If you haven't exactly nailed down what program you're going to do for the new year, consider The 21-Day Shred. The app has been completely reconfigured with a new design experience for much easier use and navigation, plus loaded up with a new series of workouts you can recycle once you finish the program. The 21-Day Shred is available in the Apple Store for iOS devices, or in PDF format for Android devices.
Now, enough of the sales pitch and onto the details you really want: how do I get shredded?!
Much of what you'll read in the following slides are the foundation of The Shred, so whether you download it or not, you'll be well on your way to building your best body possible.
Work Out in the Morning on an Empty Stomach
Not a morning person? Maybe you should be. If you're familiar with the term ‘Fasted Cardio,’ now’s the time to put it to use. Waking up and working out on an empty stomach is key to scorching fat and may help melt away the pounds, according to a recent study published in the journal Physiology.
When researchers conducted the study over six weeks, they separated men into three groups: the first group increased their caloric intake by 20%, half of them performed exercises and the rest remained inactive; the second group scheduled a workout post-breakfast; and the last group followed the exact same exercise at the crack of dawn.
They found the first group gained nearly six pounds, the second hiked up about three pounds, and the last group not only stayed the same weight, but also burned more fat throughout the day.
Want to see the fat really fall off? Train with weights. Lifting is a crucial component to get results, and according to a recent study published in the journal Obesity, it’s more effective for maintaining a flat stomach than cardio.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health studied the physical activity, waist circumference, and body weight of nearly 11,000 healthy American men age 40 and over. After they analyzed which activities had the greatest effect on their waistlines over a 12-year period, they found the answer to fending off stomach fat.
Turns out men who got 20 minutes of daily weight training gained less abdominal fat as they aged compared with men who spent the same time hitting the pavement.
While fruit is great, it’s also full of sugar. Going with more greens will provide you with key nutrients and antioxidants, but your sugar, carb, and total calorie intake will be reduced. One apple has 125 calories and 25 grams of carbs. One large red pepper has 40 calories and 5 grams of carbs. See what we mean?
The key to building quality muscle mass relies heavily on nutrient timing. Schedule your carbohydrate intake post-workout to replenish your glycogen levels and prepare you for the next training session; take in protein to help repair and rebuild your muscles. In order to build muscle, consuming post-workout protein is essential. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle, and true growth cannot occur if you don’t feed them.
For quality recovery meals try a protein shake with fruit or tuna on whole wheat toast. The amount of carbohydrates and protein mostly depends on your weight, the workout, and your fitness goals. In general, consuming 20-40 grams of protein within the metabolic window will score you a visibly more ripped physique.