70 The 8×8 Shock Routine By Vince Gironda WW#2


The old school method from one of the greats, Vince Gironda 

Today’s workout comes from an old school legend, Vince Gironda. The 8X8 routine was a hallmark of his training and it’s something I come back to every now and then when I need to put myself through some challenging, fun and painfully effective training.

Let’s be clear you’re not going to increase your strength much with this type of workout because the rest is too short and the loads are too light (you’re picking a weight you can get for a comfortable 10 reps, meaning that when you do this amount of weight for 10 reps you could still do 2 or 3 more reps if you wanted to).

Why Do The Shock Routine?

  • Improve conditioning and training stamina
  • Fat loss
  • Building muscle
  • Growth hormone response to training due to the short rest times and intensity. 

Vince Gironda little info about him….

Vince was a bodybuilder, personal trainer, author.

Some weird things he was known for (resource here)

If you have the structure in your diet and the other important lean ripped and healthy life style factors set up right you can burn fat and build muscle with this style of training. 

If you have been in a strength training phase you could would  up to this volume such as going from from 5 sets to  6 sets, 7 sets and then 8 by 8. You could stick with each for two weeks or so until you feel you cannot progress any further with that amount of volume.  Alternatively you can also start out at 8 x 8 with maybe 75 seconds rest and then decrease the time to 65 seconds then 55 and 45 and so on. Every other week or so. 

This increases the intensity greatly so be sure to realize you cannot have heavy weight with such low rest times and expect things to go well 🙂

Certain exercises would not be ideal for this style of training.

  • Heavy compounds/olympic lifts (deadlifts, snatch, hang cleans. thrusters) 
  • Single arm/leg moves 

What works?

  • Light Compounds (front squats, military press, yates rows)
  • Single joint moves (curls, extensions)
  • Machines (hack squat, leg press, Lat pull downs, pec dec)
  • Cables (curls, rows, facepulls, lateral raises, pec flys) 
  • Smith machines (Military presses, tension squats)
  • Dumbbell compound moves (incline press, rows, squats,

How it works:

First pick a muscle group (legs, arms, etc) next select three to four exercises for that muscle group. Set up your weights and area so there is minimal transitional time (decide on a rest time prior to starting)


Here’s this week’s free workout download! The legs and chest/back sample workout.


Luis Diaz

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