There seems to be hundreds of different approaches to building muscle and losing fat through diet and/or exercise. And while getting shredded is certainly not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, there are a few universal eating and fitness rules that do apply to everyone, no matter your goal. First, get your diet in check with these tips on how to eat to get ripped. Then, follow these ground rules to speed up your results in the gym, too. 

1. Plan to weight train three to four times per week for an hour or so per session. You can follow a total-body or upper-lower plan.

2. Focus on compound movements—exercises that work multiple muscles at once, such as presses, rows, squats, and deadlifts.

3. Perform three to five sets per exercise and keep your reps between eight and 12. There are a million approaches that build muscle, but this configuration never fails.

4. Perform high-intensity interval training or steady-state cardio three to five days per week.

5. For HIIT, perform any highly intense activity—sprinting, rope jumping, etc.—as hard as you can for up to 10 seconds. Then rest or perform light activity until you feel ready to go hard again. Repeat for up to 20 minutes.

6. For steady-state cardio, work at a moderate intensity for 30 to 60 minutes.

7. For a specific get-ripped workout routine, go to mensfitness.com/21dayshred.