- Main GoalBuild Muscle
- Workout TypeSplit
- Training LevelIntermediate
- Program Duration8 weeks
- Days Per Week4
- Time Per Workout50-70 minutes
- Equipment RequiredBarbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
- Target Gender Male & Female
- Recommended Supps
- Workout PDF Download Workout
I went through a phase recently where I was pretty obsessed with Vince Gironda’s training philosophies.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, Gironda was one of the pioneers of bodybuilding.
He was one of the first renowned Hollywood trainers and known as “The Iron Guru”.
But, perhaps the biggest thing he was known for was his implementation of 8x8 training.
And, that’s what has caught all of our eyes and drawn us to this article.
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8x8 Workout Overview
The following program is an 8x8 style workout and it follows an upper/lower split.
It would be perfect for someone looking to add lean muscle mass. It is recommended to pair it with a phase in your training where you are in a caloric surplus to gain the most benefit.
This program would be perfect to run for about 8 weeks before taking a week to deload and reassess your goals.
The exercise selection for the program is important. For most, 8x8 would be incredibly intense to perform using the big 3 movements. Therefore, variations that allow for a lighter load and a more favorable lifting position are selected in place of these heavy movements.
A lot of isolation movements are also incorporated into the program to assist with the total amount of fatigue one can expect to experience when performing an 8 x 8 program.
Each workout consists of four 8 x 8 lifts, one for every major muscle group worked that day. Also included are two 3 x 10 exercises that are more minor body part oriented that I felt were important to train during this particular program.
Weight selection will be highly individual based on the person performing the program. You also do not necessarily need to utilize the same weight for each set. Personally, I’d recommend pyramiding up and then pyramiding back down after set 5 or so.
Rest periods are 30-45 seconds in between each set and exercise. Utilize this time to change out weights and catch your breath. You’ll likely realize quickly that this program is as much of a test of your cardiovascular system as it is a test of your muscular endurance.
If you have any additional questions regarding the workout program, please be sure to leave us a comment in the comments section below.
Day 1: 8x8 Upper Workout
|Wide Grip Bench Press||8||8|
|Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press||8||8|
|Lat Pull Down||8||8|
|EZ Bar Curl||3||10|
|Rope Tricep Extension||3||10|
Day 2: 8x8 Lower Workout
|Standing Calf Raise||3||10|
Day 3: Off/Rest Day
On rest days do something to promote recovery. This can be SMR, mobility work, low intensity cardio, or a combination of the three.
Day 4: 8x8 Upper Workout
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||8||8|
|Cable Face Pull||3||10|
Day 5: 8x8 Lower Workout
|Barbell Hip Thrust||8||8|
|Seated Leg Curl||8||8|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||10|
|Leg Press Calf Raise||3||10|
Weekends Off/Rest Day
On rest days do something to promote recovery. This can be SMR, mobility work, low intensity cardio, or a combination of the three.
Other 8x8 Workout Notes
For those of you looking to build lean muscle mass, utilizing this routine that focuses heavily on high volume may be exactly what you need to kick start the growth process.
The focus of each lift should be about feeling the movement taking place in the target muscle groups. Perform each rep in a slower fashion than you would in a strength-based program. A 2/0/2 rep tempo would be perfect.
Feel free to substitute the exercise selection for exercises of your preference. It is understandable that not all exercises are intended to be performed by everyone. However, in doing so, try your best to maintain some of the similar movement patterns listed.
I wouldn’t recommend adding additional exercises to the workout unless they are core-focused. The volume already present in the workout is plenty to stimulate muscle growth for all the major muscle groups.
You are more than welcome to combine a cardio regimen with this workout routine. That being said, I would suggest a low intensity form of cardio either post workout, on your rest days, or a combination of the two.
The workout can be used as a fat loss program if desired. However, as mentioned, it is ideal to pair it with a calorie surplus.
If you decide to give the program a try for yourself, be sure to tag us on any social posts during the time you are doing the routine!
And if you have any questions, always feel free to leave a comment below.
I was wondering if I could do the 8×8 routine with a push pull leg. I think I'll enjoy that.
You sure can, and I think your strength will go up as a result. Go for it, Quincy, and let us know how it goes!
I am on my 4th week of this programme. I can say it is very good for building endurance and a lean body. I was worried in the beginning i would bulk up like a man, but i have toned well with progressive weight load. Can't wait to see the results at the end of 8 weeks. I would recommend it for qomen.
Hi. Are these workouts suitable for women to build a lean body?
Absolutely! If you take it on, let us know how it goes. Thanks for reading M&S!
I can only train twice aweek then can’t train for 5 day how can I build muscle pls
Make the most out of those two days you can train, Colin. One week, do the first two Workouts, then do the next two the following week.
Hey there; So I actually like the idea of splitting the workout but I'm wondering I didn't really see anything regarding core...when would be the best time to do them?
You can train core after the main workout is over, Scott, or in the morning after cardio if you do those sessions.
Just started this week and WOW! Looking forward to seeing results after the 8 weeks. I actually added Wednesday to be a chest day and Saturday optional strength and conditioning which includes kettle bell, rope and some body weight exercises doing 5 rounds. I’m burning average around 400-500 calories a workout.
Hey Josh. This is sort of like Vince Girondas 8x8 routine. But Vince also recommended doing this routine as a fullbody workout. Or at least twice a week but hitting every body part in each workout. You only have arms once a week. Your thoughts on Girondas routines. Thanks
Hey Steve, we have a feature on Gironda here on M&S, and his program has helped many people now like it did when he created it. Can't say anything bad about it. Whether you choose that or this is a matter of preference.
For those that want to see the feature on Gironda. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/vince-gironda-inspired-workouts
This program seems difficult to preform progressive overload on. I am trying it out starting today and was wondering if there was any suggestions on how to tackle that. Usually I need to add reps before I add weight. I am an advanced female lifter and progress a little slower in adding weight than I used to. Adding 5lbs to my bench the following week and trying to do the same amount of reps is a no-go for me. It takes me weeks of rep progression to be able to add weight.
Hey Jess, consider focusing on taking longer negatives with the same weight. This is a different way to improve strength. If you can control the same weight under longer times of tension, then you could see actual strength increases.
is there any diet that I can follow along with this program in order to loss fat and to build muscles?
Hey Joseph - we don't have an exact diet plan for this program. You can check out the diet plans we do offer here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/diet-plans
Hi, muscle & strength can you do this routine with only dumbbell , barbell, and body weight. I’m only working out from home. Thanks
Hey Pierre - we have a few dumbbell and barbell only workouts. Check them out:
Hello, I am starting this program on Monday and I have a question about the time of resting between the sets. if the training lasts maximum 70' and there is a total amount of 38 sets to do, then the rest between sets is let's say 1' max? Is it possible to start the first sets with 1' rest and as you add weight, between 3rd to 5th set to take a larger break in order to heal better? And then as you decrease weight between 6th and 8th set, you can, again take 1' rest. Is that making sense? Because if I do all the sets with 1' rest, I won't be able to lift the weight, that I am lifting now...
Hey Alex - great question. Rest should be around 1 minute between sets. If the weight you're currently using is too heavy, then decrease weight in order to be able to perform all the sets safely.
any exercises I can replace with leg extensions?i workout from home and don't have an leg ext machine.maybe 8 sets of 30sec on/30 sec off of wall sits with a weight vest?
Hey jackie - you can try Bulgarian split squats or do your weighted wall sits.
I’m on my second week of this workout. Only adjustments I’ve made is to super set the 3x10 exercises. On the “off” days I do light cardio and biceps. It’s a body part that needs attention and this workout doesn’t really target it. Aside from that this one has been good. Can’t wait to try another one.
Hey Chris - glad you're liking it!
Josh. Hey instead of doing an upper /lower can you do this routine as a fullbody routine and if so how would you set up an 8x8 fullbody routine . Thanks
I'm 66 can I use this program
Hey Keith - yes you can. Make sure you're using weight that you can move safely and with correct form for the given number of reps. You can also check out this guide for Muscle Building Over 40: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/over-40-muscle-building
Josh!! Would it be ok to do this workout as a fullbody and if so. Do you have an 8x8 workout routine fo fullbody. Thanks
Hey Steve - it's recommended to follow the program as written. Check out this article for a full-body workout: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-strength-full-body-wor...
Steve, ive actually done this as full body/ circuit and i saw better results that way. When you mix in legs it keeps your heartrate up(its tougher though, which is the point) which will help get you shredded faster. Make it your own, anytime someone says "perform as written" take that with a grain of salt. Everyones body is different, use what works for you.
I will give this a try once I'm done with the other 12 week program I started from this site. Are there any caloric surplus diet plans you can recommend? Eating enough is my main culprit. Thanks in advance
Hey Brandon - Check out this article: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/lean-bulking-machine
Hi sir i started workout from 3 month but i cant get muscles in my body so how can i get the muscle and which workout is required sir
If you're struggling to grow then often times you aren't consuming enough calories to support growth. If you are sure that you're eating in a caloric surplus then try adding an extra set to each of your exercises and really tap your muscles out, stay intense.
This workout kicks your butt...its a go to workout for me..
Yeah it's a killer routine!
I will start this workout today, can I do (2 ON and 1 OFF) instead of (2 On - 1 Off - 2 On - 2 Off)
Yea, that should be fine.
is this program suitable for beginners ?
No. Start with one of these: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner
Looks a great programme. My goal is fat loss and weight loss. Can I use this programme for that purpose. Please guide.
Thanks a lot.
Yes, most programs can be used for either goal.
Its a really nice workout circuit. My question is regarding my meal plan or calorie intake. I workout anywhere between 19:00 - 22:00 hrs, and I have my dinner by 18:00hrs. Is it recommended to have a last meal after workout and if yes what should I focus on? By the way I am 76kg, 178cm tall and 27 years old, and my target is lean muscle gain but also not gaining more weight.
Just a quick question, is this more like a circuit training type where i would move from one movement to the next body part movement, or do 8 sets of 8 chest , then 8 sets of 8 rows then 8 sets of 8 shoulders, or one set of 8 of each movement muscle group until a complete circuit then start over for 8 total circuits?
Perform all of the sets of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise.
This was a great workout and a great way to change up what I was doing. Because of availability, I lifted Mon., Tue., Thur., and Sat., and swam on Wed. and Fri. Still was tremendous. I will cycle through other workouts and come back to this one, for sure.
On rest days should I drop calories to maintenance or slight deficit? Or leave in surplus?
Depends on your goals. I usually keep my calories the same throughout the week. Just makes it easier that way.
Hi! Could I add some more chest exercises because I see just one.
There's 16 weekly sets for chest between the bench press and dip. That should be plenty.