Do These Exercises to Get Jacked

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Training

All too often I walk into public gyms and see skinny guys plugging away, doing set after set of the worst, time wasting exercises possible. That’s why, today, I’m going to show you the most effective exercises per body part starting from the traps and working our way down to the calves.

Remember that the most important factor in all of strength training is progressive overload. So forget about all the other confusing nonsense and work to get brutally strong on these exercises.

When you can move head turning weights for ten reps you will be big. It’s really that simple.


If you want huge traps like UFC champ, Brock Lesnar you need to deadlift. That will always be first on the list. Hang cleans and snatches would be next followed by shrugs.


To build big cannon ball shoulders you need to incorporate either dumbbell or barbell military press into your program along with some handstand pushups. No other exercise can compare.


For chest development you can’t beat pushups. That is, provided you do them right, of course. For most guys pushups will be too easy after your first few months of training. That’s why you need to learn advanced variations or load them by wearing a weight vest, having a friend hold plates on you back, performing them on straps or rings.

Aside from pushups you should do a 15-30 degree incline barbell or dumbbell press. That angle is a bit more effective and somewhat safer than the flat bench. Throw in some ring dips and you’re covered.


Chin ups, rows and deadlifts. Chin ups can be done with a variety of grips. Rows can be done with dumbbells, barbells or with your own bodyweight on a fixed bar, ropes, straps. Deadlifts can be done from the floor or from the rack with a straight or trap bar.


The biceps will get a pretty good growth stimulus from chin ups if you’re a beginner. When you’re a little more advanced  regular dumbbell curl variations are your best choices. The straight bar places too much stress on the wrists and elbows.


The parallel bar dip is the king of triceps building exercises. The other exercise that packs the most muscle on the back of the arm is the close grip bench press which can be done full range, on the floor or off of 2, 3 or 4 boards.


For massive quad development there is no exercise that compares to the almighty back squat. If you want big legs you have to squat. Front squats and safety bar squats are awesome variations as well.


Getting insanely strong on the barbell hip thrust, barbell glute bridge, back extension and bent leg reverse hyper will cure pancake ass, which looks horrible on both males and females alike.


A full range deep squat will hit the hamstrings quite effectively. On top of squatting you should also include glute ham raises and some type of hip extension exercise like a Romanian Deadlift. Those provided the type of loaded stretch that is highly effective for mass building.


Just having low bodyfat doesn’t ensure a good looking set of abs. You also need to build them up so that there is some deepness and separation. You want them to pop out and have a 3D effect. The best exercises for this are L-sits, hanging leg raises, power wheel rollouts, Turkish get ups, front lever iso holds, slow curl ups and suitcase farmers walks.


Sprinting, jumping, Olympic lifting and sled pushing are all highly effective and athletic ways of building the calves. Too much direct calf work can lead to ankle issues, especially if you go heavy. That being said, if the aforementioned exercises don’t get the job done you can add in some single leg calf raises at moderate to high volume for 4-6 week phases.

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11 Responses to Do These Exercises to Get Jacked

  1. Russell July 10, 2010 at 6:38 am #

    Keep it simple. Easy as that.

    • aaaa September 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

      yea dawg

  2. Michael July 10, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I don’t want to sound as polemical, but I need to point something that I have witnessed since my search for nutritional and fitness plans.

    I’m sharing my comment here for a reason, because I read that Jason indicates Tom Venuto as one to check out for in his knowledge.
    as a matter of fact he is. I bought his book, burn the fat feed the muscle, and learned a wealth of information on it.
    I got Jason 3XM books as well, and liked so much I cannot stop sticking with it as the best fitness plan had since years.

    nevertheless I see some contraddictions in linking people with totally different ideas on things.
    In 3XM nutrition, Jason advice to follow the Warrior diet if someone wants to get rid of unwanted fat. Now, the warrior Diet involve the eating of a single huge meal, the dinner, while pinching little food throughout the day until dinner.
    I did this kind of nutritional path and found it incredible efficient.

    The problem is that guys like Venuto simply run away from this nutritional habit like this as if it is the devil.
    Venuto is a strong supporter of eating once every 3 hours, while the warrior diet is totally opposite of this.

    So, isn’t it a contraddiction in suggesting to read guys things that fight habit we support?

    I think that it would be suitable to take a distance from guys who are contraddicting something we support.

    it is the case of Charles Staley. when he suggest to check out a link of a colleagues he takes some proper distance saying things like: “I don’t support all of John Doe says, but it is goods to read what he has to say about”………..

    Overall, what can happen is that a Jason reader and supporter reads Venuto articles which fight hard against things who he follow by reading them on Jason manuals. and the chaos is created.

    Just my two cents……….


  3. Eskow July 11, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    I need to step my game up with the military presses…

  4. jasonferruggia July 12, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    yeah, you do.

  5. Dean Coulson July 13, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    awesome advice as usual. Keep it simple and put some major effort in!

  6. Guille July 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    These are all the major muscles you need to hit weekly to truly see your body shape before your eyes.

    I always thought that my shoulders had kind of a “nice shape” until I saw a huge change in my shoulders size and overall look when I started doing barbell clean and presses.

    Many of the exercises you describe here are part of my weekly routine.

  7. Jorge August 7, 2010 at 12:03 am #

    I couldnt agree with you more on your selection of exercises. Im a huge fan of the Deadlift cuz it works almost everything, puts on size, and to me its the best display of raw power and you cant help but feel amped after you finish a heavy deadlift workout. Keep up the good work Jay!

  8. wrestler strength October 29, 2010 at 4:51 am #

    Great breakdown of THE exercises needed to build a serious body. I like how I don’t think I saw a single machine or stupid ball exercise on that list!

  9. Niko August 26, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    I am a massive fan of stiff-legged deadlifts for my hamstrings. What are your thoughts, I noticed you didn’t recommend it?

  10. Alex Zinchenko October 16, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Absolute truth if barbells and dumbbells are your main training implements. I’m sick and tired of guys wasting time in the gym. They should read such article several times before going to gym. I like that you place push-up higher than bench press. It’s pretty wise.