We all choose to train/workout/exercise for many different reasons. One of the most common reasons individuals choose to lead a healthy lifestyle is to change their body composition, get leaner and lose body fat. Let's take a look at 8 tips that can help you get ripped.

Fuel the body immediately upon awakening

Fueling the body immediately upon awakening will be key in order to stoke the fire within your body. Upon awakening, our glycogen stores are slightly depleted. Fueling the body at this time will help to reload our glycogen stores as this will help to improve the quality of our workouts. And no, you are not going to get leaner by working out first thing in the morning without fueling the body. C’mon not, the body requires fuel to thrive. We cannot deprive our body and expect results; meaningful and sustainable results that is.

Pre-Workout Fuel

If your workout occurs first thing in the morning, this serves the same importance as eating right away upon awakening. If your workout occurs later in the day, be sure to stoke the fire and fuel your body 30-60 min. before your workout. Pre-workout fuel can be a Load-Reload smoothie or a K II Kookie Bar™.

Fuel the Fire

Let’s think of fuel for the body no different then kindling wood for the fire. If you continue to throw kindling wood on the fire all throughout the day, the fire will continue to burn. Our body is the exact same; if we continue to fuel the body frequently, from the time we get up and all throughout the day, we will continue to stoke the fire with in our body. The key is to fuel the body immediately upon awakening and then every 2.5-3.5 hours thereafter.

Muscular Endurance

Now that the body is properly fueled, let's start to build muscle in order to increase the metabolic rate and decrease the body fat. Strength training will be one of the key components in order to get lean. You will want to strength train a minimum 2-3 days per week. This includes the upper body and the lower body. Muscular endurance is built by lifting a lighter amount of weight and setting a goal of 20-50 reps per exercise. As you progress and build additional strength and endurance you can increase the repetitions to 50+ reps.

Muscular Strength

Muscular strength is built by lifting a heavier amount of weight and approximately 6-15 repetitions per exercise. By combining muscular endurance workouts with muscular strength workouts, you will start to build the lean muscle that will allow your body composition to change. Just like muscular endurance, choose an amount of weight so that the last 3 repetitions are challenging, but not impossible. Visit LEANDOWN FITNESS® for great strength training workouts!

L-Arginine

L-arginine is an amino acid and research shows that 2-12g per day can help to naturally boost growth hormone levels. Also, L-arginine can help to stimulate nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator (blood vessels will dilate). This vasodilation will allow more oxygenated blood to be delivered to the working muscles, thereby, allowing you to perform more repetitions and go longer, harder, faster before fatigue.

Beta Alanine

Beta Alanine is an amino acid and research shows that 1.5g per day can help to build lean muscle, increase strength and muscular endurance.

Heart Rate Training

From a cardiovascular perspective, training in the proper heart rate zones is critical in order to preserve the muscle we are building (and not tear it down). All too often, individuals train at too high of a heart rate, too often. Combine this with improper nutrition and this can create catabolism (muscle breakdown). If we break down and tear down our own muscle, we are not going to change our body composition in the direction we are looking to go. Training in the proper heart rate zones, many times, requires us as athletes to “check their athletic ego at the door.” It is easy to workout hard. But it takes effort, energy, discipline, focus, attention to detail and patience to workout smart. Proper heart rate training will allow us to build an extremely high amount of efficiency and in time, we will find ourselves going longer, harder, faster at the same or lower heart rates. In addition, this proper heart rate training will allow us to get the maximum out of our proper nutrition, proper supplementation and proper strength training in order to achieve the body composition we desire.

If you are ready to get lean, get ripped and have that amazing physique you desire, start to implement the 8 tips above. Remain patient, body composition change is not an overnight process. It is an incredibly fun and exciting life-long journey. Enjoy every step!

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Rick Kattouf II, O.D. is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Trainers of the Year. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Ironman.com, Livestrong.com, FIGHT! Magazine, Florida Cycling Magazine and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Inc, CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Nutrition LLC, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gym LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury® Nutrition Supplement, 5-Round Fury Fitness® workout app, Creator of Coach2CEO, Creator of Fuel Keeper®, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. Dr. Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries.