Achieve Muscle Definition Without Overdoing It

Achieve Muscle Definition Without Overdoing It

Officer Seeking to Keep Strength but More Defined

Hi Stew, I am a 35 year old, 212 lbs Police Officer and Army NG, and I run and lift weights for exercise. My goal is to find a weight lifting program to get "cut/ripped", not "big." Do you have a workout program that might help me? Thanks for your work.

Yes there are plans that will help you with your goals in the Fitness eBook Store. I do however mix weights with calisthenics too so you will have to deal with pullups, dips, pushups, and lots of abs if that sounds good. The higher reps will help define you and the cardio options will take off the fat. 

The workouts are arranged so you burn your blood sugar first (glycogen) in the first 25-30 minutes of lifting / calisthenics, then spend the next 20-30 minutes doing some form of cardio. See the "Cardio vs. Resistance" article for more on the arrangement of your workout.

Many who are overweight prefer to do a non-impact aerobic activity like swimming, rowing, biking, elliptical gliding. 

Note:  If you are choosing a machine to get non-impact cardio done, I would recommend increasing the levels of resistance to at least 50% of the max (say level 10 out of 20) in order to get a good workout on those machines. For added challenge make every minute a bit tougher than the one before by increasing speed, resistance, incline, etc...

The workouts I am referring to have cardio options of running, swimming or biking - all of which can be used or you can select one or the other - the goal is to just get out and burn some fat with a moderate paced cardiovascular workout as what I call conversational pace. This means you can still talk but you do not necessarily want to. Another way to increase results is to watch your sugar intake. Read the "Low-Carb Diets and Weight Loss" article for more information on the topic.

Here is a great training plan that I use as a high level maintenance plan that I just finished after year of using it myself. It has enabled me to recover from near over-training of my summer routine but also helped me to maintain gains in strength and cardio endurance at the same time.

The best thing about this workout is that you will see a difference in how you move, run, and lift objects - basically your physical job performance will be enhanced by using this routine.

Feel free to email at if you have any questions with ANY workouts you get from the Fitness eBook Store or any articles you read. I am here to help.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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