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Best Workouts to Get Big and Ripped

By Ollie Odebunmi ; Updated July 18, 2017

Getting big and ripped requires both hard work and dedication in the gym plus a disciplined nutrition program. Your workouts should consist of heavy compound exercises to maximize muscle building, along with isolation exercises for targeting and shaping individual muscles. Cardiovascular exercises can help keep your levels of body fat down to a minimum so that the underlying muscles become visible to help you get that ripped look.

Basic Guidelines

Do a split workout program. This involves targeting specific muscles on each workout day, followed by a day or two of rest and recovery. Target your chest, back and triceps on Monday. Hit legs, shoulders and biceps on Tuesday. Rest on Wednesday. On Thursday, target the same muscles as on Monday. Do the second muscle group on Friday. Take Saturday and Sunday off. Begin each resistance-training workout with an aerobic warm-up, such as a 5- to 10-minute jog on a treadmill or 10 minutes on a stationary bike.

Mondays and Thursdays

Start with a light warm-up set on the bench press, followed by three heavy sets of 6 to 12 repetitions. Target your upper pectoral muscles with three heavy sets of incline dumbbell presses. Do 6 to 12 reps. Alternatively, substitute flat dumbbell presses for the bench press and incline Smith machine presses for incline dumbbell presses. Finish your chest workout with an isolation exercise of three sets of flat bench flies of 10 to 12 reps.

Target your upper back with one light warm-up set and three heavy sets of 6 to 12 reps of bent-over rows. Alternatively do three sets of as many pullups as you can. Follow this with three heavy sets of lat pull-downs or low-pulley rows.

Do three heavy sets of close-grip bench presses for the triceps, followed by three heavy sets of tricep push-downs. Do 8 to 12 reps of each movement.

Tuesdays and Fridays

Perform a light warm-up set of 12 to 15 squats. Next, do three heavy sets of 8 to 12 reps. Alternatively, do leg presses. Isolation exercises should include three sets of 10 to 12 reps of leg extensions for the quadriceps and three sets of 10 to 12 reps of leg curls for the hamstrings. Also do three sets of 15 to 20 reps of calf raises for the calves.

For shoulders, start with a light warm-up set of overhead presses, followed by three heavy sets of 6 to 12 reps. Isolate your medial deltoids with three sets of 10 to 12 reps of dumbbell lateral raises.

For biceps, do a light set of barbell curls, then three heavy sets of 8 to 12 reps. Next do three sets of preacher curls for the same number of repetitions.

Cardiovascular Exercises and Body Fat

If you need to lose more body fat to get ripped, do a short, intense cardiovascular routine twice a week. Do your cardio routine as part of your warm-up on one of your workout days and on Saturdays or Sundays. The routine should be a short burst of interval training, such as two-minute jogs interspersed with one-minute sprints done for 30 minutes. If your body fat is generally low, do cardio once a week.

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