The Shred Fear!

Most of us including me are fascinated by a well-built, shredded to the core body with that muscle definition and abs worth the work. I mean, who does not want it? Broad shoulders, wide back, amazing chest and a tiny waist. All the elements can be had together in one plate only when an individual is shredded i.e. possessing a significant amount of muscle mass with low body fat percentage. Still confused what shredded looks like? Go search for all fitness models and movie superstars. Yes, that is what you call shredded physiques. But if it is all to desire for, worth my time, worth my  work, then what is that fear? There should be nothing to be afraid of right? However, there might be a twist in the tale.


If we look at the conventional , more widely used method in bodybuilding, there are two steps for an individual to get that desired physique. Bulking and Cutting. While many of the fitness trainers have opted out of this philosophy with new advancements in science coming each day, this continues to be the most widely used method till date with a fair enough success rate to boast.

First step, Bulking. As the name suggests, getting as much as muscle possible within a time frame by eating big and with some heavy lifting. Bulking is often accompanied by weight gain that may be some fat and some muscle mainly due to the extra calorie intake to get that mass. This can be for a duration for say 8-12 weeks with only one aim to put on as much muscle mass as possible. But the problem is that as you start being in a state of calorific surplus, eating all day, and increasing your carbohydrate intake, some amount of fat will follow too depending upon how clean you have been eating throughout this bulking phase.

Now to eliminate this fat, step 2 – cutting comes into play. This is the step where you aim to get rid of that fat while keeping all of your muscle mass. It is all about getting that body fat percentage. The end product – Well defined , chiselled , greek god structures. As I said, who does not want that? But, there is a catch in this step that I want to talk about. There can be a scenario where along with the fat, you lose all your precious muscle mass too. In this cutting phase, you need to be in a state of calorific deficit fewer calories to get that fat away. You start including some cardio, HIIT and other methods into your routine to get shredded as soon as possible. That is the fear. For someone who has a hard time gaining muscle, it is a fear. what if I return to ground 0 all over again? Should I stay in bulking to look all big and muscular? How much cardio or no cardio at all? I don’t want to lose even a little bit of muscle hence my fear is justified. I don’t know how many of you out there feel the same but this one thing bugs me.

What I am trying

In an attempt to get leaner without losing any muscle whatsoever, I have started doing some cardio 3 days a week. This cardio is on alternate day basis. It will involve brisk walks for the start just to get my body used to this routine so that later I can up the ante and do get some sprint sessions in. It’s been almost 6-7 months  that I have been away from any type of cardio what so ever and hence it can prove to be a torturous couple of days. The goal is to shred but not shred fast as I can’t take any risk with the muscle mass. In the kitchen department I will try to cut some carbs, a small amount. It’s all about mastering that calorie intake so as to know where you stand. It has been over a month now that I have been following the same diet so it is time to shuffle things a bit. I still don’t know how my body reacts but I will keep you all posted. Next 6 weeks will be crucial and I hope that I learn as much as I can and impart the same.


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