How Long Does It Take To Get Ripped? Here’s The Answer 2024

how long does it take to get ripped
Sculpt your dream physique with proven strategies. Photo: Andrej Bondarchik/Shutterstock

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How long does it take to get ripped? Embarking on a transformative journey from average to astonishingly fit is a quest many undertake. Still, only some understand the true timeframe of sculpting a physique that embodies strength and definition.

Achieving a state where muscles are prominent and well-defined—colloquially known as getting ripped—is a process backed by science and dedication. It’s not just about hitting the gym; it’s a symphony of correct nutrition, smart training, and strategic calorie deficits. Let’s demystify the timeline of achieving an ideal body weight and the processes that take you from aspiration to a well-ripped reality, ensuring your health remains paramount throughout this journey.

How Long Does It Take To Get Ripped?

Achieving a ripped physique, where muscles are well-defined and prominent, typically takes three to six months for visible changes and up to a year for a complete transformation. This varies based on individual factors like initial body fat percentage and commitment to diet and exercise. The process involves a combination of disciplined training, precise nutrition, and a strategic calorie deficit. It’s essential to balance intense workouts with adequate recovery and to optimize nutrition, focusing on high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.

How Long Will It Take To Get Ripped?

how long does it take to get ripped
Journey to Ripped: Discipline, Nutrition, Perseverance. Photo: Nikolas_jkd/Shutterstock

The quest for a ripped physique and losing body fat is akin to embarking on a personal fitness odyssey, where each milestone achieved is a testament to the synergy of disciplined training, precise nutrition, and unwavering perseverance. How swiftly one reaches these milestones is a common inquiry that merits a comprehensive examination.

Understanding The Timeline

The timeline to achieving a ripped physique is not set in stone and varies widely among individuals. A key question often asked is regarding how long it takes to get ripped. The answer hinges on several factors, including your initial body composition and the level of commitment to your diet and exercise routine. Typically, individuals can expect to see noticeable changes within three to six months, with a complete transformation possibly taking up to a year.

Starting Lean: The Skinny On Getting Ripped

For those beginning their journey with a low body fat percentage — particularly with regards to the question of “How long does it take to get in shape?” — the path may be shorter. Lean individuals can often focus more immediately on muscle development. Achieving a calorie deficit is critical, but so is preserving muscle mass during fat loss, making every calorie and workout count.

The Role Of Diet And Supplements

A strategic approach to nutrition, augmented by quality supplements, can accelerate the journey to becoming ripped. Including fat burners in your regimen can offer an edge, aiding in more efficient fat loss. It is crucial to understand the nuances of different fat types, such as subcutaneous fat and visceral fat, and how to target them.

Exercise: Finding The Right Mix

Exercise is a pillar in the quest for a defined physique. Incorporating a mix of cardio exercise and strength training is essential. Deciding whether to prioritize running or other forms of cardio depends on your specific body goals. For those aiming to lose fat without losing muscle, a balance of these exercises with adequate recovery time is key.

What Does It Mean To Be Ripped?

In the fitness world, ‘ripped’ is a term that has garnered much attention and aspiration. But what does this term really encapsulate, and how is a ripped physique attained and recognized?

Defining A Ripped Physique

A ripped physique is one where muscle mass is not just present but prominently showcased due to a significantly reduced body fat percentage.  Achieving this defined state requires building lean muscle and diligently reducing body fat to levels that make the musculature stand out.

Beyond Aesthetics: The Health Perspective

The journey towards a ripped physique is underpinned by science and a rigorous understanding of your body. A ripped physique signifies robust health: a lower body fat percentage reduces the risk of chronic diseases.[1] At the same time, increased muscle mass is[2] associated with improved metabolic health and longevity.

Striving for this level of fitness should always be done to uphold the body’s functional strength and vitality, ensuring that the pursuit of a ripped appearance doesn’t compromise overall health and fitness.

The science of achieving a ripped physique isn’t just about reducing body fat, increasing muscle mass in isolation, or how you lose weight; it’s about understanding how these two elements interact within your unique biological framework.

Tips To Make You Get Ripped Faster And Healthier

how long does it take to get ripped
Ripped and Healthy with Protein Power and Smart Workouts. Photo: ALL best fitness is HERE/Shutterstock

Here’s a compilation of tips designed to synergize your efforts, making the path to a sculpted body both swift and sound.

Optimize Your Nutrition

The foundation of a ripped physique is not laid in the gym alone; it’s built on the bedrock of proper nutrition. The key lies in the macronutrient trifecta: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, each playing a pivotal role in the muscle-building process. Protein is the cornerstone[3] of muscle repair and gains, acting as the building blocks for new muscle tissue. 

By focusing on high-quality, lean protein sources such as skinless poultry, fish, and legumes, you provide your body with the essential amino acids necessary for the growth of lean mass, all while managing your daily caloric intake to avoid gaining unwanted fat. This careful balance achieved by following a proper diet supports your efforts to increase muscle mass and accomplish that defined look.

When it comes to fats, it’s the healthy varieties that reign supreme. These fats are crucial for absorbing vitamins and producing hormones, which are instrumental in maintaining muscle mass and achieving low body fat levels for a shredded appearance. 

By incorporating sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds, you nourish your body and support the hormonal environment needed to reduce body fat and highlight muscle definition, bringing you one step closer to the six-pack you desire.

Carbohydrates, often misunderstood, are your ally in the quest for a ripped body. They fuel your workouts and are essential for recovery and growth. The key is choosing the right kind: complex carbohydrates containing fiber. 

Foods such as quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal provide the energy your muscles need without causing spikes in blood sugar that can lead to fat gain. 

Intensify Your Workouts

To sculpt a physique that showcases defined muscles and a six-pack, amplifying the intensity and strategy of your workout routine is non-negotiable. Here’s how you can turn up the dial on your exercises to forge a stronger, leaner body.

Compound Movements

Engage in resistance training exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses that facilitate fat burning. These movements can work for each muscle group simultaneously, making each one reach maximum muscle growth potential. They are pivotal in sports nutrition strategies for athletes who need to optimize their training time.

Training Variety

Varying your workout routines prevents plateau and encourages continuous muscle gains. Incorporate different rep ranges, weights, and training styles to challenge your muscles and enhance muscle definition.[4]

High-Intensity Interval Training 

HIIT is a powerful tool to burn fat and reveal visible abs. By alternating between high-intensity bursts and rest, you’re maximizing calorie burn within a short period, which can be crucial for those aiming to reduce excess fat while retaining muscle mass.

Prioritize Recovery

When you constantly try to improve your body and get ripped, recovery plays just as important a role as the workouts you are doing. Here are the key elements to ensure you’re rebuilding your nutrient stores. 

Quality Sleep

Sleep[5] is when the magic of recovery happens. During these crucial hours, the body repairs muscle tissue and consolidates the day’s training. The muscle-building process can be hindered without adequate sleep, and achieving that six-pack can become more challenging.

Active Recovery

Incorporating light exercise such as walking or yoga on rest days can promote blood flow, aiding in the recovery process and helping to keep excess fat at bay. It’s a strategy that ensures continuous progress without overtaxing the body.

Muscle Soreness Management

Techniques like foam rolling and stretching can alleviate muscle tightness and soreness. These practices are part of a comprehensive approach to sports nutrition and training, allowing for more efficient recovery and better performance in subsequent workouts.

Track Your Progress

To gauge how much fat you’re losing accurately and the muscle gains you’re accruing, consistent monitoring is key. Tracking your progress goes beyond the scale — it’s about understanding your current body fat percentage and how it affects the visibility of your muscle definition. Use tools like calipers for skinfold measurements or even a simple tape measure to keep a record of your physical changes. 

Monitoring these metrics[6] will inform whether you need to adjust your intake of daily calories or increase protein to facilitate muscle growth to get a truly ripped physique.

Reflecting on these qualitative measures can provide insights into the effectiveness of your sports nutrition and training regimen, guiding you to make informed adjustments that enhance your ability to burn fat and build muscle.

Be Consistent

Consistency in your fitness routine is what turns sporadic muscle gains into a solid, ripped physique. It means hitting the gym even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing and ensuring that you’re eating a balanced diet that supports muscle growth and fat loss every day. It’s about making your workout and nutrition regimen as integral to your daily routine as brushing your teeth. 

In addition to physical consistency, mental fortitude plays a significant role. Keep your motivation high by setting achievable milestones and celebrating them when reached. 

These could range from adding five extra pounds to your bench press to noticing increased muscle definition in your abs. Acknowledge the effort it takes to maintain low enough body fat to reveal a six-pack, and commend yourself for the discipline it takes to stay on track.

Avoid Overtraining

Overtraining can be a subtle saboteur[7] on your path to a ripped physique. It often creeps in when enthusiasm overshadows awareness, leading to a scenario where too much intensity in the gym hampers the muscle-building process. 

Symptoms like persistent fatigue, decreased performance, and stalled muscle gains can all signal that your body needs more rest. To prevent this, incorporate periodization into your workout plan—which alters the volume and intensity of your workouts—to give your body the rest it needs while still making progress.

Additionally, ensure that your nutrition supports recovery. Consuming enough healthy fats and protein after workouts aids in the repair and growth of muscle tissues, especially in major muscle groups that have been heavily taxed. Try to consume 2.0 grams/kg[8] of lean protein to enhance your body composition and fat burning.

Remember, the goal is to increase muscle mass, not to accumulate fatigue. Balancing rigorous training with sufficient rest and optimal sports nutrition will help maintain muscle mass and definition while avoiding the accumulation of excess fat due to stress and inflammation from overtraining.

Seek Professional Guidance

Embarking on the quest for a ripped physique is a journey best navigated with expertise. Professional guidance can provide the precision and accountability necessary for success.

  • Personalized Training Regimens.
  • Nutritional Expertise.
  • Up-to-date insights.
  • Accountability.

Leveraging the knowledge and support of experts can be the difference-maker in transforming your physique efficiently and healthily.

By following these tips, not only can you accelerate the process of getting ripped, but you can also ensure that your body remains healthy and strong throughout the journey. Remember, while getting ripped faster is an admirable goal, doing it in a way that promotes long-term health is paramount.


As you journey towards carving out a sculpted, ripped physique, remember that the synthesis of consistent, well-planned workouts, meticulous nutrition, and dedicated recovery forms the triad of success. It’s a process that demands patience, discipline, and a steadfast commitment to your goals. By blending the science of body transformation with the art of balanced living, you’ll unveil a body that’s aesthetically ripped and brimming with health and vitality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it healthy to be ripped?

Being ripped, which involves having a low body fat percentage and increased muscle definition, can be healthy if achieved through balanced nutrition and safe training practices.

How long does it take to get ripped from skinny?

Starting from skinny, it may take a few months to a year of consistent training and nutrition to get a shredded physique, varying by individual.

Is cardio good for getting ripped?

Yes, cardio can help burn fat, revealing muscle definition, and is an effective component of a well-rounded fitness plan for getting ripped.

Do you need to work out every day to get ripped?

Rest days are crucial for recovery; a balanced workout routine with adequate rest can effectively lead to a shredded physique.

+ 8 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Jonathan and Shirley, M.K. (2016). Body composition and the monitoring of non-communicable chronic disease risk. Global health, epidemiology and genomics, [online] 1. doi:
  2. Kim, G. and Jae Hyun Kim (2020). Impact of Skeletal Muscle Mass on Metabolic Health. Endocrinology and Metabolism, [online] 35(1), pp.1–1. doi:
  3. Carbone, J.W. and Pasiakos, S.M. (2019). Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients, [online] 11(5), pp.1136–1136. doi:
  4. Witalo Kassiano, João Pedro Nunes, Costa, B., Ribeiro, A.S., Schöenfeld, B.J. and Edílson Serpeloni Cyrino (2022). Does Varying Resistance Exercises Promote Superior Muscle Hypertrophy and Strength Gains? A Systematic Review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, [online] 36(6), pp.1753–1762. doi:
  5. Mounir Chennaoui, Théo Vanneau, Aurélie Trignol, Arnal, P.J., Gomez-Mérino, D., Christophe Baudot, Jesus Milán Perez, Sebastiano Pochettino, Cristiano Eirale and Chalabi, H. (2021). How does sleep help recovery from exercise-induced muscle injuries? Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, [online] 24(10), pp.982–987. doi:
  6. Holmes, C.J. and Racette, S.B. (2021). The Utility of Body Composition Assessment in Nutrition and Clinical Practice: An Overview of Current Methodology. Nutrients, [online] 13(8), pp.2493–2493. doi:
  7. Cheng, A.J., Jude, B. and Lanner, J.T. (2020). Intramuscular mechanisms of overtraining. Redox Biology, [online] 35, pp.101480–101480. doi:
  8. Spendlove, J.K., Mitchell, L., Gifford, J., Hackett, D., Slater, G., Cobley, S. and O’Connor, H. (2015). Dietary Intake of Competitive Bodybuilders. Sports Medicine, [online] 45(7), pp.1041–1063. doi:


My Bachelor’s is in Psychology, and I have been a professional writer for over 17 years. I’ve been married for 15 years and have four amazing kids. We reside in Punta Gorda, Florida. I am passionate… See More