How to get ripped in 12 weeks

With focus, dedication and proper diet, you can achieve a remarkable body transformation in just 12 weeks. By splitting your 12 week plan into two phases, you can cut bulk up, cut fat and improve muscle tone to achieve that distinctive ripped appearance. To achieve this ripped look, you must commit to reducing your carb intake and increasing your protein intake in order to maintain energy levels while reducing body fat. Rest is also essential, so no matter how much you want to hit your goals, ensure you don’t over exercise.

Lifting routine for bulking up

Set aside two days a week for six weeks to perform your lifting routine. Ensure that you leave at least two days between sessions. Plan your diet so you’re taking in 6,000 kcal, made up from a diet consisting mainly of protein from eggs, chicken, tuna and shakes, fibre and carbs from brown rice with salmon, hoummus, cottage cheese and bran muffins for snacks.

Complete four sets of bench presses, starting with eight reps, then six, then four and a final bonus set with as many reps as you can push out. For the last set, get someone to spot you, as you should be nearing exhaustion at this stage. Take 120 seconds rest between sets. Use this set structure for all bulking exercises. To bench safely and effectively, lie flat on the bench, with your hands shoulder width apart and slowly lower the barbell to your chest, before explosively pushing out to the start position. If you can complete the final set easily, the weights are not heavy enough.

Do four sets of incline dumbbell flies. Raise the back of the bench so you’re sitting at an incline of approximately 45 degrees. Start with the dumbbells held centrally above your head, lower them down so your arms are spread out, twist your arm when fully extended, then return to the starting position.

Do four sets of close grip bench presses. Use a lower weight than the standard presses and adjust your grip so your hands are approximately 6 inches apart.

Complete four sets of tricep dips using a dip station. Cross your legs behind you and gently lower yourself so your forearm is at 90 degrees to your upper arm.

Perform four sets of press ups, ensuring your action is smooth and you go as low as possible. Get your spotter to place weight on your back for additional gains.


Perform the same lifting, dip and press up routine as you did in the bulking stage, but faster and using lighter weights so you can complete between 10 and 14 reps for each set. Do this for six weeks alongside your cardio.

Complete ten, 20-second sprints on a treadmill with 60 second rest intervals in between each. Alternatively, complete 2km on a rowing machine in under 7 minutes and aim to do the first 500m in under 1 minute 45 seconds.

Lower your caloric intake from 6,000 kcal to 3,500 kcal.


Ensure that you complete a thorough warm up before lifting any weights or performing any cardio.

Things You'll Need

  • Gym membership
  • or
  • Adjustable bench
  • Barbell
  • Dumbbells
  • Dip station
  • Training partner
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About the Author

Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for