How I Got Ripped

I got ripped in 14 weeks.

It was impossibly easy.
I didn’t have a coach.
I did it on my own.

I spent less than 3.5 hours in the gym per week.
I didn’t perform structured cardio.
I didn’t use fancy supplements.
I was rarely hungry.
I ate ice cream.
I drank wine.
I rested.

Staying ripped is even easier.

I’m not selling anything.
I’m not affiliated with any person or business.
I didn’t write a book of “secrets” about how to get ripped.
This blog is simply an account of how I got ripped.
It’s not about how you should do it.
It’s not about how you must do it.
It’s not the only way to do it.
It’s about how I did it.
It worked for me.
Maybe you too.

My path to success:

Daily caloric deficit.
Heavy lifting.
No structured cardio.
Resting a lot.
Tracking progress.
Staying positive.

The full transformation:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


My initials are DJS. This writing is about how to get ripped, and more importantly, how to stay ripped (or, at least how I went about it). I’m normally an extremely private person. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter, and I’ve never left a comment on YouTube. I’ve never sent nude photos of myself to anyone. I’m exceedingly protective of my phone number and email address. I prefer not to take my shirt off in front of anyone other than my wife. Needless to say my decision to post shirtless photos of myself on the main page of this site was a complicated one. But the reason I did it is to demonstrate a physical transformation that I think many people believe is difficult to achieve, and especially to maintain. In practice, I found that getting ripped and staying ripped can be accomplished with legitimate ease and comfort. With a moderate reconfiguration of my lifestyle based on a lot of reading and years of experience learning how to get ripped the very hard and counterproductive way, I figured out how to get ripped in only a few months with relatively little effort, and more importantly, how to stay ripped.

I’m not asking for donations, nor am I selling something. I’m certainly not revealing the newest “secrets” about how to get ripped in a book for a limited time only. I’m simply sharing my story and experience with anyone who is interested because I’ve experienced real results. I think others might find it helpful in achieving their own goals.

A little about me

I’m in my early 30s, and am a native and resident of Brooklyn, NY. My family on both sides goes back for three generations here. I live with my wife and son. I work in an office managing a team of great analysts, studying things and solving interesting problems. I am also the founding director of a nonprofit dedicated to simplifying volunteer management during emergencies. I’ve always been quite interested in nutrition, anatomy and fitness since I was a kid (sort of weird). Out of a personal interest, in 2011 I was credentialed by the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Certified Personal Trainer and took clients as a hobby, but am no longer certified since I do not have the time to take continuing education courses. Nevertheless, my deep interest in nutrition and physiology remains strong. I would not necessarily consider myself an expert in either though… more of an enthusiast.

How this blog is different

There are several blogs out there about how to get ripped, but this one is a bit different in both tone and form. You might notice (if you choose to read more once content is posted) that I generally won’t prescribe advice, make sweeping statements, or say to “do this” or “do that”; in my opinion, there are too many internet experts. Although I do believe I possess a deeper knowledge of this subject matter than the average person, I frame most of the techniques I discuss in terms of how they helped me, but it doesn’t mean that you must use them too and that if you don’t you’re a fool. There are many blogs/ boards/ forums about how to get ripped that are mean spirited and unnecessarily critical of individuals who do not agree with their ideas or don’t adhere to a certain lifting routine or philosophy. My belief is that most people in the gym or visiting this site (or those like it) are doing so in an effort to improve themselves in some way, and that’s a good thing. The way they’re currently doing it might not be as effective as the way I or someone else does it, or they might have a different goal, but that’s not for me to be concerned with; I have found that I experience my greatest successes when I direct my energy and focus into what I’m doing rather than what others are doing, which is why I frame most of what I discuss in terms of my own experiences.

This site is simply host to a description of the techniques I used to accomplish my goal of getting ripped and staying ripped. You might consider incorporating all, some, or even none of them into your own path learning how to get ripped. However, since I do believe that getting ripped and staying ripped requires a holistic approach, incorporating only a few of these techniques might not yield the same results for you. Whatever the case, I hope you can find something positive or informative on this site. Please do feel free to comment and/ or ask questions (respectfully, of course).

A little history about my quest to get ripped

I have been conducting some sort of physical training for twenty years, but I only got moderately ripped for the first time in my early-mid 20s, and I did it the very hard and counterproductive way. During that time, I knew a really well muscled, ripped guy in the gym I was a member of then. I needed to know how to get that ripped. When I asked him how he did it, he told me, “really hard cardio.” Because he was ripped, I accepted that as the only truth. It’s clear to me now that not only did he leave some information out, but also that “really hard cardio” is one tool that some people might use, but that I absolutely did not use to get ripped.

In any case, being the gung-ho (and overly eager) kid that I was at the time, I took his pronouncement as gospel and made it my life beginning the next day. So in addition to lifting six days per week on a three-day split, I also began performing metabolic work including high intensity interval training (CrossFit type routines), and running at a fast pace (I’m talking a 6-minute mile for 20-25 minutes) several times a week. My mindset was that if I wasn’t burned out at the end of a workout, if I didn’t experience a pump in whichever muscle groups I was working that day, and if my t-shirt wasn’t saturated with sweat, then I hadn’t done enough that day toward my goal of getting ripped. In retrospect, I’m surprised that I even took off one day per week. What I had to show for all that grueling work was 9% body fat (which in my opinion isn’t particularly low) and some new muscle, but it was so damn hard to get to that point. And worse, more often than not I had a dreadful feeling that my condition was balancing on a knife’s edge, and boy, was I was right; after only eight months the supports came out. The daily exhaustive grind caught up with me in a big way. Not only was my body always tired, but I was mentally drained as well.

Flash forward a decade and here I am again. During a time when extraordinarily draining and complicated CrossFit and P90X and Insanity workouts are widely touted (at least in the media) as the keys to developing a ripped physique and burning fat, I ignored them and learned how to get ripped through a process that seemed almost effortless. I still shake my head in disbelief thinking back at how I much time and energy I put in ten years ago compared to quite literally less than 20 percent of that now, yet how now I’m significantly more ripped and feel so much fresher and looser than I did then.

During the process of getting ripped this time around, I dropped from 13% body fat to 7%, which equated to 9 lbs of fat, but the scale only reflected a 2 lbs decrease, meaning that I simultaneously added 7 lbs of muscle. This is often referred to as a “recomposition”. I will repeat that my transformation wasn’t difficult; it was slow, comfortable and methodical.

How this site is organized

Rather than only providing a list of topics or articles, I thought that an outline highlighting the points and practices that I believe were most relevant to my own transformation would be more intuitive and useful for those who choose to read further. Instead of having to dig through categories and tags, the content that I believe is most relevant is right up on the navigation menu.


  1. DJS, Just found your blog. Looks great! I look forward to reading more. I started IF 16/8 2 mo’s ago and love it. Doing ~ 500 cal/day deficit. Currently 153ish dry am at about 9-10% bf. Going down to 7% or so and then reevaluating. I’m 5’10”. I’m curious as to your height.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s