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Body builders typically use the ripping process once a year. The process involves a change in diet to reduce fat, and exercise to maintain muscle mass. Body builders often don't look forward to ripping, as it means giving up food and drink they enjoy. It also may mean an increase or decrease in particular training routines. The ripping stage takes as long as a person wishes. However, pushing body fat to low levels can be dangerous, so body builders don't usually do it year round. Body builders typically average around 12–16 weeks of ripping per year.
Dieting and cardiovascular exercise
While cutting, a person must consume a diet that is at a deficit from their maintenance calories by 300-500 calories, but still eat 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight to maintain or even gain strength. Cardio burning sessions of 300-500 calories may help some people.
Too much cardiovascular exercise can directly affect muscle tissue if it is used excessively and without eating the correct food. The reason for this is because if the human body doesn't have sufficient energy stored in the form of glucose, then it will begin using energy from other sources, e.g. fats or muscles. For example, eating a little extra carbohydrates (which eventually transforms into glucose) will help the body to divert away from muscle tissue and extract energy from the glucose supplies. The time in which one eats is an important factor in ripping where cardiovascular training is concerned. Particular foods take a certain amount of time to extract the glucose in the digestive system. This means that there is limited amount of time to use the glucose before it gets stored as fat. Also there is a certain amount of time after cardiovascular exercise is being performed when the body's energy source runs out. This is when the process of muscle breakdown also comes into play.
Performance enhancers and supplements
Ripping is considered a slow and sometimes painful process due to diet and exercise. A body builder will have to sacrifice many of their pleasures in life, in addition to increasing their workout intensity. But the goals in which they wish to achieve are far from easy, and it is known that some body builders may use performance-enhancing drugs or anabolic steroids to assist them along the way. There are many types of performance enhancers that can help with the loss of fat and the maintenance of muscle tissue. Of course, it is extremely unlikely that any performance enhancers or steroids will have an effect unless the person taking them is taking part in exercise or a specific diet plan.
It is very likely that body builders will, at some stage, use supplements to help them rip up. When taking part in such a low carbohydrate, low sugar diet, it can affect energy levels in addition to changing one's mood. A person with such a diet and low energy levels may choose to take supplements that contain caffeine, which increases alertness and motivation. Or they may decide to take a supplement with nitric oxide in it, therefore expanding blood vessels and increasing blood flow, thus increasing oxygen levels around the body.
Main diet principles
Supplements, performance enhancers, or anabolic steroids may assist a body builder or athlete towards goals, but are not necessary for ripping or fat loss. The main concerns in ripping are diet and exercise. Not just what to eat, but also when to eat it is important.
Fat and sugar should be completely avoided, and carbohydrates and salt kept at a minimum. Protein is always high during any stage of body building, because of its involvement in muscle repair and maintenance. Someone ripping usually eats carbohydrates in the morning with breakfast, and in small portions with other meals. It is common to have a protein shake after a workout to help with muscle damage from the workout. Protein shakes consumed during ripping usually contain zero or very little carbohydrates. Meals are typically a piece of meat or fish with vegetables. Included carbohydrates are usually low-fat foods like potato, rice, or pasta, and fruits and vegetables, often in smoothie (blended) form.
After the ripping stage, the person resumes their normal diet and training routine. They may decrease cardiovascular exercise change their supplements regimen. Some body builders lose 20 or more pounds at the peak of the ripping period. They gain it back again, or even come to exceed their pre-ripping weight—but strive to regain weight as muscle rather than fat.