Summary of the 13 Principles I Used to Get Ripped:
(1, 2, 4, 5, 12 = most important and least known by most people)
- (Intermittent) Fasting
- Alcohol Rule
- Lift Heavy Weights (compound exercises)
- 3 Secrets for Boosting Motivation and Breaking Records
- ABF: Always Be Flexing
- Track Results
- The 4 Parts of a Workout
- How to Get Good Sleep
- Skip Cardio
- Protein Intake and The Top Healthy Foods
- 3 Health Experiments You Should Do
- The Philosophy of Rippedness
I don’t know what you’ve read or heard about bodybuilding, but. . .
Once you’re ripped–you’re ripped. And it’s very easy to maintain.
In this article you’ll learn the 80/20 way (the 20 % of things which yield 80 % of the results) that I used to get ripped in just under 2 years.
My starting physique was not bad (I was not fat), but I didn’t have any visible muscles either. Now I look like this:
Of course, you’ve heard people tell you it’s possible to get a 6-pack in 3-6 months if you use this pill, that diet, this new revolutionary machine, but. . .
You didn’t believe that, did you!?
Those guys are just pushing their own agendas and trying to sell you bullshit products.
You should be skeptical about research concerning the fitness industry.
Most studies are paid for by corporations to get the result they want to sell products
This article is not backed by such B.S; it is grounded in my own experience.
If you consistently apply the following 13 principles you’ll also get ripped.
I can’t promise you it’ll be in two years though.
Before I get into these principles, I suggest you get ready to take notes.
Because this article has a LOT of condensed information in it.
Have you grabbed a pen and pad, or readied yourself to copy the info into your commonplace?
Now, let me tell you. . .
The #1 MOST IMPORTANT Thing For Getting Ripped!
The more muscle you have the higher your metabolic baseline will be.
Yes, it’s really that easy.
This means that you’ll burn more calories (and stay lean) if you have a lot of muscle.
For this reason, it’s extremely easy for people who are already ripped, to remain ripped with minimal effort.
–And vice versa: this makes it damn hard & time-consuming for obese people to lose their weight and get ripped.
Therefore your goal should be to get ripped ASAP in life.
That said, let’s get into my 13 principles.
1. Consistency is Key
If you want to get ripped you’ll need to go to the gym several times a week, at least for the first 6 months.
And you must go even if you feel like shit–especially if you’re a newbie.
This discomfort is completely normal and comes from your homeostasis, which is your body’s process of maintaining (physiological) balance.
For this reason, you must make it a HABIT to work out even when you feel tired or sore.
Once you have this down, you will NEVER have to worry about it ever again.
It’ll be automatic and effortless.
Here are two smart tips for becoming more consistent:
- Find smart times to work out preemptively. When you know you’re going to be busy for 1-3 days in a row, make sure you do a killer workout session before that, so that you can use that busy-time to recover.
- Find a good time that you can stick to. If you go to the gym at regular times you’ll make it a habit faster than if you don’t. For most people the best time to work out is between 4-7 PM. 1
2. Do (Intermittent) Fasting
There are at least 5 reasons why you should be doing intermittent fasting:
1) It temporarily switches on ketosis, which means that you’ll BURN FAT instead of glucose.
2) It increases the amount of growth hormone that your body produces (this is good for building muscle and the immune system).
3) Your ghrelin levels go up2, and this will make you happier and more focused (increases dopamine).
4) Research indicates that it reduces the risk of getting cancer.
5) It saves you A LOT of time (fewer dishes, less cooking, etc).
Here are the most popular ways to fast:
- Feeding gap for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours (just skip breakfast).
- Fasting for 24 h once a week.
- Fasting for 40-48h once a week or every two weeks.
I usually eat 1-3 meals a day and fast for the rest of the day.
My feeding gap is 8 hours and my fasting period is ca 16 hours. Then I usually fast for 24 or 48 hours once a week as well. Why?
I recommend drinking water mixed with L-glutamine to get amino acids without breaking the fast.
L-glutamine is also very healthy for your stomach because it is used to regenerate your stomach lining. I used to have a bad stomach (severe candida albicans), but now it’s quite good thanks to L-glutamine, fasting & coconut fat.
Want to learn more about intermittent fasting?
You can read these summary articles I’ve written:
- Part 1. Eat Stop Eat – 24 hour fast once a week.
- Part 2. Fast-5 diet – ca 5 hours to eat every day and 19 hours fast.
- Part 3. My general take on IF and miscellaneous stuff.
- My own popular 2-day fast
[NOTE: And NO, intermittent fasting does NOT “break down your muscles”. In that case I would be dead.]
3. The Alcohol Rule
It’s best not to drink it at all. Because it’s unhealthy.
But if you’re looking to get ripped and you’ve decided you’re going to drink alcohol anyway, here’s what you should do:
- Drink only straight liquor, to minimize intake of carbs and sugar.
- Do NOT eat after having consumed alcohol. Alcohol is seen as a poison by your body and will be metabolized before any food. This means that if you drink and eat at the same time your body will store the excess calories as FAT. And you don’t want that, do you?
- Minimize fat consumption during the entire day that you drink. Fats contain a lot of calories and metabolize slowly (slower than carbs).
In summary: Alcohol isn’t particularly dangerous to your goal of getting ripped, but . . .
The food you eat while being drunk is the “dangerous” part that is counterproductive to getting ripped.
Junk food is bad on its own, don’t make it worse by drinking!
4. Lift Heavy Weights & Do Compound Exercises
Want to build muscle–and strength–as fast as you can?
Then it’s all about doing compound exercises.
Isolation exercises are for three types of people:
- Serious bodybuilders.
- People who have no idea about what they’re doing.
- People with a lot of time on their hands.
I will assume you are neither of these types.
Fast success in any area of life (in this case getting ripped) is about figuring out the fundamental 80/20- activities. In this case it involves doing compound exercises and lifting heavy weights.
Heavy = you should not be able to do more than 10 repetitions.
Don’t go over 10 reps and don’t use weird machines–unless you suffer from some injury and have a valid reason for avoiding free weights.
Here are the most important compound exercises that you should be doing some variation of:
Whole body (back & core):
- Deadlifts & stifflegged deadlifts.
- Clean and jerk.
- Front squats.
- Bench press (including dumbbells).
- Pull-ups & chins.
- Shoulder press.
Just keep it simple and stick to this while increasing your lifts.
–Especially if you’re a beginner.
5. Three Secrets for Boosting Motivation
Motivation is strongly correlated with the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. Here are some natural ways that you can use to increase your release of dopamine to have better workouts.
#1 Improve the motivational effects of music
As you know, music is an effective motivation-booster. But did you know that its motivational effects can be optimized?
Avoid listening to your favorite songs too often.
If you mix it up more, you’ll be able to squeeze more dopamine (motivation) out of them during a longer period of time.
#2 Variation boosts motivation
Just as varying your best songs helps maintain their motivational effects longer, you can start varying (small) things in the gym to keep your motivation high. This will keep habituation and boredom away.
. . . Because you’ve now SHOCKED the muscle.
You don’t want to switch up your entire workout sessions, but you always want to have some variation.
For example: I usually go to the gym, but sometimes I’ll go for a run or do calisthenics. Not because it’s more effective, but for the psychological effect of variation.
Another example for when you’re in the gym: instead of lifting the flat barbell bench press all the time, you want to cycle between that and:
- Dumbbell bench press
- Dips (weighted)
- Calisthenics (regular push ups, weighted).
Pro tip: Start with a light weight, cycle between these exercises each (chest) workout, and lift a little bit more each time. You’re now. . .
The winner effect is a biological term for how the brain changes itself by winning and competing.
This is AWESOME!
You get increased levels of dopamine and testosterone.
This puts you into a self-reinforcing feedback loop where you get addicted to winning, and will want to win even more.
Use the winner effect to deliberately set yourself up for a series of consistent “victories” 3
–Don’t increase to maximum potential all at once, spread it out over a longer period of time to maximize motivation instead!
6. How to Spend Your Leisure: ABF
ABF – Always Be Flexing!
It sounds obvious (and it is), but most people don’t do it…
Flexing your muscles does two great things for you:
- It burns more energy.
- It promotes relaxation.
—So be sure to take frequent breaks to consciously flex your body, it will make you feel better and help you concentrate for longer periods of time.
Here are some exercises you can do anytime a day (in class, at work, sitting by computer):
- Flex your neck & jaws. “Chew” imaginary food until your jaw or neck get tired.
[Warning: doing this in a public environment will make you look retarded.]
- Stomach vacuums & flexing your stomach. A stomach vacuum is when you tuck in your stomach as hard as you can for as long as you can.
[Always flex your stomach when you lift, especially during squats and deadlifts.]
- Flex all muscles in your body, especially chest and arms. This is easy to do while sitting by the computer.
7. Track Results
If you are new to working out it is useful to track your results. There are two main reasons:
- It makes you more psychologically committed.
- It shows your progress and puts things in context (also boosts motivation)
And. . . It flatters your ego.
3 Things to measure:
- Body weight.
- How much you can lift.
- Pictures of yourself to see your improvement.
8. The Four Parts of a Workout
Define what an optimal workout looks like.
1. Pre-workout ritual:
This is when you get into the zone. You want to shift your focus from your head into your body. You can do this by meditating, visualizing your sets, or pumping yourself up. I usually drink coffee (if it’s early in the day), L-glutamine, and creatine. There are a lot of smart psychological tricks you can use to become “addicted” to working out!
When you lift there should be only two things in your mind a) that you’re flexing your core as tightly as you can, and that b) you are breathing correctly. “Correct breathing” means breathing into the stomach; not into the chest. (Correct breathing doesn’t elevate your shoulders.)
3. Recovery between sets:
When you’ve finished a set it is important that you face the pain and breathe. Many people don’t do this. As a result they move around restlessly in reaction to the excess stress that they’ve induced into their body. By doing so they are failing to recover properly and will not maintain allostasis – the state in which the body adapts optimally to stress.
4. Rest and recovery post workout:
You may want to rest for at least 5 minutes after the workout if you went at it hard. And you want to make sure you. . .
9. Get Good Sleep
You need to create a consistent ritual that serves as cue for you to get tired. I struggled with this for a long time, but now I’ve got a great routine.
Here are 7 quick tips for improving the quality of your sleep:
- Make sure you’re tired by the end of the day. Most people are too passive and sedentary.
- Try sleeping in a pitch black room. That means no light at all. Your brain is smarter than your eyes are, and it will detect even the least amount of light. This may diminish your body’s production of melatonin (the sleep hormone), which can lower the quality of your sleep.
- Don’t consume stimulants several hours prior to going to bed.
- Open up a window to get fresh air.
- Avoid sitting by computer screens ca 20-30 minutes before going to bed.
- Meditate to calm down before bed.
- Don’t use your phone or stimulate yourself excessively (avoid multitasking).
10. Skip Cardio
Cardio does very little for you in terms of losing fat or building muscle. You will burn more calories by:
- Lifting heavy weights or by,
- Doing interval training. . .
. . .than you will from doing steady state cardio.
Cardio has benefits of its own, but it’s highly inefficient if your goal is to get ripped.
11. Protein Intake & The Top Healthy Foods
Eat about 1g protein/pound – that’s about 2g of protein/ kilo.
Do experiments and see how much protein your body is capable of assimilating.
All people are not equal in this regard.
—Some people can assimilate more protein than others; it’s an unfair advantage owing to superior genetics or stomach digestion.
If you consume more protein than your body can assimilate, you will get gassy and you’ll probably feel slow and lethargic.
You want to be in the sweet spot where you consume just about enough protein every day without getting slow from it.
The most important healthy foods to eat are:
- Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds are exceptionally healthy and contain lots of zinc, which is good for boosting testosterone)
- Healthy spices like oregano (contains 4x the antioxidants of blueberries)
- Supplements etc: Magnesium, zinc, omega 3, L-glutamine, creatine, tea, coffee, raw cocoa, and–obviously–high quality Omega-3.
And you want to avoid these foods:
- Sugar (because it raises your insulin levels and hinders fat loss)
- Empty carbs (bread, pasta, snacks)
- Processed foods (things that come in a plastic box)
You want to minimize carbs in general, except after workouts. This does not include vegetables.
For more info, check out what I usually eat and why.
Note: Book Recommendation
If you can only read one book about nutrition/diet/supplements, health, and well-being–you should check out The UltraMind Solution.
Read my 7 summary articles of the book here for free:
- Part 1 (fats, proteins, neurotransmitters, vitamins, and minerals).
- Part 2 (methylation vs sulfation process + more on minerals).
- Part 3 (balancing your hormones & immune system).
- Part 4 (avoiding inflammation and allergies).
- Part 5 (enhance detoxification + healthy spices).
- Part 6 (boost metabolism and relaxation).
- Part 7 (mind-body connection, depression, and supplement suggestions).
12. 3 Health Experiments You Should Do
One of the best investments that you can make in terms of money and time, to improve your long-term health, is to do diagnostic tests:
- A hair analysis (see mine as a pdf).
- A blood analysis (check your testosterone if you’re over 35)
- A fatty acid test (I’ve done 2, read about it here).
Hair analysis & blood tests help you examine your vitamin, mineral, and heavy metals levels. This gives you great feedback on what to include or remove from your diet. Blood analysis is better, but more expensive.
The most important thing I learned from my hair analysis was that I had too much mercury in my body. That would’ve been very bad in the coming years had I not fixed it (it gives you “brain fog”). I took a long break from eating canned fish after that.
Fatty acid tests give you feedback on what fats to eat more of. Most people are deficient in omega-3 and have too much omega-6. This is what happens when you eat too much processed foods, and if it gets too extreme, it can seriously mess up your hormonal system (which will make it hard for you to become ripped).
13. Philosophy of Rippedness
Here are 3 essential gym-mindsets to implement:
- 5 more minutes. When you want to quit or go home, you must force yourself to do at least one more rep. Never let your brain get the last word, don’t give into its weakness of wanting to quit.
- Focus on “the rep”. The gym version of mindfulness. It’s better to do a few repetition with excellent mental focus, really feeling your body, than it is to do many mindless repetitions where you’re out of touch with your body.
- Disregard your surroundings. Don’t bring your phone into the gym.
Conclusion: The Hill is the Steepest in the Beginning
It’s challenging to get ripped.
It takes a while.
But once you’re ripped, it’s very easy to maintain!
This is explained by the fact that:
- The more muscle you have the more calories you burn, and. . .
- The less body fat you have, the lower leptin levels you’ll have, and the less you hungry you get.
This is why you should strive to get ripped as soon as you can in life.
It’s worth the hard work. Think of it as a long-term investment for success.
You may not have the time or energy to get ripped later in life.
The 13 Principles to get Ripped:
- Consistency is Key: Condition yourself into going to the gym rain, hail, or snow.
- (Intermittent) Fasting: Eat 1-3 times a day. Try different fasting methods.
- Alcohol rule: Drinking is “fine”. Eating while drinking is not.
- Lifting Heavy Weights. Compound Exercises: Keep it below 10 reps and don’t do isolation exercises or machines.
- A Quick Tip For Boosting Motivation And Breaking Records: 3 smart ways to induce novelty into your workout sessions.
- How to Spend your Leisure: ABF: Always be flexing!
- Track Results: Write down results, feelings, or take pictures.
- The Four Parts of a Workout: Pre-workout ritual, lifting weights, recovering between sets, and resting.
- Get Good Sleep: Sleep in a pitch black room and go to bed exhausted.
- Skip Cardio: It won’t make you ripped or build muscle.
- Protein and Diet: Eat 1 g protein/pound or 2 g protein/kilo.
- Experimentation: Do a hair analysis and find out how well your current diet is working for you.
- Philosophy of Rippedness: Go five more minutes and gain the mindset of a champion!
What You Should Do Now:
- Write a checklist summary of this article. It has everything you need.
- Implement these principles/habits one at a time.
- Do at least one of those diagnostic health tests.
–That’s what I did, and now I do all this stuff effortlessly. Like clockwork.
For other comprehensive articles like this one, check out this page.
For more actionable info, subscribe to get my popular eBook “75 Practical Tips”.