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Being shredded to the bone is one thing, and being so big your shadows cast shadows is something completely else. What exactly are the differences in training and lifestyle to achieve these?
Keep reading and find out!
What is a Ripped Body?
Ripped, shredded, peeled, grainy, so many descriptions, and yet only three words to actually describe these – nearly fat-free. Being ripped is something that requires a great amount of input and pain tolerance, and definitely isn’t for everyone.
Some people are naturally going to be leaner, while for others it may be harder.
To get, and remain ripped, you’ll need to prioritize the following:
- A calorie deficit: You need to eat less to lose weight and to sustain that new, lower body weight, you’ll have to continue eating little or you risk gaining body fat
- High protein diet: To preserve muscle mass whilst in a caloric deficit, you’ll need to consume a sufficient amount of protein
- Regular cardio: To keep yourself in a deep deficit, you’ll need to do some form of cardio with your weight training
- Perfect sleep schedule: Sleep is the most underrated part of recovery, and when you’re sub 10% body fat, you’ll need all the sleep you can get
- Managing stress permanently: Same as with sleep, when you’re that lean, you will be susceptible to any change in cortisol levels. So maybe skip the argument with your significant other
Being ripped is only going to be important if you’re planning on getting photographed or competing in a bodybuilding competition. The reason is that it’s really hard to stay ripped year-long.
Staying below 10% body fat is not only hard but unhealthy as well.
That being said, compared to being bulky, you will look a whole lot better without clothes on. While the bulky people might look better with clothes on, you’ll take the trophy on any physique stage you may find yourself on.
5 Pros of Being Ripped
- You look amazing without clothes on.
- You will most likely be fitter than you’ve ever been.
- Clothes will fit better than they ever had.
- Your facial structure will change, meaning some new profile pictures are needed.
- You get an appreciation for even the blandest of foods, as your diet will be very restrictive. This also means you may not be able to eat out often.
5 Cons of Being Ripped
- It takes way more effort than you think, especially if you aren’t naturally lean.
- Your testosterone production might take a hit, especially the leaner you get.
- You will spend hours in the gym, either lifting or doing cardio.
- Your pain and temperature tolerance changes dramatically.
- You tend to be irritable when you’re very lean.
Compared to the bulky body, being thinner and ripped does have its benefits. You’ll be praised more often and you’ll have a social media advantage.
People will simply be drawn to your physique more. These are really the only benefits there are, unfortunately.
Due to the stressors of higher gym volume and lower food volume, you will tend to enjoy lifelessness. It is not sustainable for most.
What is a Bulky Body?
Being big goes so much further than just not fitting in doorways. An ex described me as “People take notice when you’re around because you’re 6’4’’ and 280lbs”.
You may not be the leanest guy around, but people look to you when something heavy needs to be moved. Or when it’s winter and someone needs heat.
To really be huge, you’ll have to follow these steps:
- A calorie surplus: Mass needs mass. You will need to consume above maintenance calories to sustain an above-normal body weight
- High protein diet: To make sure your mass is actually muscle and not lard, you’ll need to consume a sufficient amount of protein
- Some cardio to ensure cardiovascular health: Being big can take a toll on your body, so be kind and do high-intensity cardio every now and then to ensure your cholesterol and blood pressure remain optimal
- Get lazy, need to save those calories for growth: This means choosing heavy and low rep movements so you get as strong and big as possible
- Managing stress: Just because you have calories doesn’t mean you’re immune to stress. Ensure you manage stress to keep fat levels low
Being bulky isn’t just about being fat of course, and you will still need to be training really hard. In fact, you need to be pulling a whole lot more than the ripped guy – you have the calories for it. To keep that mass on your body you will need to be consuming at least maintenance calories.
You could benefit from this in most circumstances, especially cardiovascularly; granted your cholesterol and blood pressure is in check.
5 Pros of being Bulky
- You’ll look amazing in clothes, especially black for some reason
- You can live a life that allows you to hang out with friends and eat out
- You don’t need to keep tracking calories constantly
- You can almost always lift heavy as your recovery rates are sky high
- Very healthy compared to being super ripped
5 Cons of being Bulky
- It can be hard to be that big if you’re someone who only values how they look
- It can be tedious to consume enough calories to maintain that bodyweight
- People will often assume you don’t train because you don’t have abs 24/7
- You’ll be very sensitive to heat
- If you fail to manage your blood pressure, it can become a limiting factor in the gym
Being bulky is typically going to be easier for most, as it is easier to get to and sustain compared to being super lean. You’ll have higher hormone levels, and you’ll have more freedom to live your life.
Of course, there are negatives, and they are summed up into either having trouble eating enough, or not being comfortable being that big. People trying to gain weight will often feel bad for losing their abs whilst bulking but it is necessary if you truly want to get huge.
Ripped Body vs Bulky Body Conclusion
When comparing these two, there are literally hours of discussion to go through. It really comes down to where you are on the genetic scale.
If you’re someone who naturally always had abs growing up, being bulky is going to feel so uncomfortable that you won’t be able to stand it.
Someone who is really ripped will make it part of their lifestyle. They won’t simply be lean, it will take a lot of effort.
Being that lean is also not nice most of the time, as it can make life tedious. You will need to spend hours in the gym to pump out cardio and weights to make sure you only have muscle with zero fat.
Compared to the bulky person, the ripped person will have a harder life. Being bulky takes a lot less effort, seeing as the body will have an easier time. You will have less emotional and physical stress, due to more time doing what you want, and eating what you want.
In the end, it comes down to what you value more. Both have their place and neither is wrong.