Struggling To Get ‘Cut’? This is Why You Aren’t Ripped
Do you want to get ripped?
If you answered, “Yes,” ask yourself: are you currently ripped?
If you are, then keep killin’ it, brotha. Ha!
If you aren’t, there could be some unknown things you’re doing that seriously shortchange your results. They’ll slow your muscle gain, increase your fat accumulation, and even make you sick.
If you answered, “No,” to my first question, however, may I suggest to you the book, All Butter Everything: Secrets from Paula Deen’s Kitchen. (This book may or may not exist.)
So what are the “real” reasons you’re not ripped? Well, we know the obvious ones: eating junk, not training at all, drinking too much alcohol, etc. But if you’re reading this article, I already know you already exercise and live a relatively healthy lifestyle.
Today, I want to share with you the lesser known reasons why you aren’t as lean or muscular as you’d like: these are the things that kill your progress as you reach the higher levels of your health and fitness quest.
Take your time and soak it in; it could be the difference.
You’re Not Sleeping Well Enough
Without sleep, you’ll die.
(Fact: You won’t actually die… but you’ll feel really f*cking sleepy.)
Sleep is the easiest thing you can do to slash fat, build muscle, and get ripped. It’s when your body produces the most amount of growth hormone, which helps generate muscle tissue growth, and recovers and repairs so you can go back to the gym and do it again.
That’s the positives. Let’s discuss the negatives: the act of cutting back on sleep can lead to significant weight gain. In a year-long prospective study of over 35,000 Japanese workers, shorter amounts of sleep were associated with higher BMI levels and higher odds of obesity in men.
Sleep deprivation is also associated with all kinds of cardiovascular and inflammatory issues. (Who cares about getting ripped when you’re dead?)
Get an average of eight hours of sleep every night.
But just as important as duration, you need to get high quality sleep. For a while, I would log in my eight hours and wake up feeling exhausted. Why? My sleep quality was terrible: I would wake up in the middle of the night, use the bathroom, or toss and turn.
Here are some GREAT tips that helped me:
- Stop drinking caffeine after mid-day
- Limit your nighttime alcohol (it ruins sleep quality and makes you pee)
- Stop using electronics an hour before bed (the light stimulates your brain)
- Keep your bedroom VERY dark and cool
- Buy a memory foam mattress topper (sweet Jesus, the only better investment than this is buying Apple stock back in the 1980’s)
- Take note of what happens on the days you DON’T sleep well — you might find consistent factors to eliminate. (For me, it was sleeping past 1 A.M.)
You’re Not Recovering Enough
Sleep is a MASSIVE part of recovery, which is why I mentioned it first.
But recovery also comes in many different forms. For example, meditation is a great way to de-stress and manage your daily emotions so you don’t endlessly drain your “fight-or-flight” nervous system (which not only hurts your gains, but could also generate some really bad diseases).
To help you get back to the gym faster, try doing recovery work like yoga or a good stretching/mobility routine to promote blood flow to your muscles and joints and help clear metabolic waste for less soreness. Or do relaxing cardio — like a walk around the neighborhood — to stimulate your aerobic system, which further speeds up recovery.
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