T Nation

10x3 Off Days, Really Off?



I've just started Chads 10x3 and loving it so far, pretty much fall out of the gym at the end but feel really great for it.

One thing i was unsure off and couldnt find using the search was, is an off day really an off day in that you do nothing? In the 10x3 there are 2 lifting days, 2 cardio days and 3 days off. So am i right in that the days off are for recovery and i should do nothing? If thats the case then great as it fits around my work pattern perfectly.


Off = Off.

Take a walk, watch a movie, or simply catch up with old friends.

You know, enjoy your time off.


yeah those are recovery days. take it easy on those 3 days


Sounds like you're doing 10x3 for Fat Loss:

So yeah, like the guys already said, off days are off. Between the fat burning booster and the rope jumping, you're doing some kind of cardio four days a week.

Do nothing particular, or some foam rolling if you're into that.


Thanks guys, i just wanted to be sure that i was reading it right. Didn't want to start out on a program and then find that i have not done it the right way.


Again yes they are off but I would not suggest anyone not do something active for fun. It can aid recovery and me mentally pleasing as well to go hike or play basketball, tennis, etc whatever, have some FUN and be active. Just don't do the activity as a sole purpose of "exercise' it should be FUN if you do and just chilling is OK


Hey Matt,

I just started this program also. I've been through one rotation, and I'm like you. The off days seem a bit excessive. I can't believe that extra cardio is going to hurt, so I'm going to do some cardio seven days a week. I'll let you know how it goes. Best of luck, Duddy


I didn't really know much about this program, but after reading this all I can say is WOW. . . Worthless.

2 lifting days, 2 cardio days, and 3 off days. How is Chad Waterbury a respected author when he comes up with crap like this?

OP if this gets you anywhere, I will be extremely surprised. If you are still going to stick with this program I would at least do what duddy is doing and up the cardio. Take 1 off day, but seriously 3?

I'm kind of upset I started reading the beginners section these past few days. Seems like most of the OP's are going to be posting questions in here for years to come with the plan of attack they have.


waylander, what's wrong with this program? personally, I would up the intensity but for someone on a busy schedule and who's cutting a lot of calories (e.g. velocity diet), why would this not work?


Using weights to "lose weight", as if it was cardio, is stupid. The program does suck. I did it. The dumbest thing is the two lower body lifts on one day. The other dumb thing is the ridiculously low rest times.

Do a routine for hypertrophy/strength. If you want to lose fat do cardio and fix your diet: primarily putting yourself into a caloric deficit.


I have a job and I'm a college student, I'm busy too. I still get in the gym everyday.

I think it's a bad idea, b/c it is lol. I don't understand why someone would do this when they can easily operate at a very small deficit, run a split, lose fat and keep or even gain LBM in the process.

2 days a week of lifting is a joke. Does it make any sense that if you are trying to lose weight you should work out less? No.

I guess I just don't understand why people use these "holy grail" programs just because some author came up with it and says it's great.


I work and have other hobbies, and find the time to be in the gym 6 days a week. I wasn't asking for myself, but for other people. In his "war room strategies for fat loss" article, Thibs recommends only 2 heavy lifting sessions/week. Since that's the main mechanism for muscle preservation, why would 2 heavy lifting days + 2 days of circuits or w/e not work?

And how exactly does it not make any sense to you that one would work out less on a calorie deficit? Not saying it should be 2 times a week, but I would find it impossible to do my current programme if dieting down.

goochadamg, I haven't done this specific program, but 10x3 for fat loss must be very tough, with 2 lower body lifts especially. However.. Why would you pick a hypertrophy routine on a cut, when your body isn't in the best condition for handling tough workouts and you won't gain muscle anyway?


What builds muscle is going to be what prevents its loss. Sure, you'll have to eat more calories doing a hypertrophy routine vs. 10x3 for fat loss, but ones total caloric intake isn't what matters, is it?

This thinking is sorta inline with the whole "g-flux" theory that John Berardi touts: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/gflux_building_the_ultimate_body&cr=


Low work volume in the gym means lower total calorie intake to create your deficit, therefore short changing your metabolism and going against the principles of g-flux.


You're wrong.

Barbell complexes work. Lactic acid training works. The 10x3 for fat loss plan is different, and maybe not what people are used to, but to call it stupid makes you just sound, uh, stupid.

How long did you do the program? What, exactly, were your results? What was your nutrition for the duration of the plan?

EDIT: I just checked the blog in your profile. Even though you only wrote three entries over two weeks, it sounds like it started as a positive program. But you now say it sucks why?

Say what now? Since when is having two lower body lifts in the same day a bad thing? Difficult and ball-breaking, yes. Dumb, no.

As eloquent as your objections have sounded so far, short rest periods are a key part of the program. Again, it's ball-breakingly hard, but not dumb. Lifting weights with short rest between sets has been around for at least 50 years, and there's probably a reason.

That's one way of doing it, sure, and it works. There are a few ways to skin a cat.

To lose fat, total calorie intake doesn't matter? Are you sure about that, chief?

You can't compare the calorie needs of a hypertrophy plan with the calorie needs of a fat loss plan. That's quintessential apples and oranges.

G-flux is one particular nutrition plan. It's effective, absolutely, but it isn't meant to mesh with a 4-week training plan like 10x3 for fat loss.


I'll get back to you on that. I lost a bunch of strength on the program, with only about 10 lbs of weight loss. I maintained, and even gained some strength doing madcow's 5x5 linear periodization program on a caloric deficit.

I'll find my old log and give hard results.

Deadlifts & frontsquats on one day, balls to the walls effort? With two upper body lifts, also? You cannot maintain the intensity required throughout the session to really benefit from them. It burns a shit-ton of calories, though. :slightly_smiling: I wouldn't even do that on a caloric surplus!

I know it's ball-breakingly hard. I think the low rest times really kill your strength, which kills how much stress you could have been causing to your muscles.

Low rest times in general are not bad, but within the specific context of this program, it's bad.

This is a given. Unfortunately, some ways are better than others. :slightly_smiling:

Well, it does. But primarily it's the caloric deficit that is going to spark fat loss; so that is what "really matters."

Right. Mesh it with a hypertrophy/strength plan, as I was alluding to, and get far better results than following 10x3 for fat loss. :slightly_smiling:

Look, I feel like the whole premise of the program (the reason behind two lower body lifts a day and low rest times) is to burn more calories than you would otherwise weightlifting. I say let the cardio do that and follow a more traditional program.


Low rest times require using a lighter-than-normal weight, so someone should know ahead of time that they won't be using their maximal available strength.

Again, I have to point out that one of the keys to this program is the shorter rest time. Doing 10x3 for Fat Loss with 1-2 minutes between sets turns the program into plain old 10x3 training.

I'll agree with you on that, some ways are better than others. It's been my experience (personal and working with others) that weight-based cardio, as opposed to "traditional" cardio, is just as effective, sometimes moreso.

It sucks that your experience with 10x3 wasn't positive, but still, the plan can and does work.

Agreed again... see, we're on the same page :wink: ... and burning a ton of calories with targeted weight training (10x3, complexes, etc.) is one effective way to create a caloric deficit.

That's about all I have to say about that.

You recommend methods you think are effective, I'll recommend methods I think are effective, and birds will keep flying, fish will keep swimming, and people will keep losing fat on myriad different routines.


No real fat lose, just because of diminished dedication on days I don't have to go to work. However, I haven't lost any strength. I've added 40#s to my deadlift. 10x3 woth 265#. Will try to stay dedicated tohis week. WIll let you know more when there's more to know.