Time. We love to hate it and hate to love it. It never seems to be on our side, and in the case of losing weight, we want the most results right now!
You can get ripped in 2 months. But the reality is that your starting point will determine if this is actually possible. For instance, are you 400 lbs? You’re probably not gonna get ripped in 2 months…
Keep reading to learn the truth.
What Does “Ripped” Even Mean?
Ripped, shredded, peeled, lean, or whatever you wanna call it – it’s hard to achieve. To make an incredibly long description rather simple, I’m going to break it down into two factors.
To be ripped…
- You need to have a decent amount of muscle mass. Phrases like “You can’t carve a pebble” explain this perfectly. If you don’t have some muscle, you just end up looking skinny.
- You also need to have barely any fat at all. This differs for men and women (5 – 8% and 10 – 15% total body fat, respectively). Females carry more fat genetically, and getting to a “ripped” level is also more dangerous and worse for females compared to males.
These are the two main factors to being ripped. You’ll often see bodybuilders and figure competitors on stage who basically have nothing but muscle and skin – THAT is ripped. There’s also a slight difference between lean and ripped, with lean being a tiny bit “fatter.”
One important thing to remember is that “ripped” looks different on all people. John might have 4% body fat, but due to poor abdominal genetics, his abs are “shallow” and don’t show prominently. Mark might have perfect abdominal genetics, and he’ll have abs at 10% body fat.
So, before you embark on this journey, remember that you should be the best you that you can be. If you plan to compete in a competition, sure, then you can measure yourself against others.
Okay, So How Do You Get Ripped?
Boy, what a question. The best way to do it is to break it down into sections. But before we even do that, you have to ask yourself a few questions:
- Can I afford the financial requirements, such as buying leaner and more expensive cuts of meat, supplements, paying for a gym membership(s), and other factors?
- Can I afford the mental cost of being that low in body fat? Remember, being super lean is incredibly taxing on your mind and on those closest to you (you become irritable).
- Can I afford the health costs associated with being shredded? Being too lean for too long can lead to an impaired immune system, injuries, and muscle loss.
- Can I afford the time per day needed to prep food, do cardio, and train?
If you’re comfortable answering “yes” to all of these, we’re off to the races! And by races, I mean to the chicken breast aisle (that’s called foreshadowing).
Step 1 – Build Muscle
The very first thing you need to do to get ripped is built muscle! This is a lot easier said than done, and most guys have a lot of trouble with this part. Building muscle is hard, strenuous, and requires a healthy appetite!
* Note: If you have more than 15% body fat, you can skip to the second step.
You need to place your body in a position where it builds extra muscle on a daily basis for about 12 – 16 weeks, depending on your starting point. Often referred to as “bulking,” you essentially spend weeks on end eating more and getting stronger.
Here are a few rules you need to follow to build the most amount of muscle:
- Eat about 200 – 300 calories above your maintenance calories. Doing so will allow you to gain 0.5 – 1.0% of your total body weight per week. When the weight gain stops, simply increase your calories by another 200.
- The “point” at which you stop is individual. If you’ve always been “chubby,” you might want to stop at 15 – 16% body fat. However, if you’ve always been leaner, you might be able to push it to 18%.
- Try to eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. This is essential, as protein is the only nutrient that can actually “turn” into muscle tissue.
- You can split your remaining calories between carbs and fats however you’d like. But it’s commonplace for athletes to eat a higher-carbohydrate diet due to its benefits, like improved recovery. You shouldn’t drop your fats lower than 0.3 grams per pound of body weight.
- If you struggle with hunger, you can opt for foods that digest easier – or even liquid calories. These will allow you to pack in more food.
- Supplements don’t play such a big role, but certain supplements like creatine and protein powder are always welcome.
- You should engage in resistance training, ideally weight training. We’ll dive into this more later on.
- Now that you’ve built a bunch of muscle and a tiny bit of fat, we can get to step two!
Step 2 – Get Shredded!
The second step is actually getting shredded. Bust out your treadmill… we’re cutting!
First off, cutting is hard, especially when you’re looking to get shredded. It means you’ll go hungry often, your mood will change, and even your libido might crash. This is why you should limit the time spent ripped to 3 weeks – MAX.
So, how do you start? Well, after your bulking phase, you’ll spend a few weeks in a maintenance phase – around 3 – 4 weeks. It’s not essential. However, I found it to be useful for those wanting long-term results.
After this phase, simply follow these rules to get shredded:
- Eat 200 – 300 calories below your maintenance calories. This will allow you to lose 0.5 – 1.0% of your total body weight per week. When weight loss stops, you can either lower the calories ever-so-slightly or increase your cardio output slightly.
- A cutting phase can last anywhere between 10 – 14 weeks, maybe slightly more for those who have more muscle. Now, you do run a risk of muscle loss if you’re in a calorie deficit for too long, so be careful.
- Aim to eat at least 1 – 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. This is vital in a cutting phase, as it’ll allow you to retain the most amount of muscle mass possible.
- You can split your remaining calories between carbs and fats as you wish.
- It’s not uncommon to place most of your carbs around your workout to help with energy, especially during a cutting phase.
- Cardio will play a role if your goal is to get shredded. But don’t overdo cardio, and don’t do cardio right before lifting. Either do cardio after lifting or in a separate session. Cardio requirements will differ from person to person, although it’s best not to go over 90 minutes per day.
- While HIIT cardio is effective, it’s best to go for a lower-intensity option – like incline walking – since it allows for calories to be burnt without really straining recovery capabilities.
- Supplements still don’t play such a big role, but some supplements like creatine and protein powder could help. Fat burners don’t really work.
- You should still engage in resistance training, specifically weight training.
- The closer you get to your “peak,” the more your needs will change. But you might want to control every single factor, such as drinking the same amount of water, using the same amount of salt, etc.
But How Do I Train?
My favorite part, aha! First off, to actually get shredded, you need to do resistance training. Ideally, this would be with weights, but there are thousands of calisthenics athletes that are all shredded without using weights.
The biggest reason why we train is to cause the physiological adaptation that results in more muscle mass or the retention of muscle mass. If you didn’t train, the body would burn both muscle and fat as energy while cutting. Or, you’d gain more fat than muscle while bulking, which means it’ll take even longer to go from fat to ripped.
The only difference between training when bulking vs. cutting is volume.
Volume refers to the number of sets you do in a session or a week. Volume has long been theorized as the “driver” of hypertrophy. However, today, we know that volume is simply a cog in a massive mechanism of hypertrophy. You should rather focus (mostly) on progressive overload.
Progressive overload refers to the principle of creating a reason for the muscle to grow or adapt. This means using as much mechanical tension as needed, which refers to how hard a set is.
If you did a set to failure this week for 12 reps, next week, you’d have to do more reps on that same load or more loads for the same number of reps. Therefore, the mechanical tension is increased, and so progressive overload has occurred.
In the bulking phase, this will be rather easy. You’ll have a tremendous amount of food, great sleep, optimal hormones, and less stress. If you’re not getting stronger in this phase, you’re simply doing something wrong or not training hard enough. As harsh as it sounds, it is true.
While cutting, this might be a bit harder. You’ll find yourself fighting to keep your strength high and your performance optimal. This is why volume drops. This drop in volume will allow you to do fewer sets to 100% of your capacity instead of doing several poor and lackluster sets.
For instance, you might start your cut with 12 sets of chest on a Monday, and 12 weeks into your cut, you might only have 8 sets. These 8 sets will have to be pretty intense, though, so you best make sure your mindset is right before getting under that bar.
A Few General Training Guidelines!
Generally, there are a few guidelines to follow when it comes to training:
- Always prioritize weight training over cardio.
- You don’t need to train to fail, but it’s optimal to get within 3 – 5 reps shy of complete failure.
- You probably need less volume than you think you do. It’s really person-dependent, but you definitely don’t need more than 15 sets per big muscle group per week.
- There’s no perfect split. Pick one you enjoy and can stick to.
- Lighter weights don’t “cut” you up – that’s a myth. Toning is also a myth. You’re either fat or not.
There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to training. Opt for a style you enjoy, and stay consistent. Fight for strength, and try to be better as time goes on. This creates the best situation for muscle gain and/or retention.
Can You Get Ripped in 2 Months?
If you’re already at 13% body fat, sure. If your starting point is something a bit higher, then no. Trying to shred too quickly or too aggressively will only result in muscle loss and potential injury.
A good idea is to map out your progress. If you take the goal of 0.5 – 1.0% of body weight loss per week, you can calculate how many weeks it will take you to lose a certain amount of fat. You can also use body fat calipers or a DEXA scan to see how much fat is on your body.
It might be a longer journey than you think. It’s not a marathon but a sprint. There’s a reason bodybuilders take 12 – 16 weeks to get ready for a show or photoshoot. Again, trying to do something too quickly will only result in detrimental returns.
Take your time, and enjoy the process (as much as you can).
Are 2 Months Enough To Get Ripped?
It’s almost impossible to know if 2 months is enough to get ripped because it depends on how much body fat you’re currently carrying. This is kind of like asking, “Can my car drive 100 miles right now?” – well, how much gas does it have? You can’t even give an estimate for how long it’ll take based on body fat percentage, seeing as we all have different genetics and life stresses.
How Muscular Can You Get in 2 Months?
You can gain roughly 1-2 pounds of actual muscle per months, but the overall limitation will revolve mostly around food. If you’re okay with gaining a bit of fat and having some health complications (high blood pressure, etc.), you can gain up to 10% of your current body weight in that time frame. It’ll differ from person to person, of course. Most people can gain a decent amount of muscle in that time and even more in three months (they’ll also gain some fat, which is normal).