8x8 Workout: All You Need To Know

The world of fitness is filled with a plethora of workout methodologies, each with its unique approach and benefits. One such method, which has stood the test of time since the 1930s, is the 8x8 workout. This method, also known as the Gironda training system, is celebrated for its focus on hypertrophy and high volume training.

Understanding the 8x8 Workout

The 8x8 workout is a bodybuilding training methodology that emphasizes high volume training (HVT). It is named after the number of repetitions (8) and series (8) it involves, resulting in a total of 64 repetitions per exercise. This method can be applied universally to all exercises, provided the individual can handle the intensity.

Unlike other workout methodologies that focus on maximal strength and high percentages of one-repetition maximum (1RM), the 8x8 workout requires maintaining tension even between sets. This means avoiding resting on the barbell or dumbbell between sets.

The Mechanics of 8x8 Workout

The 8x8 workout is characterized by high times under muscular tension (TUT), averaging around 4'' per repetition, which is split equally between the concentric and eccentric phases. This leads to high energy expenditure and significant lactic acid production.

The recovery times between sets are minimal, ranging from 15 to 30 seconds, similar to a rest pause. There is no need for rest between different muscle groups. This results in a high-density workout that demands effective lactate management but also offers a manageable overall session time, typically around 45-60 minutes.

Comparing the 8x8 Workout Volume

The volume achievable through the 8x8 workout is significantly higher than most conventional workout methods. For instance, the average training volume for an amateur bodybuilder is approximately 110-115 repetitions. In contrast, the 8x8 workout can yield a volume of 192-256 repetitions when applied to all exercises. This is nearly double the volume obtained through most common gym workouts.

The Pros and Cons of the 8x8 Workout

Like any workout methodology, the 8x8 workout has its advantages and disadvantages.


  1. High Training Volumes: The 8x8 workout allows for high training volumes, which can be beneficial during certain periods for achieving specific muscle stress.

  2. Energy Consumption: This method has high overall energy consumption, which can aid in increasing calorie needs and losing fat mass, particularly during cutting periods.

  3. Safety: The 8x8 workout promotes slow and controlled movements with manageable overloads, enhancing execution safety.

  4. Muscle Growth: The long times under tension and short recoveries stimulate an increase in muscle cross-section, primarily due to the biochemical-hormonal stimulation of anabolic mediators, resulting from high lactic acid production and accumulation.


  1. Lack of Maximal Strength Stimulus: The 8x8 workout does not provide a stimulus for maximal strength, thus it may not promote myofibrillar hypertrophy.

  2. Energy Costs: While the high energy costs can promote a negative caloric balance, if not managed with a well-calibrated diet, it could be counterproductive for maintaining muscle mass during the definition phase.

  3. Suitability: The 8x8 workout is more suitable for complementary and isolation exercises. In heavy multi-joint exercises, the resulting metabolic fatigue may further compromise the extent of overloads.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the 8x8 workout is an effective high-volume system that requires careful planning and contextualization, both in annual programming and individual session planning. While it may be excessive if applied to all exercises and ineffective if strength is a lacking aspect, it provides a valuable opportunity to rest joints stressed by high-intensity protocols and gain useful muscular and metabolic skills for subsequent periodizations.

Article Disclaimer
The Wellyme Team

We understand the importance of reliable information, and our goal is to provide you with knowledge that empowers and informs your wellness journey.