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10X3 Not Brutally Hard


is 10X3 type training supposed to be bruatally hard? i used about 80% of my 1RM but it wasnt as hard as say, higher rep training. maybe its jus me but i think low rep work is almost easy compared to a set of 12 reps.


depends on how you train and how you define hard.

Any workout is as hard as you make it... if 10x3 truly wasnt difficult you need to use more weight.

Also just because you leave the gym without the ritous pump or feeling beat up doesnt mean you didnt get a great workout.


Different people find different set schemes harder, some are good at handling lower volume, some higher but all that aside, when you're doing a 10x3 workout. How many exercises would you do? Would you do say....a 3day split like Bench/Incline Bench/Chest Press. then Squats/Stiff deads/Hack squats. etc. Or something more like Squats/Military Press/Bench, then Powercleans/Deads/Stiff legs. etc.


No expert but thats probably because you have more slow twitch fibers which don't faituge easily. Bump up the percentage if its too easy. Some guys are so fast twitch dominant their 3 rep max is around 80% so everyone is different. 80% was just a guideline.


How long did you rest in between sets?

Which exercises did you do?

Did you fatigue on any reps?


It also depends on how strong you are and how long you've been training. For those that lift a lot more weight at 80-85% of their max, 10x3 is a lot more brutal.


its not brutal if you're a newb.


Maybe you're underestimating your 1 rep max. But if you're doing somthing like ABBH, just wait till you're doing 10 x 5 with the same weight. It'll be damn hard...


I used 10X3 and made pretty good gains. Maybe because it was a different rep scheme from my normal 3X12. I found about it in a mag not on this site so it may be diferent but here's what I did.
Find your 5 rep max. Use this weight for all reps each week. I rested 40-60 sec between sets.
First week 10X3
Second week 10X4
Third week 10X5.
So after the third week I'm doing 10 sets with what was my 5RM. All reps were quality reps. No easy reps as in the first few in 3X10.


I might be wrong but I think I remember that you're supposed to use your 5RM for the 10x3 and rest 1 min between sets.

Very easy to check if the weight you used were high enough. If you can do >6 reps it was too light. Have your training partner time you between sets.

What was your restinterval?

Done right 10 x 3 IS hard.


If you can do 10 x 5 using your 5RM with 1 min rest the third week you're either a very fast gainer or you're NOT using your 5RM weight.


Maybe you're not doing something right because 10x3 is an intense scheme. I agree with the previous posters, check your rest times and the weights. You're probably underestimating your max. You said you're used to higher reps, so that would be my guess. Lift heavy.


1 minute of rest goes by really quick. I am using a stopwatch now and I realize how quick 60 seconds is. Its about as quick as logging your set in your log book, going to the drinking fountain for a sip of water, and then getting back under the bar. Once you are under the bar, it might be 5-10 seconds before you actually lift the bar (to get setup and psyched, etc.)


If by the end of set no. 8 you are not worried about getting through the final two sets you have gone too light. At the last rep of set 10 you should have no more than 1-2 reps left in you.

You are only meant to do 10x3 for one main exercise per workout so it should be a hard slog.


As most respondents have stated, "hard" is a relative term.

Ideally, I prefer that all trainees not push the intensity level to the point of "brutal." 10x3, or any other program of mine for that matter, shouldn't be brutal. Brutal workouts overwhelm recovery abilities. As I'm slowly alluding to in my writings, frequency is the key. Brutal workouts don't allow trainees to hit the same muscle group within 48-72 hours.

But, you might be surprised how much DOMS you incur from the relatively "easy" 10x3. Trainees are often amazed how sore they become after performing some of my parameters that weren't overwhelming during the session.

Keep performing the 10x3, and bump up the load 2.5-3% during your next session. If you seek "brutal" during your next squat session, increase the load and decrease the rest period. Just be sure to have a medic on staff.


This system is very hard.

I usually break out in a huge sweat by the 5th set while never going to failure!

Since I have been using the 10x3 system my strength has soared.

When I squatted for the first time using the 10x3 workout my upper traps were incredible sore. I have never lifted this heavy of a weight before.

But now after a few weeks it feels LIGHT to me!!!

I am more of a bodybuilder but the strength increase came with MUSCLE GROWTH!

I have become so much stronger that when I return to doing sets in the 8-12 rep range I am able to use much more weight.

Yes I was doing 3 sets of 10 for 10 years! Until stumbling on to this website..



well i guess im a "newb" since i cant lift that much weight. my 1rm was only around 205lbs...so i did about 170 lbs on the bench n then paired it w/ 120 lbs rows. waited 60 seconds between sets. maybe its jus not hard cuz im not pushin enough weight. however its hard for me to keep progressing weight w/ proper form. i jus get to a point to where my form fails n i jus cant move any heavier weight.


During a 10 x 3 session? Then you're doing it wrong. You're not supposed to go so heavy that your form fails.

All in all, I have no problem "admitting" that 10 x 3 isn't "brutally" hard. Sure, near the last couple of sets I start to question myself a little, but deep down I know I can get those reps in strict form. But "brutal", no. There are other training routines I would recommend if "brutal" is what you want.

It's funny, no matter how much you try to drum into people that failure, soreness or "pump" is (a) not necessary and (b) often (but not always) counterproductive, it seems that they still continue to think they're working out "wrong" unless they need a partner to "tag team" the last four reps with them.

The point of 10 x 3, and similar protocals, is to feed the body with decent volume and stress, while allowing it to recover as quickly as possible, so that you could train the same (or related) exercise again -- productively -- within 36-48 hours. Think "Frequency". Not "Brutality".

Now, I'm not knocking HIT or 1-bodypart-per-week-fry-the-muscle split routines; they have all been effective for certain people at certain times. 10 x 3 workouts simply have a different workout goal, and that goal isn't to pulverize the muscle.


Try doing 20 singles at 200 pounds with perfect form and 30 seconds between singles. Then next week 12 x 2 at 200 and then 10 x 3 at 200. Then you will realize that your max is probably closer to 230.


thanks for your comments guys. i know i dont have to destroy myself in the gym...but i didnt even break a sweat or get out of breath. ill jus work my ass off to try and up the weight. i used to be a runner so my strength as of now is low.