I've been working out for nearly 5 years and I am vegetarian(not even eggs) . Although I am in good lean shape but I wonder how bodybuilder shred almost all the fats from their body and look so ripped. I know they reduce water intake and some supplements to gain that max physique but still there must be something more.

I tried whey protein,BCAA, creatine etc but still getting those ripped muscles look impossible

Can we not get that physique without using fat burner etc ?

  • How often/long have you been working out? What workout programs have you been through? What are your maximum weight main lifts? What does your diet look like? Do you cut/bulk cycle? Are you a vegan/vegetarian? Are you snacking on carb heavy foods that cause bloat? What is your bodyfat percentage?...
    – John
    Jun 16, 2016 at 8:57
  • @JJosaur: I've been working out for nearly 5 yrs. I keep changing my workout routines so that my body never gets comfortable with one type of exercise. I've 18-20% body fat. As said m pure vegan , no eggs. I dont eat junks and too much heavy carbs. Jun 17, 2016 at 11:55
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    How a body-builder looks, in terms of being ripped, during the normal course of training vs. competition can be pretty different. Their diets get very extreme as competition approaches and I think they also cut water weight for competitions. However, they don't and, really, can't maintain that all the time. Oct 14, 2016 at 16:40

2 Answers 2


Alright so first of all don't get your hopes up too much. Bodybuilders are probably the most shredded individuals on the face of the planet during their contest prep! The key word here being contest prep. They will start being extremely strict with their calories and macronutrients around 12 weeks out from a bodybuilding show. There are a lot of tricks that they use to achieve a very cut look (I competed a few times), but for the most part it's just drastic calorie and macro manipulation on a VERY consistent basis.

So first of all, you have to understand, it is NOT the supplements that give you a ripped look, not even close. ESPECIALLY not the legal ones, BCAA and creatine have absolutely nothing to do with shredding fat so I'm not sure why you even brought them up. Whey protein and BCAA are of importance during this intense cut only because they help the athletes maintain the max amount of lean muscle that they can. And since more muscle equals more metabolism, keeping more muscle will make it easier to lose fat. Other than this there's no purpose for these supplements in a fat loss cycle. All fat burners do is make your fat cells more mobile during workouts so you're more likely to burn them, but if your diet isn't 100%, good luck...it won't happen, especially when you get to single digit fat percentages.

Now they do use some illegal supplements of course. Testestorone, clenbuterol, t3, trenbolone acetate...etc, these are all used to help with the ultimate shredded look. Some of them help increase metabolism, while some of them help with the mobilization of fat cells, to a much greater degree than any supplement out there.

Now if you want that look, you're gonna need to be honest with yourself. Do you actually have enough muscle such that when you do get that cut, you're going to look good ? Otherwise you'll just look very skinny and most people tend to not want to look like that. But if you still do wanna look like that it's very simple, NOT easy, but simple.

Alright so in order to achieve that look, all you need is a very consistent caloric deficit. When you get to very low levels of body fat, you absolutely HAVE to count in order to make progress. There is no other way around it unless you have the genetics of Zeus.

You need to figure out your RMR and subtract at least 500 calories from this number and aim to eat that amount of calories every single day for a week. If you lose weight then good keep going, if you didn't you need to adjust it down by 100-200 calories and try again. Once you have the calories down you need to manipulate your macros.

In order to be safe it is crucial to get at least 1g of protein per lbs of bodyweight in order to preserve lean muscle. You can even increase this to 1.5g. Once you get the protein down you need to manipulate your carbs and fats. Usually, you'd avoid all carbohydrate intake until around your workout (pre and post). This is so you don't raise insulin and inhibit fat burning. If your body doesnt have carbs as energy it will either burn fat or muscle but since you have lots of protein, it's more likely to burn fat. But when you workout, you don't wanna take this risk, and your workout will suffer without carbs, so eat most of your carbs (70-90%) around your workouts. If you are going to eat them at other times make sure they are complex, low GI carbs so you don't raise your blood sugar. For other meals, replace the carbs with fats, always keeping protein high.

Now, when you get very close to contest, there is a pretty neat trick that is done in order to look incredibly ripped. Since you've been depleting carbs throughout your entire diet, your body basically "forgets" how to handle them efficiently. So, for a few days, you eat very high amounts of carbs. Once you do this, your body overcompensates and stores even more glycogen than previous in your muscle cells and you look a considerable amount fuller and bigger. If you have low amounts of body fat, this will make you look a lot more ripped than you actually are. Combine this with extreme water cuts and voila, you look "ripped".

But you HAVE to understand that in order to make this work, you need to be at a low body fat level in the first place throughout weeks of hard dieting.

Moreover, that "look" that you see is only maintained for a few weeks at the very most. If you look at fitness models/bodybuilders in the off-season, their body fat levels are a lot higher than photoshoot/contest days, so it's important to be realistic. Just don't believe any supplement that will get you "shredded", you can't buy fitness.


I was at in a similar situation about 6 months back. I had worked out a lot and put on many kgs of muscle mass (I was really skinny to begin with).

I took whey protein too, but gave it up as soon as i realized that lentils and milk gave me my protein in a tastier way (I'm vegetarian, but i eat eggs). Also, since i had to eat much more food than normal to put on that mass, I got accustomed to eating that much, so when I eased off intensive exercise, within a week I started putting on visible fat.

One month later I had to flex for my abs to be visible. I went back to eating normal amounts of food, shifted to High Intensity Interval Training cardio workouts and got rid of that fat layer.

Building muscle and making them show is very different. Body builders put on muscle offseason while going up to 10% body fat (that's still unnaturally low, but quite high for them). Then as they approach show season, they go into similar fat burning cardio workouts and diets to go all the way down to about 5% body fat.

They do lose some muscle because of their dieting though. So to answer your question, you really have no choice, hit that cardio hard if you want your muscle definition

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