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Bodybuilding 8×8 Training System by Vince Gironda



Way Ahead of His Time: Vince Gironda
Vince Gironda is not well-known among today's young trainees. Gironda was a pioneer in the development of training methods and the inventor of a few exercises that are still utilized in the bodybuilding industry today, the most notable of which being the bodybuilding 8×8 program.

Some of the activities devised by Gironda were novel at the time, and probably still are now. He invented the Guillotine Press, which involves bench pressing with the barbell lowered to the level of the neck, hence the name "guillotine."

e also recommended doing chin-ups with your chest touching the bar, sissy squats, and drag curls, which, if you've never done them, are excellent for targeting the outside head of the biceps while also including rear deltoid development.

Vince was a proponent of high-intensity training. He came up with the idea long before German Volume Training was a thing.

However, when it came to gaining unadulterated muscle mass, the 8×8 was his favorite out of all the wonderful nonsense that came out of this man's skull.

8×8 Intended for Advanced Bodybuilders Only

Although Vince would recommend the 8×8 exercise for sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (an increase in cell volume rather than strength), he would not recommend it for inexperienced lifters. He designed it specifically for advanced lifters.

“I definitely prefer the 8×8 system of sets and reps,” Vince explained. For the advanced bodybuilder, I return to this high-intensity ‘honest workout' more than any other for optimizing muscle fiber growth in the shortest amount of time.”

The goal of this training regimen is to enhance muscle cell volume. If you want to call it that, you could call it a "shock" routine.

“If you stick to 8×8, your muscle fibers will plump out, giving you a substantial bulk of muscle density,” Vince explained.

Benefits of Fat Burning

The 8×8 system is not only good at growing muscular mass, but it also has the potential to help with weight loss.

Your EPOC levels rise dramatically as a result of the exertion of all the lifting. You can improve your metabolic output for more than 36 hours at a time if the workout is severe enough, which the 8×8 is.

Because your body is attempting to make up for its oxygen shortfall, you will burn an additional 100+ calories throughout the day.

How Does the 8×8 Work?

The 8×8 system, as previously stated, is a high-volume training system. This isn't for increasing strength; rather, it's for increasing muscular size and development.

The high number of sets and reps that will be completed during the session, according to Gironda, makes this type of training unsuitable for inexperienced lifters.

Reps and Sets

You'll only need to do 3-4 exercises per muscle group during your workouts, and each exercise will require 8 sets of 8 reps.

If you do the math, you'll be doing roughly 24-32 sets per body part and 192-256 reps per body part. Do you see why this training method is only recommended for advanced bodybuilders now?

Periods of Rest

You'll need to take a 15- to 30-second break in between sets. In comparison to other routines, this is a pretty brief one.

By resting for such a short period of time, you're effectively putting your body in an oxygen "debt" that must be repaid in the hours ahead. That means your resting metabolic rate will increase.

Because the rest period between sets is so brief, your workout should last no more than an hour if you stick to it.

“This means that there should be as little time between sets as possible. Make an effort. Workouts, in my opinion, should be timed, and you should always seek to reduce the time it takes to complete your regimen. This is a more essential sort of progressive resistance than simply increasing your weights.


This overload concept explains why sprinters have more muscle mass than distance runners. Although running a mile takes more effort than running 100 yards, the sprinter puts in more effort per second. As a result, his muscles will grow in size,” remarked Vince Gironda.

Some may believe that by training at such a high volume, you are causing more harm than good. This is absolutely not the case.

In essence, you're cramming more training into a shorter period of time.

Contrary to common perception, the best approach to grow size to your muscles is not through hard weight exercise, but rather through stimulation.

That is exactly what the 8×8 training technique achieves, which is why it is so effective in bodybuilding.

When Should You Use 8×8?

The 8-hour workout is not a training technique or methodology that should be followed every day of the year. This type of exercise should only be used when your muscles need a small nudge in the right direction to expand. The 8×8 routine isn't for you if you want to keep your muscle mass.

This workout method is solely for the purpose of gaining weight.

Split 8×8

The advanced bodybuilder should do the 8×8 regimen three times a week, according to Vince.
The reason for this is that receiving enough recuperation in between workouts allows the lifter to attack his next training session with renewed vigor.

Vince also recommends training a muscle group twice a week. You won't be able to train every muscle group twice a week if you only workout three days a week.

If you choose a four-day training split, on the other hand, you'll be able to hit most muscle groups twice a week.

Some muscle groups don't require twice-weekly training, so save that second session for any weak or lagging parts if necessary. You'll be able to quickly bring a weak body part up to speed by employing the 8×8 system on it!

Should You Use Which Weight?

Training with big weights is out of the question due to the huge volume of this method.

This type of exercise necessitates the use of a weight that is difficult for you to lift. For the first 2-3 sets, the weight may not be too difficult, but after that, your muscles will start screaming at you.

Every exercise should be performed with a weight that is approximately 40% of your 8-rep max.

It's fantastic if you know what your 8-rep max is. If not, you might want to start there before going in head first.

Routine (Example 8×8)

The following schedule is based on a four-day split. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday are training days.

You can, however, alter the training days and exercises to suit your specific preferences.


Monday — Chest, Biceps

  • Flat BB Bench Press / Wide Grip — 8 x 8
  • Incline Cable Flyes — 8 x 8
  • Incline Dumbbell Press — 8 x 8
  • Parallel Bar Dips — 8 x 8
  • BB Preacher Curl / Wide Grip — 8 x 8
  • Concentration Curl — 8 x 8
  • BB Reverse Curls — 8 x 8

Tuesday — Shoulders, Triceps

  • Seated Behind-the-Neck Press — 8 x 8
  • Side Lateral Raises — 8 x 8
  • Cable Upright Rows — 8 x 8
  • Front DB Raises — 8 x 8
  • Seated Overhead Extensions — 8 x 8
  • Rope Pressdowns — 8 x 8
  • DB Skull Crushers — 8 x 8

Thursday — Back, Abs

  • Underhand Pull-ups — 8 x 8
  • Bent-over DB Rows (with two hands) — 8 x 8
  • Seated Cable Rows — 8 x 8
  • DB Pullovers — 8 x 8
  • Reverse Crunches — 8 x 8
  • Weighted Knee Raises — 8 x 8

Friday — Legs

  • Back Squat — 8 x 8
  • Hack Squat — 8 x 8
  • Sissy Squat — 8 x 8
  • Lying Leg Curls — 8 x 8
  • Seated Leg Curls — 8 x 8
  • Standing Calf Raises — 8 x 8
  • Donkey Calf Raises — 8 x 8



Vince Gironda wasn't messing around when he created the Bodybuilding 8×8 training technique. This workout regimen is borderline ridiculous, but so are the gains that come with it.

If you're new to training and don't have the years or physical experience required to withstand this type of exercise, don't even try; you'll wind up doing more harm than good.

Before attempting this difficult task, make sure you have at least a few months of rigorous training under your belt.

If you've been going to the gym but haven't gotten the results you desire, try the 8×8 workout to get your body moving again.

You'll benefit not only from increased muscle mass, but also from a reduction in body fat. Take a chance and see what happens!