The Shrink Wrap Effect: Why Use It?

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What Is the Shrink Wrap Effect?

There has been some buzz around the bodybuilding industry lately about a “new” technique that has come to light. It’s called the “Shrink Wrap Effect” and has been made famous by fitness coach and author, Rusty Moore. It’s not really a new technique, bodybuilders have been doing it (whether intentionally or not) for decades now.

In fact, Arnold Schwarzenegger confessed in an interview that he’s used this technique before on multiple occasions. It’s an extraordinarily simple concept, but one that not many people have heard of before. Someone else who’s used it? Ryan Reynolds.

shrink wrap effect

When you think of shrink wrapping, you think an object being placed in a plastic bag and having the air sucked out of it so the bag tightly wraps itself around the object, forming an air-tight seal.

When people talking about the shrink wrap analogy in reference to your body, they’re replacing the plastic with your skin. Your skin becomes the “outer wrapping” that is tightly bound around your muscles. This gives you a very firm appearance, and makes your muscles pop out like nothing else can.

The shrink wrap effect explains how two people with equally low levels of body fat can look dramatically different. Take two people who both have 8% body fat. Anyone will look good at that level, but one just looks way better than the other. Why would this be?

You might argue its genetics. You might argue that it’s the level of water retention (water retention actually makes much less of a difference than most fitness gurus would like you to believe).

In fact, it is the method in which they got to 8% body fat which made the difference in their appearance.

Let’s call the first guy Bob. Bob dieted down, lost weight and stopped when he reached 8% body fat and the final size he wanted.

Guy #2 (we’ll call him Freddie) dieted down a month or two before Bob. Freddie dieted down to a level that was lower than his targeted 8% bodyweight. He held this lower bodyweight for a month or two, and then increased his bodyweight slightly to get up to his targeted level of body fat, before stopping.

Which guy looked better? You guessed it; my main man Freddie. Why did he look better? He got smaller than he wanted to be, and held that size for a month or two. This allowed for his skin to catch up to his small size, reducing the usual problems of excess skin and lack of elasticity that is associated with weight loss. Then, when he gained a little bit of weight back (through mostly muscle gain), he now had a stretched, or shrink wrapped appearance to his skin. His abs looked killer. His arms were ripped beyond belief. It’s a truly outstanding technique.

The best thing about the shrink wrap effect? It lasts for months, and it’s easy to maintain.

Click on the image below to watch a video on the Shrink Wrap Effect (then scroll down to video 3).


Some Tips To Get The Most From the Shrink Wrap Effect

  • Start 5 or 6 months before you want to have your desired results.
  • Spend 3 or 4 months leaning out with cardio while still maintaining muscle density. Stay in the low rep range to maintain muscle strength without adding too much size.
  • Hold your lower body weight for 1 or 2 months. Be on a low calorie diet, maintain your cardio, and continue with the low reps.
  • In the final month, ease off the cardio, start working out with higher reps, and let your muscles fill out.


 markyFor more information on the shrink wrap effect and other awesome tricks to look impossibly ripped – check out this program dedicated to achieving a “Hollwood” body.

(Think Brad Pitt in Troy, Ryan Reynolds in Blade, Ryan Gosling in Crazy. Stupid. Love.)

Click Here To Get That Body

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  • Cleg Burris here,
    I want to do it. I”m going to try it now. Will write back soon to let you know how it goes.


  • Tressa

    Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Thanks

    • Josh Vales

      Absolutely Tressa! Go right ahead.