Secrets of a Beautiful Male Body and Sculpted Muscles: Get Cut and Ripped!

The man in the photo is Helmut Strebl – a legendary athlete who has perfect lean muscle mass almost all year roundThe man in the photo is Helmut Strebl – a legendary athlete who has perfect lean muscle mass almost all year round

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Nutrition Tips

After successful weighted workouts, both beginners and skilled bodybuilders gain a lot of excess fat along with muscle mass. Anabolism in the human body prevents the athlete from building muscle without getting fat. To sculpt the muscles and burn fat, the athletes go through the so-called “cutting” phase. This effective fat splitting process is based on the reduction of glycogen in muscles.

Glycogen is the storage of carbohydrates. It means that lean and pure muscle mass is gained through burning of carbohydrates. The cutting phase involves creation of a special diet plan and performance of certain exercises designed to sculpt the body.

You should never go on a ketone diet. At carbohydrate and glucose deficiency, the body starts to use glycogen, and then fats. Complex nutrients are burned rather slowly, but the main problem is that due to the lack of glucose, there remain ketone bodies. They make the blood acidic and poison the body that negatively affects the kidneys. This is especially dangerous if you use various boosters for muscle growth.

The Recommended Protein and Carbohydrate Intake

To avoid this unpleasant phenomenon, an athlete should gradually reduce the amount of carbohydrates consumed. Carbohydrates should not be cut off immediately and completely. Therefore, the first requirement of a healthy diet during the cutting phase is the reduction of the portion sizes and maintenance of multiple nutrition. Athletes should eat 4 to 6 meals a day, meanwhile, the portions should be small, and protein should be kept to adequate proportions.

The amount of energy decreases because of the reduction of glycogen levels in muscles as a result of training. It is therefore necessary to replenish the energy stores. You can do that by reducing the time between meals. The amount of carbohydrates consumed per day is individual for each person.

It depends on your goal during weight loss (how many pounds you want to shed to get sculpted muscles). Do not cut off carbohydrates completely! Their amount in the daily diet should be 40–45% of the general caloric content (at least 2 grams per 1 kg of body weight). Various cereals, nuts, vegetables, and non-sweet fruits are good sources of carbohydrates.

The food you eat during the cutting phase should be rich in protein. You should consume at least 1.1–1.5 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight, 2–3 grams would be better (to keep muscles from destruction). The muscles constantly need protein during the cutting phase. It should be received only from low-fat sources (a good option is getting 60–70% of protein from food, and the rest amount – from sports supplements).

The consumption of large amount of water may lead to some excess weight, however, it usually disappears within 1–2 days. In a day before competition or before a photo session you should reduce your water intake to a minimum – it allows to get deeper muscle relief. To remove water surplus, you should cut off salt from your diet – it detains fluid in the body.

Allowed Foods

The food should be consumed in adequate quantities. The daily diet should include the following dishes:

  • Light chicken or turkey meat, skinless (boiled, steamed, or stewed);
  • Egg whites;
  • Boiled squid fillet;
  • Low-fat fish (better steamed or stewed);
  • As for dairy products, you can drink kefir and eat cottage cheese, but their fat content should not exceed 3%. You should eat cottage cheese only within the first two weeks of the cutting phase. Oatmeal and buckwheat porridge cooked on water, rye pasta, broccoli, greens, courgettes, leaf lettuce, grapefruits, and green apples are also useful;
  • In hot weather, it is useful to drink green or herbal tea (ginger or chamomile tea).

Remember that the results depend on the number of calories consumed by the athlete. Therefore, it would be not only useful, but also expedient to keep account of the calories taken from food, and to weigh yourself every day. A beautiful and sculpted physique will be the result of this hard period in the life of any man.

Diet Sample

Using the sample daily diet below, you can compose your own menu for muscle sculpting or ask a nutrition expert for help:

  • breakfast – oatmeal porridge, a couple of soft-boiled eggs;
  • the second meal – protein shake and fruits;
  • lunch –fat-free broth, a piece of meat (chicken fillet or beef), a couple of bran crackers;
  • afternoon snack – cottage cheese with honey or a salad, vegetables and fruits;
  • dinner – steamed cutlets and a light salad;
  • second dinner –fat-free kefir or bran.

As for the portion size of the food you eat, you have to choose it by yourself. There is no definite number of grams, because it is an individual matter that depends on the day regimen, height, weight, physical fitness, body type, etc.

Anyway, you should not eat more than 200–350 grams of food at a time in order not to load your stomach.

Workout Tips

If you do the cutting phase properly, you can get rid of subcutaneous fat without losing muscleIf you do the cutting phase properly, you can get rid of subcutaneous fat without losing muscle

So, you should change your training routine for the time of cutting phase. You should focus on high-intensity workouts with a large number of repetitions. You should also use supersets and dropsets.

Due to the fact that there will be little energy at low carbohydrate intake, you should reduce your working weights by 20–30%. It will help you avoid microinjuries and stressing the body and promote faster muscle recovery. But, at the same time, the muscles will stop growing.

The use of a circle training program can help you get even better results. It consists in taking 7–8 exercises for all muscle groups and performing them 2–3 times one by one (in one cycle perform 2 sets of each exercise).

The ideal number of reps is 15 times, though everyone has individual features, so this number is not constant.

Look at the following sample of two training days for cutting:

Day 1

Exercise

The number of sets*reps

Leg Press in a hack machine

2*15

Superset: Leg Curl + Leg Extension in the exercise machine

2*20 (10 per each exercise)

Standing Calf Raises

2*15

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

2*15

Superset: Lat Pull-Down + Seated Cable Row (to the chest and to the stomach accordingly)

2*20 (10 per each exercise)

Barbell Biceps Curl

2*15

Standing Cable Triceps Pushdown

2*15

 

Day 2

Exercise

The number of sets*reps

Superset: Hack Machine Squats + Seated Calf Raises

2*30 (10 squats + 20 raises)

Barbell Bench Press

2*15

Cable Crossover

2*15

Bent-Over Barbell Row

2*15

Machine-Assisted Pull-Ups

2*15

Superset: Biceps Curls in a cable machine + Straight Bar Triceps Extension

2*30 (15 per each exercise)

Ab Crunches

2*15

Remember to focus not on heavy weights, but instead on the number of sets and reps.

Do Not Forget About Cardio

You should complement your training week with aerobic activities, because they help the body burn fats not only during a workout, but also at the rest time. You can devote 30–60 minutes once or twice a week to such training. You can run outdoor or on a treadmill, ride a bicycle or use other cardiovascular machines.

Useful Tips for Safe Fat Burning

These rules will help you maintain good health and boost the fat-burning processThese rules will help you maintain good health and boost the fat-burning process

  • Never skip breakfast because it is essential for the normal metabolism of the body;
  • The complete elimination of fats can negatively affect the state of an athlete: it may cause hair loss and skin problems. You should cut off saturated fats – cheese, milk, egg yolk, pork and mutton, mayonnaise and butter, cocoa powder. Good and useful fats can be found in various kinds of sea fish and all kinds of nuts (hazelnuts, cedar nuts, and walnuts);
  • During the cutting phase, you should forget about sweet products and bakery, avoid eating harmful snacks, such as crisps, french fries, and ketchup. Also, the forbidden list of products includes any salty and canned foods;
  • Do not eat before going to bed. If you are hungry, you can drink a glass of kefir or eat an apple. But the best option is taking a portion of protein powder on water;
  • You should eat often (every 3 hours), but in small portions;
  • Forget about alcohol and smoking;
  • Try to drink enough water every day. During the cutting phase, the athlete should consume 2–3 liters of water per day;
  • The carbohydrates consumed should be useful and fiber-rich (vegetables and fruits, cereals);
  • Try to move more every day – it will help you burn excess calories;
  • You can add 10–15 minutes of cardio before and after a workout. You should also take BCAA before and after exercise;
  • Take mineral and vitamin complexes, because their deficiency can lead to muscle destruction;
  • Control your daily intake of sugars. If after 3–6 days from the beginning of the cutting phase the body weight ceases to decrease, the amount of the consumed sugar should be reduced;
  • Maintain the stable glucose levels in the body whenever possible.

Shesternenko Alexander
Fitness trainer, group instructor, dietitian
  • Counsels and educates on proper nutrition principles, body weight correction, and adjustment of individual diets and diets during pregnancy;
  • Develops meal plans that meet nutrition goals and dietary needs for obese and underweight people;
  • Specializes in modern functional testing techniques in sports, athletic recovery, sports supplementation, pharmacological support, and actual women's problems in sports;
  • On the website, provides analysis of different dietary schemes, reviews modern training techniques and effective exercises.

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