T Nation

8x8, Any Comments?

[quote]forevernade wrote:
I think it was referred to as ‘The Honest Workout’. If I do manage to find it, I’ll post it here…

The Honest Workout is in the link your provided in your fist post in this thread.[/quote]

You’re right, but I’m sure Gironda had an abbreviated version of the 8 x 8 workout that is outlined in the link.

It was focused on compound exercises, with less volume. As I said, the routine that most people refer to as 8 x 8 was designed to prepare Mohamed Makkawy for the Mr. Olympia: Gironda said that Makkawy was only able to handle the volume because of his exceptional recovery abilities, and it would be too much for most people.

I could’ve sworn that Gironda had a revised version with average trainees in mind. Unfortunately, they were both referred to as ‘The Honest Workout’, which doen’t help. The one that usually comes up in searches is the higher volume version.

Having said that,as Chris said, Gironda did consider 8 x 8 to be an advanced routine, and advised against using it if you had less than 2 years of serious training under your belt. Nor was it meant to be used for more than 4 to 5 weeks…

Loopylad,
Just a thought, but you might want to PM T-Nation member whoami about this. He trains with 8 x 8 and gets good results…

EDIT:

OK, here’s an abbreviated 8 x 8 (ironically from the same website as my first link!):

www.bodybuildingforyou.com/articles-submit/greg-gillies/build-muscle-8x8.htm

At a glance, you could probably do something like this:

Day 1 :
Chest & shoulders

Day 2:

Legs

Day 3:

Rest

Day 4:

Back & abs

Day 5:

Biceps & triceps

Days 6 & 7:

Rest

Day 8:

Repeat from day 1

I think the main issue here is that you’ve been working out six days a week. Four workouts a week should allow you to get adequate rest.
You could definitely get away with the added volume per bodypart, because there is less frequency (not to mention the fact that you shouldn’t be hitting failure until the last few sets of an exercise)…

Feel free to make any adjustments if they are needed. I’m just throwing out some ideas for discussion…

[quote]Loopylad wrote:
So, would this be better?

Day 1
Chest/Shoulders

Incline DB Press 8x8
Military Press 8x8

Day 2
Back/Biceps

Seated Row 8x8
E-Z Barl Curl 8x8

Day 3
Legs/Triceps

Squat 8x8
Close Grip BB Press 8x8

Day 4
Off

Repeat…?
[/quote]

In my opinion, this setup looks MUCH better. I’ll even suggest that you add just one more exercise (an isolation exercise) at the end for each muscle group that you work that day, and finish it off with something along the lines of 3 sets of 12-15.

BUT…I hate to see hamstring neglected. Unless you’re using a very wide stance for squats, the hamstrings are not being hit very much. Perhaps on leg days make your leg isolation exercise leg curls.

Are you hell-bent on doing 8*8 or would you consider doing a more appropriate set/rep scheme first/instead?

I don’t know what your exact goals are… But for getting bigger(stronger in the BB rep ranges), something like 8*8 is really going to make things (progression) difficult for you.

Juice or not isn’t even the issue here…

Also: I second forbes’ notion of not neglecting hamstrings.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Are you hell-bent on doing 8*8 or would you consider doing a more appropriate set/rep scheme first/instead?

I don’t know what your exact goals are… But for getting bigger(stronger in the BB rep ranges), something like 8*8 is really going to make things (progression) difficult for you.

Juice or not isn’t even the issue here…

Also: I second forbes’ notion of not neglecting hamstrings.
[/quote]

Thanks for the reply, I have seen this 8x8 posted on other websites and claims to be good for musclestimulation allowing for muscle size…if i’ve completely gotten this wrong, then yes I would consider a more appropriate rep/set scheme for an increase in size…ideas?

Generally speaking, it both seems to me and also there’s a fair bit of evidence for it that for strength and/or size gains a fairly minimal percent 1RM is about 60%. (Some would say 50% but there is not a vast difference between the two.) As the minimum value.

If going by the article recommendation, a weight usually used for 8 reps will be reduced by about 40%, at least when starting this program.

Now, individuals will vary and there will be variation from one exercise to another as well, but for example in my own case an 8RM is often only 65% 1RM. For another person it might be as high as 85%. So somewhere in that range let’s say.

Subtract 40% of those values from them, and you wind up with 39% to 51% 1RM.

So this is not in the weight range that is generally the most effective for size or strength.

And note the article doesn’t say it is: it says Gironda called it the most effective way to build muscle WHILE LOSING FAT.

Which of course is not the most effective way to build muscle.

I found this topic interesting so I thought I would post my thoughts on his writings. I own all of his standard course material and I have noticed a few things. There is a definite evolution to Vince’s writings and many of his plans were were set out with specific exercises while other plans were less verbose. The 6x6, 8x8 etc were the latter, in fact only a short paragraph or two was dedicated to them.

First of all there should be a progression, 3x8 to 5x5 to 6x6 to 8x8. If you haven’t done the other set/rep schemes 8x8 would be a mistake. For instance 6x6 was advocated for central nervous system development (if I recall correctly, please someone speak up if I got that wrong it is late). Overall it seems he taught that roughly 12 sets per muscle group was ideal. Now that obviously is a loose number when it comes to an 8x8 which would be a single muscle group for 8 sets. It was more of a guideline, not an absolute rule.

In the case of 6x6 you would basically hit his 12 sets per group by doing 2 exercises. Vince didn’t seem to cover theses workouts ad nauseum so it can be a bit daunting to grasp what he was saying. From my understanding and reading on forums it is a case of KISS (keep it simple stupid). If you are over thinking it, you are probably missing what he was going for.

He had his favorite exercises over time, some changed, some were simply variations, many were his own innovations.

Remember, when doing an 8x8, you never let go of the weights while resting, which was one of the reasons it was referred to as an “honest workout” and I agree with the assessment it would be considered a more “fat loss” style regiment. I believe that was even alluded to somewhere in his writings but would have to double check. EDIT, it is pretty much said in the write up on the vince file 1.

I personally like his idea of limited rests although they do whip your butt pretty hard. It does also give you a new form of progression…ie start at 30 seconds rest and work your way down as an alternate to simply upping the weight.

His workouts generally were designed to be completed in 45 minutes or less. Hit the exercises, keep the rest down, hit it hard with focus and be out there door. That was a very consistent point across all of his programs. For instance from the Vince File Vol 1: "Each 8 sets of 8 reps should take you no longer than 3.5 to 5 minutes.

I am a newbie to Vince’s methods but have been enjoying them and the results so far. If anyone has any questions please feel free to post here or PM me.

[quote]Loopylad wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Are you hell-bent on doing 8*8 or would you consider doing a more appropriate set/rep scheme first/instead?

I don’t know what your exact goals are… But for getting bigger(stronger in the BB rep ranges), something like 8*8 is really going to make things (progression) difficult for you.

Juice or not isn’t even the issue here…

Also: I second forbes’ notion of not neglecting hamstrings.

Thanks for the reply, I have seen this 8x8 posted on other websites and claims to be good for musclestimulation allowing for muscle size…if i’ve completely gotten this wrong, then yes I would consider a more appropriate rep/set scheme for an increase in size…ideas?[/quote]

I’ll pm you some suggestions.

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Are you hell-bent on doing 8*8 or would you consider doing a more appropriate set/rep scheme first/instead? [/quote]

Vince used to periodize his workloads just like everyone else at his time. 8x8 is good, but is only part of a density accumulation periodization series.

There isn’t a more ‘appropriate set/rep scheme’, he could just jump into an 8x8 and find some really good short term results, he would just be forced to periodize to keep the results coming.

CT’s take on Gironda

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Loopylad wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Are you hell-bent on doing 8*8 or would you consider doing a more appropriate set/rep scheme first/instead?

I don’t know what your exact goals are… But for getting bigger(stronger in the BB rep ranges), something like 8*8 is really going to make things (progression) difficult for you.

Juice or not isn’t even the issue here…

Also: I second forbes’ notion of not neglecting hamstrings.

Thanks for the reply, I have seen this 8x8 posted on other websites and claims to be good for musclestimulation allowing for muscle size…if i’ve completely gotten this wrong, then yes I would consider a more appropriate rep/set scheme for an increase in size…ideas?

I’ll pm you some suggestions.
[/quote]

Is it a secret?

[quote]Protoculture wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Loopylad wrote:
Cephalic_Carnage wrote:
Are you hell-bent on doing 8*8 or would you consider doing a more appropriate set/rep scheme first/instead?

I don’t know what your exact goals are… But for getting bigger(stronger in the BB rep ranges), something like 8*8 is really going to make things (progression) difficult for you.

Juice or not isn’t even the issue here…

Also: I second forbes’ notion of not neglecting hamstrings.

Thanks for the reply, I have seen this 8x8 posted on other websites and claims to be good for musclestimulation allowing for muscle size…if i’ve completely gotten this wrong, then yes I would consider a more appropriate rep/set scheme for an increase in size…ideas?

I’ll pm you some suggestions.

Is it a secret?
[/quote]

To tell you the truth I dont think its a secret. I think the reason why he wanted to do this via PM is because there are alot of deushe bags here that seem to criticize suggestions, programs etc… just so they can feel important and that they “know it all”. Its criticizing for the sake of criticizing at its best…but its sad really!

I think that many programs serve a function, if even the function is merely to change a facet of one’s training.

change is the key to progression

that change can take many forms

I have never done 8x8, but 64 sets is too much (that was already said, I know)

I would at least halve that and follow something like this:

DAY1
pullups 8x8(however long it takes to bang out 8 reps, if its a prob)

dips 8x8 (weighted if necessary. same for pullups)

seated,or T-bar, or one-arm rows 8x8

DAY 2
off

DAY 3

deadlifts 8x8 (i always vary grip throughout-snatch then close then over under, because my grip strength is shit ughh)

standing military press 8x8

some type of curl 8x8

DAY 4
rest

DAY 5

squats 8x8

cleans 8x8

some type of triceps movement 8x8

DAY 6

rest

DAY 7

snatch 8x8

overhead squat 8x8

calf raises 8x8

ALRIGHT so maybe my 530am 3rd shift program isnt PERFECT but it keeps the sets below 30 and the movements mostly compound. I think this is the spirit to move forward in.

[quote]Poetikaal wrote:
I think that many programs serve a function, if even the function is merely to change a facet of one’s training.

change is the key to progression

that change can take many forms

I have never done 8x8, but 64 sets is too much (that was already said, I know)

I would at least halve that and follow something like this:

DAY1
pullups 8x8(however long it takes to bang out 8 reps, if its a prob)

dips 8x8 (weighted if necessary. same for pullups)

seated,or T-bar, or one-arm rows 8x8

DAY 2
off

DAY 3

deadlifts 8x8 (i always vary grip throughout-snatch then close then over under, because my grip strength is shit ughh)

standing military press 8x8

some type of curl 8x8

DAY 4
rest

DAY 5

squats 8x8

cleans 8x8

some type of triceps movement 8x8

DAY 6

rest

DAY 7

snatch 8x8

overhead squat 8x8

calf raises 8x8

ALRIGHT so maybe my 530am 3rd shift program isnt PERFECT but it keeps the sets below 30 and the movements mostly compound. I think this is the spirit to move forward in.[/quote]

Yeah, and It’ll be sure to keep him fairly small. Good idea, next?

not true, but i understand why you said that. in any case:

if he’s trying to do an 8x8 program, 64 sets a workout (unassisted with chemicals)will most likely not be beneficial in the long term. he will become fatigued, he will not gain, whatever.

i personally wouldnt advocate a 8x8 program, but if he wanted to do one, doing mostly compound lifts with a high intensity at 24 sets a workout four times a week will produce results if it is different than what he is currently doing

your body adapts, and change forces the body to compromise

but 4-12 weeks doing some kind of 8x8 program with mostly compound and explosive lifts (i was trying to be reasonable with calf raises and smaller muscle groups–i dont focus on them) will almost defintely produce a change in muscle mass and significant changes in strength that may assist in further hypertrophy later on in his training career

[quote]Poetikaal wrote:
not true, but i understand why you said that. in any case:

if he’s trying to do an 8x8 program, 64 sets a workout (unassisted with chemicals)will most likely not be beneficial in the long term. he will become fatigued, he will not gain, whatever.

i personally wouldnt advocate a 8x8 program, but if he wanted to do one, doing mostly compound lifts with a high intensity at 24 sets a workout four times a week will produce results if it is different than what he is currently doing

your body adapts, and change forces the body to compromise

but 4-12 weeks doing some kind of 8x8 program with mostly compound and explosive lifts (i was trying to be reasonable with calf raises and smaller muscle groups–i dont focus on them) will almost defintely produce a change in muscle mass and significant changes in strength that may assist in further hypertrophy later on in his training career

[/quote]

Ok look.
We have already established that 8*8 is bull if you want to progress fast. High amount of sets, low weight, etcetcetc.
Even with a reduced amount of exercises, it is just a catchphrase kind of set/rep scheme that doesn’t help you with getting big all that much.

He can just as well start a proper program and see much better rep-strength gains, which is what makes you bigger.

I’m not going to explain again why Overhead Squats and most Olympic-type work is far from great for hypertrophy, let’s just leave it at:
He has certain goals, and there are better ways to achieve those.

cool.

agreed.

though i did actually post a question about olympic type work in the bodybuilding forum and i would love to hear your opinion on it, to be honest

[quote]Poetikaal wrote:
cool.

agreed.

though i did actually post a question about olympic type work in the bodybuilding forum and i would love to hear your opinion on it, to be honest[/quote]

All right, but I think you won’t like it if you’re into Oly work. We’ll see.

[quote]Poetikaal wrote:
I think that many programs serve a function, if even the function is merely to change a facet of one’s training.

change is the key to progression

that change can take many forms
[/quote]

Your first statement is true.

And while your second and third ones are too, in the right context, the nature of the change must be specific to the goal in mind. Not all changes in program design will equally lead to your goals.

Ultimately, the form of change that progression (in terms of size, not including dietary practices) boils down to is increased load used in a rep range that allows for a sufficient number of MU’s to be fatigued and hypertrophy hormonal effects to occur (such as the release of Testosterone and/or growth hormone).

Volume, partials, isometric holds to increase TUT, etc… are all just basically ways to allow someone to increase the load when it becomes impossible to simply add weight to the bar every single workout.

Fixed.

[quote]
I would at least halve that and follow something like this:

DAY1
pullups 8x8(however long it takes to bang out 8 reps, if its a prob)

dips 8x8 (weighted if necessary. same for pullups)

seated,or T-bar, or one-arm rows 8x8

DAY 2
off

DAY 3

deadlifts 8x8 (i always vary grip throughout-snatch then close then over under, because my grip strength is shit ughh)

standing military press 8x8

some type of curl 8x8

DAY 4
rest

DAY 5

squats 8x8

cleans 8x8

some type of triceps movement 8x8

DAY 6

rest

DAY 7

snatch 8x8

overhead squat 8x8

calf raises 8x8

ALRIGHT so maybe my 530am 3rd shift program isnt PERFECT but it keeps the sets below 30 and the movements mostly compound. I think this is the spirit to move forward in.[/quote]

8x8? How many of those sets are warm-up/ramp-up sets and how many are work sets?

Unless you’re a volume machine like Bauer in the T-Cell, if all of these sets are using the same load, you aren’t going to be able to improve very quickly on this program.

I see guys in the gym all the time that say things like “well I’m up to deadlifting 150 lbs from 145 a month ago. I generally like to wait until the weight feels easy, then I’ll add 5 lbs and wait until that feels easy to go up again” or some other such nonsense. Meanwhile these people look the exact same as they did 3 years ago when I started working at this gym. And likely in another 10 years, they’ll still look the same.

How often would you suggest that someone adds weight to the bar with this program? Or, how often do you think you could add weight to the bar on this program?

I wouldnt expect the sets to be the same load

I dont like doing programs like this, but when if i were to use it, without any knowledge of other predetermined 8x8 programs, i would expect to use lifts that require a large MU recruitment and are therefore better suited to multiple sets of 5-8 rep range (hence my suggestion of exercises in my faux ‘program’

My suggestion, then, would be that the sets be timed. perhaps, for example, when the last four sets can be completed within a certain amount of time, the load can be increased via weight on the bar, without increasing the rep range

so once the last 4 sets can be completed within a goal period of time, the weight can be increased

i would start with 50% 1rm and work way up to 85% of 1rm.

The rest time between sets may increase (as necessary) and the length of set (and most like TUT) will increase as well

i believe it could produce results