How to Get Jacked: The Complete Guide to Building an Incredible Physique
How to Get Jacked: The Complete Guide to Building an Incredible Physique
Want to know how to get absolutely jacked and build an amazing physique? Who doesn't want to look shredded with huge arms, a chiseled chest and six pack abs?
Getting jacked takes hard work and dedication, but the payoff is worth it. Not only will you look incredible, but you'll feel stronger, healthier and more confident.
In this complete guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about how to build an impressive physique and get totally jacked.
What Does It Really Mean to Get Jacked?
When people talk about wanting to get "jacked," they're referring to developing an extremely muscular, well-defined and ripped physique with very low body fat.
It means having wide shoulders, big biceps, a broad chest, chiseled abs and muscular legs. Basically, looking like an action movie star or superhero.
Some key characteristics of a jacked physique:
- Very low body fat percentage (around 6-10% for men and 16-20% for women)
- High amount of lean muscle mass
- Visible muscle striations and vascularity
- Wide shoulders and v-shaped torso
- Big, strong arms (especially biceps and triceps)
- Developed, square-shaped chest
- Visible six pack abs
- Muscular back with definition
- Strong, powerful legs
When you're jacked, all of your muscle groups are well-developed and clearly defined. There is clear separation between muscles without looking overly bulky or puffy.
It takes consistent strength training, a dialed in nutrition plan and serious dedication to get truly jacked. But with the right approach, it is possible to transform your physique.
How Long Does it Take to Get Jacked?
Building an impressive jacked physique takes time and consistency. Depending on your starting point, it can take anywhere from 6 months to several years to get properly jacked.
For beginners, it will likely take 12-18 months of proper training and nutrition to build a solid muscular foundation. After that, you can take your physique to the next level with more advanced training techniques and nutrition strategies.
Here are some general timelines:
- Untrained beginner - Expect to take 12-18 months to develop an impressive physique as you build your first solid foundation of muscle and lose fat.
- Trained beginner - If you have 6-12 months of weight training experience, you can get noticeably bigger and leaner in 6-12 months by optimizing your training and nutrition.
- Intermediate - With at least 1-2 years of training under your belt, focus on weak points and improving diet to get jacked in 9-15 months.
- Advanced - At this stage, small gains come slowly. Expect to spend 12-24 months adding mass and strategically cutting to reveal a jacked physique. Use periodization and advanced techniques.
Keep in mind, the more muscle you have to start with, the longer it will take to build additional mass and achieve the jacked look. Patience and consistency are key.
The process can be sped up somewhat by optimizing training volume, intensity and recovery as well as dialing in your diet to maximize muscle growth. But there are no shortcuts to getting properly jacked.
How to Get Jacked: Step-by-Step
Getting an incredible jacked physique requires a strategic approach. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Dial In Your Nutrition
Proper nutrition is absolutely crucial for muscle building. Without eating enough calories and protein, your body won't have the raw materials to add new muscle mass.
Calculate your calorie needs - Use an online TDEE calculator to estimate your maintenance calories. Eat in a calorie surplus of 300-500 calories per day to fuel muscle growth. Get at least 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily.
Time nutrients - Take advantage of timed nutrients. Have a protein shake with carbs pre and post workout to fuel gains. Save fats for rest days and limit carbs later at night.
Gain slowly - Only increase calories by 100-200 if not gaining weight weekly. No need for huge surpluses. Gaining 0.5-1 pound per week allows for muscle growth while minimizing fat gain.
Get stronger - Strength gains are a good indicator you’re building muscle. Track lifts and aim to increase weight, reps or sets regularly to progress.
Step 2: Follow a Muscle Building Workout Routine
The best workout routines for getting jacked focus on progressive overload, training each muscle group 2-3 times per week. This allows enough training volume to stimulate growth and enough recovery time.
Aim for 3-6 sets per exercise and 8-12 reps per set. Lift challenging weights in the 75%-85% 1RM range for best muscle building stimulus.
Ideally train each muscle group 2-3 times per week on a 3, 4 or 6 day split routine. This provides enough frequency to spur growth. Don't forget leg training.
Step 3: Use Advanced Training Techniques
To take your physique to the next level, incorporate advanced training techniques like drop sets, supersets, pyramids and partial reps to further fatigue the muscles.
Here are some of the best techniques for getting jacked:
- Drop sets - Reduce the weight and immediately continue repping until failure.
- Supersets - Perform two exercises back to back with no rest.
- Giant sets - String together 4+ exercises for a muscle group.
- Rest pause - Rep until failure, rest 10-20 seconds, then repeat.
- Burnouts - High reps with short rest at the end of a workout.
- Partial reps - Emphasize the peak contracted position.
- Negatives - Use eccentric emphasis for extra time under tension.
These techniques help fatigue muscle fibers more completely to spur greater growth. Use them strategically in your program.
Step 4: Focus on Progressive Overload
Progressive overload is key to getting jacked. You must continually increase the demands you place on the muscles over time to force adaptation and growth.
Some ways to overload the muscles:
- Increase weight used
- Add more reps
- Add more sets
- Reduce rest between sets
- Use advanced training techniques
Track your training and aim to beat your previous numbers each workout. Getting stronger is a proven way to build muscle. Don't stay too comfortable.
Step 5: Allow Enough Recovery Time
While training hard is crucial, allowing enough recovery between workouts is also key. This enables the muscle damage from training to fully repair and grow.
Aim for at least 1-2 days of rest between training the same muscle groups. Sleep 7-9 hours per night and avoid unnecessary stress. Pay close attention to your body and reduce volume if feeling overtrained.
Refuel muscles after training with a post workout meal or shake containing 20-40g protein and carbohydrates. Get a proper cool down and stretch regularly.
By balancing training and recovery, you’ll be able to sustain consistent muscle building without burnout or injury holding you back.
Step 6: Take Advantage of Muscle-Building Compounds (Optional)
Certain compounds can give your muscle building efforts an additional boost by improving performance, energy, strength gains and recovery. These include:
- Creatine - Supports strength and power output. Increases lean mass gains.
- Beta-Alanine - Reduces fatigue for more training volume.
- Citrulline - Boosts workout performance and reduces fatigue.
- Ashwagandha - Lowers cortisol and helps recover from workouts.
While not necessary, strategic supplemental can help maximize your genetic potential. Do your research and talk to your doctor.
Diet Tips to Get Jacked
Diet has a huge impact on your ability to build muscle and get jacked. Here are some key diet tips:
- Eat in a calorie surplus of 300-500 calories per day. Gradually increase if not gaining weight. Get 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily.
- Time carbs around workouts for energy and recovery. Limit carbs at night and on rest days. Save dietary fats for rest days when carbs are lower.
- Eat plenty of lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, protein powder and fish. Whey protein post workout is ideal.
- Consume complex carbs including oats, rice, quinoa, potatoes and vegetables to fuel muscles. Limit added sugars and processed carbs.
- Include healthy fats from nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado and fatty fish. They support hormone production.
- Stay hydrated with at least 1-1.5 gallons of water daily. Limit alcohol and fruit juices high in sugar.
- Have a big post workout meal or shake with protein & carbs to start the recovery process. Creatine can amplify this.
Exercise Selection for a Jacked Physique
Certain exercises are particularly effective for building a jacked, muscular physique. Prioritize these movements in your program:
Chest - Barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, dips, incline dumbbell press
Back - Deadlifts, pull-ups, bent over rows, lat pulldowns
Shoulders - Overhead press, lateral raises, front raises, rear delt flies
Arms - Barbell curls, preacher curls, tricep pushdowns, skullcrushers
Legs - Squats, lunges, leg press, leg curls, calf raises
Core - Planks, hanging leg raises, cable crunches
Aim for compound, multi-joint exercises that activate large muscle groups. Isolation exercises have their place in sculpting physique details.
Optimizing Your Training Split
Your workout routine split will impact your ability to get jacked. Here are some effective splits:
3 Day Full Body - Train the entire body each workout. Allows for greater exercise variety and frequency. Better recovery needed.
Upper/Lower - Train upper body and lower body on alternating days. Hits muscle groups 2x per week. Balances volume and recovery.
Push/Pull/Legs - Train push muscles (chest, shoulders, triceps), pull muscles (back, biceps), and legs on separate days. Great for natural growth.
Body Part Splits - "Bro splits" that train 1-2 muscle groups per workout like back/bi's, chest/tri's, shoulders/legs, etc. High volume capacity.
Experiment to find what works best for your recovery abilities and schedule. Adjust volume and frequency as needed over time.
Lifestyle Tips for Getting Jacked
Your lifestyle outside the gym also impacts your ability to get jacked. Here are some tips:
- Get enough sleep - Shoot for 7-9 hours per night for optimal recovery and muscle building hormone production.
- Manage stress - High cortisol levels can hinder muscle growth and fat loss. Practice relaxation techniques.
- Take rest days - Muscles grow during rest, not just training. Allow 48 hours between training the same muscle groups.
- Drink enough water - Stay well hydrated to aid muscle recovery and fat loss. Aim for 1-1.5 gallons daily.
- Use supplements strategically - Compounds like creatine, beta-alanine and citrulline can provide an added boost.
- Do cardio strategically - 1-2 shorter cardio sessions can help burn calories without impeding muscle growth.
- Limit alcohol - Heavy drinking hinders protein synthesis, recovery and fat loss. If you drink, do so in moderation.
Optimizing your lifestyle complements your training and nutrition approach to help build the ultimate jacked physique.
How to Get Jacked: Putting It All Together
Getting an insanely jacked physique requires dialing in every aspect of your fitness program and lifestyle. Here’s a recap of how to put the pieces together:
- Calculate your calorie and macro needs. Eat in a 300-500 calorie surplus focused on protein and complex carbs. Time nutrients appropriately.
- Follow an intelligent workout routine that hits each muscle group 2-3 times per week with proper progressive overload techniques
- Incorporate advanced training techniques like drop sets, supersets, partials, etc. to fully fatigue the muscles
- Focus on continually increasing strength on key lifts to spur continued growth
- Allow proper recovery time between workouts. Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Take supplements like creatine, beta-alanine or citrulline malate if desired.
- Manage lifestyle factors like hydration, stress, alcohol intake and cardio strategically
Getting jacked takes relentless dedication, consistency and patience. But with the right strategic approach, you can build the incredible physique you’ve always wanted.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of getting jacked?
Some of the main benefits of developing a jacked, muscular physique include:
- Improved strength and athletic performance
- Increased metabolism and fat burning
- Enhanced muscle definition and aesthetics
- Greater confidence and self-esteem
- Reduced injury risk
- Improved bone density
- Increased testosterone levels
- Heightened sex appeal
What exercises build the most muscle?
The best exercises for building muscle are heavy compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, rows, pullups, overhead press and dips. These activate multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
How much protein do I need daily?
Research shows consuming 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily supports muscle growth when training hard and eating in a caloric surplus. Spread protein intake throughout the day.
How much should I workout to get jacked?
Train each muscle group 2-3 times per week for 3-6 sets and 8-12 reps per set. Higher volume programs in the 15+ set range per muscle group can work for more advanced lifters. Balance training and recovery.
What should my macros be to get jacked?
A good starting point is 40% of calories from protein, 40% from complex carbs and 20% from healthy fats. Adjust as needed based on your body’s response. Consume a calorie surplus of 300-500 daily.
The Bottom Line on Getting Jacked
Developing an incredibly muscular, ripped physique takes years of hard training, strategically fueling your body and dedication.
But the rewards are well worth it.
By following the step-by-step guide and tips provided, you can optimize your approach to build your best physique over time.
Just remember, getting properly jacked is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency is key.
Bring intensity and passion to your workouts, fuel your body to grow, and keep pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. You have the potential for greatness. Now go unleash it!