp
  • Celery
  • Green beans
  • Any kind of fish
  • Any kind of chicken
  • Any kind of meat
  • Oysters
  • Lobster
  • Crab
  • Shellfish
  • Lamb
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Mushrooms
  • Olives (black)
  • Zucchini

Peanut butter is also good to eat. It's high in "good" fat, has an acceptable amount of carbs, and it sticks to your ribs. What this means is that it curves your appetite and if you eat it with celery in between your meals, you won't eat as much during your main courses throughout the day. You'll end up eating less. Peanut Butter has a lot of nutrition in it such as antioxidants, B6, and Potassium. Monitor your servings of it though. 2 tea spoons of peanut butter has roughly 6 carbs so you can easily get too many carbs for the day if you eat too much of it.

Diet Example

I've outlined two workout plans, one for the morning and one for the evening. You may need to adjust the times according to the examples below for what works best for you. My workouts are in the evening so I follow the evening workout routine, although I've done the morning workout routine which seems to work out better since you aren't eating dinner so late in the evenings. If you are doing the evening workout routine, try to watch what you eat for dinner because you'll need time to digest the food before you go to bed.

Morning Workout:

Breakfast: 5:00 AM
Eggs and egg whites
Pre-workout solution if any

After workout: 8-8:30 AM
Protein Shake 1-2 scoops

Before lunch: 11:30 AM
Celery w/ peanut butter

Lunch: 1:30 PM
Ground beef / tuna / canned grilled chicken / fish

Midday meal: 3:30 PM
Protein Shake or celery w/ peanut butter

Dinner: 6:30-7 PM
Steak and mushrooms, chicken, fish, green beans, shrimp, etc.

Evening Workout:

Breakfast: 7:30 AM
Eggs and egg whites

After breakfast meal: 10:30-11:00 AM
Celery w/ peanut butter

Lunch: 1:30 PM
Ground beef / tuna / canned grilled chicken / fish

Midday meal: 3:30 PM
Protein Shake or celery w/ peanut butter

Pre workout: 6:00 PM
Protein bar (eat half of it) and pre-workout solution if any.

After workout: 8:30 PM
Protein Shake

Dinner: 9/9:30 PM
Steak and mushrooms, chicken, fish, green beans, shrimp, etc.

Pre-workout solutions:

I sometimes take C4 or No Explode both of which can be harmful to your body if taken on a regular basis. Usually you want to do 2 months on, and 2-4 months off before taking it again. It can be harmful to your liver (and who knows what else) if taken for long periods of time. This goes for pretty much any workout solution out there. Whey protein is the only thing that isn't harmful to your body which you can take on a regular basis.

Workout routine - 2 1/2 hours, 6 days a week

In order to get lean, you'll need to do both cardiovascular exercises and lift weights. My workout routine is concentrated around 3 goals that I must accomplish before I leave the gym. Here is my workout routine:

Goal #1: 45 minutes of cardio exercise - 400+ calories burned
I will mix up my routine by burning more calories on the elliptical one day, and spend less time jogging, and so fourth. You can also add in the bike machines if you want, although I don't prefer them.

100-200 calories burned on the elliptical (18 mins)
200+ calories burned jogging/running (20 mins)
100 calories burned on the stair master (7 mins)

Goal #2: 60-90 minutes of weightlifting
Most people concentrate on different areas each workout day, and that's completely fine to do. You can break these exercises into different days:

  • Biceps/triceps
  • Chest
  • Legs
  • Shoulders/back

I never do leg workouts because doing leg workouts keeps me from completing all the cardio I need to do. I concentrate on doing biceps/triceps/back all in one workout, then the next day I will work out my chest. I'll continue to keep switching back and forth. The difference for me is that I will change up the exercises I am doing.

For instance, with chest exercises, I may stick with mostly cables the entire workout. The next chest day, I'll do barbells/free weights, and so forth. Switch up the exercises so you are working different muscle groups and constantly continuing to confuse your muscles.

Goal #3: 20 minutes of ab exercises
Lastly, my routine will consist of ab exercises. You can use any of the ab machines that the gym has. Sit ups are a good alternative if there are mats available. There are a lot of mat exercises which can work your abs so I would do some research on some exercises you can do.

Final thoughts

If you aren't able to follow the diet plan listed above, as long as you workout 2 1/2 hours, 6 days a week, you WILL get in shape. It's not a question of "if", it's a question of "when." I guarantee if you start going to the gym that much, you will get into shape no matter what your diet is. You won't be "lean", but you will look good. That's with eating whatever you want. Only when you sacrifice your love for food will you become lean and your abs will start to peek out.

Understand that you need a low body fat percentage for your abs to show. Most men you see with perfect abs have a body fat percentage of about 10% or lower. Keep in mind, that having a body fat percentage really low is not scientifically healthy since you are practically dieting and eating very little so that your muscles will show. You'll have to weigh the negatives against the positives to determine how far you are willing to go to get the body you want.


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      5 years ago

      I found your blog site on google and examine a couple of of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the very good operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for forward to reading extra from you afterward!? I am often to running a blog and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your website and preserve checking for brand new information.

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      5 years ago

      This is a truly awesome admittance. Today coming from msn whilst browsing an identical material. I really had upwards what you were required to go over. Maintain the truly amazing work!

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      David T. 

      6 years ago

      I read your article and it's great! I've started easing into that very same diet and workout routine. It doesn't happen overnight and I'll remember "It's not a matter of 'if', it's a matter of 'when'". Thanks.


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