You might have heard your resident gym bro saying he’s going to go on a hardcore bulk and eat 10,000kcals daily for a bodybuilding event, and then you see him doing intense workouts a few weeks after.
These high-intensity exercises are called shredding workouts, and they’re common in the competitive bodybuilding sphere. But even without bodybuilding, some people do it to get in their best beach-worthy shape for summer or a special event.
THE BASICS OF SHREDDING
For those who aren’t familiar with shredding exercises, they are workout programs to get “shredded”, “cut”, or “ripped”. It’s not just about losing weight; it’s about optimising your body’s ability to burn body fat while preserving your muscle gains.
But before you can lose that unwanted body fat and make your abs pop, there’s the matter of bulking up first.
BULKING AND SHREDDING
Bulking is the phase that’s concentrated on making maximum gains in muscle size by ‘bulking up’ on food and calories. But consuming too many calories, especially from sugars and fats, will likely jeopardise your efforts.
Fat accumulation would be natural after a bulk, and that’s where cutting and shredding comes in. This phase is focused on losing body fat while maintaining lean muscle to build a cut, muscled physique in the 8-10% body fat range. When the cut physique isn’t enough, and you want to look ripped at your best, that’s when you shred your body fat down to 6% or lower.
WHAT SHREDDING WORKOUTS INVOLVE
Shred workouts are set with a built-in timeline that involves cardiovascular exercises and weight training. Cardio increases the heart rate for an extended period. And for the body to start using its stored fat for energy, it needs approximately fifteen minutes of elevated heart rate exercise. To burn a healthy amount of calories and fat, you need to do a good thirty-minute cardio workout.
The other half of the workout is weight training, and for this, speed and intensity are given focus over strength to avoid putting on too much mass. With an increase in muscle size, you can burn more calories, eventually boosting your metabolism and making it easier to lose body fat.
SHREDDING WORKOUT TIPS
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is your best friend when it comes to retaining muscle tissue while stripping unwanted fat.
- Increase the density of your workout over time; make training shorter, but intense and efficient.
- Workouts should not solely rely on exercise alone; combine your HIIT workout with a healthy diet.
- Avoid processed foods and sugar, and eat foods that are high in protein and fibre instead. Eating clean and healthy means you get to eat more and feel fuller while staying under your calorie cap.
- Don’t be afraid to take a fat burning protein to help you get leaner and burn fat faster.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Not only will increasing your water intake give you energy, but it will also help you stave off hunger.
If you want the ultimate eating plan to get ripped, check out our Ultimate Nutrition Guide. We know the kind of support you need to get you to your goals faster!