How Bodybuilders Work to Look Super Shredded

How Bodybuilders Work to Look Super Shredded

This is Your Quick Training Tip, a chance to learn how to work smarter in just a few moments so you can get right to your workout.

When it comes to setting fitness goals, most people are content simply to work to see a six-pack appear where before there was only a smooth, round belly. But some guys aspire to more—they want the lean, ripped physique of a bodybuilder with muscles so cut and defined that when flexed, it looks as if they’re held in place by a handful of steel cables.

To be more specific, they’re after the “striated” look, and there’s exactly one way to get it: Drop your body fat percentage to between two and five percent.

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Men’s Health

That’s a range bodybuilders often target for competition, and it’s really the only range where you’ll see muscle striations. That low single-digit range is also considered the bare minimum necessary for good health—which is why you should be wary if you ever encounter anyone claiming to have or claiming to provide a path for you to achieve “zero percent body fat.” It’s also extremely hard to maintain, which is why bodybuilders typically only endure the dietary and training hardships required to achieve the lowest levels during the weeks or months leading up to an event. The rest of the time, their body fat percentage is typically up to 12 percent.

Some trainers might also tell you that you can achieve striations by weaving more high-rep lifting into your training program, but that’s a myth. As with vascularity (i.e., visible veins), noticeable muscle striations are all about body composition.

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Your move: Shoot for a body fat percentage that will make your veins (not your striations) pop—about nine to 12 percent—by dialing in your diet along with your training regimen.

That’s also the range wh

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