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Getting Ripped Is Hard. Here’s How to Make It Easier.

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Truth time: There are no shortcuts to getting a rock-hard body. There are, however, some smart ways for you to achieve your physique goals without wasting time or—worse—doing things that undercut your efforts. We talked with two experts to get their essential fitness tips, and you can use their insight to train smarter and see results.

Here, Colette Nelson, professional bodybuilder, personal trainer and coach, and registered dietician, and Doug Miller, professional bodybuilder and co-author of Biology for Bodybuilders, share their fitness tips for sculpting a competition-worthy physique.

14 Expert-Approved Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

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1. Track Your Food Intake

First, a bit of a surprise: You don’t necessarily need to put in more gym time.

“Working out is really only 15 percent of the equation,” says Nelson. Instead, you’ll be spending more time at the grocery store and in the kitchen. “The diet is 85 percent.”

Miller suggests tracking what you eat to start with, so you can then look at how to tinker with it. Focus on macros first, and then move forward from there.

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2. Focus on Fiber

Major chiseling means seriously changing up your carb intake. Nelson recommends focusing on legumes, vegetables, and berries, especially on the days you’re not working out.

“Many studies have found that people experience increased satiety, lower insulin levels, and greater weight-loss success on a low-carb/high-fiber dieting approach,” she says.

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3. Don’t Skip Carbs Entirely

No carbs in your diet at all means you’ll have no ready energy. Therefore, increase carbs slightly on hard workout days.

“The less impactful carbs that are found in sweet potatoes may be eaten one to two times per week and post-workout,” Nelson says.

Limit it to a small portion, though—half a sweet potato or a half-cup of quinoa.

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