To Get Extremely Shredded In 7 Days I Stole a Few Tricks From Pros

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I Transformed From Fluffy To Extremely Shredded In Few Days

Extremely shredded phisique you see on covers cannot be reachable through regular dieting and training. Especially if you’re not a professional athlete, fitness model or bodybuilder.

Here’s what most may NOT know…

All fitness, bikini models, figure competitors and professional bodybuilders go through multiple body manipulations short before their photoshoots and competitions to achieve that peak condition. Even though they already are in a stunning shape.

The methods they use are something more than just cleaning up what they eat or changing the way they train.

I’ve personally tried some of those methods on myself when I did prepare for my first shotoshooting ever from which my after body transformation photos come from. My goal was to look as good as I possibly can.

The truth is until the last day I was thinking about cancelling the shoot as I was pretty damn sure I’m not lean enough. Luckily I didn’t. Because I was totally blown outter space once I saw how ripped and vascular I’ve become by following these manipulations I am about to share with you today. Apparently my body just doesn’t want to look shredded on every day basis.

Here’s how to get extremely shredded for you big day. Wheather it’s a photoshoot, stepping on a stage or any other important event.

1. Total Depletion and Replenishment of Glycogen

Cut and load carbs to get extremely shredded

When you intake carbohydrates your body converts them into the glucose. Glucose can be burned for immediate fuel or it can also be stored in the muscles and the liver in a form of glycogen for later use.

Glycogen stored in muscle holds water. Lean muscle tissue contain approximately 80% of water. The more glycogen you store in your muscles, the more water is pulled in. And the more water you have in your muscles, the bigger and softer your muscles look like. The less glycogen you have stored the less water you’ll have stored in your muscles.

For every gram of glycogen stored, your body stores about 3 grams of water with it.

Glycogen storage capacity in man is approximately 15g/kg body weight. From this you can calculate your approximate maximum glycogen storage and amount of water that comes along.

There are also studies showing that there is no gender-related difference in their ability to accumulate supranormal levels of muscle glycogen if males and females are fed comparable amounts of carbs relative to lean body mass.

Here’s an example. A glycogen storage capacity for a 200 pound person (~90kg) is about 1350 grams (90×15). This kind of amount will store about 4050 grams of water in your body.

You need to cut carbs of your diet in an effort to deplete your body’s glycogen storages.

What’s The Point?

When you deplete muscle glycogen levels and then carb load, your muscles are able to store significantly more glycogen than you normally would. When carb intake drop, reserves of glycogen begin to decline. As glycogen reserves decreases, the body begins to increse glycogen storing enzymes. When you later pack in greater quantities of carbohydrates, those carb storing enzymes will help to pack more carbs as glycogen yielding fuller and bigger looking muscles.

This is how you can make your muscles look bigger than they normally are.

My Personal Experience With Carb Manipulation

I was already on a low carb diet long before my first photoshoot. Therof I did eliminate carbs of my diet almost completely for that last week. I had about 20-30g of carbs post workout for the first 5 days. And I did carb loading phase too late I guess which was only about 6-7 hours prior the photoshoot. As a carb source I did choose unsalted rice cakes as they contain no water. And I ate only one package of them. But still I managed to get good results thanks to the water manipulations.

Carb Cycling 7 Day Plan:

  • Day 1-2: drop your carb intake by 50%. If you were eating 1200 calories from carbs now cut to 600 calories. Focus mostly on complex carbs throughout the day and simple sugars post workout. Increase your protein consumption as you decrease carbs.
  • Day 3-4: cut your carbs by 50% again. From the previous example it would be lowering calories coming from carbs down from 600 to 300 calories a day. Tip: If you do not work out at all, then you should decrease your carb intake starting from today.
  • Day 5: cut carb intake completely. This day skip any food that is high in carbs. This will help to deplete your glycogen stores utterly. If you do train this day, pass up carbs in your post workout meal as well.
  • Day 6-7: load carbs back. Decrease your protein intake. This is where the fun begins. After the glycogen depletion your muscles now are screaming for being replenished with a fuel. Aim for about 3-5 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight (7-11g/kg). Go with starchy complex carb sources like sweet potatoes, rice cakes or any other carb source that doesn’t contain a lot of water. On the peak day adjust carbs to your actual phisique – if you look flat keep carbing, if you are starting to spill over, then stop. Also rest and don’t work out.

2. Water Load and Then Dry Out

Manipulate with water intake to get extremely shredded

One week before your big day, start drinking unusually lot of water. Aim at least 50% more water throughout the day as you normally would. This means if you previously had one cup of water, now have one and a half.

This technique obviously will turn you into a fountain. It’s not a good idea to go to movies or take a long trip.

The purpose of this water intake manipulation is to adjust your body to a higher water intake. Increased fluid intake down-regulate aldosterone that acts to conserve sodium and secret potassium. The more water you drink the more water your body will get used to flush out.

And once you suddenly stop any fluid intake about 16-20 hours prior your special event, your body because of hormonal enviroment you have created with water loading, will continue excrate water even if no water is coming in. It takes time for your body to up-regulate aldesterone levels. But before it happens you already will be basking in front of the flashlights.

What’s The Point?

Because of restricted water intake and increased carbs, muscles make up for the water shortfall by dragging some from under the skin into the muscles. It results in less subcutaneous water retention. In other words you will have less water under your skin which will give you harder looking physique.

Subcutaneous water makes you look soft and fluffy. Therefore this is very important step to follow if your goal really is to get extremely shredded.

My Personal Experience With Water Manipulation

That last day is tough. When I was preparing for my first photoshoot I did stop fluid intake the night before. It’s about 22 hours before the big event. The dehydration is challenging itself. But enjoying dry food as I remember was even bigger one. I went with a plain grilled chicken with no salad as my main dish that day. This simple meal that usually takes me about 5 minutes to finish, now took me 15-20 minutes until I got all that dry chicken down my throat.

Water Intake 7 Day Plan:

  • Day 1-5: Incraese water intake by 50% than you normally drink.
  • Day 6: Reduce your water intake by 50% that you would normally consume. Instead of one glass of water now go with just a half of glass.
  • Day 7: About 16-20 hours before your big moment, stop any fluid intake. Not only you stop water as water but any intake of fluids. You stop consuming foods that are high in water too. No water, no tea, no coffee, no fruits, no nothing that contains more than a fraction of water. For an example, soaked oats or rice ar full of water. Be warned that dehydration isn’t a pleasant state to be at.

3. A Sodium Loading And Deloading

Increase your salt intake for a while

Salt (sodium) cause to hold a great deal of water in your body. Therof sodium manipulation can boost your attempts on getting rid of superfluous, unneeded water that sits under your skin for the sake of your competition or photoshoot.

If you play sodium card right it will help you drain more excess water and make you look even drier and crispier.

A week prior your big day increase your salt intake a bit more than you usually eat. The simplest way to do this is to sprinkle salt on all of your meals. Do not exaggerate though as you ar playing with your mineral balance in your body.

What’s The point?

The goal of increased salt consumption is to condition the body to become accustomed to processing and filtering greater amount of salt. This will decrease the water retention hormone called aldosterone. And when you suddenly will reduce your sodium intake prior your special event, your body will excrate even more water while aldosterone levels readjust. This will lead to a greater definition.

Personal Experience With Salt Manipulation

When I prepared for my first photoshoot I didn’t have a blueprint like this at my disposal. I did know something about sodium impact on fluid retention, but I didn’t know details. And somehow I didn’t take my time to explore this topic in-depth back then.

I mainly did focus on water and carb manipulations. And both these techniques alone did lead me to a spectacular improvements in my phisique. Nevertheless I eliminated salt intake on the photoshoot day. I only had unsalted chicken and rice cakes. Yum.

Sodium Cycling 7 Day Plan

  • Day 1-5: Slightly increase your sodium intake. Consume 2-3 teaspoons of salt daily. Don’t go extreme and don’t toy with your mineral balance.
  • Day 6-7: Decrease your sodium intake back to previous levels. If you didn’t increase your sodium intake in the first place, then just go with no salt.

Other Strategies To Get Extremely Shredded Look

4. Remove Excess Body Hair

Remove body hair that covers up the phisique you want to emphasize. Like hair on chest and abs. Hair Removal should be done about 3-4 weeks prior and continued up until your big day to avoid any unnecessary bumps or rashes.

I once tried waxing my chest hair for the first time in my life. Well that resulted in inflamed sores few hours later. If that happened on a photoshoot day it would be a huge drawback. Lesson learned. Next time I did use trimmer and a shaver as a finisher.

5. Take a Salt Bath

Another trick to get shed water is taking very hot Epsom salt bath for about 20-30 minutes. It drastically increases perspiration. This technique may tighten you up a little bit more. Epsom salts are really good with sore muscles, detoxification and clearing the top layer of the skin off dead skin cells. It’s very relaxing and enjoyable activity as well.

6. Darken Your Skin Color

Darker skin reflects less light and showcases the phisique more detailed.

Multiple options here. You can get natural tan, solarium tan or use tanning lotions/sprays. If you decide to get your tan by actually sunbathing then you have to start doing it couple of weeks forehand. Fake tan can be applied shortly before your photshoot. Use the product that doesn’t run or streak.

7. Pump Up

Use this technique to get your muscles appear little bit bigger.

Pump up your muscles a bit right before you take the pictures. Perform resistance training just enough to get a small pump and some vascularity going. Utilize light weights or isometric movements in low rep range to avoid burning glycogen.

Do not over-pump to avoid a lack of separation. Focus more on your weak body parts, chest and shoulders. Limit biceps pump to maintain peak. Don’t pump your legs and abs as they look better unpumped.

Final Words

Keep in mind that these strategies won’t give you preferred results if you haven’t got enough low body fat percentage in the first place. Use these manipulation methods only as a final stage to showcase what you have already reached. If you are not there yet, keep training hard and eating smart. Come back to this post when ready.

On the other hand if you are already lean, but your abs still aren’t visible, following these strategies can finally make them appear.

If you follow these manipulation tactics correctly you’ll get extremely shredded as you would never have imagined you can. The downside of this is you probably will be stressed, cranky and tired because of decreased carb intake and dehydration.

Remember this is not a lifestyle diet. Never use these manipulations for a long term and don’t take them to extreme levels as they can harm your health doing so.

Although they say beauty requires sacrifice, don’t be stupid! If you are not sure about something, ask.

Quick Questions – Have You Tried Any Of These Methods?

Please leave a comment below and let’s get a coversation going.

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About Matiss Bartulis

Sweets and pizza addict. Online and real-life fitness coach. Author of the "From Fat To Six Pack" E-mail training course. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.

  • Scott

    How much do you decrease protein on day 6 to cut. I am at 250 grams right now

    • I didn’t decrease protein intake at all as it’s not providing any value in this process. 250 grams are a lot. How much do you weight, Scott?

      • Scott


      • Scott

        Btw, thx for your article and advice

        • You are always welcome! Let me know how your operation “shredded” goes 🙂

  • Timster

    as we decrease carbs, how much protein should we increase, 50%?