Who doesn’t wanna be ripped, with veins all over and the ability to see your own heart beating?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but generally, you can’t get ripped and shredded in two weeks – ever – since this is such an intense goal.
But I’ll give you some tips on how to look better in two weeks!
What Does Being Shredded Mean?
So, before you comment, “I got shredded in two weeks – you don’t know what you’re talking about,” let’s first discuss what it means to be shredded.
For the most part, being shredded refers to someone who’s both incredibly lean (sub-6% body fat for men and below 13% for women) while also carrying a decent amount of muscle mass.
Here are some other things to look out for:
- Shredded individuals are usually incredibly vascular and will often have visible veins on their abs, thighs, and arms.
- They’ll typically have muscle striations on their shoulders, quads, and chest.
- They might have something called “death face,” which refers to a very dehydrated and depleted look on the face.
These are the traits of someone who’s genuinely ripped or shredded, which should give you some indication of how severe of a situation it actually is. Being that lean isn’t healthy by any means. However, it should be okay to remain shredded for 14 to 21 days.
(Side note: it’s more dangerous for females.)
So, back to the original question, getting shredded in two weeks is ridiculously hard – if not impossible – if you’re nowhere close to being ripped already. Two months is a much safer bet, and even then, you still need to be relatively close to your goal.
Now that we’ve looked at the nomenclature of aesthetics (what a phrase – I should trademark that), we can look at what you can do to get shredded fast and what’s actually possible in two weeks.
How To Get Ripped & Shredded Fast
Alright, so you’ve made the decision – you wanna get peeled – good on you! But before we dive in, answer these questions for me:
- Are you willing to invest a decent amount of money in higher-protein foods?
- Are you willing to dedicate a decent amount of time (daily) to exercise?
- Are you willing to sacrifice some of your mental clarity and happiness?
- Are you willing to suffer some of the effects of being shredded, such as decreased libido?
If you answered yes to all of these, then we’re in business! (Also, yes, #4 is true. Once your body fat gets low enough, your body will prioritize food and sleep over reproduction.)
Step 1 – Build Muscle!
The first step you need to take is to actually build muscle or bulk. Now, if you’re someone with more than 16% body fat, you’re better off skipping to step 2.
So, how do we go about gaining weight?
|What You Need To Do||Why?|
|Increase your caloric intake to 150 – 250 above calorie maintenance (calculate it here).||Calories are still the only thing that will turn into new body mass.|
|Consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.||Protein is the only macronutrient that can turn into lean muscle mass.|
|Divide the rest of your calories between carbohydrates and fats.||While the ratio might make a 3 – 5% difference, finding a split you can adhere to is more important.|
|Aim to gain 0.5 – 1.0% of total body weight per week.||Trying to gain less or more than this will only result in poor adherence.|
|When weight gain stops, increase your calories by 150 – 250.||As time goes on, your energy needs increase with your weight increase. Thus, more energy is needed to gain weight.|
And that’s that!
A weight-gaining phase (bulking phase) should last 12 – 16 weeks, and while it can be a bit boring, it’s really necessary if you’re trying to look your best when you take your shirt off at the end of your cut.
Training on a bulk is the same as training on a cut! You should be trying to get stronger by either increasing the load or the number of reps you can do.
This means at the start of your bulk, you could be pressing 200lbs for 10 reps. 16 weeks later, you could be doing 280 lbs for 12 reps. This increase in strength will reflect in a massive increase in muscle mass – granted, you eat, sleep, relax, and recover enough.
Step 2 – Lose the Fat!
Step 2 of getting shredded is actually losing all that fat! Either you gained some fat while bulking (which is normal), or you’re starting from a higher body fat percentage (>16%).
|What You Need To Do||Why?|
|Decrease your calories to 150 – 300 below calorie maintenance (calculate it here).||In order to lose weight, we have to be in a calorie deficit.|
|Consume at least 1 – 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.||A high-protein diet while cutting can help with fat loss and help with muscle retention.|
|Split the rest of your calories between carbohydrates and fats.||While the ratio might make a 3 – 5% difference, finding a split you can adhere to is more important.|
|Aim to lose 0.5 – 1.0% of total body weight per week.||Trying to lose less than this is hard to track, and more would lead to muscle loss.|
|When weight loss stops, increase your calories by 150 – 300 calories – or increase cardio.||The body will slow your metabolism slightly as a means to preserve itself, so reducing calories as a diet goes on is necessary.|
This may seem simple, but simple is sometimes the best way forward. Too many people will over-complicate the process or try to sell you something you don’t need. A cutting phase might last 8 – 12 weeks and should never last more than 16 weeks.
A Few Extra Tips For Your Journey…
Here are some other tips that you can follow both in the bulking and cutting phases:
- Drinking enough water and hitting your calories/macros every day is one of the easiest ways to improve recovery.
- Sleeping at least 8 hours per night is almost a non-negotiable.
- The only supplements that would actually make a difference are creatine, protein powders, and – if you feel like you need them – pre-workout drinks.
Lastly, consistency will always trump perfection.
So, What Can You Do in 2 Weeks?
If you’re going to stubbornly stick to the whole “I wanna change in 14 days” thing, I’ll bite and give you some tips.
But first, let’s get some things straight:
- You can’t lose fat in one or two weeks. Well, not enough to make a difference in how you look – at least.
- We can only manipulate carbohydrates, fats, salt, and water to get a better look.
- Keep in mind – this is what bodybuilders do to “peak” for a show. We won’t do anything really dangerous. However, it’d be wise to let someone close to you know that you’re doing water manipulation.
- This program is for someone peaking on a Saturday for a photo shoot or event. Thus, you already need to be in good shape!
14 to 10 Days Out: Saturday to Wednesday
Training should be normal, as should your cardio. You can still train pretty hard to allow for max muscle retention, and there shouldn’t be any real changes in your program at this point.
Your diet, however, should be fairly low in carbohydrates (and calories) to allow you the most amount of fat loss last minute.
9 Days Out: Thursday
Preferably on a rest day, you’d do your last refeed. This means eating 2.5 – 3.0 times the amount of carbohydrates you’re currently eating daily.
Keep fats low and protein the same. Ideally, you wouldn’t do cardio on a refeed day.
8 – 7 Days Out: Friday to Saturday
Training should be normal again – cardio as well. Hydration should be normal, and your calories should fall back to normal dieting calories.
You might feel fuller, happier, and stronger after the refeed – all very good stuff.
6 – 3 Days Out: Sunday to Wednesday
This is where you start depletion. Reduce your carbohydrates as low as you can, but keep protein and fats consistent.
Cardio should begin to taper off by Tuesday, and training should be at a higher volume (and reps), staying well clear from super heavy weights or failure training.
Your water intake should also be double (if you can) what it regularly is. This will increase the amount you urinate, which is what we want.
2 – 1 Day Out: Thursday and Friday
First off, decrease your water by half on Thursday and half on Friday again. Your body will keep urinating a lot, causing you to lose excess water mass.
You should be doing very little cardio – if any – maybe even only doing walks at this stage. Training should be extremely light, and your last workout should be Thursday evening at the latest!
You could potentially benefit from eating asparagus, as it’s a natural diuretic. Other than that, the only dietary change is that you start “filling out.” This means increasing carbs to 2 grams per pound of body weight on Thursday. Protein should drop by 30% as well.
If you aren’t completely full on Friday morning, keep eating carbohydrates (at 50 grams per meal) until you’re nice and full. Fats should be very low, as should veggies or high-fiber foods.
Day off: Saturday
Sip on the water on this day only if you need it. Don’t eat a large meal for breakfast, and opt for things that digest easily – such as simple carbohydrates and lean proteins.
Afterward, gently sip on some fluids that have carbohydrates and electrolytes added to them. Then, go out and have a nice meal!
I would highly recommend NOT doing a buffet style since it could lead to stomach pain and even eating disorder development. The next day, have one cheat meal, do some cardio, and eat as you did on your diet.
This may seem extreme, but this is how you avoid water retention, high blood pressure, and a myriad of other nasties.
This is just a general guideline, and your peak might be different! Take everything said here with a grain of salt, and call the shots as your physique changes. Again, this will only work if you are already in good shape.
* Note: There are some guys that would also work with salt manipulation in this “peaking phase.” However, this could result in cramping, flattening out, and an overall bad experience. For this kind of situation, you’re better off just taking in the same amount of salt/sodium daily.
So, Can You Get Ripped & Shredded in 2 Weeks?
No. If you aren’t already sub-8% body fat, you simply won’t be able to look significantly better in 14 days. If it took you several years to gain all that weight, why on earth would it be that easy to lose all of it?
The truth of the matter is that getting ripped that fast – for most people – will take several weeks of dieting, training, and cardio. You should aim to lose 0.5 – 1.0% of total body weight per week, as this allows you to lose the most amount of weight with the least amount of muscle loss.
Lastly, focus on consistency. Being able to be “somewhat consistent” while also trying to do something super intense isn’t going to cut it. The more you stay on track and hit your macros, sleep numbers, and training goals, the better you’ll do.
Getting shredded has never been easy and never will be. Your best bet is to make sure you (and those closest to you) are ready for you to get that lean and then give it your all.