What is the difference between lean and ripped? About 10 pounds. Most people notice when they start to get really lean that the fat pounds start to come off slower. It is like looking at the bottom curve of a graph in most cases.
But why is this?
It is actually a natural response by the body to protect itself. A human body is not meant to carry very low fat amounts because those fat stores are the natural reserve sources for fuel in case of emergencies. While you are thinking about showing off that awesome six-pack set of abs your body is worried about accidentally getting lost in the woods.
So how can you grind out the last 10 pounds that make that difference between lean and, “Wow, look at that body.”? It takes some hard work along with these great tips we compiled.
Increasing your natural efficiency for burning calories and fat is the biggest key to lose those last bits of fat. Unless you have the free time to double up on even more cardio work in the gym you simply need to make your body better at burning fat the rest of each day that you aren’t in the gym. So let’s look at things to increase your metabolism.
The best option is to switch up your workouts to a style that promotes a release of hormones that then increase your metabolism for hours after you get done pumping iron.
- Increase your rep range – Aim for doing 8 to 15 reps per set instead of low repetitions. But make sure these are challenging reps that force you to work hard.
- Adjust your sets – Studies have shown that doing between 2 and 4 sets per exercise is optimal for releasing fat-burning hormones. More is not better as the affect caps out at four.
- Reduce the rest – Rest 60 seconds or less between sets. Longer rest periods are needed for maximum effort low rep sets. But you need to pick up the pace so skip the small talk and focus on the task at hand.
- Go full body – Your metabolism increase is related to how much of your total muscle is used during a workout. So a good idea is to switch to either full body workouts or an upper/lower combination to maximize that effect.
- Superset it up – Use alternating muscle groups and hit your body harder and faster. The muscles get the proper rest time but your body won’t fatigue as faster overall.
- Slow it down – This applies to rep speed. Make sure to use control and focus to activate as many muscle fibers as possible. Take 1-2 seconds to contract a muscle and 3 seconds on the negative portion, pausing 1 second on the top and bottom of each rep.
- Keep cardio sessions short – You want to utilize about 30 minutes of HIIT cardio work to get maximum fat burning and then get out of the gym. Marathon sessions are great if you are running an actually marathon but it won’t help give your metabolism a post-workout boost.
The Bottom Line
Basically you have to realize that your current plan has hit a plateau and it is time to shake things up. Look at making some of these adjustments which follow principles that bodybuilders have been using for years as they lean down to ridiculous levels of bodyfat. While you probably won’t want to go that far, the methods to get there will still be useful.