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Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Get Shredded + 6 Starter Goals

Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Get Shredded + 6 Starter Goals

In a world where Pizza and Chicken Wing commercials air more often than Broccoli and Lean Cuts of Meat ‒ it's easy to make mistakes when trying to get shredded. Whether it's not having goals that help you lose fat or making mistakes that hurt your results, in this article we’re going to help break through barriers and help you achieve your goals. 

What does it mean to Get Shredded?

You’ve probably heard the bro talk around the gym about getting shredded. Most people think it’s all about having as little fat as possible on the body. In some cases, this is true, but for most people, getting lean and losing fat doesn't mean following a strict bodybuilding routine.

Getting shredded is the process of bringing your body to a manageable body fat percentage. Understand ‒ the athletes walking on stage at 5% body fat do this for one day. It's a very long process that involves a series of steps that lead your body to a peak level of physical aesthetics for a few hours ‒ this is not a long-term look.

In this article, we’re going to focus more on a long-term, manageable physique. Depending on your body type, a manageable body fat percentage is anywhere from 8-15%.

Before we can get into goals to help you get shredded, let's first understand some of the common mistakes people make. 

Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Get Shredded

Understanding how not to approach fitness is very important. Not only will you save time, (long-term) but making sure that you don’t make mistakes will help you to stay on track during the hard training days.

Here are four common mistakes people make when trying to get shredded.

 ● Counting Calories Rather than Macros 

This is an easy mistake to make. Calories are a unit of energy. We use the term calorie to define how much energy you will get from certain foods in specific amounts.

That said, calories are not the most accurate way to measure the food you are intaking. Macronutrients, on the other hand, provide a more specific and measurable approach to getting shredded.

Whenever you are trying to lose weight (and fat) you should aim to have an increase in protein consumption, a decrease in fat consumption, and a modification of carbohydrates (consume mostly vegetables, fruits, and some whole grains).

Calories only tell you how much energy you are consuming in an entire meal. Macronutrients help to break down the specific type of calories you are putting in your body.

Using HIIT Rather than Strength Training

Although an increase in intensity can help stimulate weight loss, most beginners will benefit more from strength training ‒ especially when we look long-term.

Building muscle (especially large muscle groups like legs and back) can help to burn more energy throughout the day while also enabling the athlete to train more complex exercises down the road.

If you’re just starting out in the gym, find a progressive strength training routine and use this for around 3-4 months to track your progress.

They Forget About Sleep

So many people get super excited about the workout and the nutrition and forget about sleep. Sleep has a direct impact on your physical performance in the gym but can also contribute to your habitual behavior.

A lack of sleep may cause you to overeat. In some cases, your body will stimulate your hunger hormones to consume more calories for energy. This can be avoided by getting a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night. 

 ● They Over-Caffeinate 

There is no question about it ‒ caffeine can be a very good way to promote weight loss due to its diuretic properties (it forces you to lose water weight and increases metabolism). The problem is when people over-caffeinate and dehydrate the body.

In order for you to make the most of your workouts and nutrition, you need to consume the correct amount of water. If you over-caffeinate, you could start to see a decrease in physical potential due to dehydrated muscles.

Now that we have a decent handle on some of the common mistakes that people make when trying to get shredded, let's talk about 5 goals you can use to achieve your dream physique.

6 Starting Goals for Getting Shredded

Let’s not overcomplicate things. It’s always best to try and start with something simple and manageable. Here are 5 starting goals for getting shredded. 

1. 50/30/20 Macros

We talked earlier about calories in vs macronutrients. The most simple way to track your macros is to use the 50/30/20 rule. That is ‒  50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat.

This can be tweaked based on your personal preference, digestive system, weight loss goals, and other factors. Things to consider: 

  • Your intake of carbohydrates should focus on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains with plenty of fiber
  • Your intake of protein should focus on lean meats, legumes, fish, and some nuts
  • Your intake of fats should focus on unsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, and some lean meats.

2. Workout by Targetting Biggest to Smallest 

Bodybuilding is a great way to target specific muscles, but for most beginners, strength training is the best way to start.

Try structuring your workouts around hitting the biggest muscles first, followed by the smallest towards the end. An example leg workout could be:




Rest time

Barbell Back Squat




Glute bridge




Dumbbell Front-Loaded Lunge

8 (each leg)



Quadricep Extension




Hamstring Curls




Calf Raises + Dorsi Flexion




The focus in this workout is to train the largest muscles first. Glutes and quadriceps, followed by the hamstrings, calves, and accessory muscles. Training this way will allow you to make the most of your workouts ‒ especially if you are on a caloric deficit. 

3. Avoid the Cravings by Creating New Habits 

It’s 10 pm and you have a craving to eat some salty foods. We’ve all been there ‒ but what do we do about this craving?

If your goal is to get shredded, we need to curb this craving with new habits. Sounds difficult but our best shot is to re-train our minds to have different cravings. Instead of having a craving for a salty snack, shift your craving to sweet fruits. Buy frozen berries at the store and anytime you have a late-night craving, take them out of the freezer and have a cup of fruit.

The berries are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, plus they are low in calories and taste better than chips or cookies.

If you want a little more oomph in your meal, blend up a smoothie with one of our clean, low-calorie protein powders

4. Use Cardio Correctly (+THR Calculations)

Cardio can be your best friend when you are trying to get shredded. Those guys with massive hoodies on, sweating buckets are not crazy ‒ they're following a routine that uses a target heart rate to get shredded.

THR or Target Heart Rate is a calculation used to determine your intensity of exercise for a duration of time. The THR estimation is very simple: 220 minus your age. For example:

If you are 30 years old your THR would be 220-30 = 190bpm.

You then take this number and multiply it by a percentage (%) to get a specific intensity. 

50% = low intensity

65% = moderate intensity

85% = high intensity

To train at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes your THR would be 190 x 0.65 = 124bpm.

For fat loss and conditioning, your goal should be to train in moderate intensity for 30-60 minutes. Incline walking and stair climbers are our favorites for low-impact cardio.

5. Use Solid Data Tracking Tools

Always use data tracking tools to ensure you are making progress. This doesn't need to be complex. Something as simple as a journal/notebook where you record your food, workouts, sleep, and hydration is everything you need.

6. Use the Correct Supplements

Supplements like L-Carnitine, CLA, and HICA are great for stimulating fat loss in a variety of ways. 

For example, L-Carnitine is a popular fat loss supplement that can help to oxidize fat, allowing you to utilize it as energy during a workout. This is a massive advantage for anyone who is trying to get shredded.

To get all three of these fat loss stimulating supplements, checkout out the Shred Collection  The stack includes three powerful supplements that tie into your 6 goals for getting shredded: Nocturnal Shred: Citrus Breeze, Atomic Fuel x30, and Atomic: Inferno Black.

Get Shredded ‒ Shop Shred Collection 

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