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The Best Exercise Routines to Get Ripped

author image Kim Nunley
Kim Nunley has been screenwriting and working as an online health and fitness writer since 2005. She’s had multiple short screenplays produced and her feature scripts have placed at the Austin Film Festival. Prior to writing full-time, she worked as a strength coach, athletic coach and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in kinesiology from California State University, Fullerton.
The Best Exercise Routines to Get Ripped
Focus on specific muscle groups each day to adequately overload your muscles. Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

The best exercise routines to build a significant amount of muscle mass feature a high frequency of high volume workouts. It’s not unusual for those interested in truly increasing their muscle size to work out most days of the week, with each session lasting at least an hour. Although men are able to build muscle faster and to a greater extent, both sexes can significantly build muscle with an effective workout program.

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Complete a weightlifting workout six days per week. This training schedule allows you to focus on select muscle groups each day, thus enabling you to adequately overload each muscle group with more total sets. On Mondays and Thursdays, focus on your back and legs. On Tuesdays and Fridays, develop your chest and shoulders. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, target your biceps and triceps. Although you’re only working out each muscle group twice per week, because of the volume of each individual workout, you will provide an adequate stimulus for muscle building.


Choose three or four exercises for every major muscle group that you train each day. Do each exercise at a volume of three or four sets of six to 12 repetitions. Rest one to three minutes between each set. If you have time limitations, consider super-setting your workouts. For example, on back and legs day, instead of waiting between each set, you could complete a set of a back exercise and then directly move into a set of a leg exercise, moving back and forth until all assigned sets of those two exercises are completed.


Periodically vary the specific exercises you complete, either every few weeks or during each workout. Chest exercises include chest press, chest fly, pushup and incline chest press. Shoulder exercises include shoulder press, upright row, lateral raise, front raise and dip. Back exercises include pullup, lat pulldown, dumbbell row and T-bar row. Leg exercises include squat, lunge, stepup, deadlift, hamstring curl and calf raise. Biceps exercises include biceps curl, hammer curl and isolation curl. Triceps exercises include triceps pushdown, overhead triceps extension and lying triceps extension.


Although not directly associated with your exercise routine, it’s important to understand that to successfully build muscle mass, you will need to provide your body with enough calories and protein to fuel the muscle building process. Use an online calorie calculator to determine how many calories you naturally burn every day, then consume 250 to 500 above that number to allow muscle building. On a daily basis, take in 0.65 to 0.80 g of protein for every pound that you weigh.

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