How I got Ripped in 2 Years by Following These 13 Principles

[Last updated 29th December 2020]

ripped in 2 years

Summary of the 13 Principles I Used to Get Ripped:

(2, 5, 12 = most important and least known by most people)

  1. Consistency
  2. (Intermittent) Fasting
  3. Alcohol Rule
  4. Lift Heavy Weights (compound exercises)
  5. 3 Secrets for Boosting Motivation and Breaking Records
  6. ABF: Always Be Flexing
  7. Track Results
  8. The Three Parts of a Workout
  9. How to Get Good Sleep
  10. Skip Cardio
  11. Protein Intake and The Top Healthy Foods
  12. 3 Health Experiments You Should Do
  13. The Philosophy of Rippedness

Everyone respects people who are in good shape.

I don’t know what you’ve read or heard about bodybuilding, but. . .

Once you’re ripped–you’re ripped. And it’s very easy to maintain.

In this article you’ll learn the best things I used to get ripped in under 2 years.

My starting physique was not bad (I was not fat), but I didn’t have any visible muscles either. Now I look like this:


Of course, you’ve heard people tell you it’s possible to get a 6-pack in 3-6 months if you use this pill, that diet, this new revolutionary machine, but. . .

You didn’t believe that, did you!?

Those guys are just pushing their own agendas to sell you bullshit products.

You should be skeptical about research concerning the fitness industry.

Most studies are paid for by corporations to get the result they want.

This article is grounded in my own experience.

If you consistently apply the following 13 principles you’ll also get ripped.

I can’t promise you it’ll be in two years though.

Before I get into these principles, I suggest you get ready to take notes.

Because this article has a LOT of condensed information in it…..

But let’s start with what matters most:

The #1 MOST IMPORTANT Thing For Getting Ripped!

It’s this:

The more muscle you have the higher your metabolic baseline will be.

ripped 2 years

Yes, it’s really that easy.

This means that you’ll burn more calories (and stay lean) if you have a lot of muscle.

For this reason, it’s extremely easy for people who are already ripped, to remain ripped with minimal effort.

–And vice versa: this makes it damn hard & time-consuming for obese people to lose their weight and get ripped.

Therefore your goal should be to get ripped ASAP in life.

Now, let’s get into my 13 principles.

1. Consistency is Key

If you want to get ripped you’ll need to go to the gym several times a week, at least for the first 6 months.

And you must go even if you feel like shit–especially if you’re a newbie.

This discomfort is completely normal and comes from your homeostasis, which is your body’s process of maintaining (physiological) balance.

For this reason, you must make it a HABIT to work out even when you feel tired or sore. This will be a little hard at first, but you just gotta push through it, then your body adapts.

Once you have this down, you will NEVER have to worry about it ever again.

It’ll be automatic and effortless.

Here are two smart tips for becoming more consistent:

  • Find smart times to work out preemptively. When you know you’re going to be busy for  1-3 days in a row, make sure you do a killer workout session before that, so that you can use that busy-time to recover.
  • Find a good time that you can stick to. If you go to the gym at regular times you’ll make it a habit faster than if you don’t. For most people the best time to work out is between 4-7 PM.

2. Do (Intermittent) Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the most healthy eating pattern for most people. Especially men.

There are at least 5 reasons why you should be doing intermittent fasting:

1) It temporarily switches on ketosis, which means that you’ll BURN FAT instead of glucose, making you leaner.

2) It increases the amount of growth hormone that your body produces (this is good for building muscle and the immune system).

3) Your ghrelin levels go up. Ghrelin is a hunger-related hormone. This will make you happier and more focused (increases dopamine), at least if you do a 2-day fast.

4) Research indicates that it reduces the risk of getting cancer.

5) It saves you A LOT of time (fewer dishes, less cooking, etc).

Here are the most popular ways to fast:

  • Feeding gap for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours (just skip breakfast).
  • Fasting for 24 h once a week.
  • Fasting for 40-48h once a week or every two weeks.

I usually eat 1-3 meals a day and fast for the rest of the day.

ripped 2 years fasting meal

My feeding gap is 8 hours and my fasting period is ca 16 hours. Then I usually fast for 24 or 48 hours once a week as well. Why?

Because I like to switch it up and break out of homeostasis.

If you want to get started with 2-Day fasts, I recommend drinking water mixed with L-glutamine to get amino acids without breaking the fast. This will make it easier.

L-glutamine is also healthy for your stomach because it is used to regenerate your stomach lining. I used to have a bad stomach (severe candida albicans), but now it’s good thanks to L-glutamine, fasting, coconut fat, and a ton of oregano (which contains more antioxidants than almost any other food).

3. The Alcohol Rule

It’s best not to drink it at all. Because it’s unhealthy.

But if you’re looking to get ripped and you’ve decided you’re going to drink alcohol anyway, here’s what you should do:

  • Drink only straight liquor or wine, to minimize intake of carbs and sugar. Avoid beer (especially IPAs) and sugary drinks.
  • Do NOT eat after having consumed alcohol. Alcohol is seen as a poison by your body and will be metabolized before any food. This means that if you drink and eat at the same time your body will store many calories as FAT. So fast instead.
  • Minimize fat consumption during the entire day that you drink. Fats contain a lot of calories and metabolize slowly (slower than carbs).

Alcohol isn’t particularly dangerous to getting ripped, but . . .

The food you eat while being drunk is the “dangerous” part that is counterproductive to getting ripped.

–Especially junk food, since it’s high-calorie, full of fats and additives.

4. Lift Heavy Weights & Do Compound Exercises

Want to build muscle–and strength–as fast as you can?

Then it’s all about doing compound exercises.

Isolation exercises are for three types of people:

  1. Serious bodybuilders.
  2. People who have no idea about what they’re doing.
  3. People with a lot of time on their hands.

I will assume you are neither of these types.

ripped 3

Heavy = you should not be able to do more than 10 repetitions.

Don’t go over 10 reps and don’t use weird machines–unless you suffer from some injury and have a valid reason for avoiding free weights.

Now friend, here are the most important compound exercises that you should be doing some variation of:

Whole body (back & core):

  • Deadlifts & stifflegged deadlifts.
  • Squats.
  • Cleans.
  • Clean and jerk.


  • Squats.
  • Front squats.
  • Lunges.

Upper body:

  • Bench press (including dumbbells).
  • Dips.
  • Pull-ups & chins.
  • Shoulder press.

Just keep it simple and stick to this while increasing your lifts.

–Especially if you’re a beginner.

Just grind it out until you’ve laid the foundation.

5. Three Secrets for Boosting Motivation

Now I will share three psychological tricks that have helped me a lot.

If you too can wrap your head around this, it can give you euphoric workouts, where you Break out of Your Homeostasis, and enter a new level.

Motivation is strongly correlated with the brain neurotransmitter dopamine. Here are some natural ways (psychological tricks) you can use to increase your release of dopamine to have better workouts.

#1 Improve the motivational effects of music

As you know, music is an effective motivation-booster. But did you know that its motivational effects can be optimized?

Here’s how:

Avoid listening to your favorite songs too often.

If you mix it up more, you’ll be able to squeeze more dopamine (motivation) out of them during a longer period of time.

#2 Variation boosts motivation

Just as varying your best songs helps maintain their motivational effects longer, you can start varying (small) things in the gym to keep your motivation high. This will keep habituation and boredom away.

. . . Because you’ve now SHOCKED the muscle.

–Arnold Schwarzenegger

You don’t want to switch up your entire workout sessions, but you always want to have some variation.

For example: I usually go to the gym, but sometimes I’ll go for a run or do calisthenics. Not because it’s more effective, but for the psychological effect of variation. Some muscle-ups here:

[Not the best technique, but whatever.]

Here’s another way you can use variation. Instead of lifting the flat barbell bench press all the time, you want to cycle between that AND:

  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Dips (weighted)
  • Cables
  • Calisthenics (regular push ups, weighted).

Pro tip: Start with a light weight, cycle between these exercises each (chest) workout, and lift a little bit more each time. Congratulations — You’re now. . .

#3 Using The Winner Effect to Break Records!

The winner effect is a biological term for how the brain changes itself by winning and competing.

This is AWESOME!

You get increased levels of dopamine and testosterone.

This puts you into a self-reinforcing feedback loop where you get addicted to winning, and will want to win even more.


Use the winner effect to set yourself up for a series of consistent “victories”.

This is how the best sport coaches build confidence in their athletes. Like how I just told you to cycle between the different chest exercises, because it’ll allow you to incrementally increasing the weight each time.

Don’t jump ahead to doing 1 rep max immediately.

Instead, choose to strategically spread it out over a longer period of time to maximize motivation!

6. How to Spend Your Leisure: ABF

ABF – Always Be Flexing!

It sounds obvious (and it is), but most people don’t do it…

Flexing your muscles does two great things for you:

  1. It burns more energy.
  2. It promotes relaxation.

–So be sure to take frequent breaks to consciously flex your body, it will make you feel better and help you concentrate for longer periods of time.

Here are some exercises you can do anytime (in class, at work, sitting by computer):

  • Flex your neck & jaws. “Chew” imaginary food until your jaw gets tired.

[Warning: doing this in a public environment will make you look retarded.]

  • Stomach vacuums & flexing your stomach. A stomach vacuum is when you tuck in your stomach as hard as you can for as long as you can.

[Always flex your stomach when you lift, especially during squats and deadlifts.]

  • Flex all muscles in your body, especially chest and arms. This is easy to do while sitting by the computer.

7. Track Results

If you are new to working out it is useful to track your results. There are two main reasons:

  1. It makes you more psychologically committed.
  2. It shows your progress and puts things in context (also boosts motivation)

And. . . It flatters your ego.

Seriously: Take progress photos. It helps.

3 Things to measure:

  • Body weight.
  • How much you can lift.
  • Pictures of yourself to see your improvement.

8. The Three Parts of a Workout

Define what an optimal workout looks like.

1.    Pre-workout ritual:

This is when you get into the zone. You want to shift your focus from your head into your body. You can do this by meditating, visualizing your sets, or pumping yourself up. I usually drink coffee (if it’s early in the day).

Remember to flex your core during (compound) lifts!

Remember to flex your core during (compound) lifts!

2.   Lifting:

When you lift there should be only two things in your mind a) flexing your core and b) breathing correctly. “Correct breathing” means breathing into the stomach; not into the chest. (Correct breathing doesn’t elevate your shoulders.)

3.   Recovery between sets:

When you’ve finished a set it is important that you face the pain and breathe. Try to relax. Many people don’t do this, and it causes them to tire out unnecessarily.

9. Get Good Sleep

You need to create a consistent ritual that serves as cue for you to get tired. I struggled with this for a long time, but now I’ve got a great routine.

Here are 7 tips for better sleep:

  • Make sure you’re tired by the end of the day. Work harder.
  • Try sleeping in a pitch black room. That means no light at all. Your brain is smarter than your eyes are, and it will detect even the least amount of light. This may diminish your body’s production of melatonin (the sleep hormone), which can lower the quality of your sleep.
  • Don’t consume stimulants several hours prior to going to bed.
  • Open up a window to get fresh air.
  • Don’t use your phone or check email or social media 1 hour before bed.
  • Meditate or do breathing exercises 5 min to calm down before bed.
  • Avoid sitting by computer screens ca 20-30 minutes before going to bed.

10. Skip Cardio

Cardio does very little for you in terms of losing fat or building muscle.

You will burn more calories by:

  1. Lifting heavy weights or by,
  2. Doing interval training. . .

. . .than you will from doing steady state cardio.

Cardio has other benefits, but if the goal is to get ripped, it’s a waste of time.

11. Protein Intake & The Top Healthy Foods

Eat about 1g protein/pound – that’s about 1,5-2g of protein/kilo.

If you consume more protein than your body can assimilate, you will get gassy and you’ll probably feel slow and lethargic.

Do experiments to see how much protein your body is capable of assimilating. This is important because people are not equal in this regard!

Some people can assimilate more protein than others; it’s an unfair advantage owing to superior genetics and/or great stomach digestion.

(You want to be in the sweet spot where you consume just about enough protein every day without getting slow from it.)

Now, here are all the healthiest foods I eat a lot of:

  • Eggs
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds are exceptionally healthy and contain lots of zinc, which is good for boosting testosterone)
  • Healthy spices like cinnamon, curcumin and oregano (contains 4x the antioxidants of blueberries)
  • Supplements/other stuff: Magnesium, zinc, tea, coffee, raw cocoa, and high quality Omega-3. Occasionally L-glutamine and creatine.
To get ripped, eat properly.

To get ripped, eat properly.

And you want to avoid these foods:

  • Sugar/candy (raises your insulin levels and hinders fat loss)
  • Empty carbs (bread, pasta, snacks)
  • Processed foods (things that come in a plastic box)
unhealthy food get ripped

Avoid unnatural (fried or processed) food, unhealthy additives, and sugar.


You want to minimize carbs in general, except after workouts.

This does not include vegetable–always try to eat lots of vegetables!

For more info, check out what I usually eat and why.

ripped fast

You don’t need isolation exercises.


12. Three Health Tests You Should Do

One of the best investments that you can make in terms of money and time, to improve your long-term health, is to do diagnostic tests:

  1. A hair analysis (see mine as a pdf).
  2. A blood analysis (check testosterone if you’re over 35).
  3. A fatty acid test (info below).

Hair analysis & blood tests give an overview of vitamin, mineral, and heavy metals levels. This gives you great feedback on what to include or remove from your diet.

The most important thing I learned from my hair analysis was that I had too much mercury in my body. That would’ve been very bad in the coming years had I not fixed it (it gives you “brain fog”). I took a 6-month break from eating canned fish after that.

Fatty acid tests give you feedback on what (essential) fats to eat more of. Most people are deficient in omega-3 and have too much omega-6. This happens when you eat too much processed foods and not enough fish. The result is worse immune system, skin health, and slower recovery from workouts.

Here’s a picture of my fatty acid levels:

[Pretty good results.]

Here’s a picture of my hormonal levels from an old blood test:

You’ll be happy to hear my results are much better now :-)

13. Philosophy of Rippedness

Finally, here are 3 “gym-mindsets” that have helped me a lot:

  • 5 more minutes. When you want to quit or go home, force yourself to do at least one more rep. Don’t let your brain get the last word, don’t reinforce weakness.
  • Focus. It’s better to do a few repetition with excellent mental focus, really feeling your body, than it is to do many mindless repetitions where you’re out of touch with your body!
  • Disregard your surroundings. And don’t bring your phone into the gym.

Conclusion: The Hill is the Steepest in the Beginning

It takes a while to get ripped, but once you’re ripped, it should last forever.

This is explained by the fact that:

  1. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn, and. . .
  2. The less body fat you have, the lower leptin levels you’ll have, and the less you hungry you get.

This is why you should strive to get ripped as soon as you can in life.

It’s worth the hard work. Think of it as a long-term investment.

Getting ripped will be massively helpful for your health and success.

You may not have the time or energy to get ripped later in life.

ripped in 2 years -- 1,5 years later

Good job reading this long and very detailed article.

Now, do yourself a favor and take notes. Summarize:

The 13 Principles to get Ripped:

  • Consistency is Key: Go to the gym rain, hail, or snow.
  • (Intermittent) Fasting: Eat 1-3 times a day. Try different fasting methods to find one that works for you.
  • Alcohol rule: Drinking isn’t too bad. Eating while drinking is.
  • Lift Heavy Weights, Compound Exercises: Keep it below 10 reps and use free weights or body exercises. Avoid isolation exercises and machines.
  • 3 Psychological Tricks to Boost Motivation: Novelty, variation, and the winner effect.
  • ABF: Always be flexing! Especially by computer.
  • Track Results: Write down results, progress, or take pictures.
  • Three Parts of a Workout: Pre-workout ritual, lifting weights, recovery between sets.
  • Get Good Sleep: Go to bed exhausted and avoid phones/computer 1h before.
  • Skip Cardio: It won’t make you ripped or build muscle.
  • Protein and Diet: Eat 1 g protein/pound or 1,5-2 g protein/kilo.
  • Experimentation: Do diagnostic tests to find out how your diet is working for you.
  • Philosophy of Rippedness: Go five more minutes and try to really feel your body.

What You Should Do Now:

  1. Write a checklist summary of this article. It has everything you need.
  2. Implement these principles/habits one at a time.
  3. Do at least one of those diagnostic health tests.

–That’s what I did, and now I do all this stuff effortlessly. Like clockwork.

Thanks for reading and I wish you the best of luck now!

* * *

Check out the Top Posts

Subscribe to my Newsletter (I only send emails a few times per year)

* * *


  1. “Once you’re ripped–you’re ripped. And it’s very easy to maintain.”

    I stopped reading here. BULLSHIT, unless you have exceptional genes. You can’t maintain this low level of body fat unless you are starving 24/7.

  2. Hi Ludvig,

    Came here from listening to your 25-min pod (grinding through all the episodes).

    Most of your points are inline with my own understanding, especially training and fasting. However, a few things were new to me, specifically regarding sleep.
    1) I’ve actually experienced better sleep after consuming stimulants (caffeine) before going to bed (might ofc be my own body playing tricks). Is your recommendation based in the ability to fall asleep or The quality of The sleep itself?
    2) Electronic before sleepingb basically same as previous question; Affects ability to fall asleep or The quality if the resulting sleep?

    Thanka for a really good write up, Will interweave most of it for a new routine I’m working on.

    Best regards

  3. I have several corrections that i want you to rectify immediatly.

    1. you BARELY burn any calories when doing compound and resistance training.
    Cardio on the other hand, burns many, many, more calories, and while its true that regular running doesnt do much good for muscle gain, HIIT training does.

    2. another correction is your fasting rutine. fasting for 24 hours is outright idiotic.
    You will NOT be getting any additional benefits from doing that except prolonging your needed recovery and increasing chances for losing muscle gains under a calorie deficit. dont do it.

    intermittent fasting should be no more than 16 hours at most.

    3. Free weights are fine, and compund lift are goods for training multiple bodyparts at once, i agree.

    however, the use of isolation excersies lies in increasing certain muscle groups that are weakened or hard to focus, and therefore risks not being used in favor of stronger muscle groups that will instead dominate the workout. So its about being able to target specific body parts. they are VERY useful.

    Machines are used not just for very heavy training, but for SAFETY!
    machine use is very good idea and you certainly dont need any excuses for using them.

    You also write that one should push through under soreness or tiredness.
    This is outright dangerous advice. Everyones body is different. Sure, light soreness can be ‘ignored’, but perhaps youve forgotten why we get sore to begin with?
    because we strain and tear our muscles.
    We only train to *stimulate* the growth. The *actual* gains happens during recovery and how much time that takes depends from person to person. this is what makes us strong.

    NEVER train under complete soreness, it will considerbly slow down your growth, or straight up mess you up.

    Also Its got nothing to do wih homeostasis, please dont use terms for improper use. If our homeostasis was truly disrupted, we would either be sick or die.

    5. i can see the idea behind prerituals, but it doesnt have any real benefits besides mental preparing, which frankly you would expect one to have if they are to undergo years of training,

    Im sure you could have reached a peak much faster with this. And PLEASE dont tell people to push through their soreness like that. it can lead to injuries.

    • 1) If you want to lose weight / burn calories, don’t look to workout regimen, look to diet and sleep.

      2) You do what you want, I do what I want. If you worry about 4 hours here and there, your focus is on the wrong things.

      3) Do what you like. But if you want to see fast results(as a beginner) you should do compound exercises.

      4) You have a good point — for older people. Say 35+. For people who know their body, this is not a problem. For people who have no kinesthetic intelligence, it could be a problem. I don’t agree with your definition of Homeostasis. I have redefined this phrase since long. If you had bothered to read more than one of my articles you would know this.

      5) Physical exercises and sales is more than 50% about psychology. If you cannot understand this I am not interested in discussing this issue further with you.

      Post a picture of yourself and I might take you seriously.

    • Old comment, however;

      First off, who the hell do you think you are to demand he change his own writing like that. Seriously, that was extremely rude.

      1.) I believe he was referring to the increase in resting metabolic rate that comes with resistance training/building more muscle. Also, exercise (energy expenditure) is not as important as diet (energy intake) for the sake of losing weight (fat). This is obvious if you know what you are talking about.

      2.) 24 hour fasting clearly has worked for him. Look at him, he’s shredded. I even tried this myself and got the same benefits he is describing.

      3.) I believe compound exercises are better for efficient gains as a new lifter. (I personally gained just over 30 pounds of muscle mass while losing fat in my first year of training. This is quite decent. How did I do it? Compound exercises.)

      4.) Actually this is a decent point here. It seems to go along with the research at the moment. As for homeostasis I don’t believe that was what he was referring to. This is mentioned elsewhere…

      5.) Mentality is 50% of the practice and benefit working out in my humble opinion. If you’re missing out on this, you are missing out on a lot.

  4. Just not true. I trained hard for 6 months and did everything right and I am far of how you look like. If I would train for 2 years I would still look like a dont train.

  5. i feel for people that actually think removing fat from their body means they look good , so starving your body of stored fat meaning should anything happen where you got very ill you have nothing to burn but your much worked for muscle is a good thing , stupidity is rampant , so many of you ignorant idiots flashing your 6 pack like an intelligent person flashes insight , lol Adonis ? so adonis was in your opinion mall nourished over worked male ? look natural muscle thats nice , and a man whose job gives him naturally large muscle mass or is born that way , that is nice BUT , who wants a wanker that is so obsessed with them self that they literally starves their body into having zero body fat because mother nature is wrong we do not need fat stores , just in case we get ill … idiots

  6. Mike Lehane says

    Hey I think this is awesome thanks…one question if I’m normal size so not fat but not skinny should I bulk first ? Thanks

  7. Hi Ludvig, I find these points very useful and have incorporated many of the points you have mentioned. Do you have any suggestions on the music?

Speak Your Mind