How Long Does It Take to Get Shredded?

On your journey to a shredded physique but want to know just how long does it take to get shredded? Read-on!

There is perhaps nothing much better than losing unwanted fat and having a shredded physique. But the trouble usually revolves around losing that unwanted fat.

Getting lean – also known as being shredded or ripped – and losing fat takes a lot of time. You cannot even rush the entire process. If you do, the outcome will be dismal as you may end up with muscle atrophy and severe hunger.

In other words, losing fat too fast because you are impatient is an unenjoyable experience you wouldn’t want to live through.

That said, this article will reveal how long it will take for you to lose fat. You may also learn a strategy or two to significantly minimize your body fat to the extent of getting shredded.

Getting Shredded: What Does It Mean?

how long does it take to get shredded?

Most fitness enthusiasts would love to tone up, lose weight, and get lean. Their goal is to have a flat belly, a smaller belly, and pronounced or well-defined abs. They would love to lose those ‘bingo wings’ and move around with slimmer but muscular thighs.

These are worthy goals that you should strive to achieve as an exerciser. However, all these cannot be compared to being shredded.

A man is shredded when he has less than 10 percent body fat. A woman is shredded if she has less than 15 percent body fat.

When your body fat reaches numbers such as these, every detail of your muscles begins to show through your skin. So, never get offended if someone refers to you as a ‘walking anatomy chart.’

Being shredded is the #1 goal of highly competitive bodybuilders. These individuals give everything to ensure their overall body fat is even far less than specified in order to attain maximum definition. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime, who was known as the ‘Austrian Oak’ in his well-documented bodybuilding days.

Therefore, if you want to become shredded, this is what it takes; you must strive to have less than 10 percent body fat.

But can you maintain it for prolonged periods? It is not uncommon for even competitive bodybuilders to regain fat in-between shows, as most of them find it challenging to maintain this incredibly low level of overall body fat for a long time.

How Long Will It Take Me to Get Shredded?

It is practically impossible to pinpoint exactly how long it will take you – or anyone else – to get shredded. This is because several variables affect progress in this field. No one can accurately predict how slowly or quickly they will lose fat.

Of course, a few factors can be modified, such as your training and diet. You can control these variables. But many others cannot be modified and are primarily based on genetics.

The Role Your Current Body Fat Percentage Plays

The higher your current overall body fat percentage, the longer it will take for you to get it low enough to be called shredded. For instance, it will take far longer for someone with 25 percent body fat to get to 9 percent than it would from 17 percent.

In other words, the leaner you are at the moment, the faster it will be to get shredded. Getting shredded also requires a change of lifestyle that generally involves lots of workouts and diet changes.

How Motivated Are You?

Getting shredded requires perseverance and a lot of effort. You have to eat healthy, train hard, and also get lots of sleep. Make no mistake about it: getting shredded is a full-time undertaking, not a half-assed project.

The key is to stay consistent, as this guarantees significant progress towards attaining your goal. But if you break your diets from time to time and skip workouts, you won’t make much progress.

You will burn fat, all right, but you may as well kiss the goal of getting shredded goodbye.

Therefore, the more work or effort you put in, the quicker it will take you to get shredded. This is why there is no blanket answer to the question: ‘How long does it take to get shredded?’ This is because individuals are different, and the amount of effort most people put into getting shredded differs.

The Road to Getting Shredded

The road to getting shredded is paved with rocks, i.e., a lifestyle change that may not be too suitable for you, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

However, you must be willing to sacrifice something in order to accomplish a higher goal.

You can start by doing the following:

  • Create a Negative Energy Balance

You can do this by creating what is known as a calorie deficit. Remember that body fat is nothing but stored energy. Each pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories. It makes sense to burn up to 3,500 more calories than you take in.

Therefore, create a calorie deficit that helps you slowly lose up to 2 pounds a week. Track your food intake in order to consume just the correct number of calories.

  • Increase Your Protein Intake

Do not reduce your intake of protein. Cut calories by consuming fewer carbs or fat. Bear in mind that the goal is to preserve muscle while losing fat. If you lose both fat and muscle, your current overall body fat percentage may not change much. Only your scale weight will decrease.

Increasing your protein intake speeds up your metabolism for much faster fat loss. It is also satiating, making protein the #1 shredded superfood no fitness enthusiast should joke with.

PS: You can order PhenQ meal replacement shakes which are a rich protein food supplement. It’s a top alternative to fatty protein foods.

PhenQ meal shake protein for getting shredded

Read: PhenQ Meal Replacement Shakes for Weight Loss Review 2021

  • Include Cardio in Your Workouts

Many exercisers abuse cardio. But you shouldn’t if you want to get shredded as this could result in muscle atrophy.

Therefore, limit cardio to brief workouts every week, mainly via high-intensity interval training. Make sure a certified trainer supervises you.

  • Hit the Weights Non-Stop

Lifting weights burns off calories while boosting insulin sensitivity. These activities contribute significantly to getting shredded and fat loss. This is the power that strength training brings to the table, as lifting weights helps maintain your current muscle mass while preventing a decline of your metabolic rate.

Therefore, engage in these workouts:

  • Circuit training
  • Trisets
  • Complexes
  • Upper body/lower body supersets, etc.

Focus a lot more on strength training than on cardio.

  • Engage More in Non-Exercise Activities

Non-exercise activities are physical processes to embark on in addition to your regular workouts.

Examples include:

  • Recreational sports
  • Walking
  • Gardening
  • Cycling as a form of transportation, etc.

It is basically any activity that makes you active. This enhances your day-to-day calorie expenditure, leading to faster fat loss and a large energy deficit.

  • Get Lots of Quality Sleep

Sleeping less than 7 to 9 hours causes muscle atrophy and fat gain. Therefore, if you want to get shredded, make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

If you don’t sleep well, you may suffer the following:

  • Increased cortisol or stress hormone
  • Increased fat storage
  • Loss of motivation
  • Significant reduction in workout performance
  • Unwillingness to train harder
  • Interference with recovery, etc.

All these will make it harder for you to get shredded. You can avoid them all if you sleep well for at least 7 hours every night.

  • Use Supplements Wisely

Supplements have been proven to help people get shredded faster. But make sure you only use products suitable for your body type. For instance, stay away from supplements that are high-calorie mass gainers. Some supplements you can check out for shredding include:

100% Tri-Protein by Crazy Nutrition

Crazy Nutrition 100% tri-protein


Winsol by Crazy Bulk for shredding
  • Be Patient with Yourself

Getting shredded can take up to a full year or even more, depending significantly on your starting point. Therefore, be patient with yourself if it seems you’re making slow progress.

It is possible to lose fat faster, but don’t give in to that temptation as you may end up losing muscle mass. Be at peace, knowing that getting shredded will take a long time. But don’t give up.

Read: Best Workout Supplements to Get Cut and Gain Muscle [2021 Reviews Update]


Being shredded is a worthy quest but takes a lot of time. In many cases, this is not what most exercisers want if they sit down to think about it. There is a considerable difference between getting shredded and losing several pounds of fat in order to get lean.

In order to be shredded, you must have less than 10 percent body fat. But many fitness buffs who attain this feat usually find it challenging to maintain it for prolonged periods.

However, nothing should stop you from giving it a shot. You may not get shredded in the true definition of the word. But you can lose fat, look leaner, and be more defined. Besides, losing excess fat is great for your overall health.

No one really knows a straight answer to how long it will take you to get shredded. But the sooner you hit the gym and put in the work consistently and harder, the faster you will find this out.

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