Those bodybuilders who participate in professional competitions will be well aware of the ripping process which is very challenging both mentally and physically. This is a process which needs to be thought out because on average a bodybuilder will spend between 12 and 16 weeks ripping each year for just one event. While to the naked eye ripping is simply a reduction of body fat to enhance muscle tone there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.
Diet and ripping
In simple terms, ripping is the culmination of weeks of dietary and exercise changes. As far as dietary changes, this will mean giving up many foods and beverages which individuals enjoy. Finding a balance between reduced food, and therefore reduced energy intake, while maintaining and enhancing muscle mass and muscle tone is difficult. There is a point when body fat reaches such low levels that it can actually become dangerous and life-threatening.
During the ripping process all fat and sugar intake will be avoided, salt and carbohydrates kept to a minimum while protein intake will be relatively high. Protein is a quick fire way of ensuring muscle repair and muscle maintenance which is obviously very important during the ripping process. Low fat carbohydrate intake would involve the likes of potatoes, rice, pasta and vegetables with protein shakes taken on a regular basis to help with muscle repair. Carbohydrate intake is very important because this usually transforms into glucose which converts into energy which the body uses during physical exercise.
The problem with carbohydrates is that depending upon the type of food it can take some time to convert into glucose during which period the body will go looking for additional sources of energy. Traditionally the main source of energy would be the fat content but with fat content down to a minimum during the ripping process, there is a chance that the body will look towards muscle tissue and convert that into glucose which then converts into energy. Muscle breakdown is obviously something to avoid during the ripping process.
Exercise and ripping
During the ripping process it is common to see cardiovascular exercises increased which ups the heart rate and the amount of fat burned within the body (converted into energy). So, as we touched on above, if the intake of carbohydrates is too low, or the carbohydrate supply takes too long to convert into glucose, the body will go looking elsewhere for energy sources. It is interesting to learn exactly what happens to the body during the ripping process because the end result is simply a body with minimal fat and maximum muscle mass and muscle tone which is quite literally in your face.
As we have mentioned in some of our earlier articles, there are certain types of cardiovascular exercises which actually continue to burn fat for a prolonged period after the exercises are over. Again, this is another challenge to those looking at the ripping process and the balance between energy intake and energy burn.
While performance enhancing drugs (anabolic steroids) are looked upon very unfavourably by the mass media, not all of them have a negative impact upon the body and the mind. A low carbohydrate and low sugar diet has been shown to not only impact a person’s physical well-being but also their mental state with mood swings likely. This is the type of scenario where supplements containing caffeine and other “increased alertness” ingredients can prove very useful. Many also look towards supplements containing nitric oxide which simply expands the blood vessels thereby allowing the body to pump more blood and more oxygen. This increases energy, alertness and overall well-being. Despite the array of detrimental comments pointed towards performance enhancers and steroids, it is worth noting that the vast majority will have limited impact on a person’s body and mind unless they are in the ripping mode.
The post ripping process
Despite the fact that many bodybuilders have an obsession with looking toned and fit, the vast majority will breathe a sigh of relief once the ripping process has ended. This allows them to return to a more traditional diet. Research shows that during the ripping process a bodybuilder can lose in excess of 20 pounds in weight. It goes without saying that this is significant weight loss but a return to their previous diet and a reduction in their exercise regime will soon have an impact. The fact that even the most ardent bodybuilders find the ripping process extremely challenging says everything about their dedication and strength of mind.
It is easy to assume that bodybuilders who have gone through the ripping process have that kind of physique all year round. The simple fact is that this process is extremely challenging, extremely tough and if managed incorrectly can have a detrimental impact upon a person’s well-being. The ability to balance energy intake with the body’s energy requirements during the ripping process is not easy. An over reduction in carbohydrate intake will switch the body’s energy source to muscle tissue, thereby reducing muscle mass and muscle tone, while too much carbohydrate intake will see the body storing fat for later.
If you are looking to undertake a ripping process it is vital that you take advice, speak to those who’ve been there and done it and ensure your health is paramount. Those who have been through the ripping process for many years will testify as to how difficult it is and if you overdo it there may be serious health implications.