How to Get Big and Ripped & Stay That Way

There’s no easy way to build muscle whilst also staying lean, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

To start things off, the training, nutrition & lifestyle guidelines in today’s blog are going to give you all the help you need to achieve it!

You may have clicked on this article hoping to read some sort of magic potion has become available for adding muscle whilst you stay lean. What I’m here to tell you that putting on muscle without adding fat can be accomplished only through long-term dedication to a structured nutrition and training plan.

You need to make the commitment to yourself to cook and prepare meals, eat clean, train hard, and focus your efforts on achieving your goals. You’re still able to enjoy the “normal” things in life, like going to the movies or eating out at a restaurant. However if you begin to follow this structured lifestyle day in and day out over a few years, you can start to imagine what it will do to a person’s physique. The reality is we’re all lazy…

Now some people may think that this lifestyle is excessive? Maybe it is, but then, you should never intend to be “average” in anything you do. Building muscle whilst also staying lean is only possible through hard work. If this is the kind of physique you want, then you’re going to have to learn to become comfortable with being a little uncomfortable. Finding the right combination of work ethic, structure, rest, and play may just the missing missing ingredient for you to go from your average Joe to a absolute pro!

Consistency and structure is what I want you guys to think about as you read through these tips below. You can’t implement them for a week or two and expect to see results. Success comes from dedication to making good lifelong choices.


Nutrition is the biggest factor in any health and fitness goal. In order to build muscle and stay lean, you have to do a little more than just “eat clean.” of course, putting whole, single ingredient, nutritious food into your body will go a long way toward helping you attain your desired physique, but ion order to get big and stay ripped, it  can get a little more complex.

Your nutrition doesn’t have to become super complicated, though, the main thing to do is to follow one fairly specific rule: Limit your carbohydrates. When you aren’t training, try to keep your meals relatively low carb. This means instead of brown rice, sweet potato, or whole grain oats, eat vegetables.

Increase the amount of carbohydrates that you eat before and after you train. Eating SOME carbs before you train ensures that you’re going to have sufficient energy levels and your muscles are full of enough glycogen (stored energy) to make it through a workout. Then, eat your highest-carb meal of the day post-workout. This plan works really well over the past years with all of our clients.

On rest days, you should eat fewer carbs and bump up your protein intake. This helps keep your abs looking good and your muscles in recovery mode.

Along with high-protein meals, make sure you get some healthy fats in your nutrition diet. Natural fats are important to keep your body’s systems functioning correctly. As well as that, when you’re limiting your carb intake, fat calories will help prevent your energy levels from plummeting.

Although this “plan” is a simple one, it works best when each day is almost identical to the one before it. Your activities, timing, and food stay basically the same no matter what day they fall on. The differences in your individual plan will be the amounts and types of food you eat so they coincide with your body type, goals, and gender.


You need to bring the same mindset into your training protocol as you do with your nutrition plan. It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised to know how many people think training inconsistently or without a detailed plan will be enough to get them results.

Although there are so many different strategies and ideologies about the best ways to grow muscle, I believe the best way is to focus on a single muscle group per day. Training one muscle group per day will provide each muscle the volume and time under tension it needs in order to suffer enough trauma so that the muscles can subsequently recover and grow.

I suggest creating a routine that will allow you to train 5-6 days per week. Each session should only take you between 45-90 minutes max! It’s important to limit the amount of time you spend in the gym. Training too long or too often can make recovery extremely difficult, which means you may not be able to grow like you should.

It’s also crucial that you keep your lifting sessions high-volume and high-effort. Your training intensity is the number one factor for positive results. You can’t just go through the motions and expect to grow and develop. Like most things in life, you’ll only get out what you put in.

These high-volume sessions will not only destroy your muscles, but they will also keep your heart rate high throughout your training sessions. Your pumping heart will help burn extra calories and boost your metabolic rate, so you can burn fat long after you’ve finished the session.

Although there’s nothing quite like straight sets to set up a great workout, incorporating some brutal dropsets, supersets, and compound sets into your training sessions will provide a massive increase to the length of the sets, helping you add muscle density and muscular endurance. Use short rest periods of around 30-60 seconds when you’re lifting lighter weight, and longer rest periods of around 1-2 minutes when you’re lifting heavier weight.

Because your lifting sessions are fast-paced and intense, the need to do extra cardio is small. However if you wish to put more cardio in your program, perform high-intensity intervals (HIIT) for about 20-30 minutes, 2-3 times per week. Alternate these cardio days with ab training. Choose 3-4 core exercises and do 3-4 sets of 25-50 reps per exercise. Although your diet has the biggest influence on how your abs look, doing 400-500 reps a few times per week is only going to help them get bigger!


Although I believe that supplements can help people reach their goals, I am very much against prescribing the same supplements for everyone. Each of us has a different body type and a different goal, so, what works for one person may not work for you.

That being said, there are a few basic supps that most people can utilise to help muscle-building and recovery. These are the supplements I use on a daily basis:

First, I always suggest a fast acting whey protein powder. Whey is fast-digesting and great around your workouts. Quite frankly, building muscle takes a lot of protein, so supplementing with quality protein powder can be really useful when you need a healthy snack or a pre-bedtime treat.

Because I like to have carbs post-workout, I suggest using a post-workout supplement that includes protein and carbs, which will help you to replenish your glycogen stores and help kick-start growth. This potent combo of protein and carbs is one of the best things you can do for recovery. However if you are limiting carbs and are still quite insulin resistant then don’t take carbs post work out in your shake.

For performance and recovery gains, I recommend Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs. BCAAs are going to boost your recovery capacity and can also reduce exercise-induced soreness.

Finally, supplement with healthy omega 3 fats from fish oil to help keep you lean, and fish oil is also good for your joints, skin, hair, and heart.


It’s important to note that these guidelines are just that: guidelines. They’re not laws you have to follow. However, if you want to see results, you MUST stay consistent with your training, nutrition, and supplement plan. What we’ve talked about today will help you get started, but unless you’re dedicated to a structured lifestyle, you probably won’t ever see that massive, ripped reflection in the mirror!

Are you not achieving the results you want? Have always struggled with your nutrition? Training hard but still not losing that stubborn belly fat?

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  • Ian Grantham

    Reply Reply March 10, 2016

    I’ve never worked my legs out hard. This program is making my legs very sore. In the program I do quads on a Tuesday and then somehow I’m meant to sprint on a Thursday . I’m sure I can’t be the only one with sore legs on a Thursday . So my question is can I do Friday’s arm workout today and sprint tomorrow ? Or can I do battle rope work today instead of sprinting? Or should I just man up and sprint anyway? Is this even the place where I ask such questions? I haven’t found the Facebook forum.

    • Matt MacCabe

      Reply Reply May 12, 2016

      Hey Ian, if your legs are really really sore then I probably wouldn’t sprint then.. Give it another day or two your battle rope stuff any HIIT will be fine!

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