As a powerlifter, my main goal is to lift as much as I can in the bench, squat, and deadlift. But I don't want to look like a fat sack of shit. I want to look like I lift and also be able to move a lot of plates. I came up with a program that would allow me to keep lifting heavy and help me grow some big-ass, sexy muscles. I call it "Jacked and Tan."

The best way to get strong and look awesome is to get your heavy work in first, then do that same barbell movement for higher repetitions, and then finish with accessory movements to build those mirror muscles the ladies love.



It's a simple protocol that delivers excellent results. I'll show you how it's done.

Ready? Let's get jacked and tan, son!

Warm-up
1
Band Pull Apart
3 sets, 20 reps
2
Face Pull
3 sets, 20 reps
3
Band Pull Apart
or Band Dislocate
3 sets, 20 reps
4
Alternate Hammer Curl
3 sets, 20 reps
5
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Light sets
1 set, to failure
The Tan
1
Incline Dumbbell Press
3-4 sets.
4 sets, 8-10 reps (to fatigue, use varying levels of incline)
2
JM Press
2-3 sets.
3 sets, 8-10 reps
3
Triceps Pushdown
5 sets, to failure
The Jacked
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Paused. Work up to 2 sets of 3 heavy reps.
2 sets, 3 reps (Take as much rest as necessary between sets)
2
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
4 sets, 10 reps

Jacked-and-Tan Workout Tips

Before you run over to the nearest bench, read these tips. They'll help you get the most out of the workout so you can see the best results.

Warm-up tips

When you bench press, you don't just use your chest to press the weight, but your shoulders, triceps, and back as well. So, warm up your entire body. Spend the time preparing your body for the work it's about to do. You'll accomplish a lot more if your body is ready than if you slide under a barbell cold.

Heavy sets tips

Increase the weight slowly. If you're feeling good, you may want to throw on a bunch of plates, but it's better to start light and do 5-10 reps for one set. From there, drop to 3 repetitions and increase the weight each set. How much you increase will depend on your strength levels.

Don't jump up in weight too quickly, but don't spend too much time on warm-up sets either. When you're trying to see how strong you are for a particular number of reps, you want to go into those sets fresh. So, rest as much as you need between sets and don't waste energy by doing more warm-up sets than you need.

I like to wear a belt when I'm doing bench because it gives my abs something to press against and allows me to keep my back really tight.



High-rep sets

To bench press correctly, bring your elbows slightly in at the bottom and throw them back upward at the top. As the bar comes up, try to throw it toward your chin. Keep your upper back as tight as possible, your chest up, your heels smashed into the ground, and your knees out.

One of the best ways to fix just about any problem you're having with a lift is to drop the weight about 20-30 percent from your max lift, and work on getting perfect reps. Think about your form and move the bar efficiently.

Accessory Work

Accessory lifts are important not only because they help you look better, but also because they help your primary lifts. So, choose exercises that will make you better and more efficient at the main strength movements.

Anyone who wants to be strong and well-built is going to have to put in a lot of work. Accessory movements will help you get in the work you need. Move through the sets quickly and limit the amount of rest you take. If you're in a time crunch, try supersets.

A true bodybuilder would do many, many more sets than you're going to do. But, because you also need to devote a lot of time to your main strength movements, you won't be able to get in those 18-20 sets per body part. That's OK—you'll still see the results you want.

About the Author

Mark Bell

Mark Bell

I used to be known as JackAss from my days at elitefts.com, or Smelly from the feature film documentary 'Bigger, Stronger, Faster.'

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