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Training Program Was Called 'Too Much' - Thoughts?


Hey guys!

I am new to bodybuilding and have been teaching myself the ropes using the usual means - youtube and google. I will be 35 next month and have been dedicated over the past few months to trying to get that physique I’ve always wanted.

I recently posted this routine I am using somewhere else and it was picked a part and said to be ‘too much’ and that there was no way the rest times were my actual rest times. I know I am sticking with it, as I have seen great results in just the last two months, but I wanted to see if anyone had any opinions about it. Hell, maybe I am wrong and it is a bad program to be using, but I have been making more progress off of it than any other program I’ve tried in the past and I have a lot of fun getting through it. I do this program Mondays, Wednesday and Friday and it lasts from an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and a half. The other 4 days of the week I’m resting.

It’s based off of an 8x8 Full Body Routine and doesn’t use the heaviest of weights - maybe 75%-85% of my 1RM. I was doing complete 8x8 using lighter weights but missed some of the heavier weights and recently modified some of the moves to 6x6-10. I am thinking of adding Deadlifts and Overhead Press as I miss those movements as well, but at that point I think I would have to drop the sets to keep the workout as short as it is now. I also like Full Body vs. Splits due to my lack of real time to workout during the week.

8x8 Body Weight Wide Dips (20 sec rests)
8x8 Chinup/Pullup (30 sec rests)
6x6-10 Incline Dumbbell Hammer Press (30 sec rests)
6x6-10 Bent Over Dumbbell Rows (30 sec rests)
6x6-10 Two-Handed Dumbbell Tricep Extensions (30 sec rests)
6x6-10 Two-Handed Dumbbell Bicep Curls (30 sec rests)
6x6-10 Dumbbell Lateral Raises (30 sec rests)
6x6-10 Dumbbell Thigh Squats (45 sec rests)
6x15-20 Dumbbell Calf Raises (20 sec rests)
10x10 Frog Situps (20 sec rests)

In between movements I’m resting for 30 to 60 seconds as well.

Anyways, thanks for your input in advance and have a great day!


Has it been working? If so, it’s not too much.


I’m absolutely loving it, to be honest!

I’ve always been a skinny guy my whole life and just in the past year alone I’ve shot up from 165 lbs to a solid 181. These pictures are from today and while I’m def. not the biggest, shreddest person, I’ve been making steady progress, been trying to get my macros each day and going strong on my lifting days!


Just looking at your program it would be easy for someone to say that it is “too much”. 68 sets (if my math is correct), is probably significantly more sets than most perform in a workout. Given that these are body weight movements and that you are enjoying them and seeing positive progress and gain, I’d say you have no reason not to continue doing this. Given your short rest times this workout likely runs you just over an hour?

Keep doing what works man, 165-181lbs is proof that it is working.


Seems like a bastardized Vince Gironda plan. 8x8 and 6x6 are solid workouts that focus on training density rather than load, but they generally use two exercise per bodypart and just two bodyparts per session or one exercise per bodypart for a full body session.

So, while your progress seems solid so far, I’d tweak your plan to drop the 6x6-10 to just 6x6, and pare down the exercises. If sticking with full body, drop one back exercise and one shoulder exercise. Or switch to a back/chest, legs/abs, shoulders/bi/tri split.


Yup, it was based off of a Vince Gironda plan using only dumbbells (All I have at home). I like the idea of getting them down to 6x6.What exercises would you drop, if you were in my shoes and wanted to keep it full body, Mon/Wed/Fri?

I actually miss Deadlifts, Overhead Press and Dumbbell Flys as well. Do you think there would be merit in subtracting a movement or two from my current routine, as you suggested, and just building an entire new full body day alongside this one and alternating them every other day?


If you wanted to change things a bit, you could do a form of push-pull. Basically back, hams, biceps one day, quads, chest, shoulders, tris the next.

Could look like:

Workout 1
2-db row 8x8
Pull-up 6x6
DB swing 8x8
Romanian deadlift 6x6
Seated 2-db curl 6x6

Workout 2
Goblet squat 8x8
Sumo 1-db squat 6x6
Dip 8x8
Overhead press or Arnold press 6x6
Flat DB fly 6x6
Lying tri extension 6x6

The focus is being strict with the rest times and pushing to reduce them over time (with the “goal” of getting them down to 15-20 seconds) once you get all reps on all sets.


Good stuff, I like it.
A Monday/Tuesday Thursday/Friday split then, I take it?
Thanks very much for your advice, I will give it a shot starting tonight and see where it takes me in the coming weeks.


If its working then keep at it. As you’re taking 4 days off can see it working very well actually.

Every few workouts I would try going heavier for one of the compound moves like 10x3 or 5x5 w45-60 secs rest


@Chris_Colucci Does the Goblet Squat and the Sumo Squat work different angles of the quads because of the stance being wider on the sumo squat? Is that why you have them both listed for the Workout #2?


Pretty much. A little different angle and different stance. One’s a legit squat, the other’s “technically” a deadlift-ish.


Also, since you only have dumbbells we’re super limited in exercise choice and lunges don’t really lend themselves to this kind of training protocol.


Awesome. I’m excited - I like the look of this training model you’ve given me. Today I’ll be switching over to it and will be following an ON-ON-OFF cycle, with 30 seconds rests to start.


@Chris_Colucci So tonight will be day 4 of the routine you posted above. So far its been kicking my arse and I have managed to keep the rest times for each movement at 30 seconds. My question concerns the Dumbbell Swings. The odd thing is in every other movement I can feel what muscles I am hitting, but in the swings I’m getting winded and I know I’m working I just can’t feel what I am working. Does that make sense? I am locking out legs, abs and glutes on each swing and keeping my arms, shoulders and lower back relaxed.

I have also noticed my lower back is definitely being worked more now following this routine, which I like! I did add Calf raises back in on day 1 (6x15) and on both days I added 6x10 for ab work, at the end.

Thanks again for the help and I’m going to continue trucking along and making progress!


First of all you are not going to do 8x8 pull-up or chins with 30 sec rest. Lol


It’s 6x6 not 8x8 and the point isn’t to get all 8, it’s to have lower rest times to increase time under tension. Yesterday as an example was 3,3,3,2,3,2 reps with 30 second rests. If at some point I progress to being able to perform 6 sets or 6 reps with 30 seconds rests I will lower the rest period to 25 seconds, etc.


I misunderstood then. Use an exercise variation/load that lets you get the volume. With this style of training, the time periods should be the primary progression, not the volume. With that example, you’re doing less than half the work expected (6x6 = 36 total reps, 6x3,3,3,2,3,2 = 16 total reps). Pullovers might be a workable sub if you can’t do assisted chins.

It makes sense because swings don’t really hit “a” muscle, they hit many. If it’s not a good fit, try lying dumbbell leg curls. You can slide your hips off the bench and hold the position as a variation for more glute work.


Yeah, sorry. That was my mistake. I was AIMING for 8x8 originally, but could not reach it with the rests so low. I have been doing Wide Grip Pullups which is harder for me to do than Chinups. Chinups I could probably get the 6x6 target if the rests were 60 seconds or so. Plus, I had forgotten about modifying for assisted pulls/chins.

The swing I quite enjoy and I know I’m definitely working SOMETHING (lol) I just can’t put my finger on it as much as I can when I do, say Deads or Curls.