Ladies who are "ripped" get in here

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
250 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Is that a picture of you?? If so I don’t think you need any advice!

Sorry! Just re-read and see it is an inspiration pic!

I’m not ‘ripped’ but I have very toned legs and arms. Still struggling with my stomach so am also interested in the advice you get there. For legs I do a lot of squats, lunges etc but as a total beginner I started off using Jillian Michaels no more trouble zones DVD which is mainly focussed on strength and uses a ‘low weight hight reps’ kind of method. I certainly saw a difference in my arms after about a month and my legs after about two months. No idea about the abs because no matter what i do my stomach is still soft!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  glasgowgirl.
Post # 5
7149 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

since we’ve been ttc, i’ve slacked off on the exercise a little bit.  when i was at the height of triathlon training, i had a 4 pack, could never quite get that six pack. 

Post # 6
548 posts
Busy bee

Not ripped myself, but my personal trainer competed professionally and one of his other clients has the best and I’ve ever seen.  Her routine is extreme because she competes but the principles are the same: diet, high intensity interval training (look up HIIT) for some suggestions, diet, weight training, diet…lol. It’s a lifestyle change for sure!

Post # 6
119 posts
Blushing bee

msaperry:  lift HEAVY. I personally prefer compound movements like deadlifts and squats  that workout multiple muscle groups at once (because I’m lazy and it takes less time) but some ladies prefer split muscle group workouts. I’d do some research into which kind of workout you prefer. 

Regardless of what you choose to do, make sure your weights are so heavy that you can only do 8-12 reps per set. This will often be heavier than you think you can handle; when I started lifting, I did 50lb deadlifts (which is waay heavier than I thought I could do) and I’m at around 80-85 now (which is probably as high as I’ll go; that’s almost my body weight and I’ve been advised not to go  much higher). 

I do deadlifts (1-3 sets, 5 reps), squats (3-5 sets, 8-12 reps), bench press (3-5 sets, 8-12 reps), military press (3-5 sets, 8-12 reps), and then whatever else I feel like (push ups, burpees, etc.)

I alternate lifting days with cardio days; I do high intensity interval runs usually (again, because I’m too lazy to do long distance running, but some people prefer it.) For HIIT, really push yourself during the sprint portions; you should feel exhausted afterward. 

I finish off with yoga most days, which not only helps build core strength, but keeps you flexible and therefore less likely to be injured. I took about a year of yoga and now just do it at home; my chiropractor said that the basic poses are more than sufficient (downward dog, cat/cow, etc.) but YMMV. 

Diet stuff: you know the answer to this already. Less sugar and desserts (dammit), more fruits and especially vegetables, lots of lean protein, and a good portion of healthy fats (nuts, avocado). Some people like to cut carbs, but I personally don’t find that whole grains (like farro, brown rice) affect my weight, so I don’t bother. If you’re in the cutting (fat loss) phase, eat less calories (but obviously don’t starve yourself); if you’re in the bulking (muscle building phase), eat more of the good stuff.


To get more vegetables in your diet, I recommend things like green smoothies (try Oh She Glows’ recipes) to make the leaves go down easier. Make sure your plate is mostly greens and other plant matter. Figure out what vegetables you actually enjoy and make sure there’s lots of them on hand. For example, I don’t really like uncooked greens, they are a bit hard to digest. I LOVE steamed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc.) and veggies roasted in a little bit of olive oil (summer squash, kale, etc.), so I make sure I have those on hand. I also recommend checking out ethnic markets to see what kind of interesting greens they have, so you’re not just eating the same kale and spinach forever. 


Other factors to consider:

1) decision fatigue: you can only make a limited number of decisions per day before you start making poor choices. ( Reduce the number of decisions you have to make by making an exercise plan that you follow by rote, and making your food habits routine (always eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch, for example. If this bores you, shake it up every few weeks, but don’t give yourself too many options on a day to day basis.) It reduces the amount of health related decisions you have to make, and therefore your choices (because you already made them) will be healthier. 

2) intermittent fasting: I personally CANNOT do those 3 meals of 400 calories or whatever. When I eat, I want to eat, and if I try to eat 3 meals I end up eating well over 2000 calories a day. I therefore intermittently fast to keep my daily calorie count within reason. I found that intermittent fasting reduced my appetite (my stomach shrunk because I don’t eat for about 20 hours a day) and keeps my weight down. I eat one full meal a day of about 1000-1200 calories (dinner, since I eat that with my FI), and a light lunch of fruit, steamed vegetables, and about 100 calories of protein or fat (tofu, boiled egg, nuts, or avocado, of about 200-400 calories) between 2-4 pm. That’s it. I find that on this schedule, I don’t think about food at all during the day and I don’t get hungry. However, this is something you have to figure out for yourself. IF may not be for you.  

3) remember that even body builders don’t look like that all the time. They cut before competitions to make their muscles stand out, and also dehydrate themselves briefly. Also, it may not be healthy for you to have such a low percentage of body fat. For example, when my body fat dropped below 12%, I lost my period. Of course, some people lose their period at a higher %age, some people at a lower one. One of my friends cut so drastically her organs started eating themselves or something (obviously that’s not the medical diagnosis, I can’t quite remember the details, but it was bad.) 


Best of luck! You’ll look awesome no matter what!

Post # 11
119 posts
Blushing bee

msaperry:  Yay! Glad I could help! Best of luck 🙂 Obviously I am not a doctor/professional, but if you have any question do let me know and I’ll do my best to answer! 

Post # 12
327 posts
Helper bee

msaperry:  I do heavy lifting on a 4-day split. You can do 2-4 days, but I feel I see the most gains with 4 days. My split routine changes (I map out new ones every few months to keep my body guessing), but right now I do upper body 2 days and lower body 2 days. Many people are fine doing just one day of lower body, though. I do at least 3 sets of each exercise and about 6-8 excercises per session. I warm up for 5-10 min with calisthenics or on a cardio machine. Than I lift heavy… As heavy as I can tolerate. My rule of thumb is that if I can do more than 8-10 reps at a time, it’s not heavy enough. Each session, I either require myself to up my reps OR my weight… Otherwise I know I’m not progressing. I also do HIIT about 4-6x a week on my “rest days” and after lifting to help with fat lost… Usually uphill sprints on the treadmill is my preference. 

I eat about 6 meals a day. I prep them all on Sundays. Pretty much chicken breast, turkey breast, tilapia, eggs, brown rice, almonds and greens is what it consists of. Pre and post workout is very important. My diet is usually about 60% protein, with the remaining 40% split between complex carbs and healthy fats. Proper macros are ESSENTIAL in fat loss/muscle gain. Also, don’t eat at too much of a calorie defecit, as you will lose the muscle you are working so hard for. Find your TDEE via a calculator online and don’t eat less than 15% of your TDEE. 

Consistency is key! Changes are slowwww as you get closer to your goal body, but you’ll get there!

^^^Check out this site to find a good split program for you to get your feet wet!



Post # 13
1344 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

glasskey:  omg THANK YOU. haha following this thread.

Post # 14
327 posts
Helper bee

glasskey:  +1000… Great tips!

OP- I just saw that glass key had already said a lot of what I mentioned. I also second IF (intermittent fasting). I do 16:8 (16 hour fast, 8 hour feeding window) because I find it’s most manageable and sustainable for me. I do it for the fat loss potential, as well as how it allows me to eat bigger meals. OP, you’ll see that there are many avenues you can go (like how I do a 4-day split geared towards specific muscle groups, and glass key does more total body focused routines… Both are great).

I also second to TRY to lift more than you think you can. My legs could easily leg press 10 reps of 360lbs and squat 100+ lbs within the first month of when I began working out. I had no idea how strong I was, and had totally underestimated myself. It just depends on genetics, muscle memory, natural size, etc. 

With a lot of research, trial and error, you will learn what works best for YOU. Even while training for fitness/bikini competitions, there are ON seasons and OFF seasons. So, it’s important to just focus on the way you feel while finding what works for you. The aesthetics will follow. Just don’t get too consumed with them, as it’s easy to become obsessed and gain an unhealthy body image as a result.

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