Getting a ripped body takes hard work and dedication to a structured exercise and nutrition regimen. Despite what you may think, however, you do not need to spend countless hours at the gym to achieve a ripped physique. Rather, take advantage of the great outdoors and the convenience of your own home to burn off calories and strengthen muscles. Aim to workout five to six days per week to achieve your best body.
Bring the Equipment Home
Purchase a few pieces of equipment and set up your own mini-gym at home. Equipment does not have to be expensive or complicated; rather, two to three sets of weights and a medicine ball, skipping rope and mat can do the trick. Set the equipment up in a spare room or living room three to four days a week and complete a circuit-training program that targets the major muscle groups of your upper and lower body as well as your core. Aim to do eight to 10 exercises for one minute each per circuit and repeat three times.
Planks train the core abdominal muscles as well as the arms and shoulders. When done consistently as part of an overall fitness and diet regimen, planks can help you achieve the coveted six-pack. Plank exercises can be done anywhere, including the office, outdoors or your own home. Do this exercise by lying on your belly on the floor. Push yourself such that you are resting on your toes and forearms with your elbows underneath your shoulders. Maintain a straight back from head to toe by contracting your abdominals to avoid sagging at the hips. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat three times, five to six days of the week.
Get Your Sweat On
Strength training will increase lean muscle mass and improve muscle definition. However, you will not look ripped if you have layers of fat hiding those muscles. Schedule five to six cardiovascular exercise sessions per week in your fitness planner for 30 to 60 minute sessions at a moderate intensity. Cardio increases caloric burn for weight-loss all over your body and revs up your metabolism so you continue to burn calories while resting. You will need to create a daily calorie deficit, where you burn more calories than you consume, however, to burn fat. Choose exercises that work your major muscle groups -- such as running, cycling, hiking and cross-country skiing -- to maximize caloric burn and build muscle.
Think Before You Eat
A clean-eating diet is an integral part to getting a ripped physique without hitting the gym for three to four hours every day. A bad diet can easily undo the hard work you put into exercising regularly, so eating foods that are low in calories but high in essential nutrients is key. Avoid trans-fats and high-calorie and high-sugar foods in favor of a plate filled with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats, such as avocados and nuts, in moderation. Eat three meals a day plus a pre and post-workout snack -- such as a smoothie made with milk and a banana -- if you have an intense workout planned that day.