How To Get Ripped Fast (Without Drugs)

July 21, 2017 — by Matt Theis0



How To Get Ripped Fast (Without Drugs)

July 21, 2017 — by Matt Theis0

If you want to know exactly how to get ripped in the fastest, safest way possible (without drugs), you want to read this article...

If you’re like most people, you probably wouldn’t mind being leaner and more muscular.

That’s really the goal, isn’t it?

To get ripped!

Unfortunately, most people have no idea how to get ripped.  They know it has something to do with diet and exercise, but that’s all they know.

The media sure doesn’t help either…

Read 10 different articles from 10 different “fitness publications” and you’ll get 10 different ways to burn fat and build lean muscle.  But guess what?

It’s not as complicated as they’re making it seem!

Seriously–like most things in life–if you just take a minute to break it down and look at it from a scientific standpoint, getting ripped is actually pretty simple.

It’s just a matter of taking the time to understand:

  • How we build muscle
  • How we burn fat
  • Basic nutrition

And then taking the initiative to actually apply those things.

Don’t get me wrong…

It takes work.

And, unfortunately, I can’t do the work for you.

But what I can do is tell you exactly what you need to do to get there.  Then all you have to do is execute.

So if you’re ready to learn how to get ripped faster than you thought was possible, let’s get started…

What Do I Know About Getting (And Staying) Ripped?

Matt Theis standing on a beach, pretty ripped.

Don’t you hate it when people give you advice about things that they clearly don’t have a grasp on themselves?

I do.

I try my very best to practice what I preach and only offer advice when I’m sure it’s helpful.

If I’m offering to teach you how to get ripped, it’s because I know a thing or two about how to get ripped.

You won’t catch me writing articles about the theory of relativity or how the pyramids were built, because I honestly have no idea about those things.

But there are a lot of people on the internet dishing out fitness advice about how to build muscle and/or burn fat who haven’t made much progress in those areas themselves.

Would you take accounting advice from a mechanic?  Would you let an accountant replace your transmission?

Obviously not!

It’s important to know who you’re getting your info from, and whether they walk the walk or just talk the talk.

So, here’s the proof that I know a little something about getting ripped…

Last year, I decided to see how shredded I could get in 30 days, using the very same techniques I’ll be discussing in this article.

As you can see,  I cut a noticeable amount of fat and became much more defined in a pretty short amount of time.

Matt Theis goes from 12% body fat to 8% in just 30 days.

I didn’t start out fat, but as you can tell I wasn’t particularly lean either.  I’d say I started out around 12% body fat and ended somewhere around 8%.

Not too shabby for such a short amount of time.

I’m not saying that to brag.  I’m just letting you know that it’s entirely possible to cut a noticeable amount of fat and improve your body composition in a short amount of time.

The more effort you put into it, the faster you’ll see results, especially if you’re just starting out.

In fact, beginners can gain an astonishing amount of muscle and strength while losing fat in their first year or two of lifting.

After that, it gets harder, but it’s still entirely possible.

Before we get into exactly how to get ripped and ultimately achieve the shredded physique of your dreams, let’s take a moment to understand why most people have trouble in the first place.

“Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it” – some smart guy along time ago.

He’s right though…

If you don’t acknowledge the mistakes you’re making, you’ll just keep making them.  This applies to virtually all aspects of life, but is particularly applicable with health and fitness.

Why You’re Not Ripped (It’s Not Genetic)

Skinny Fat looking guy wonders how to get ripped

Fortunately, there’s only a few reasons why you’re having trouble getting lean and building muscle.

  • You’re Not Eating Right
  • You’re Not Exercising Right
  • You Make Poor Lifestyle Choices

Seriously, that’s it.

That may seem too simple, but I assure you, it really is that simple.

If you correct each one of those mistakes, you’ll have no problem building muscle and getting super shredded.

It could be one of these things that’s holding you back, or it could be all of them.

Let’s discuss each one of these thing in a little more detail so you can decide for yourself which areas need the most improvement.

1 | You’re Not Ripped Because Of Your Diet

You here people say this a lot:

“Diet is everything!”

While this is obviously an exaggeration–other things matter as well–there’s a lot of truth to that statement.

Most people just have a horrible diet and it completely ruins any chance they have of achieving a lean, muscular physique.

They eat too much (in terms of calories) or they just eat foods that lack nutritional value (empty calories) and aren’t conducive to being lean.

Either way, if you’re not eating a diet that provides the nutrients required to achieve your desired level of physical fitness, you’ll never get there.

That’s just how it is…

Want to get ripped?  Start by eating less and/or eating right.

Don’t worry, we’ll discuss how to structure your diet for maximum fat-loss and muscle-building later on…

2 | You’re Not Ripped Because You Don’t Exercise (Or Exercise Wrong)

Like I said, diet is a huge component when it comes to getting ripped, but you’ll never get there without proper exercise either.

You can definitely maintain a healthy body weight without exercising much and just keeping your calorie intake constant, but if you want to be muscular and defined, you need to actually workout.

That means lifting weights, not just cardio.

Most people either don’t work out, or just workout wrong.

That’s why that guy from your gym who’s been in there every day for 2 hours for the last 5 years still hasn’t gotten anywhere.

If only he read this article!

You can spend hours on the treadmill doing cardio, but if you don’t do exercises that actually build muscle, you’ll just be one of those skinny cardio jerks with the physique of a 12 year old boy.

Don’t mistake skinny for ripped.  There’s quite a difference.

Want to get ripped?  Workout!

The more muscle you build, the more ripped and defined you’ll get, so focus on building muscle above all else.  We’ll talk about the best way to do that in just a moment…

3 | You’re Not Ripped Because You Sabotage Yourself In Other Ways

Some people eat pretty well and hit the gym regularly, but then flush all their progress straight down the drain with things like:

  • Drinking/Smoking
  • Not Sleeping Enough
  • Being Sedentary (Sitting Around All Day)

Of course, there are a ton of ways you could potentially sabotage you’re efforts in the gym, but those are probably the most common.

I know a bunch of guys who hit the gym every day, train like beasts, eat well, and then go get hammered every weekend and lose all their gains.

What a shame…

When people ask me how I stay so lean pretty much all the time, even though I’m rarely in the gym for more than an hour and spend the majority of my time working, I usually just tell them:

“I don’t drink.”

I mean, I’ll have a beer every now and then (and occasionally too many), but I’m not a habitual drinker by any means.  I truly believe that’s one of the reasons I’m able to stay so lean.

Nothing kills muscle, promotes fat storage, and destroys you from the inside out quite like alcohol.

Want to get ripped?  Stop drinking so much!

Sleep is also another thing most people can’t seem to get right.

I don’t care who you are…

You need at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night to maximize muscle-building and fat-burning.

You might feel okay on 5 hours if you’re used to that, but I promise you:

If you start sleeping more, you’ll be more productive in all areas of life–especially fitness.

Last by not least, we have sitting!

That may seem ridiculous to some, but sitting for long periods of time and leading a generally sedentary lifestyle works against you in battle for physical fitness.

Our bodies just aren’t built for sitting down for long periods of time, hunched over a desk.

Somehow, corporate America got everyone to think that’s normal, but it’s not.

In fact, sitting at a desk 8 hours a day could be what’s really holding you back from achieving that lean, shredded physique you want.

Want to get ripped?  Stop sitting around for 8 hours a day.

Obviously, that’s easier said than done, but even just going for a walk once a day or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can burn some extra calories over time.

Now that we’ve established the most likely reasons why you’re having trouble getting ripped, it’ time we discuss what to do about it….

How To Actually Get Ripped

Ripped fitness model with six pack abs in the gym

Just to reiterate, building muscle and losing fat comes down to:

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle

Now I’m going to explain exactly what you need to do in each of these areas to get ripped as quickly as possible.

How TO Structure Your Diet To Get Ripped

Most people agree that the term “ripped” just means 2 things:

  • Lean
  • Muscular

That means you need to build muscle AND lose fat.

In order to lose fat quickly, you need to put yourself in a caloric deficit.

That means you need to eat fewer calories than you burn.  If you do that consistently, you’ll lose fat.

Not sure how many calories you burn or consume?  No problem.

You don’t need a fancy calculator or a nutrition degree to figure it out.

If your weight is relatively constant, it means you’re eating the same amount of calories you’re burning every day on average.

So all you need to do is take a glance at the label (or menu) of the food you’re eating each day to figure out how many calories you normally eat.

If you know how many calories you eat in a day, and your weight remains constant, that’s how many calories you burn in a day.

Then it’s just a matter of dialing back your calories enough to elicit some real fat loss.

There’s a lot of debate over how much of a deficit is healthy, but the consensus among experts is anywhere from 10-20%.

That’s enough to put your body in fat-burning mode and, assuming you don’t remain in the deficit too long, it won’t drastically lower your metabolic rate (which happens when you restrict calories too much for too long).

So, we’ve established that in order to lose fat, you need to put yourself in caloric deficit by dialing back your calories a little.

But remember:

Getting ripped = building muscle + losing fat

Losing fat is only half the equation.

Unfortuately, when you’re in a caloric deficit, you’re also more likely to lose muscle also.

If getting ripped is your goal, you don’t want to lose muscle.  You want to gain it.

That’s where protein comes in.

Maintaining a high protein diet is going to be your primary defense against losing muscle while in a caloric deficit.

Research indicates that 1-1.3g of protein per lb of bodyweight (2.3g/kg) is sufficient for preserving muscle mass in a caloric deficit.

In such circumstances, protein should comprise roughly 35% of your macro-nutrients.

Most people have trouble building muscle because they just simply don’t get enough protein.

You can lift all you want, but if you’re not supplying your body with the amino acids it needs to build muscle, you’re not going to build any muscle.

It's physically impossible to build muscle if you're not getting enough protein.

So, take a minute to do the math.

If you way 200 lbs, and you’re about to place yourself in a slight (10-20% or so) caloric deficit, you should be getting about 200-230g of protein per day.

That’s certainly doable if you put forth the effort, but be honest with yourself…

Are you hitting your optimal protein intake every day?

If not, you need to make the necessary changes to your diet.  You’ll never achieve a muscular, defined physique without building muscle.

Eat a high protein diet.

That’s how you get RIPPED!

Now let’s talk about the most important piece of it all…



The biggest mistake people make when they’re trying to get ripped is too much cardio.

Not only does traditional cardio accelerate muscle breakdown; it’s also just not that effective of a fat-loss strategy on it’s own.

A lot of people turn to fasted cardio when their goal is to get lean, but just keep in mind that exercising in a fasted state significantly accelerates muscle loss even more than ordinary (fed state) cardio.

So if your goal is to get ripped–build muscle, burn fat–cardio alone won’t get you there.

If you’re going to do cardio, I’d recommend some form of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

It’s been proven to be much more effective than steady-state cardio for fat-loss, and won’t cause as much muscle breakdown.

But, as with regular cardio, simply doing HIIT a few days a week isn’t going to get you ripped very quickly.

Most people that do cardio all the time–even super intense cardio–don’t look very muscular.

Remember: If you want to look ripped, you need to be both lean and muscular.

So guess what…

You have to lift weights!

Although there is no “perfect strategy” for burning fat and building muscle, research has consistently shown us that a combination of cardio and resistance training is ideal.

That makes sense too when you think about it.

Cardio burns fat but it also breaks down muscle.  Lifting weights builds muscle, thus helping to preserve lean mass.

Lifting weights also increases the amount of fat you burn around the clock, not just during the actual workout, offering another mechanism  by which lifting weights ultimately burns more fat than cardio.

But the research is crystal clear:

If you want to get as ripped as possible, you should ideally do both cardio (HIIT preferably) and weight lifting.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of weight-lifters aren’t lifting in a manner that facilitates muscle growth OR fat-burning.

They’re just going through the motions, doing lots of isolation exercises that they see roided up freaks doing (so they must work right?!)

Sadly, if you’re not on steroids, the physiological rules that govern how easy it is for your to build muscle and burn fat are different.

{eople on anabolics don’t have to do much to stimulate muscle growth.  The body is ready to start producing proteins with the slightest bit of stress.

They can do 10 sets of 20 curls at 60% of their max and their muscles will grow.  That’s why a lot of steroid users who don’t compete just like to “chase the pump”.

It gets the job done just fine for them.

Unfortunately for you, it’s a lot harder to build muscle when you’re not on steroids.

It’s still possible to do it quickly and efficiently.  It’s just harder.

If you don’t want to work hard, stop here, go pick up some roids, and chase the pump.  If you’re willing to put in the work, let’s continue…

In order to maximize fat-burning and muscle growth, you should focus on heavy, compound lifts.

These types of exercises incorporate the most muscles and burn the most calories.

Doing 20 reps of single arm curls isn’t going to get your ripped unless you’re on steroids, but deadlifting, squatting, and benching at 80-85% of your 1 Rep Max 4-5 days a week definitely will.

Heavy, compound lifting.

That’s how you get RIPPED!


Plenty of people recognize the importance of proper dieting and training techniques, but it’s their behavior outside the gym that holds them back.

You can train hard and eat well, but if the rest of your life isn’t more or less aligned with your goal of being ripped, you’ll never get there.

If you really want to get as ripped as possible, these are all things that will hinder your progress.

Now, I’m not suggesting that in order to get ripped you have to be some kind of monk who never drinks, stays up late, or stresses about things.

We all like to have fun.

We all need to work for a living (which may involve sitting at a desk all day).  We all have issues worth stressing about (although most of them or nonsense when you think about).

Everything in moderation, right?

Except smoking…

You really shouldn’t smoke tobacco if you care about your health.  I mean, come on now…It’s 2017.

You’ve seen the commercials.  I’ve never seen a fitness model on a respirator.  Have you?

Lead a generally healthy lifestyle outside the gym.

That’s how you get RIPPED!

What Drugs To People Use To “Cheat”?

You may have noticed that the title of this article specifically says how to get ripped “without drugs”.

Getting lean, much like building muscle, can be enhanced/accelerated with the use of certain kinds of drugs.

Just as there are steroid compounds which increase muscle protein synthesis rates, allowing for significantly greater muscle gains than could naturally be achieved, there are drugs which can enhance your ability to burn fat.

Some of the more notable fat-loss drugs are:

There are of course many others, but these drugs have garnered the most notoriety over the years.

There was once a time when Ephedrine was available as a dietary supplement since it’s found naturally in the herb Ephedra.

However, in 2004, the FDA banned Ephedrine-containing products for sale in the United States.

Other countries have placed regulations upon it as well.

Clenbuterol remains unscheduled in the US and Sibutramine is a Schedule IV substance, so you won’t find either of them in any dietary supplement.

Not legally, that is…

The reason I bring these drugs up, is because it’s important that people understand:

  1. There are drugs that will cause you to rapidly lose fat
  2. People use them to get super lean

At this point, most bodybuilders are willing to admit that they’re on loads of steroids, but for some reason a lot of these ultra-lean fitness model guys aren’t willing to admit to using fat-loss drugs.

It’s definitely possible to drop down 6 or 7% body fat without the use of any of these types of drugs, but once you start getting down to 5%, 4%, even 3% (which is actually very dangerous), yeah…those guys are on drugs.

Usually a combination of drugs, actually.

And, unless honesty and transparency suddenly become the cool new thing in the fitness industry (keep dreaming), we’ll never really know.

So, here’s where you get to make a decision…

You can:

A ) Stop reading here, go find some Ephedrine or Clenbuterol, roll the dice and get ripped as hell, or…

B ) Keep reading and learn about some safe, but moderately effective alternatives

The truth is, people use these drugs because they work, but there are risk to be considered.  For plenty of people, those risks outweigh the benefits.

So, if you prefer to err on the side of caution, it’s best to stick with legal supplements that have an established safety.

Supplements That Can Help You Get Ripped Faster

Guy holding bottle of fat-burning supplement

Before we go any further, let’s just make one thing super clear:

Supplements don’t get you ripped.  Eating right, exercising right, and making smart lifestyle choices is what will get you ripped.

It’s also worth mentioning that, even though some of the most effective fat-loss supplements are similar in structure and function to some of the fat-loss drugs we just talked about, they aren’t as effective.

That said, there are some supplements that can move the fat-loss needle in your favor, and they’re a lot safer than taking drugs.

A well-crafted fat-loss stack can help you get ripped without putting your health at risk.

What are the components of a “well-crafted fat-loss stack”?  Let’s talk about them…


Caffeine triggers the release of Catecholamines, a group of natural fat-burning chemicals including Dopamine and Noradrenaline.

When released, Catecholamines trigger Lipolysis (fat-breakdown).

This is the process by which Triglycerides (stored fat) are broken down into Fatty Acids and Glycerol.  The Fatty Acids are then released into the blood stream and can be burned for energy.

Caffeine has been proven to increase fat oxidation and help reduce body fat over time.

Unfortunately, habitual Caffeine use leads to tolerance build-up, so the effects will fade if you abuse it too much.  Try to keep your Caffeine use below 400mg/day.

Most people find around 200-400mg (preferably prior to a workout) to be ideal.


Synephrine is similar to the once extremely popular fat-burning substance, Ephedrine (which is now banned).  Like Ephedrine, it works as a beta-receptor agonist.

Beta-receptors trigger Lipolysis, so by agonizing (activating) them, Synephrine directly stimulates the breakdown of fat.

Synephrine has been shown to increase the metabolic rate and help facilitate fat-loss over time.

The clinically effective range is around 50mg/day.


Rauwolscine is sort of the like the inverse of Synephrine.  It’s an alpha-receptor antagonist.

Alpha-receptors work in tandem with beta-receptors to regulate fat-loss.  While beta-receptors trigger Lipolysis, alpha-receptors put a stop to it.

So, by antagonizing (blocking) alpha receptors, Rauwolscine allows the body to breakdown more fat than would otherwise be possible.

It’s the exact same mechanism as Yohimbine, but Rauwolscine requires a much lower dose and is less likely to cause side effects.

An effective dose of Rauwolscine is anywhere from 1-3mg.

The Bottom Line On Getting Ripped

Ripped fitness model bodybuilder contemplates his abs

When you break it all down, getting ripped is actually not too complicated.

Sure, genetics can play a role in how ripped a person can get, but by making a few simple changes to your:

  • Diet – Place yourself in a slight caloric deficit and eat at least 1 gram of protein/lb of body weight.
  • Exercise – Train heavy (80-85% of your 1RM for most exercises) and utilize compound exercises mostly.
  • Lifestyle – Stop drinking, smoking, and stressing (as much as possible).  Start sleeping.

You can get pretty ripped (fast).

For some people, it may require a big change.  For some, it may just be a matter of tweaking a few aspects.

The point is, it can be done…by anyone.

This may sound cliche, but…

You can do it

If you utilize what you’ve learned from this article and actually put in the work, you can achieve the physique of your dreams.  I promise you that.

It’s just the “put in the work” part that you usually scares people away.

Have any questions about how to get ripped?  Did I miss anything?  Comment below…

Matt Theis

I'm Matt, Founder of Momentum Nutrition and SuppWithThat.com. I've spent the better part of the last decade researching and experimenting in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and supplementation, and this is where I write it all down.