Getting a chiseled chest and round, boulder shoulders is the dream of many alike, and for good reason! That being said, going to the gym to wait in line for a bench isn’t always a viable option, so what’s a person to do?
Well in the following 5 minutes, I’m gonna teach you all about training and nutrition to get you ripped at home!
What Does It Mean to Have a Ripped Upper Body?
Being ripped has almost become a given for every influencer on the planet, and for good reason. Sex sells, and you might be wondering how you can get that kind of body yourself.
Fear not, salvation is at hand.
Firstly, let’s go through what it actually means to be ripped…
Being ripped means more than just having a low body fat percentage, it means you also have to carry a considerable amount of muscle mass to show off.
Before you even start your fat loss journey, it would be wise to actually build a base of decent muscle mass to press against the skin when you’re nice and lean. Once you have built up your strength and muscle mass, you can begin to chip away at the fat mass that you carry – can’t carve a pebble after all!
The only real people who would ever need to be that ripped are models or athletes really. Yes, there are health benefits to being lean, like improved health markers, improved fitness, and generally a better life quality.
That being said, pushing your body fat as low as a few percent (4 – 10%) is not achievable to most, and sustainable to even less. Thus, it’s important to keep somewhat of a balance, but even with that balance, we can still get pretty darn lean!
Now, let’s focus on building your ripped upper body by zeroing in on the major muscle groups: Abs, Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Upper Back, and Lower Back.
Before we delve into how to get those chiseled, let me quickly break a few fitness myths for you:
- More Reps means more fat burnt: False. The amount of fat you burn is determined by your total calorie deficit, and nothing else. You could argue that increased protein is bad for you, but it definitely is not
- You have to sweat for a workout to be effective: False. Sweat is your body cooling you down
- Light Weights = Shredding: False. You cannot “tone” a muscle. You simply remove the fat covering the muscle
Now that the myths are out of the way, how do you get a ripped upper body at home? Well, your diet. You diet, you lift, and you rest.
Okay, okay, maybe that was a bit crude, let’s break it down:
- Diet: You have to be following a diet that is quite high in protein (1 – 1.3g per lbs of Bodyweight) and your diet should be putting you in a calorie deficit
- Rest: Failing to recover will lead to a rise in cortisol which can lead to difficulty losing fat and gaining muscle
- Training: You have to be stimulating the muscle enough that the body will partition enough nutrients to it for the muscle to remain in the body
But, of course, we could talk about these in great detail to give you the best chance of getting a ripped upper body at Home! Follow these simple steps.
Step 1 – Follow a Healthy Diet
When it comes to getting abs and a striated chest, you’re going to have to eat in a certain manner. You can not out-train a bad diet, and you just might end up hurting yourself by doing so.
Some may try and over-complicate the process of dieting for fat loss, but there are really only a few things you need to do:
- Consume High Protein: Including a lot of protein in your diet will not only raise the thermic effect of food (in general) but it has been shown that including a lot of protein in your diet can lead to greater muscle retention
- Lower Your Calories: The laws of thermodynamics state that in order for you to lose weight, you need to create a caloric deficit so that the “missing” energy may come from stored body fat
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You can of course make the dieting process easier on yourself by following these tips:
- Consume protein with every meal
- Include a lot of fiber into your diet (>30g Daily)
- Throw in a whole bunch of veggies
- Consume sugar-free drinks to help kill food cravings
By following these guidelines for 12 – 16 weeks (depending on your body fat levels) you could aim to lose between 0.5 – 1.0 % of body weight per week.
Step 2 – Recovery
Often forgotten, but it is really one of the most important parts of lifting in general. If you fail to recover between sessions, you might end up overtraining, which could cause Cortisol to spike.
Cortisol is a stress hormone the body naturally produces, but having too much in the body can lead to decreased fat loss and difficulty building muscle. There are a few ways you could improve your recovery:
- Sleep more than 7 hours per night
- Massage your soft tissues
- Try to reduce stress as much as possible
- Consume enough high-quality protein and carbs
Step 3 – Training
Finally, we’ve come to the training part. Your diet has been on point, and you’ve had a good night’s rest. Let’s get training to get ripped!
When training at home, you’re going to be using bodyweight mostly. Some might argue this places you at a disadvantage, but in reality, anyone can get shredded with bodyweight training.
If you want to get a ripped upper body at home, you can try the following workout:
Day 1: Anterior
|Pushups||4||20 – 25|
|Pike Shoulder Press||3||8 – 12|
|Incline Pushups||3||10 – 15|
|Diamond Pushups||4||7 – 12|
|Plank||2||45 Sec – 1 Min|
|Leg Raises||4||15 – 20|
Day 1: Posterior
|Pullups||4||8 – 12|
|Chinups||3||10 – 15|
|Inverted Rows||4||10 – 15|
|Inverted Curls||3||10 – 15|
|Hanging Shoulder Shrugs||2||10 – 20|
|Plank||2||45 Sec – 1 Min|
By doing this program you’ll be hitting all the muscles in the upper body in the comfort of your own home! You can alternate between the days, but the easiest way to follow this particular program would be:
- Mon: Day 1
- Tue: Day 2
- Wed: Off
- Thu: Day 1
- Fri: Day 2
- Sat: Day 1 or Day 2 (Depending on which part of your body is lacking more)
- Sun: Off
* On off days you could go out and do some cardio, high intensity or low intensity, does not matter. This will make achieving the calorie deficit a whole lot easier.
As time goes on, you’re going to have to increase your volume. This means adding sets and reps as time goes on.
Where should you add them? That is kind of a personal decision, but start off by just adding one or two per day, and only increase when you feel it’s absolutely necessary.
The reason why we do this is that the body adapts. After doing the same workout for 6 – 8 weeks, your body (and mind) might become bored and will refuse to adapt.
At that point, you could make the exercises harder, or simply increase the volume.
Adaptation is normal, and the body is supposed to adapt, so increasing volume is a manner in which we can make training harder. You could also change your frequency or even look at using some external force such as bands or a pair of dumbbells.
Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt to throw in a leg day every now and then! It ain’t so bad.
The Final Word on Getting a Ripped Upper Body at Home
Being ripped isn’t easy, but oh boy is it simple. Despite what influencers would make you believe, if you train hard, diet hard, and sleep hard, the body will react. It has to.
Just follow these three simple steps:
- Get your diet correct (calorie deficit, at least 1g of protein per lbs of body weight)
- Rest (sleep more than 7 hours per night)
- Train (drive yourself to be better every week, and maybe add some cardio)
Staying consistent with these simple steps is going to allow you to make the most amount of progress over time. Aim for consistency, and not perfection. The latter is not sustainable.
Now get to doing pull-ups!