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Daaaaaamn. Reynolds got NO chill.
Seriously though, you have to appreciate the work that Ryan Reynolds and other actors put in to get bodies for their roles nowadays. In the old days of cinema, all you needed to be a badass was a good looking suit and a stoic expression on your face, but in the modern theater you need to have abs that could grate cheese and pecs that could crush mountains in order to be cast in the role of your favorite action star.
Now of course, these actors have the benefit of being paid to get in shape, as well as the assistance of personal trainers, chefs, and the like, but the fact is, you don’t get a body like that without putting in serious work. Today we’re going to talk about what goes into looking “shredded.”
It’s worth noting, by the way, that this topic was specifically requested by a recent survey respondent who shall remain anonymous. Thanks, kind reader, for proposing a great topic of discussion!
What does it mean to be “Shredded?”
Generally speaking, when someone is considered “shredded” (or ripped, or whatever term you prefer,) they have very well defined, visible muscles, particularly abdominal muscles, as well as visible veins (AKA high vascularity.) Appearing “shredded” requires two things: A low body fat percentage, and relatively well-developed muscles. A certain amount of dehydration also goes into the “look,” which you’ll see particularly in competitive fighters or bodybuilders, but obviously that isn’t a sustainable condition to be in, so we’re not going to try to emulate that.
So, let’s look at what we need to do to accomplish these goals!
Body fat begone!
They say that six packs are made in the kitchen, and it’s true. Everyone has abs, all you need to do to see them is get your body fat percentage low enough to see them. Tada! Six pack! What percentage? Well, that varies a bit depending on your genetics, but generally speaking, guys will start to have visible abs at 15% bodyfat, and they begin to get that “shredded” look at 12% or less. Women, on the other hand, start to have visible abs usually at around 18%, and start to look really shredded at around 14%.
For both genders, maintaining a super low body fat percentage for an extended period of time can be dangerous and also pretty tiring. A reasonable “everyday” goal for men is between 12-15%, and for women it’s 14-20%. Again, this varies a bit based upon your genetics, but those are good goals to shoot for.
So how do we get there? It’s simple, but not easy. You need to cut calories. Not huge amount, necessarily, but you need to get below your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE.) You also need to keep your protein intake high enough that your body doesn’t start to “steal” from your muscles in order to make up the calorie deficit. The details of drawing up a full diet plan go a bit beyond the scope of this article, so I recommend you check out my full post on the subject, Macros and You!
So I know I said everyone has abs, but obviously if you don’t have any significant musculature to begin with, cutting away all your body fat will just leave you kind of stringy looking, which is obviously not the look we’re looking for. Ryan Reynolds isn’t huge, but he’s obviously put some work in in the gym. You need to do the same, if you want to get that awesome shredded superhero body.
Lifting weights is, honestly, the best way to accomplish the aesthetic goals we’re looking for, here. I hate it when people talk about wanting to get all buff looking and then the first thing they do is switch to salads and cardio. Oh my GOD, people, this is not the 80s!!
Remember how I said before that you need enough protein in your diet to make sure your body doesn’t eat your muscles when you’re losing weight? Well, the awesome thing is, if you keep your protein intake high enough (shooting for 1 gram per pound of bodyweight is a good goal,) then your muscles will grow even as you’re losing weight, especially if you’ve never exercised before, provided you are on a good strength building regimen.
What are some good regimens? Well, I’m particular to The Deadpool Workout (shocker, I know,) The Arrow Workout (birds of a feather…) or The Captain Falcon Workout. Now, with that said, basically any character workout on the site (barring maybe Sonic the Hedgehog) will be sufficient, most likely, to accomplish your goals in the end. However, those are definitely my three favorite recent workouts if we’re looking to build the body you saw at the top of the article.
Important to note…
Start with food. If you’ve never been on a serious diet/exercise regimen before, or if you’ve tried a bunch of times and failed, take my advice: Start with building healthy diet habits. Do that consistently for at least a month before you move on to including workouts. The 4-Week Reset Button eBook that you get for free by joining the email list is an excellent little guide for beginning to build good habits, and that’s what we’re looking to do, here.
Beyond all that, accountability and assistance are key on any fitness journey. Come join us over in The Guild Hall and get a diet and workout log going. We’ll cheer you on, hold you to your goals, and help you however we can!
That’s it for today. See you again on Thursday for The Skills of Deadpool! Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace