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Ripping is the stage that people, mainly bodybuilders, go through in order to lose body fat to a very low percentage. The idea is that if one's body fat is low, then muscle tissue will be more visible and therefore a better-looking body will emerge.
The ripping process usually occurs once a year for those who participate in body building. In the stage of ripping, there is a change in diet and exercise in order to maintain muscle mass and, at the same time, lose a significant amount of body fat. It is the stage that body builders do not often look forward to, as it means giving up the food and drink that they enjoy in order to reach their desired change in body shape and definition. Also it may mean an increase or decrease in particular desired training routines. The ripping stage takes as long as a person wishes it to be. However, when body fat reaches such low levels, it becomes dangerous, which is why body builders don't usually continue with this process all year round. Most body builders spend on average around 12–16 weeks of ripping.
Dieting and cardiovascular exercise
In order for one to take part in the ripping stage they must change their diet, however, it may also be essential to make significant changes in their gym workouts or training routines. Extra cardiovascular exercises may be involved in order to burn fat. Their weightlifting exercises may become faster, or less rest periods between sets may be an addition to the increase in heart rate, therefore an increase in fat burning. Body builders take many steps in order to rip up for a competition or to look good for the summer. It is important for body builders to maintain muscle size during the ripping stage, however, the loss of muscle may be inevitable without careful analysis on which foods are consumed or how or when cardiovascular exercise is conducted.
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, i.e. muscles. So 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 comes into play also.
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
Any supplements, performance enhancers, or anabolic steroids are used in order to assist a body builder or athlete in their journey to achieve the goals they aim for. But they are not necessary for ripping, or fat loss. The main concern in ripping is considered the way the person eats. In ripping, it is considered that dieting that has the largest involvement, second to the workout. It is not just what food to eat that becomes a concern but it is the time in which one should consume that food that is equally important.
The main principles that are adhered to are that fat and sugar should be completely avoided, and carbohydrates and salt should be kept at a minimum. Protein is always to be quite high during any stage of body building as it has a major involvement in muscle repair and maintenance. The time in which carbohydrates are eaten are usually in the morning with breakfast and thereafter in very small portions with meals. It is common for those ripping to have a protein shake after a workout as it helps with the muscle damage that has taken place during the workout. During the ripping period, the protein shake that is consumed usually contains zero or very little amounts of carbohydrates. Most meals usually contain a piece of meat or fish with vegetables. If the person ripping wishes to include carbohydrates then it would often be foods low in fat like potato, rice or pasta fruits and vegetables often in smoothie (blended) form.
After the ripping stage has passed, it is likely that diet will change back to the same as before, and the old training routine may return also. Less cardiovascular exercise may be used and a change in supplements might take place. Some body builders lose around a 20 or more pounds at the peak of the ripping period, and they would then gain it all back again, sometimes with the desire to put on extra weight. If they wish to put on weight then it is usually muscle. It might be a goal for them to lose 20 pounds of fat next year but be a few pounds heavier than they were before, indicating an increase in muscle growth.