As the days get longer you suddenly realize something… This was meant to be the year you were jacked beyond belief! What happened to all the time, bro?
It’s almost the end of spring and your physique is nowhere near as stacked, chiseled, and athletic as you’d like. You need to know how to get jacked, fast!
Luckily for you, your boys at SpotMeBro are always on hand with expert advice. Here’s how you’re gonna do it in five basic steps…
- Step 1 – Mindset
- Step 2 – Planning
- Step 3 – Training and routine
- Step 4 – Nutrition
- Step 5 – Supplementation
- Final rep
Step 1 – Mindset
First things first, you’ve got to get your head in the game. The only way to do that is to understand your goal. What does ‘jacked’ even mean, bro?
It’s said that ‘jacked’ became a popular way to describe larger than average muscles because they almost looked propped up. Imagine a mechanical jack lifting a truck, making it taller than if its wheels were the ground.
So, what about a jacked physique?
Jacked is all about athletic looking, above average musculature, lower levels of body fat, and an un-f*ckwithable frame. You essentially look like one strong mutha who’s fit and functional, but you’re not quite as larger-than-life as swole.
A jacked dude instantly stands out as one who looks like they mean business. On first glance they’ll have you guessing whether or not they’re a CrossFit champ, NFL athlete, MMA fighter, or a member of the Special Ops. Their physique is so complete and athletic it’s hard to find a weak point in their armor.
For a more visual cue take a look at:
- Mat Fraser – CrossFit champ
- Chris Hemsworth – Hollywood movie star AKA Thor
- LeBron James – NBA phenom
- Anthony Joshua – Professional boxer
- Jason Mamoa – Hollywood movie star AKA Aquaman
- Gerard Butler – Hollywood movie star AKA Leonidas in 300
- Brock Lesnar – UFC and WEE champ
- Tryon Woodley – UFC welterweight champ
What do all these dudes have in common? Their diet is on point, they train like a savage, and they’re not afraid to lift heavy in the weight room. Simply put – they’ve earned their incredible physiques with sweat. Some have undeniably bled for it.
Now you know what you’re aiming for, it’s time to go get it. Let’s do this, bro!
Step 2 – Planning
We’ll level with you, bro, getting jacked isn’t an overnight thing. You can’t buy a magic workout plan from the internet to make it happen in a week either. We’re not even sorry about that.
Why? Because building lean, aggressive, and dominating muscle takes time. While you’ll definitely begin to see positive changes after a week or two, you’ll see better results after four. If you can make the eight to twelve-week mark, you’ll notice a full transformation.
It’s simple – you get out what you put in amigo. Getting jacked fast can only be possible with dedication to your diet and an unwavering allegiance to living the iron life. In short, you’re gonna have to commit some time away from your usual activities to get this done. Hell, you might have to change your whole lifestyle.
We recommend you undertake this fast transformation for a minimum of four to six weeks, twelve if you’re dedicated. To do so make sure you put a big red ring around at least twenty-eight days on your calendar.
Screw vacations, crazy bachelor parties, the birth of your first born or anything else that’ll halt your gains during this period – you’ve got work to do!
Step 3 – Training and routines
When you delve deep into the training of jacked dudes you hardly ever see bro-splits. Instead, you’ll find forms of functional movements, alongside compound lifts and more appropriate splitting.
After all, jacked dudes like MMA fighters, weightlifters, and CrossFit athletes have physiques that walk the walk. They can break a neck or throw a barbell any second.
You don’t get this kind of body by broscience bodybuilding. Instead, you need to train like an athlete – albeit one with his physique in mind, not a sport.
To do this you’ll divide your training into two sections; resistance and cardio. Forget the hour-long treadmill trudging bullsh*t…we’re going hardcore HIIT for fat burning.
The science of resistance training
Let’s look at the science of why you’ll be lifting.
Studies show that resistance training is a leading factor in muscle development. This is true for both hypertrophy, aka size gainz, and strength . Hell, there’s a reason why most marathon runners are skinny…
When you lift weights, you give your muscles a stimulus to adapt and grow.
By bending the barbell, you create mechanical tension throughout your muscle tissue, which results in tiny microtears. You also cause toxic damage to the tissue via metabolic byproducts such as hydrogen and lactic acid.
Rebuilding the wall
Now, all of this sh*t sounds scary, but mother nature has it on lockdown. Your body adapts to these stressors by rushing amino acids to the trauma site to rebuild and reinforce the tissue.
Rather than grow new muscle fibers (broscience bullsh*t) your body fixes and replaces essential contractual proteins, preparing tissue for the moment stress strikes again. Picture this process as patching up an army base after a rogue air strike, only to build it bigger and better than before.
After a while though, your body adapts to make you stronger. What was once a badass almost max effort is now ‘a lightweight baby’! Therefore, you must employ progressive overload to constantly challenge the muscles and encourage them to continue developing. Science, bro.
How to use weight training to get jacked
Okay, so now you know the why, let’s get to grips with the how.
First up, you’re gonna be using a combination of heavy compound lifting coupled with supporting isolation moves. The idea is to recruit greater amounts of muscle fibers for overall growth before zoning in on specific areas.
Compounds are king
Compound exercises are movements that require multiple muscle groups and joints. According to this study, they’re far superior for inducing fast strength gainz compared to isolation moves .
Using compounds is also an awesome way to build muscle quickly due to two main reasons…
Number one is the sheer amount of fibers recruited. This vast number allows you to lift heavier weights, making progressive overloading a faster process, while also increasing size gains.
Number two is a spike in testosterone. Studies indicate that heavy compound lifting ramps up production of the important alpha-male androgen T and human growth hormone .
Powerful PPL splits
Additional to your big-ass compounds, you’ll be hitting a PPL split. Rather than separate your week into one or two body parts per day you’ll focus on either push, pull, or leg movements. Why? Because PPL splits allow for:
- Variety – As you’re focusing on movement patterns it’s possible to choose from a wider array of exercises
- Efficiency – Related muscle groups trained together in the same workout
- Recovery – Less soreness as muscle group frequency is spread out through the week, plus opposing areas are used on different days allowing for un-conflicting rest
A PPL split also gives you more of an opportunity to use functional, compound movements. These include the likes of squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and Oly lifts.
Popular advocates of the PPL split include the likes of jacked actor Jason Mamoa.
PPL Split Workout Routine to Get You Jacked
It wouldn’t be fair for us just give you the science would it? Here’s a PPL split routine for beginner/intermediate lifters to get you jacked as a mutha in no time…
Day 1 – Push
- Bench press – 3 x 6 reps
- Incline dumbbell press – 3 x 6
- Military press – 3 x 8-10
- Tricep cable pushdown – 3 x 8-10
- Side lateral raise – 2 x 8-10
- Tricep dips – 2 x 8-10
Day 2 – Rest
Use this day for either complete rest or HIIT style cardio to speed up results.
Day 3 – Pull
- Trap bar deadlift – 3 x 5 reps
- Bent-over row – 3 x 6 reps
- Lat pulldown – 3 x 8-10 reps
- Face pulls – 3 x 8-10 reps
- EZ-bar bicep curl – 2 x 10-12 reps
- High pull – 2 x 10-12 reps
Day 4 – Rest
Chill out, eat some healthy muscle building foots, and reflect on two killer workouts you’ve crushed. Tomorrow is gonna be leg day.
Day 5 – Legs/Abs
- Back squat – 3 x 5 reps
- Dumbbell Romanian deadlift – 3 x 6 reps
- Leg curl – 3 x 8-10 reps
- Leg extensions – 3 x 8-10 reps
- Leg press – 2 x 10-12 reps
- Calf raise – 2 x 10-12 reps
- Toes to bar – 2 x 12 reps
Day 6 – Rest
After that heavy leg session, it’d be best to rest today. Try not to do too much, enjoy your weekend, and work on your mobility.
Day 7 – HIIT Cardio
Nail your favorite HIIT workout to blitz fat and maintain muscle. Many researchers suggest that steady state cardio actually promotes muscle loss, while high-intensity training encourages increases in testosterone and maintenance of lean mass. In short – go hard or go home, bro.
Tip: Rest as much as you like between exercises, bro. Both long and short times have their benefits so it’s up to you.
Advanced lifter? Simply perform the three days back to back before resting for one day.
Step 4 – Nutrition
Just like the swoledier in the gym you’re eating to get big. However, as a jacked-to-the-nines beast, you’re not about that dirty bulk. Instead, you’re gonna be eating to build and maintain a lean, powerful physique.
To achieve a primal alpha status of muscularity, you’ll need to pay attention to your macros. That means tracking your protein, carbs, and fats to optimize leanness. The jacked dude isn’t always shredded by any means, but he’s certainly not chubby.
Macros for muscle
Macronutrients, aka macros, are vital nutrients your body needs to perform optimally. Get them right and you’ll be rocking the physique of an NFL superstar. Get them wrong, well, you’ll forever be the guy afraid to take his shirt off.
The three macros are:
- Carbohydrates – 4kcal per gram
- Fats – 9kcal per gram
- Protein – 4 kcal per gram
First up, there’s carbohydrates, chains of sugars bound together than provide the body with energy. When broken down they turn into glucose, which is stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen. When it’s time to train hard, the muscle calls upon this store of glycogen, turning it back into glucose for energy.
However, the benefits don’t just stop there, as post-exercise carbohydrate intake may positively influence protein synthesis. In short – ingesting carbs alongside protein after you’ve smashed the gym can accelerate your gains.
We recommend saving your carbs for first thing in the morning and around training times. Also, try to stick to the slow-release complex kind over simple sugars.
Need a complete guide to carb cycling? Check this out.
Believe it or not, fats are essential for muscle development. It isn’t just for one reason either.
Firstly, fats help with the upkeep and creation of androgen hormones. Without them your body cannot produce the type of testosterone needed to form a truly jacked physique.
The most important of these hormones is the alpha-male androgen testosterone.
Secondly, they’re high in calories. This helps bolster your daily intake to provide energy for building muscle and destroying the gym floor.
Gotta get your protein, bro! It’s the number one resource for repairing those microtears and stacking lean mass. How come? Well, bro, it’s pretty simple.
Remember the tissue damage caused by working out? Well, rather than your muscle shrivel and die, protein saves the day. It provides the amino acid building blocks needed to rebuild the muscle fibers, allowing them to bounce back bigger, better, and stronger.
Hence why it’s so important to ingest enough protein throughout the day. On your quest to become the most jacked man in the room you should aim for around 1.7 to 2.0 gram per kilogram of bodyweight every day . Ideally, this total amount will be split up over several smaller meals throughout the day.
How to set up your macros to get jacked
It’s okay knowing what to eat – but it’s a completely different level knowing how to split your macros. Follow this formula to set yours up for a lean bulk without fat gain.
First, find your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the baseline number of calories needed to keep your vital organs in action:
BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.8 x age in years )
Second, multiply your BMR by your activity level. Be honest with yourself bro:
Sedentary (little or no exercise): BMR x 1.2
Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): BMR x 1.375
Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week): BMR x 1.55
Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week): BMR x 1.725
Extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training): BMR x 1.9
Found it? Sweet. This is how many calories you burn on average in 24 hours – AKA your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).
Third, now this is the easy part, add on:
- 15-20% if you’re undersized
- Nothing if you’re already big
- Chubby? Reduce by 10-15%
Dividing your diet
On a typical training day divide your diet as follows.
- Protein – one gram per pound of body weight
- Carbs – 50% of total calories
- Fats – any remaining calories
However, for rest days, factor in these doses instead:
- Protein – one gram per pound of body weight
- Carbs – 20-25% of total calories
- Fats – any remaining calories
Step 5 – Supplementation
Nothing can replace a nutritious diet rich in muscle building whole foods – fact! However, supplementing with scientifically backed compounds can certainly help. Here’s the best of the bunch to include in your get jacked stack:
- Creatine – proven to increase overall strength, power, and hypertrophy gainz
- Protein powder – handy and convenient way to bolster amino acid intake
- Pre-workout – ideal for those training sessions where you need mental drive, focus, and physical energy
- Testosterone boosters – taken to optimize the production of muscle building androgen hormones via scientifically backed ingredients
- ZMA – promotes better sleep and recovery. This is especially important for getting jacked as you’re most anabolic while sleeping.
Tip: Always opt for a premium product over a lower quality version if possible. Also, avoid undisclosed and potentially dangerous blends like ‘OptiTest Formula’ at all costs.
Heed our words and you’ll be jacked up like a hummer truck in no time, bro. All you need to do is put in the hard work, get your diet on point, and smell the sweet scent of gainz.
Embrace everything there is about getting jacked. Surround yourself with people who share the same mission as you by joining a real gym. Discover the culture, bro.
Learn, grow, and sure as hell don’t give up when the going gets tough – because it will. Just remember that behind every badass jacked dude is a man who didn’t quit. Smash that final rep and show the world why you deserve to be stacked.
Now, once you get to the coveted status of being a muscled-up mutha, it’s about keeping those gainz. For this to happen you’ll have to maintain your training and find new ways to work out. At this point you’ll be on first name terms with all the respected gym rats so getting advice won’t be hard.
As always, good luck, bro. We’ll be seeing you when you’re jacked!
- Bandy W, et al. Adaptation of Skeletal Muscle to Resistance Training. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 1990
- Gentil P, et al. Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy. Asian J Sports Med. 2015
- Vingren J, et al. Testosterone Physiology in Resistance Exercise and Training. Sports Medicine. 2010
- Jäger R, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017
More muscle focused material for bros:
- SpotMeBro’s Complete Guide to Getting Swole
- The Ultimate 7-Day Beginner Workout Plan to Get Absolutely Ripped
- 3 Lunchtime HIIT Workout for Busy Bros
[Updated: January 2019]