Five Mistakes Lifters Make on the Road to Getting Shredded
Summer is in full swing and everyone is spending more time at the beach or pool. Now is the time when everyone gets to see who puts their time in at the gym and who has slacked off on their New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get leaner.
How did your plans for getting shredded work? Did you hit some snags along the way?
Related: 8 Week Accelerated Fat Loss Shred
Most lifters when it comes time to lean out will hit a snag or two on the road to shred-town. Here are eight common mistakes and some suggestions on how to avoid them.
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Get Shredded: Avoid These Mistakes
Mistake #1 – Lack of consistent nutrition
Losing body fat is all about consistent work in the gym and a consistent nutrition plan. When trying to influence body composition nutrition will always be the most important factor in your success.
You can search for the perfect ratios of macros or set up the best carb cycling plan ever but, if you only stick to it five days out of the week, your results will never be optimal. That is why it’s important when you start a nutrition plan you honestly ask yourself if it is a plan that you can adhere to for an extended period of time.
Ask yourself, is it possible for you to eat a six meal per day diet when you can barely get a piss break during an eight hour shift at work? It might be easier for you to stick to a three meals per day schedule.
Losing body fat is all about staying consistent. Most of us do a great job with staying consistent during the work week because we can fit our meals into a steady routine then when the weekends hit it’s a free for all. Find a plan that you can stick with all week not just Monday through Friday.
There are countless different diet strategies out there for you to follow from Intermittent Fasting, the Anabolic Diet, Carb Back Loading, Flexible Dieting/If It Fits Your Macros, and so much more. What matters most is if it works for you in the context of your life and you are able to follow it for the necessary amount of time required to get you to your goals.
Mistake #2 – Training Doesn’t Match the Goal
Optimizing training for fat loss is important too. While proper nutrition will always be the foundation of changing your body composition there are still changes that you can make to your training to optimize your fat loss. One of the biggest ways to optimize your training for fat loss is to find something you suck at.
That’s right folks find a mode of exercise that you are not great at and do it. Inefficient exercise is a powerful tool for losing body fat. Some great examples of this might be swimming laps if you are not a strong swimmer (just don’t drown), swinging a kettlebell if you only touch barbells and dumbbells, performing strongman circuits and so on.
The point is if it’s new to you try it and watch the fat melt off.
Other than utilizing inefficient exercise be sure to structure your weight training so that you are using compound movements in a superset or circuit so that you can get your heartrate elevated while also training to keep you hard earned muscle. The total volume of your training should incrementally go up as well. Now is not the time to peak for a powerlifting meet.
Mistake #3 – Lack of Sleep and Inability to Manage Stress
If you are trying to get ripped you need to learn to relax, deal with stress, and consistently get adequate sleep. Not only does being in a constant state of fight or flight cause your body to cling to body fat, it can also cause you to gain more fat! The same can be said about constantly being sleep deprived.
When you don’t sleep your body craves sugar and carbs to keep going during the day. When you are over stressed and sleep deprived how well do you follow your diet? It’s pretty easy to blow off your diet and training when you feel like you don’t have time or you are feeling pressure from all other areas of your life. This is especially true if you use food as a way to cope with stress.
Find ways to manage stress to find your abs and the rest of the definition that you are seeking. Some of the best ways to reduce stress are to ensure that you are massage, meditation, and taking care of any personal or relational issues that have been causing you stress.
The key to consistently getting a good night’s sleep is to practice good sleep hygiene where you have a solid bed time routine and a pitch black, cool room. You might be surprised just how much relaxing and reducing stress can help you get lean!
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Mistake #4 – Taking On Too Much Too Soon
We all get excited at the prospect of getting the most shredded that we have ever been and try and change both our diet and nutrition all at once. The fact is that we are all creatures of habit and we only have a finite amount of motivation that will allow us to change. When we change too much too soon motivation levels tank and progress comes to a grinding halt.
Getting shredded involves changing a lot of different habits in your life and daily routine but, they can’t be changed all at once no matter how badly you think you want to change logistically it almost never works for normal people who live a normal life. We need to start smaller than that and constantly progress.
Pick one thing, one habit that is necessary for you to achieve the change you want and work at it until you have mastered it. For example, you know that you have to change your sleep habits, start by committing to set an alarm every night that will alert you when its time to get ready for bed and unless there is something extremely pressing going on shut everything down and get ready for bed.
Once you have successfully integrated the bedtime habit every night tackle the next habit until you have made yourself a create of good habits that work to get you shredded.
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Mistake #5 – Drastically Changing Training Volume
One of the biggest mistakes lifters make on their journey to get shredded is that they want to be shredded yesterday! So to get shredded as fast as possible they throw everything thing they have at their body in hopes of getting super shredded super-fast when the fact is maybe two pounds of fat a week is as fast as the body should go without excessive muscle waste.
They start HIIT after weights and fasted cardio in the mornings and their training volume jumps from a total of three to five hours a week to twice that amount in one week all while their calorie intake has been cut back. This is where understanding how to prioritize your training really becomes important and where an experienced coach or trainer can make the biggest difference.
You need a plan that builds in total training volume gradually enough to keep losing fat while maintaining muscle. Too much too soon can back fire on you and you can wind up where you started or worse heavier than when you started.
Find someone that can guide your training and make precise adjustments to your routine that will keep you moving in the right direction toward your goal. If you are doing this yourself remember that learning your body and when to make changes takes time and practice and mistakes will be made just keep moving in the right direction and refining your skills for getting shredded.
There you have it, five of the most common mistakes that lifters make on the road to get shredded. Make this summer one of the best summers that you’ve ever had in regard to your training and physique goals by avoiding some of these pitfalls in regard to your training, nutrition, and lifestyle.
Remember to be patient, train smart, be consistent, and have some fun living a strong and healthy life and enjoy the confidence of having a strong sculpted physique that others don’t this summer as others hide behind their t-shirts at the beach or pool.