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How to Get Cut and Lean

Cut, lean, shredded and ripped are as much lifestyles as they are descriptions of someone who’s worked for a set of abs and a pumped and vascular set of forearms.

Getting lean, or getting cut is something that takes a serious amount of time and commitment. Which is why most guys flaunt a ‘dad bod’, as opposed to that superhero, roman statue look.

Even with a basic bit of knowledge and a boat load of commitment though, the body of your dreams can be achieved.

If you’ve set yourself up with some impressive new muscle and are just feeling that ‘it’s time’ to start revealing the anatomical rewards of your hard work in the gym, then cutting is the next logical step.

Generally, a comfortable cut, obviously depending on many factors will take around 2-3 months.

But here’s a good overview of how to kick things off and start your journey to head turning shreds…

1) Abs are made in the kitchen, sort of.

You’ve no doubt heard the saying that Abs are made in the kitchen. And whilst this is sort of true, it’s not fully true. Diet does play the main role in getting leaned up and shredded. But in order to actually have abs to reveal, you need to be putting a shift in at the gym too and fat burning supplements can add the edge.

With that said, your diet should be high in protein and completely clean. Those ‘cheeky beers’ and ‘it’s only a few scoops of vanilla’ moments are going to have to go.

In order to get cut and lean, you need to be working out whilst in a calorie deficit. And so you need to be fuelling those workouts with whole and nutritious foods. Trust us, you’ll feel and look loads better by doing it this way.

2) Aim for a 20% calorie deficit

We covered a little more information on this in this piece, but in order to maintain as much muscle as possible and just target your unwanted fat for removal you need to be sticking to a 20% reduction in your daily calorie intake.

You can use a simple online calorie calculator to figure out your rough intake and the total number you should be aiming for each day.

By making sure protein makes up a large proportion of your daily calories, you’ll find you feel less hungry but also, crucially, your muscles are given a good chance at repair and recovery despite your deficit.

3) Lift heavy weights

Right, your sorted with your calories and you have a meal plan prepped. Now comes the fun bit, training. It’s a common misconception that in order to cut fat you need to be performing high intensity workouts like HIIT or HIRT.

This simply isn’t the case. By lowering rep range to 3-5 and upping the amount you lift, you are activating as much muscle as possible with minimum effort. This gives your body a chance to rip and repair, fuelling potential growth and minimising muscle loss.

Coupled with the fact that heavier compound lifts can nurture your testosterone levels, you’ll feel better, stronger and less stressed about your sessions.

How to get Lean and Cut…

There you have it. Keep your calories down by 20%, your protein intake up and your gym sessions heavy and short.

If you want to keep fitness up, a few cardio sessions per week can further your deficit and help keep you focused on your end goal. But don’t overdo it and make sure you adjust your diet accordingly.

Once you stick out the first 3 weeks, you’ll start to develop a routine. Once you develop a routine you’ll find the next 3 weeks far easier and more comfortable. Just stick with it, don’t over complicate things and put down that beer!

Related Guides:

4 reasons why you’re not losing weight

How to burn fat without losing muscle


With over 10,000 hours worth of coaching experience, Nick helps bring out the best in people both mentally and physically through his personal training business ‘LEP Fitness’When he’s not training clients or in the gym working out, he’s running around having fun with his one year old son, reading books, and spending time with family and friends.

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