Week 2: The Top 5 Exercises For Getting Jacked

So, you want to get jacked? I get it—who doesn’t want to be big and ripped? But before we even talk about the moves that can help get you there, keep in mind that building muscle takes more than solid workouts.

Getting jacked requires a balance of quality nutrition, proper rest, smart recovery, and the mastery of a few key movements.

If you are willing to eat, rest, and train for the sole purpose of getting huge, these five exercises will help you make it happen in the shortest amount of time possible.

Check ‘em out:

1. The Back Squat

Getting big requires spending a good amount of time under the bar. And I’d list the back squat as one of my all-time top movements for building that muscle. As far as I’m concerned, the back squat deserves a spot in every lower-body training session you do. It helps build up the entire lower body (your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves). Plus, squatting also requires a stable core. And because this big movement (like others on this list) triggers your body’s release of muscle-building hormones like testosterone, it can even help you on your quest to build upper-body strength, too.

Related: 3 Ways To Improve Your Squat

2. The Deadlift

This is the only move that challenges the back squat for the number-one spot on this list.  I love deadlifts because they build thick slabs of muscle on your posterior chain (the muscles along the back of your body). Plus, with so many variations, you have endless options for how to integrate deadlifts into your routine. I typically rotate between Romanian and straight-leg deadlifts, but you can also incorporate sumo, trap bar, or dumbbell versions into your sessions. As long as you’re getting them in, do what works for your body!

Related: 3 Ways To Improve Your Deadlift

3. Barbell Bench Press

If you want a thick chest and solid shoulder girdle, make sure you’re hitting the bench during your training sessions. Bench pressing increases overall pushing strength, builds bigger pec major muscles and serratus anteriors, which are the focal points of a strong-looking upper body. Plus, benching also builds your triceps like crazy, which helps you fill out pretty much any T-shirt you put on. I personally love mixing in dumbbell flat bench presses as well as incline dumbbell and barbell presses into my routine—you could even swap in a different variation each week.

4. Loaded Carries or Farmer’s Walks

I have a love-hate relationship with farmer’s walks. To really challenge yourself with these, you’ll want to carry your full body weight—and you’ll light up just about every muscle in your body. Not to mention, this move will definitely challenge your mental toughness. (If you’re 200 pounds, grab two 100-pound dumbbells and try walk for about a minute straight.)

5. The Overhead Press

Whether you’re using dumbbells or a barbell, standing tall with your core engaged and pushing serious weight will rock you. If your goal is to build those boulder shoulders and an all-around stronger trunk (a.k.a. core), then overhead pressing is an absolute must.

Okay, I know I said we’d be talking about my top five movements, but I’m going to throw in a bonus—because why not?

Bonus: Pullups

Pullups not only build the all-important biceps (let’s be honest, we all want solid arms like Arnold), but they’re also huge for building your lats and strengthening your core overall. Sup, abs?

Related: 8 Pullups To Challenge Your Upper Body

These moves are all killer—hence why they’re sprinkled throughout the workout plan you’re following to build muscle on muscle. Take it from a guy who went from 165 pounds soaking wet to a solid 220 pounds—good food, proper rest and recovery, and these moves all made the magic happen.

Related: Find a preworkout supp to power your training.