Getting Shredded Can Ruin Your Life

First off, there is a very big difference between being lean (which can be sustainable year-round if preferred, and being shredded (contest lean) which requires taking your body to an unhealthy extreme for a short time, as you prepare to get judged on your conditioning.

When I say it can ruin your life, I speak from experience. Some people will lose touch with who they are because they attribute their identity to how they look. That’s not living. Imagine from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep you are solely focused on your body and how you look? Every time you see your reflection you flex. If you take a day off you feel “behind” or lazy.

What about everything associated with being this lean:

• Hunger
• Fatigue
• Hormonal Disruption
• Stress
• Anxiety
• Irritability
• Mood Swings
• Disordered Eating
• Poor Sleep
• Social Isolation

Am I telling you to never get shredded or compete? No, I’m just sharing the truth. I’ve experienced this myself and I’ve seen others go through it. Damaged friendships, relationships, and insecurities. Always seeking validation to see if you look better than someone else. Never feeling quite good enough. And the problem is when the show is over, restoring your body and mind back to normal is another huge challenge in itself and a lot of people don’t fully recover from it.

Being contest lean should not be something one strives unless they are actually competing and IF that is the ultimate goal, I advise doing so under the supervision of a well-trained, educated and credible coach.  Pushing yourself to excel at a higher level is a great way to challenge yourself, but understand it can involve health risks.

I talk about this because I want people to proceed with caution. Don’t let your physique determine your self-worth. There is so much more to life, and this isn’t for everyone. If you’re going to compete, do it for the right reasons.

Make sure you’re in tune with your body/mind and understand the hurdles. Make sure you have a support system around you. Hire a knowledgeable and experienced coach. Talk with multiple people who have competed before. Get blood work done. Your body is not something to play around with. You can end up causing some long-term damage if you’re careless with your approach.

I hope this opens peoples eyes and they really put serious thought into it.  I’m just looking out because as a coach and as someone who has competed before, I’ve seen what getting absolutely shredded can do to people.

Don’t become obsessed with body fat percentages and numbers.

What is the advantage of being shredded compared to maintaining a lean physique?  Meh, none really.

What matters is that you are truly happy with who you are and who you see and in the mirror.

Comments 4

  1. Hey Matty,this is an awesome post to which i can relate to,I’m 17 years old and i would like to tell you my story in hopes of you helping me out.You see December 2013 i completely destroyed my metabolic rate by doing intermittent fasting,now don’t let this confuse you,i know IF works but the way i did it didn’t work,i fasted for 18 hours and ate in a 6 hour window,in which i ate a really low amount of calories because i just wasn’t feeling that hungry,around over 1500 calories a day.I would really like to know how you recuperated from your shred.What concerns me the most is that i’m still young and while most of my friends tend to eat 3000 calories per day because their metabolism is really high, i tend to eat about 2000-2400 at best,and if i overdo that i gain weight.Please help me out Matty,i feel like i just don’t fit in.

    1. Post

      Thanks for the comment Ivan and many people have dealt with similar situations. As you said you are still young and don’t worry, your metabolism is not “destroyed” it has just adapted to a lower caloric intake. Metabolic adaptation is normal and in order to get it back to a healthy rate you will need to slowly introduce more calories into your diet. 2000-2400 is a fairly big range. I recommend pinpointing a more accurate number, hitting that everyday and analyzing from there. Find out how many calories you currently maintain on (weight stays the same) and from there just slowly increase from week to week. Your metabolism will begin to adjust to the new intake, just don’t be excessive. You may initially gain a little weight but that’s fine. Take it slow and remember you are still young! Don’t worry man you’ll be just fine!

  2. Awesome post! If i’ve learned one thing from Fusaro Fitness, it’s that you have to find and maintain a healthy balance. It’s important to me to look my best and I work hard to do so, but in doing so I have to remember it’s more important to be healthy, eat the right way, and the necessary amount. Living a healthy lifestyle is far more important than having a six pack! Great work Fusaro Fitness and Thank you for all your help so far!

    1. Post

      Thanks Brittany! You are 100% correct. Many people make the decision to live a healthier lifestyle but often times lose balance and sight of their initial goals. There is a fine line between maintaining a healthy physique and obsessing over it. The media has completely brainwashed people, and we live in a society where people think they are fat if there abs aren’t shredded. Glad to hear that you found a healthy balance and that I have been able to help you thus far. Keep up the great work!

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