February 16, 2015
A Cut Above the Rest
Getting into contest shape is a challenge. Some find it difficult, and many find it impossible. Those who find it completely impossible are going about it the wrong way.
Too many people try to drop body fat in an all-or-nothing approach. You can't carry all your eggs in one basket because if you stumble, you will crack them all. You should always have something to fall back on for the times you do encounter speed bumps.
The first step to getting lean and hard is quality nutrition. This does not mean your basic pasta, wheat bread, and skim milk. These products may be okay for general weight loss, but they won't get you "cut".
Quality nutrition is eating real food, such as fresh turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, beef, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, as well as red, green, and yellow vegetables, various nuts, and flaxseed oil etc. The concept is to omit processed food and eat as close to Mother Nature as possible, even organic. These are the some of the ammunition to a lean, hard, "ripped" physique.
Not only is quality nutrition of up most importance, but also the macro nutrient combination. You can't haphazardly eat meals without some sort of balance. Plan your meals so your end result is success.
Just as quality nutrition is important for getting "cut", so too is your training. Your training program need not be rigid. Just as intensity, form, and stimulation were needed to build your base, the same three factors are needed in order to keep your muscle mass while dieting down the excess body fat.
Intensity, form, and stimulation builds' the foundation and dieting sheds the fat and creates the sculpture. Therefore, an array of various "shaping" exercises doesn't necessarily shape the muscle since genetics have already created the shape of your structure. The idea is to keep your muscle and diet off the insulation.
Another factor in "cutting" is cardio. This may be beneficial to some, and counter productive to others, it just depends on your body type and your body responds to dieting and training.
If cardio is on your prescribed training program, don't begin full force and get burned out. All too many start their cardio at an advanced level, such as five days a week for 45 minutes to an hour. You are better off starting at the low end and working up in a progressive manner. The advantages of starting cardio on the lower end of the spectrum are:
1. You can always add days or minutes if needed
2. It keeps the body in shock
3. You won't burn out
4. You will have that little bit of "extra" cardio saved if you are struggling with the last bit of fat that you can't remove
After you have established the above, you can invest in fat burning supplements, if you so desire. Please take note that supplements are not a magic pill, they are a plus when your nutrition, training, and cardio are all on track and in balance. Don't rely solely on supplements; use them for an extra nudge in the right direction.
As a final note, the most important thing to prepare for "cutting" is your mind. Bodybuilding is 90% mental. It takes you mind to train and to diet. Keep your focus and see results!
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