Some of us want mass. Some of us want strength. Others simply want to be shredded. Easier said than done for all of those, really, but with Instagram being the means by which we measure self-worth in 2022, we’re all still gonna try.
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So, how long would it take to get ripped – 3 months, maybe? You can get ripped in 3 months. However, whether this is a realistic goal really depends on where you are starting from.
To see what I’m on about, keep reading. I’ll even give you some tips on how to get ripped faster.
What Does It Mean to Be “Ripped” Anyway?
The term “ripped” is thrown around a lot, and we all must remember that it’s relative. What’s ripped to one person might only be “lean” to another, as we all have different standards.
We also all have different genetics, meaning that your ripped and my ripped will look different. I have poor abs, but you have great arms, and we both only have 5% body fat.
“RIpped” basically refers to an individual who’s carrying a decent amount of muscle mass while also having little to no fat on their body. If this sounds unhealthy, that’s because it is. Staying ripped for too long can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.
Ripped will also be different based on your sex, as females naturally carry more fat. This means a female will be classified as ripped at a higher body fat percentage than a male would.
Generally, males are classified as ripped between 3 – 10% body fat, and females are ripped between 13 – 17%. However, again, it’ll always be relative.
You need muscle mass to be classified as ripped because you’d look quite small, flat, and weak if you only had little fat with little muscle as well. As an aesthetic terminology, you’d “need” some muscle mass to fill your frame.
Are 3 Months Long Enough to Get Ripped?
The big question: How long is this going to take?!
Well, it really all depends on where your starting point is. If you don’t understand my subtleness, it depends on how fat you are. (But according to Vince Sant and his Ripped In 90 Days Program, the answer is “yes” – you can get ripped in three months!)
Person A might take 18 months to get ripped because they’re 315 lbs with a body fat percentage of 32%. Meanwhile, person B might take 4 weeks to get ripped because they only have 12% body fat.
It depends on a myriad of other factors as well, such as:
- How much muscle you have, since more muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate, and your strength means you can lift more (more energy expended), and you can diet more aggressively with more muscle
- Which sex you are, males typically have more testosterone than females and build muscle and lose fat faster
- How hard you can diet, depending on mental and physical capacities
- How much stress you have, as the more stressed you are, the more resistant your body will be to fat loss
There are also some other factors that you can control, which also play a massive role in hitting this goal.
These are the ones you should be focusing on, as these are the ones that will dictate the largest change:
- Engaging in resistance training as well as cardio training seems to be the best way of preserving lean muscle mass while dieting.
- Following a diet rich in protein has also been shown to be effective in retaining lean mass but can also aid in fat loss.
- Prioritizing carbs over fats could potentially help in recovery, meaning your whole fat-loss journey would be easier.
With so many different factors, there’s no way to say it’ll take you “exactly xxx amount of weeks to get ripped.” A good ballpark is to first find out how much body fat you have with body fat calipers or a DEXA machine.
From there, you can estimate to lose between 0.5 – 1.0% of your total body weight per week.
This is a relative estimation, and some people might not be able to stay within that range. It depends on how much you’re willing to sacrifice and – of course – those other factors we discussed earlier.
How To Get Ripped Fast
Okay, but how do I get ripped ASAP? Well, it’s actually pretty simple! You just gotta lose fat – or build muscle and then lose fat – depending on where you’re starting from.
Step 1 – Build Muscle
Step 1 is to actually build some muscle! This means you need to give your body plenty of calories and expose it to some heavy resistance training to create the perfect environment for it to grow.
* Note: If you have >16% body fat, you can start with Step 2.
The diet part is the fun part – who doesn’t love calories? Simply add 200 – 300 calories above your maintenance calories (which you can calculate here).
Protein should be at least 1 gram per pound of body weight, and the rest of the calories are split between carbs and fats as you wish.
Training is just as fun (in my opinion). You should be engaging in resistance training of some sort, whether that’s weights, calisthenics, CrossFit, or anything where you can control the mechanical tension.
You should also focus on progressive overload, which essentially means getting stronger as time goes by. This means in week 1 of your bulk, you might be able to bench 315 for 5 reps, and by week 16, you might be able to do it for 12 reps.
This increase in strength will reflect an increase in muscle mass. Speaking of which, a bulking phase can last between 8 and 16 weeks – or when body fat levels rise above 16%.
Here are some more tips on bulking from none other than Jeff Nippard.
Step 2 – Lose Fat
Step 2 is to lose most of the fat you have on your body! This can take anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks (so, technically, it could take three months or even two months).
The way we do this is by creating a calorie deficit, which will force the body to “find” that missing energy elsewhere – stored body fat. Technically, the body will use both body fat and muscle, and we have to try our best to convince the body only to use fat mass.
First, you need to eat slightly less than your maintenance calories (calculate that here) – specifically around 200 – 300 fewer calories.
You should also be consuming 1 – 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight, and the remainder of your calories can be divided between carbs and fats as you wish. You should be losing around 0.5 – 1.0% of your body weight per week.
When weight loss stops, simply reduce your calories by another 150 – 250.
You should also be doing some heavy resistance training, as this will give you the best opportunity to retain as much lean muscle mass as possible.
Get Ripped Fast: Example
Here, we have a theoretical person named Bob. Hi, Bob. Bob is a 160 lb, 23-year-old guy who works an office job and has just gone through a breakup.
Bob has decided to join a gym and get some gains. He’s not really fat, but he doesn’t have a ton of muscle, either. Here’s a 15-week plan for Bob to get ripped:
|Week||Calories||Protein (g)||Carbs (g)||Fats (g)||Training|
|11||2900||180||360||80||Heavy weights with cardio|
|13||2900||180||360||80||Heavy weights with cardio|
|14||2600||180||310||70||Heavy weights with cardio|
|15||2600||180||310||70||Heavy weights with cardio|
As you can see, there’s progression as the weeks go by, and the only thing that really always remains consistent is weight training. Whether the goal is muscle gain or fat loss, you should always be prioritizing weight training.
Cardio can be used to increase the calorie deficit. However, it shouldn’t be overdone – around 60 – 90 minutes per day should be your max. Opting for a lower-intensity cardio option could also aid recovery, meaning even more muscle retention.
The most important thing is consistency. The more consistent you can remain on your journey, the more results you’ll have at the end of the day. Sporadic and intense moments are very nice, but they don’t get you all the way.
Lastly, be realistic about your goals and your genetics. You’re not going to look like Chris Bumstead in 3 months, but you’ll be the best you’ve ever been.
So, Can You Get Ripped in 3 Months?
Seeing as 38% of the world is classified as “overweight,” and 13% are obese, for most people, it’s unlikely to get ripped within 3 months. Getting lean – on the other hand – is possible, seeing as lean is the step just under being “ripped.”
Getting lean might also be a better option, as being truly ripped isn’t exactly healthy – especially for females. Staying at low body fat levels for extended periods of time can be detrimental to your health and could potentially lead to an increased risk of injuries.
Overall, you should only be losing around 0.5 – 1.0% of your total body weight per week. Trying to lose more than this isn’t only unsustainable but also increases the risk of muscle loss.
That said, to get ripped, you’re going to have to work your *ss off – literally.