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  1. #1
    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    Question How to get ripped/shredded without the bulk?

    Hello all, I am currently in my mid 40's and have been motivated to get the body type that I've long been craving for. And that's the lean and shredded build. Such example would be Bruce Lee and Brad Pitt in The Fight Club.

    My 1st question is, how can I get this look without looking like a bodybuilder or wrestler? I want to remain quit slim but just have a very defined/toned look so my muscles will easily show without having to flex them.

    My body type is an ectomorph. Since I am asian, this is very typical body type for male asians. I am roughly 5'7" (170cm) and my current weight is 125lbs (57kg). I've been working out extensively for the past 4-6 weeks now. Doing mostly cardio, every day 7 days a week for around 30-60 minutes per day to cut (lose fat/drop weight). I started at around 137lbs and have lost about 12lbs. I am quite proud of my accomplishment.

    I'm assuming my body fat percentage is down to around 13% from 15%-16% which I started from. And I can start seeing some definition in my arms, and stomache already. This is making me more motivated to continue. However I don't quite see the outlines of my 6 pack or chest yet. Remember my goal is to get a lean physique like Bruce Lee/Brad Pitt.

    I have been using myfitnesspal to keep tabs on my nutrition and log what I eat. MY BMR (calories that I burn just from resting on a daily basis) is about 1455calories. I use an apple watch to keep track of this and calories that I burn while working out. My total calorie intake level changed on a daily basis depending on if i'm active or not. On days where I'm not really active, my total calorie burn will be around 1500cal, and days where I'm moderately active it'll change to 1800-1900, and on days where I'm working out really hard it'll be 2300+ cal. My highest was 3000 in a day and that was insane I'll have to admit.

    Which leads me to my next question. I'm not sure whether to cut or bulk, or do both simultaneously to get the physique that I desire. I guess it's safe to say at this point it's better for me to bulk, since I already lost a lot of weight/fat? But I heard to build muscle you have to be over your calorie intake deficit and I find it difficult to go above 1500 or 2000 calories a day. I just don't eat that much, and I get full easily. So what can I do? What I usually do is have a protein shake 2x a day, that will give me roughly 54g of protein, and then I'll have to find other sources to meet my daily requirement, which for me is around 100g per day. I use this formula (0.8 x current body weight in lbs).

    So lets say on days when i do my normal moderate workout routine (resistance training). I usually burn arbout 400 calories alone... so add that to my BMR and my total calories intake for that day will be around 1900calories. Does this mean I need to eat more than that in order to build muscle? Because most of the time what I eat in a day is less than that. I get around 1500 calories on a good day and other days as low as 1200 calories.

    I'm also confused with the daily calorie thing. If my BMR is around 1500cal per day, and I workout and burn 500 calories, does that mean I'm back down to 1000 calories or does it mean I have 2000 calories total that day to consume?
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  2. #2
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    You are doing it ALL wrong. You need more muscle. Fat is not your problem. You are starving yourself and will never get the body you say you want by doing what you're doing.
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    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    You are doing it ALL wrong. You need more muscle. Fat is not your problem. You are starving yourself and will never get the body you say you want by doing what you're doing.
    So what do you recommend then? That kind of answer doesn't help at all.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    So what do you recommend then? That kind of answer doesn't help at all.
    He said you need more muscle.

    Nobody is going to hold your hand through it though.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    I am roughly 5'7" (170cm) and my current weight is 125lbs (57kg). I've been working out extensively for the past 4-6 weeks now. Doing mostly cardio, every day 7 days a week for around 30-60 minutes per day to cut (lose fat/drop weight). I started at around 137lbs and have lost about 12lbs. I am quite proud of my accomplishment.
    https://starschanges.com/bruce-lee-h...-measurements/

    Bruce Lee was 140lbs. You're moving in the wrong direction.
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    Registered User vizore's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Dennis71 View Post
    He said you need more muscle.

    Nobody is going to hold your hand through it though.
    All useless answers. What is the point of this forum then if we can't help one another.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    All useless answers. What is the point of this forum then if we can't help one another.
    Good luck with your fitness goals.
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    Originally Posted by tolerantlactose View Post
    good luck with your fitness goals.
    x2.
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    Some thoughts in case it helps you:

    - Being that you're the one asking for help, you might want to ask specific Qs based on the feedback people are giving you. Help them help you instead of criticizing them. They aren't the reason why you don't have a basic understanding of the terms you're throwing around and why you're in your mid-40s and haven't achieved the body you've been long craving.

    - Bruce Lee was a real-life ass-kicking machine with almost 30 years of martial arts training and Brad Pitt is likely genetically far superior to your face and body with additional access to celebrity-level assistance of various forms. Try focusing on just getting a more shredded version of yourself instead of comparing yourself to others.

    - Working out (with weights) would be a start on your journey. You won't accidentally wake up looking a bodybuilder or wrestler one day without planning for it via diet and workout and putting in the hard work for years.

    - Ectomorph isn't a real thing. Just what you look like now.

    - See my comment above about working out with weights. Simply cutting at your low weight and doing cardio 7 days/week ain't it.

    - All your calorie burn estimates are BS in terms of reliable accuracy.

    - Cutting and bulking simultaneously makes no sense, literally.

    - Read the stickies in the Nutrition forum so you have a basic understanding of how to formulate a diet/nutrition plan to meet your goals. Read the stickies in the Workout forum for examples of proper novice programs you can use in conjunction with your nutrition to meet your goals.

    - Come back if you have specific Qs after you have a basic understanding of what you're talking about, and bring a better attitude.
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  10. #10
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    Ok, at 5'-7" and not much muscle, I don't think you are cutting too low. But you will need to purposely eat in excess to gain muscle, especially over 40. When I was young, and spent all my time on gymnastics, I didn't need to focus on gaining weight. At an older age, and if you want it to be quicker, you gain weight.
    2022 -- Just maintaining and doing the van life
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    2020......................375 / 285 / 505..............186 lbs
    Pre-COVID..............335 / 295 / 499..............185 lbs
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    Late April 2019.........285 / 275 / 440.............178 lbs
    Oct, 2018..............175x6 / 145x6 / 275x5......163 lbs
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    All useless answers. What is the point of this forum then if we can't help one another.
    Why the answers given to you do not help - these answers tell you everything. You are advised that you need to build muscle, which means you need to train and eat to build muscle. If you do things right, you will not accumulate fat or if you accumulate, they will be small. Don't worry about gaining muscle like a bodybuilder. This will not happen.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post

    Bruce Lee was 140lbs. You're moving in the wrong direction.
    I already know that, but 140lbs of lean muscle mass vs 137lbs of more body fat than lean mass is a whole different story. At 137lbs I was skinny fat, and wanted to cut in order to get rid of some of that fat before bulking. But I also did some reading and watching some videos on cutting & bulking simultaneously, known as recomp or reconditioning that it's possible to do both at the same time.

    I know I need to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle mass, but I'm just concerned with gaining fat too. I find it hard for me to go over 2000 calories per day, especially on a clean diet. Sure I can easily gain 2000 calories and go over eating fast food, pizza, chips, etc. But if I'm sticking to a clean diet, it's hard for me to reach that goal.

    I came here to ask for help and advice on what I can do better to reach my goal and to address my concerns in my OP. But my initial impression so far is that people on this forum aren't so welcoming. That's just the vibe I get. If that's the case. I'll seek help elsewhere.
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  13. #13
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    My opinion is that it would be an easier path to allow your weight to go above the 140lbs and gain some muscle. Recomping is possible but works best in heavier people who have a larger reserve of bodyfat to supply the required fuel from...

    Our experience with skinny guys who constantly want to keep losing weight is that they never achieve much muscle gain... this is why everyone is telling you to focus on the muscle gain part first. We are not trying to make your life difficult but sometimes to make a change, you have to overcome your natural inclination to avoid gaining weight - otherwise you will just stay the same as you are now.

    You should find shedding any excess fat easy later on - certainly easy in comparison to muscle gain.
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    Vizore you have been given the answers. You need to gain muscle and then cut when you've built up a base of muscle. Bulking properly at 0.5lb a week will stop you gaining unnecessary fat. Follow a proper program such as fierce 5 on the workout section focusing on progressive overload. You need to get out of your victims mentality, take the advice of people on this forum and implement it and put in the work
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Some thoughts in case it helps you:

    - Being that you're the one asking for help, you might want to ask specific Qs based on the feedback people are giving you. Help them help you instead of criticizing them. They aren't the reason why you don't have a basic understanding of the terms you're throwing around and why you're in your mid-40s and haven't achieved the body you've been long craving.

    - Bruce Lee was a real-life ass-kicking machine with almost 30 years of martial arts training and Brad Pitt is likely genetically far superior to your face and body with additional access to celebrity-level assistance of various forms. Try focusing on just getting a more shredded version of yourself instead of comparing yourself to others.

    - Working out (with weights) would be a start on your journey. You won't accidentally wake up looking a bodybuilder or wrestler one day without planning for it via diet and workout and putting in the hard work for years.

    - Ectomorph isn't a real thing. Just what you look like now.

    - See my comment above about working out with weights. Simply cutting at your low weight and doing cardio 7 days/week ain't it.

    - All your calorie burn estimates are BS in terms of reliable accuracy.

    - Cutting and bulking simultaneously makes no sense, literally.

    - Read the stickies in the Nutrition forum so you have a basic understanding of how to formulate a diet/nutrition plan to meet your goals. Read the stickies in the Workout forum for examples of proper novice programs you can use in conjunction with your nutrition to meet your goals.

    - Come back if you have specific Qs after you have a basic understanding of what you're talking about, and bring a better attitude.
    On spread.

    OP, pay attention to this post. You’re asking a question about the equivalent of “how do I get rich” without any kind of narrowing things down, and without showing enough understanding of the basics to enable people to help you. Read the stickies in these forums as pointed out here and come back for genuine, useful help.
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    especially on a clean diet. Sure I can easily gain 2000 calories and go over eating fast food, pizza, chips, etc. But if I'm sticking to a clean diet, it's hard for me to reach that goal.
    List EVERYTHING that's "unclean" about pizza.
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    List EVERYTHING that's "unclean" about pizza.
    Being handled by a waiter with unwashed hands. Checkmate!
    "Get up, and don't ever give up".
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    List EVERYTHING that's "unclean" about pizza.
    Pizza is the king of balanced macros 🤤
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    Originally Posted by vizore View Post
    I already know that, but 140lbs of lean muscle mass vs 137lbs of more body fat than lean mass is a whole different story. At 137lbs I was skinny fat, and wanted to cut in order to get rid of some of that fat before bulking. But I also did some reading and watching some videos on cutting & bulking simultaneously, known as recomp or reconditioning that it's possible to do both at the same time.

    I know I need to be in a calorie surplus to gain muscle mass, but I'm just concerned with gaining fat too. I find it hard for me to go over 2000 calories per day, especially on a clean diet. Sure I can easily gain 2000 calories and go over eating fast food, pizza, chips, etc. But if I'm sticking to a clean diet, it's hard for me to reach that goal.

    I came here to ask for help and advice on what I can do better to reach my goal and to address my concerns in my OP. But my initial impression so far is that people on this forum aren't so welcoming. That's just the vibe I get. If that's the case. I'll seek help elsewhere.
    Yeah this isn't the best place if you're not looking for any actual advice and just looking for validation for your excuses and misunderstandings. You can lift weights no matter what route you're taking. Good luck!
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    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    I was 5'7" and weighed about 135 when I graduated high school. 5 years later when I was done with grad school I was around 170 and could bench 225 for working reps (~8?). 5 meals a day, cardio, smoked and drank, studied a lot, probably had 5000 cals a day. You can do the same, just cut out the smoking and drinking. Studying is optional.
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    you're 125 lbs, and 5'7. if you aren't "ripped/shredded" at that weight then losing weight isn't going to help you. You need more muscle which yes often entails putting on a little bit of fat. Focus on gaining at least 2 lbs a month. You should be around 145 lbs in a year, with maybe 8-10 lbs of that being muscle if you're on a good beginner program (check stickies). Assess your goals from there.

    You're just making excuses for yourself under the guise of "clean" eating which itself is a misnomer.
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I was 5'7" and weighed about 135 when I graduated high school. 5 years later when I was done with grad school I was around 170 and could bench 225 for working reps (~8?). 5 meals a day, cardio, smoked and drank, studied a lot, probably had 5000 cals a day. You can do the same, just cut out the smoking and drinking. Studying is optional.
    When I started college I was 6'1" and weighed 155. By the time I was a junior-senior I was hovering around 190lb. But I also stayed pretty damn lean. I think I peaked at 14% body fat. My lift numbers werent that impressive, but I did add 100-150lb on all the big 3 within the first year and a half.

    OP, build muscle first. The cut later will be easier, and more satisfying. Right now you are just spinning your wheels taking your body into unhealthy range for a 40+ year old male.
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