3 Reasons Why You’re Not Ripped!
If you follow a strict diet and stay away from fast foods such as french fries, burgers, ice cream, etc – but aren’t getting leaner. You train your a** off five to six times a week in the gym – but you just aren’t getting the leanness you want. Your diet might not be the reason and genetics aren’t to blame either. In fact if your cardio sessions are long and excruciating than that might be an indicator. Here are three reasons why people aren’t getting ripped.
REASON #1: YOU ARE DOING TOO MUCH CARDIO
Most people have it in their heads that lifting weights makes you bigger and cardio gets you learner. When most people embark on a goal to get more “defined” the use cardio as a centerpiece for their program and lifting weights as the background or foundation. For example 50-60 minutes of treadmill or stair master based cardio followed by 40-50 mins of weight training.
Cardio can actually have a negative impact on your body composition or body fat percentage. Too much of it creates a catabolic environment in your body, slowing you metabolism and wasting muscle away. More muscle however means a faster metabolism. When your metabolism is fast your body can burn more fat creating a leaner physique. For example, you will burn more calories at rest (Sitting around, Sleeping, or Watching Television).
However giving up cardio completely is not the answer, but lessening the endless sessions on the treadmill or stair master and include a better cardio alternative. Higher-Intensity training, stop and star interval based training which will allow your body to burn more fat and spare your muscle.
REASON #2: TOO MUCH SPECIALIZED TRAINING
Take a closer look at the exercises on your training program. If your workout has too many single-joint exercises this could be one of the reasons your aren’t getting leaner. Single join exercises are typical isolation based movements – for example, seated leg extensions, single arm bicep curls, etc.. are all isolation movements meant to target a specific area. There great for building up a lacking muscle group – but not a great solution to getting ripped.
These exercises don’t stimulate the full body like compound movements – squats, dead lifts, and bench press. Isolation and single joint exercises are great additions to have within your workout routine preferably between compound exercises or even super-set into a higher-intensity training group. But don’t make single join exercises the bulk of your program.
Here is an example of a compound workout to build muscle and burn fat;
A typical leg training workout consisting of both isolation and compound exercises.
Squats – warm-up 2 sets light weight followed by 4 working sets
Leg Press -4 working sets combined with Leg Extension
Walking Lunges – 4 sets combined with Leg Curls
Stiff Legged Dead-lifts 4 working sets
Leg Extensions single legged – 3 sets
REASON #3: NOT ENOUGH HEAVY LIFTING
The truth is that high-reps sets increase muscular endurance, but not necessarily fat-burning. You will actually get leaner training with an 8-12 rep range. This is the rep range where muscle mass increases as well as metabolism. When you train with more fast-twitching muscle fibers your muscle has a greater potential in growing larger – creating more metabolically-active tissue.
You should include a variation of rep ranges within your program ranging from high to low moderate reps to prevent your body from adapting to the training regime. If you can exceed 12 reps on an exercise, pick up a heavier weight and aim for a low end of 8 repetitions.