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Can you get ripped working out 3 days a week image

So, you have a full-time job and traffic makes it impossible for you to train every day. We get it, life is complicated.

Can you actually get good results from just 3 sessions per week?

You can definitely get ripped by only working out three days per week.

Keep reading to learn how!

What does “being Ripped” even mean?

Being ripped.

The holy grail of value in the year 2022 – at least on social media. What exactly does it mean to be truly ripped? Well…

“Being ripped means you have both a substantial amount of lean muscle mass while carrying very little fat mass”

If this sounds hard to pull off, that’s because it is. Being ripped is certainly not for everyone, and getting ripped will be a different journey for everyone.

Some might need to build lean muscle mass first, while others simply need to lose some fat.

So, being ripped simply means being both jacked and quite lean. This would require you first build that lean muscle mass before cutting the excess fat off … unless…

See, many have heard of the term “Recomp” before. A recomp or recomposition is a term used to describe someone losing weight whilst gaining muscle at the same time! Rudolf Clausius (the guy who wrote some laws of thermodynamics) is turning in his grave!

See, losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is ‘physically’ impossible. You need to be in a calorie deficit for the first, and a calorie surplus for the second. The laws of Thermodynamics state that energy is preserved, thus energy ‘lost’ needs to come from somewhere.

Problem is, human beings are dismally complicated.

No, I’m not talking about late-night texting, I’m talking about metabolism. We have hormones, different foods, stress, and so many other things that make us human and not a closed energy system.

And this is why we have seen literally thousands of people actually losing fat while gaining muscle at the same time. Let’s look at how we can make it work for you!

How do you ‘only’ train 3 days a week?

When you think of being ripped, it’s common to see images of Arnold flicker through your mind, or perhaps it’s some CrossFitter being crowned the fittest human alive.

These people are training virtually every single day, how could you possibly transform your body by only training 3 days per week – more is obviously better!

Woah, hold your horses there buddy, that might not be true.

See, when we look at amazing athletes who cover both screens and magazine covers, they all have one thing in common, genetics. You and I might not have the genetics (or the time) to train that much.

So, we make the best of what we’ve got. Training 3 days per week is actually a rather common way to train in. That’s right, thousands of people (including myself) have run/currently run a three-day per week training style with great success.

See, with the training you’re aiming to stimulate muscle enough for it to react by growing. This can be done in various ways, all falling under the term Progressive Overload:

  • More Load: More weight on the bar week to week
  • More Volume: Doing more sets per session or per week for a muscle group
  • More Time under Tension: Taking your time during a lift (often called Tempo lifting)
  • Less Rest time: You rest less between sessions than you did last time

The muscle will meet this increased stress by growing more muscle tissue – it has to. You can absolutely do this in only three sessions per week.

In fact, by only training three days per week, you might have a recovery advantage compared to others – we all have a tendency to use way too much volume.

So, what exactly would a three-day-per-week plan look like? Well, first let’s look at what the requirements are for a good weight loss plan:

  1. Training the Muscles: You ideally want to be training muscles every time you train. Because you’re likely to be giving the, 24 hours to recover, you have the ability to train all the muscles every time you train
  2. Some form of Cardio: While this is technically not necessary, most people who get shredded incorporate some form of cardio. There are a lot of health benefits as well
  3. Diet: It will come as no surprise that you will need to follow some dietary guidelines to get peeled

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Training – The Full Body Split or Pull Push Legs?

So, we’ve discussed how muscles recover, how you should train, and how to progressively overload. Now, let’s dive in a bit deeper and actually see what you need to do in the gym to get shredded.

Full Body Split

Firstly, the full-body split. I know in the previous section I mentioned that you could try to train every muscle every time you train, but you actually have two options in total.

Full Body Training is exactly as the name states, you’ll be training every muscle every time you go to the gym. This might seem intimidating and like a lot of training, but you won’t be doing heaps of sets per muscle group.

Typically, your volume will be lower per session and per muscle group, but over the course of a week, you’ll have plenty of volumes to elicit muscle growth. Now that your volume might be lower per session, this means you will need to do a lot of intensity.

Intensity refers to how ‘hard’ a set or session is. This will be (combined with Volume) is going to be the driving factor behind you building lean muscle. H

So, how does a Full Body Workout look? Well, I’ve got you covered. Granted you’re warmed up, this is how it could look.

Target Muscle Exercise Example  Sets and Reps*
Chest Dumbbell Bench Press 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Shoulders Overhead Barbell Press 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Triceps Single Arm Tricep Extensions  1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Upper Back Chest Supported Upper Back Row 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Lats Single Arm Pulldown 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Biceps Dumbbell Curl 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Quads Hack Squat 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Hamstrings Seated Hamstring Curl 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Glutes Dumbbell RDLs 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12

* Sets and reps will differ from person to person, personally, I do not see a reason to do more than two sets, especially if you do this 3 times per week.

Push-Pull Legs

Pull Push Legs training is a little different, seeing as you will be more focused in each session on a particular set of muscles. This is technically a more advanced training style, but can still easily be done by beginners.

Because you’ll be training most muscles only once per week now, you’ll have to put in more volume per session. That being said, intensity should still be high, and you should always aim to progressively overload.

Here is how a Pull session could look:

Target Muscle Exercise Example  Sets and Reps*
Lats, Vertical Pulling Single Arm Pulldown 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Lats, Horizontal Pulling Dumbbell Rows 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Upper Back Chest Supported Upper Back Row 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Biceps Dumbbell Curls 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Brachialis  Hammer Curls 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Lower Back Hyperextension  1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12

Here is how a Push session could look:

Target Muscle Exercise Example  Sets and Reps*
Upper Chest Incline Barbell Press 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Middle Chest Flat Dumbbell Flyes 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Middle Shoulders Lateral Raises, Dumbbells  1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Rear Shoulders Cable Rear Delt Raises 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Long Head Triceps Overhead Tricep Extension  1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Short Head Triceps Close Grip Bench 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12

Here is how a Leg session could:

Target Muscle Exercise Example  Sets and Reps*
Quads Hack Squat  1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 12 – 151x 15+
Adductors  Adductor Machine 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Hamstrings  Seated Hamstring Curl 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Hamstrings  Lying Hamstring Curl 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12
Glutes  Dumbbell RDL 1x 6 – 81x 10 – 121x 15 – 20
Calves Standing Calf Raises  1x 6 – 81x 10 – 12

These are simply examples you can use. The main factor behind your progress is going to be actually getting stronger and getting better week by week. You’re more than welcome to do either Full Body or PPL, some people have preferences.

Now that we have training sorted out, we can finally look at your diet!

Diet – I gotta eat Broccoli right?…

You don’t have to, but it could certainly help. Essentially, you have to follow a diet that puts you in a calorie deficit. This means eating slightly less than your body needs to sustain your current body weight.

This might be hard to understand, but it is actually quite simple.

Firstly, you’re going to use either MyFitnessPal or the Harris-Benedict Equation to calculate your maintenance calories. This is the number of calories you need to eat to sustain your current body weight.

If you want to lose excess body fat, you should be eating slightly less than that. How much less depends from person to person, but anything between 10 – 15% less to start off is a good idea (If your maintenance is less than 2500 Calories per day, start with 5%).

So how do you split your calories evenly? And why does it even matter how much protein you get? Well, it actually matters quite a bit.

Protein is the building block of muscles and is the only macronutrient that can turn into muscle mass. Thus you need to get some quality protein, aiming for around 1g per pound of body weight is a good idea.

Here are some protein options:

  • Lean Meats (White and Red)
  • Eggs and Dairy
  • Whole Grains and Seitan
  • Tofu
  • Protein Powders

Fats are extremely important for several hormonal functions in the body. It is also important for the absorption of certain vitamins, and certain fats like Omega 3s can even lower inflammation in the body. Aiming for 0.3 – 0.5g of fat per pound of body weight is a good idea.

Here are some fat options:

  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Fatty fish such as Salmon
  • Omega 3 Supplementation
  • Meat

Carbohydrates are going to be the best source of energy you have when engaging in physical exercise. Carbohydrates are not only great for energy, but they are also sensational for recovery. Once you have protein and fats set, you fill the rest of your diet with Carbohydrates such as:

  • Rice (Brown and White)
  • Whole Grains
  • Fruits
  • Bread (If it does not cause you digestive distress)
  • Potatoes

If you lost the maths halfway through (I don’t blame you!) here is a quick cheat sheet:

  • Calorie Intake = Maintenance Calories – (5 – 15%)
  • Protein: 1g x body weight (in pounds)
  • Fats: 0.4g x body weight (in pounds)
  • Carbs: (Calorie Intake – Calories from Fats – Calories from Protein) / 4

If I were to use myself as an example:

Calorie Intake = Maintenance Calories – (5 – 15%)
Calorie Intake = 3500 – (350) = 3150

Protein: 1g x 270 = 270g of Protein
Fats: 0.4g x 270 = 108g of Fat

Carbs: (Calorie Intake – Calories from Fats – Calories from Protein) / 4
Carbs: (3150 – [108 x 9] – [270 x 4]) / 4
Carbs: (3150 – [972] – [1080]) / 4
Carbs: 270g of Carbohydrates

Your diet is going to be the biggest determining factor behind your losing body fat. You should ideally weigh yourself three times per week (first thing in the morning) to track your progress based on a weekly average. Once weight loss stops, it might be a good idea to lower calories by another 5 – 10%.

Calories should be spread out evenly throughout the day, as there is very little evidence that meal timing makes a large difference in results. That being said, smaller tips such as these below might help in your fat loss journey:

  • Make Protein the center of every meal
  • Have Protein 1- 2 hours before going to bed
  • Have >30g of Fiber per day
  • Eat plenty of green leafy veggies
  • Drink plenty of water, and don’t be afraid to utilize sugar-free beverages
  • Spread your meals evenly throughout the day to combat hunger

Cardio – Should I be sweating?

Cardio, the only thing that’ll get you lean, right?! WRONG!

Cardio is simply one tool we have in our closet to use to help us lose fat. That being said, it is still a very effective tool to use. Not only can it help you get leaner, but it has a host of positive effects:

Doing any form of cardio can lead to calories being burnt!

This means whether you’re:

  • Taking a stroll in the mountains
  • Playing ball with friends
  • Running on a treadmill

…they will all work. Aim to gradually increase cardio as you progress, starting with about 20 minutes per workout day.

Can You Really Get Ripped Working Out Only 3 Days a Week?

Is it possible? Absolutely!

Many people will make you believe you need to spend countless hours (daily) in the gym, and it simply is not true! In fact, you don’t even need to set foot in a gym – sprinters are pretty ripped and they don’t bench.

They still train, however. You can be doing CrossFit, bodyweight training, or any other form of physical activity to keep in shape, as long as your diet is on point. The old adage of “abs are made in the kitchen” is mostly true.

Your eating will by and large determine your results, while training will make the whole process a lot easier and more enjoyable. You can definitely get results by only training 3 days per week.

Could you get better results by increasing that? It depends.

If you truly apply intensity to both training, diet, and cardio, you won’t need any more training sessions.

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By BestFitness-News

I am a fitness enthusiast and have been training for many years. I wanted to share a few of my experiences and experiences with you.

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