Vince Gironda 8×8 Workout Routine

Vince Gironda is one of the most renowned names from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding. Known by the alias “the Iron Guru”, his unconventional and unorthodox methods of training still hold great relevance in the present scene of fitness and bodybuilding. The exercise routine and training methods that he used to recommend to his trainees were unique and always fetched great results. Exercises like the guillotine press, drag curls, sternum chin-ups were introduced by him and are still being used by both amateur and professional bodybuilders around the globe.

Vince Gironda undoubtedly brought a revolution in the world of bodybuilding. He devised a workout method known by the name Vince Gironda 8×8 Workout Routine. This article is going to give you a descriptive rundown about it.

Vince Gironda had devised many workout methods throughout his life. Amongst all of them, the 8×8 workout method was his utmost favorite for advanced bodybuilders. In his own words,

” I have a definite preference for the 8×8 system of sets and reps. I come back to this high intensity “Honest Workout” more often than any other for maximizing muscle fiber growth in the quickest possible time for the advanced bodybuilder.”

So if your prime goal is to lose body fat along with building up the size of your muscle fibers, the 8×8 workout program will serve you pretty well

What is the 8×8 Workout?

As its name only implies, Vince Gironda’s 8×8 training system refers to a training protocol in which you perform 8 sets of 8 reps for different exercises. Vince Gironda used to call it “the Honest Workout“. This is because it doesn’t involve training with ultra-heavy weights rather it makes the use of light or moderate weights. The effectiveness of this workout program is simply unparalleled.

This training system is characterized by a high-volume approach. The 8×8 workout system is targeted to provide you with cosmetic improvements. It does not involve a lot of fancy movements. It is known for its simplicity and over the top efficacy.

Does 8×8 Workout Build Muscles?

Surely it does. If you are looking to gain some decent amount of lean muscle mass, the Vince Gironda 8×8 workout program can serve you in your best interests. Vince Gironda’s 8×8 method also has a reputation for letting gain muscle and burn fat simultaneously. It makes you experience a great pump along with working on your overall physical conditioning as well.

Program Overview

Gironda 8x8 Workout

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Vince Gironda 8×8 Workout Plan targets making bodybuilding related “cosmetic improvements”. It is a high volume and fast tempo workout plan that facilitates hypertrophy size building. It lets you gain lean muscle mass.

Following this workout program, you choose three to four exercises for each muscle group. You then perform 8 sets of 8 reps on those exercises. You train two or three muscle groups in each training session and rest intervals between sets are around 15-30 seconds. To complete a single training session under this workout routine, it won’t take more than 60 minutes.

Vince Gironda 8×8 workout routine aids you in overloading your muscles by providing them with more training in a lesser period of time. It exposes them to a greater intensity that promotes growth.

  • Since this training program uses smaller rest intervals between sets, the amount of weight that you will be using would be less than your normal capability. The weight should be around 60-70% of 1RM

  • At first choose a weight that is around 40% of below your 8 rep max. As you will progress through this workout plan, you can even get close to your original poundage.

Following the 8×8 workout plan, you will be using the same weight on all eight sets. If you fail to complete the last 2 or 3 reps of the 8th set, it is acceptable. On the contrary, if you start failing to complete the 4th or 5th rep, you must lighten the weight. If you are able to complete all the 8 sets of 8 reps, you can increase the weight in your next training session.

Vince Gironda warned that his 8×8 routine is not for beginners. He claimed, “You have to build up to the stage where you can benefit from this extremely advanced form of training. I doubt if anyone with less than two years of training experience could benefit from this method.”

Vince Gironda 8×8 Workout Routine

Vince Gironda 8×8 Workout Routine promotes muscle confusion which provides the muscles with the much needed “shock” that they need for growth. You should also be well prepared to face a lot of soreness after your training sessions owing to the high volume and fast tempo nature of this workout routine which has no room for longer rest intervals.

  • Tempo: 2-0-2-0 (2 seconds for eccentric movement – No pause at bottom – 2 seconds for concentric movement – No pause at top)

  • This is just a sample routine, you can design your own program by selecting exercises from the recommended ‘exercise selections’ list

Vince Gironda 8x8 Workout Routine

Vince Gironda 8×8 Workout Plan


Sets x Reps

Day 1 : Chest, Biceps and Forearms

Decline Low Cable Crossover (Touch Hands At Waistline)

8 x 8

Bench Press To Neck

8 x 8

Incline Dumbbell Press (Palms Facing Each Other)

8 x 8

Wide Grip V-Bar Dips

8 x 8

Drag Curl

8 x 8

Preacher Curl (Top Of Bench At Low Pec Line)

8 x 8

Incline Dumbbell Curl

8 x 8

Zottman Curl

8 x 8

Barbell Wrist Curl

8 x 8

Day 2: Shoulders and Triceps

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise Seated

8 x 8

Wide Grip Upright Row

8 x 8

Front To Back Barbell Shoulder Press

8 x 8

Dumbbell Bent Over Rear Deltoid Lateral

8 x 8

Kneeling Rope Extension

8 x 8

Lying Tricep Extension

8 x 8

2 Dumbbell Tricep Kickback

8 x 8

Day 3: Back and Abs

Sternum Chin Up

8 x 8

High Bench Two Dumbbell Rowing

8 x 8

Low Cable Row With 18″ High Pulley

8 x 8

Medium Grip Lat Pulldown To Chest

8 x 8

Double Crunch (Pull In Knees And Elbows Together At Same Time)

8 x 8

Weighted Crunch

8 x 8

Lying Bent Knee Leg Raises

8 x 8

Day 4: Quads, Hamstrings and Calves

Front Squat

8 x 8

Hack Machine Squat

8 x 8

Sissy Squat

8 x 8

Leg Extension

8 x 8

Supine Leg Curl

8 x 8

Seated Leg Curl Machine

8 x 8

Standing Calf Raise

8 x 20

Seated Calf Raise

8 x 20

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To follow the Vince Gironda 8×8 workout program you need to be mentally prepared as well. You might find this workout plan extremely brutal at times owing to its high volume approach combined with shorter rest periods between sets. Your mind may act as the limiting factor in such a scenario but you need to be absolutely determined to accomplish your goals following this workout program. Your mind should be focused on the results and your body should simply perform its part to accomplish it.

Exercise Selections

As we mentioned earlier, Vince’s approach towards training was unorthodox, but at the same time, his methods were too ahead of his time. He introduced a number of exercises that were unconventional but provided his trainees with great results. He also included some of those exercises in his 8×8 workout program. The following table covers the exercises that Vince Gironda recommended to perform while following the 8×8 method of training. Let’s have a look at them.

Muscle Groups




Lat Pulldowns

Seated Rows

T-Bar Rows

Dumbbell Chest Supported Rows


Flat/Incline Bench Press

Cable Chest Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Blast Strap Push-up


Back Squats

Leg Extensions

Leg Press

Hamstring Curls

Calf Raises


Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Standing Barbell Shoulder Press

Push Press

Dumbbell Upright Row

Chest Supported Fly


Tricep Pressdowns

Close-Grip Bench Press

Floor Press

Zottman Curls (performed bilaterally by using either dumbbells or a barbell)


French Press

Vince Gironda 8×8 PDF

We expect that by now you are motivated enough to try out the Vince Gironda 8×8 workout program. To make this task easier for you, we have presented a Vince Gironda PDF template over here. This will assist you to easily follow the 8×8 workout program.


You can also get this Gironda 8×8 PDF template printed and carry it to your gym. It will provide you with a handy guide that will enable you to progress through your workouts without facing any perplexity.

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Final Words

A full cycle of 8×8 workout program can be excessively demanding to complete but the results that you will receive thereafter will speak for themselves. If you are assuming that this training approach is too easy to accomplish, owing to the lighter weights being used, it’s time that you start reevaluating your assumptions. This high volume training program can provide you with the physique that can truly stand out.

The Vince Gironda 8×8 workout program might seem like a radical and rebellious approach as compared to programs that recommend performing 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps for each exercise. But its efficiency cannot be questioned. You can consider the 8×8 workout program “old” but it is certainly not “obsolete”.