We’ve all heard someone describe someone else as “ripped” without any explanation, but we all knew exactly what they meant.
Dictionary.com defines “ripped” as “drunk; intoxicated.” I’m totally kidding, that is a definition, but not the one I’m actually referencing here.
The real definition is: “having well-defined muscles; very muscular.”
Don’t worry though, I know that doesn’t give a very detailed look. I’ll examine what it means in terms of numbers, or quantifiable data, to give a more complete understanding.
What Does It Mean to Be “Ripped”?
I’m not a huge fan of the way “ripped” is actually defined by dictionary.com because it is quite vague. “Very muscular” could easily describe Eddy Hall, one of the strongest men to ever live and this feeds into the ripped vs bulky body type debate.
However, the term “ripped” doesn’t come to mind when I think of him. It actually doesn’t really fit any Strongman competitors’ body types.
A more fitting description would be a professional athlete physique (with the exception of sumo wrestlers and most offensive linemen from the NFL…and Tyson Fury, whose body type is the most baffling to me) or a modern-day action movie star like Chris Hemsworth or Chris Pratt.
Or I guess any other famous Chris because they all look amazing, and the first step to being famous and good-looking is to change your name.
Man, I’m on a roll with the bad jokes today.
In all seriousness, I like the numbers listed by Muscle & Fitness to give perspective on appropriate body fat percentages:
- Bodybuilders About to Compete: 3-4%
- Really Ripped Ab Look: 8-10%
- Athletic with basic cuts: 12-15%
- No definition: 15%+
- Bodybuilders About to Compete: 8-12%
- Figure Competitor: 15-17%
- Toned and Lean: 17-20%
- No Cuts: 20%+
Now, keep in mind that these numbers are almost arbitrary when it comes to looks. Different people will have different levels of muscular definition at the same body fat percentages because (surprise!) human beings are all different.
It’s the same reason you can have twins that don’t like the same food.
Different people respond differently to stimuli. They then present the results of said stimuli differently.
What Does This Mean?
With that last bit, you probably think I’m some crazy dude that writes random junk on the internet for fun. And you’re right.
Actually, though numbers, such as body fat percentage and weight, aren’t the end all be all when it comes to health, they do offer an excellent place to start and a way to track what’s going on.
It’s important to know that there can be some downsides to these though.
- Hormone Issues
- Low Sex Drive
- High Cortisol Levels
- Low Energy
- Slower Metabolism (no weight loss)
- Consistently Cold
- High Blood Pressure
- Hardened Arteries
- Heart Disease
- Increased Risk of Stroke
- Poor Sleep
- Joint Health
When it comes down to it, you should always get the help of a medical professional when dealing with any serious health issues.
If the goal is to exercise or lose weight, the recommendation is dieticians, nutritionists, and personal trainers. They’re the ones that are educated well enough to be able to help.
But what do I know, I’m some crazy dude writing random stuff on the internet for fun.
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