Sure, you don't get a lot of props for bulking up your chest, back, and legs in the fall and winter, when layers of insulation replace summer’s skimpy tank tops and tees.

But, no matter what time of year it is, your traps, shoulders, and forearms can still pop out and look powerful—whether it's under long-sleeve shirts and sweaters, or out for show at the beach. With this program, you’ll pack on muscle to these areas and get an upper body you'll want to show off all year round.

How it works

While this routine has plenty of legs and abs work, it particularly targets the upper-body muscles with exercises that train them heavy and hard. Hang snatch high pulls—an Olympic weightlifting move popular in CrossFit—will train your traps in a brand-new way, while rack pulls will add thickness to your shoulders and back.

You’ll also focus on the forearms—but by integrating them with other muscle groups for efficiency. Instead of wrist curls, we’re calling for hammers and farmer’s walks with a thicker dumbbell handle. This forces you to grip harder to hold on to the weight, firing up your forearm muscles without isolating them.


Perform each workout (Day I, II, and III) once per week, resting a day between each session.

Exercises marked “A” and “B” are alternated, so you’ll do one set of A, rest, then B, rest again, and repeat until all sets are complete.

Jeb Stuart Johnston, C.P.T., is a trainer in New York City.