Wanna flex your abs on Instagram when in Bali? Australia? Or (weirdly) in the streets of Paris? Getting ripped quickly isn’t the best idea, but if you’re in decent shape, you can get ripped before vacation.
Get My FREE “Rapid Muscle” Course
For 10 years I’ve helped beginners build muscle fast.
Follow this plan to unleash quick, noticeable muscle gains.
Before We Start…
Getting ripped is pretty easy. You diet, you train, you sleep, and you make sure you don’t screw up. Losing body fat isn’t something we want to be doing for months on end, but we also don’t want to rush fat loss, as it can lead to muscle mass loss.
Typically, we want to lose 0.5 – 1.0% of total body weight per week.
So here’s what you have to know before we start:
- Six-week shreds don’t work.
- You can’t undo years of unhealthy living in a few weeks.
- You need to be realistic about your results and progress.
We can give you the tools of weight training and the methods to burn fat, but your determination for that beach body will dictate how far you get. Just be realistic about your progress.
Step 1 – Drop Your Body Fat with Dieting
There’s no way of getting around this. You have to control your food intake and sort out your poor food choices to lose fat.
Let’s get down to the business of getting that six-pack:
- Reduce your calories to 200 – 300 below your maintenance calories (calculate that here).
- Ensure you’re eating at least 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.
- Aim to eat at least 0.6 grams of fat per pound of body weight per day.
- The remainder of your calories can come from carbohydrates.
- When your weight loss stops, reduce your calories by another 200 – 300 or add 200 – 300 calories worth of cardio each day.
Your nutrition choices will matter as well. Sticking to whole food options might be the better choice, so eat things like sweet potatoes, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats. These won’t cause you to lose more weight, but they might make the process a lot easier.
If you feel your hunger getting the best of you, you can also look to sugar-free beverages and snacks, high-fiber foods, and lots of fruits and veggies. These foods are known to help people stick to a diet.
That said, sometimes, highly processed foods might actually allow you to stick to your calories and diet. Don’t make it a common thing, but if you’re in a bad situation, use the tools you have.
Step 2 – Lift Weight, Baby!
There’s also no way around the fact that the best way to lose the most amount of weight is through weight training. Or exercise, at least. But preferably weights — it’s a lot more fun anyways.
Here’s how you go about it:
- You can build muscle while losing fat, but you have to be lifting weights. When doing your lifting, make sure you apply progressive overload. Essentially, this means you have to apply more load (and volume) as time goes on.
- You can use any lifting ‘split’ you want. You can use push-pull-legs, full-body, or bro splits. They can all work, but you have to use one that suits your lifestyle (and which one you enjoy most).
- The fitness industry is eager to tell you that more intricate movements or “optimized” movements are what you need to progress. The reality is that the exercises that suit your body will do you the best.
- Train to within 2 – 3 reps shy of failure. This seems to be the best range for muscle growth without running into recovery issues.
And now, we have to have a quick discussion about cardio.
What About Cardio?
Doing super low-carb diets suck, so you might want to add a bit of cardio to increase the number of calories burned (so you can eat more).
The best cardio for fat loss is one that can burn fat (via calories) but won’t impede your recovery.
Low-intensity cardio (like walking or elliptical) seems to be the best for this. You can also do high-intensity cardio, but it’ll impact your recovery, and thus, your workouts might not be as good.
You can do cardio each day of the week. However, if you do too much, you can also stress the body too much and impact your fat-burning efforts. So start with 15 minutes each day, and then add more if you don’t feel like dropping calories (as we discussed earlier).
Another option is to increase the number of steps you take per day. Personally, I just prefer
walking incline on a treadmill because you can watch videos, though some people prefer taking more steps during the day to stay active.
Step 3 – The Nitty Gritty
Now that we have almost everything covered, we can get into the final do’s and don’ts. When people want to get in great shape fast, they tend to crash diet and just train all out each and every day.
Don’t do this. You cannot run a calorie deficit/cutting plan year-round, but you also can’t lose 20 lbs in two weeks. You won’t be able to recover.
Recovery is the last layer of the program. If you fail to recover, your fat loss will stagnate, and your muscle growth will be non-existent.
Here’s your reference guide on how to recover like a boss:
- Sleep for more than 7 hours per night (and preferably keep a schedule).
- Remove the external stressors from life (if you can).
- (again) Don’t do too much cardio, especially HIIT.
- Don’t train to complete failure too often.
The only way to see if you aren’t progressing is if you aren’t getting stronger. This may sound ridiculous, but if you aren’t getting stronger, you’re missing something.
Just look at the five things we need to control:
Training, dieting, stress, sleep, and — if you so please — supplements.
This leads me to the last part … supplements.
What Supplements Do You Need?
Just like Tinder, these seem great on the screen, and then you get to the date and realize, “Okay, you’re a lot sourer than the description stated, and you don’t do it for me.”
Most supplements don’t work.
Spend your money on protein, creatine (if your kidneys are fine), and, if you want, pre-workout. Some people also claim that melatonin helps them sleep. But, again, the first three are the ones that we know help physique athletes and numerous studies have shown they work.
Get Ripped Before Vacation Conclusion
Getting ripped in a short period isn’t the best idea. And staying ripped on your pending holiday will not only be hard but nearly impossible.
But it’s pretty simple in practice:
- Drop your body fat, and eat a diet that puts you in a calorie deficit while providing you with plenty of protein.
- Train with a lot of weight and intensity, and add cardio when you need to expend more energy (to cause a deeper calorie deficit).
- Ensure you rest and recover enough to allow for muscle growth.
Above all, be realistic. Find a workout plan that is fun. Watch videos when you do cardio. Stay consistent.
And enjoy the holiday a few pounds lighter.