The Best Workouts To Get Ripped & Shredded Are Not Your Typical Bodybuilding Workouts

Getting ripped and finding effective workouts to get ripped are probably the most common goals among serious gym goers. Yes, some are still going to the gym to build as much muscle as humanly possible and don’t really care about getting great muscle definition, but I would imagine (and hope) that the majority would rather look defined, fit, healthy and ripped than just plain big.

In order to do this, you’ve got to not only have your diet down but you should also be following a specific workout program to get ripped. A workout that simply builds mass without regard to the amount of fat you gain in the process is not a good one.

Workouts To Get Ripped

I remember when I used to think that lifting lighter weights at higher reps would make me ripped. I worked my butt off and while I did make progress I never really got ripped or even super defined. I was fairly toned at best.

With hours of research and even more hours working out I finally stumbled upon a “missing link” in my training.

Basically I realized that I was training like a bodybuilder who either had Wolverine-like repairing power or was on steroids. Also, that bodybuilder’s main goal would’ve been to bulk up, not get ripped.

After I changed the type of workouts as well as my resting time in the gym and at home I finally started to see results. So before we get into what good workouts to get ripped look like, lets take a look at what they do not look like.

What Do Workouts To Get Ripped Not Look Like?

The difference between workouts designed to get you ripped and workouts designed to build mass are actually pretty drastic. Your muscles respond quite differently when training to get ripped vs training to build muscle mass.

When you train for overall muscle size the type of growth you experience is known as Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. This type of hypertrophy (increase in volume) is due to the increase in fluid in the muscle cell, hence sarcoplasmic.

Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy

The reason this does not generate a ripped looking muscle is because it is the fluid in the muscle that makes the muscle larger, not the actual muscle fibers.

The most common and effective workouts to generate this type of muscle growth involve a high volume of reps. When you train in the 10-15 rep range and you feel that pump — you are filling your muscles with this fluid.

Note: a huge game changer for me was when I learned that training for the pump is NOT the way to get ripped. Sure your muscles look awesome immediately after you’re done but after the initial swelling dissipates you are usually left over with a soft look.

What Should Workouts To Get Ripped Look Like?

Since lifting in the higher rep range (even with lighter weights) is more targeted towards building overall muscle mass, it only makes sense that lifting in a lower rep range will create more of a dense and solid muscle.

These workouts should focus on building the actual fibers in the muscle, not just adding fluid to them. This type of growth is known as Myofibrillar Hypertrophy.

Myofibrillar Hypertrophy

Since filling your muscles with fluid is the best way to increase their overall size, your size gains will be fairly limited when you are focusing on doing workouts to get ripped.

Anywhere from 1-5 reps will focus more on the density of the muscle than the size of the muscle. If you are not concerned with adding size then train doing the lower end of the rep range. If you want to add some size (although much less than a mass workout) then train doing the upper end of the 1-5 reps.

That is one of the reasons that the 5×5 workout routine is so popular. You get some of the density (defined/ripped look) and strength training benefits as well as some overall muscle size. But if you want to get ripped then you need to focus on the lower end of the rep range.

Best Workout Program To Get Ripped

As you can see the type of workouts to get ripped are quite different than the types of workouts to build muscle mass. There are undoubtedly pros and cons to both.

If you focus purely on building muscle mass then you’re going to be big but you’ll probably have a fairly soft and round look since your muscles are basically just filled with fluid.

If you focus only on getting ripped and working only in the 1-3 rep range your actual muscle fibers will be dense and very defined but you may look a little light.

Really, the best route to take is to combine the two. The workout that I’ve found to work best for this is the one by Rusty Moore. This workout takes you through these three main phases of muscle building:

  • Phase 1 – Quick muscle gains
  • Phase 2 – Hardening the muscle
  • Phase 3 – Pure density (definition) training

After that you can finish off with a bonus phase called the Shrink Wrap Effect where your skin is basically shrink wrapped around your muscles. Honestly, this rates at the top for workouts to get ripped and for workouts to build a decent amount of muscle. You can read more about it on my Visual Impact Muscle Building review page.

You don’t want to be ripped if you don’t have enough size and you don’t want to be big if you don’t have enough muscle definition. Focus on building a decent, not ridiculous, amount of size and then work on shaping and defining that muscle.