One Exercise Per Muscle Group?

September 26, 2011

Today, I’d like to look at the idea of focusing on just one exercise per muscle group, compared to using a variety of exercises.

If you have never tried a workout where you do 8-10 sets of the same exercise, you will probably be in for a shock. This is a tough workout! It looks basic in nature, but is simply another tweak you can add to your routine if you are at a sticking point.

I’ll discuss how limiting your exercises down to one per muscle group can help with both increasing strength as well as muscle size.

One Exercise Per Muscle Group

[“There Can Be Only One!” I Had to throw in a quote from one of the best movies ever. I don’t care if Rotten Tomatoes gave Highlander 67%…this movie is awesome! The Queen Song they play while flashing back to MacLeod’s wife growing old and dying while he stays young…gives me chills every time. Brilliant stuff!]

Probably Not Something I’d Recommend Long Term

Think of this mainly as a tool to use when you want to break through a plateau. If a lot of your lifts are stuck and you can’t seem to get through this sticking point, this is the exact type of thing that will get things rolling again. Same with adding size…this will push muscles back into growth mode. My recommendation is to use this method in 4-6 week bursts.

Strength Training VS Building Muscle With One Exercise

This method works equally well for increasing strength as it does for building muscle. The main difference will be rep ranges and rest periods. If you are aiming for size, you will want to use this method to fatigue the muscles from set to set…or what I like to call “cumulative fatigue”.

If you are aiming to use this to increase strength without size, then you will aim for low reps while avoiding fatigue and failure. This will give positive feedback to your nervous system, which will result in stronger contractions (and more strength) over time.

10 Sets of 3 Reps [For Strength]

Multiple sets of 3 reps is a great way to add strength and increase density without adding a lot of size to the muscle. If you are after strength & size, simply use a weight that forces you to get closer to failure each set.

  • Pick a weight you could press for roughly 5-6 reps and use that weight on all 10 sets.
  • Stop at 3 reps even though you could do more.
  • Rest one minute between sets, but increase the rest if you feel any sign of fatigue.
  • Aim to get 3 reps for all 10 sets.

10 Sets of 10 Reps [For Size]

This is a pretty common rep and set range for size. This isn’t the best thing for strength, but will shock the heck out of a stubborn muscle group.

I tried this last week on incline dumbbell presses …It absolutely smoked my chest. I’ll tell you that story in a sec, but first here is how to do this set and rep setup.

  • Pick a weight you can lift 15 times and use that weight on all 10 sets.
  • Stop at 10 reps.
  • Rest one minute between each set…do NOT increase the rest period no matter how fatigued the muscles are feeling.
  • Aim for 10 reps on all 10 sets (gets hard at the end).

Awesome Back Exercise I Used for 10 X 10 Last Week!

[I was reading a bit about old school trainer, Vince Gironda, last week and was reminded about an exercise I’ve only read about it text. This is called the “Gironda 45 Degree Pulley Row” and it fries your back! It isolates your lats during the first part of the motion and the second part feels like a seated row. It is like a seated row that burns badly. Especially if you are doing 10 sets of 10!]

My Experience Doing Incline Dumbbell Press 10 X 10

I typically use 80-85 pound dumbbells when I am doing 5 sets of 5 on the incline dumbbell press. Last week, when I decided to give the 10 X 10 workout a shot…I figured 50 pounds would be an easy weight for my first time around.

I WAS WRONG! On the 5th set, I couldn’t get past 8 reps. On the 7th set, I couldn’t get past 6 reps. On the 8th set I was at around 5. On the last two sets I dropped the weight to 35 pounds…and it was a struggle to get 10 full reps! Nest week I will use 40 pounds dumbbells.

Figured I Would Maybe Do a Few Sets of Bench After This

The bench press is not my strong point. Anything over 225 pounds feels heavy. That being said…I was NOT prepared for how smoked my chest was after doing those 10 sets of incline dumbbell presses.

When I attempted a 135 pound warmup set, I had a hard time pressing 135 pounds 5 times. Typically I feel like I could throw that weight to the ceiling if I had to. After doing 10 sets of inclines it felt around 225 pounds! My entire chest was smoked from inclines.

You really only do need one exercise per body part when doing 10 sets of 10 reps!

A similar thing happened when I tried doing a few sets of chin ups after doing the Vince Gironda 45 Degree Pulley Row.

8 Sets of 8 Reps [Muscle Building With Fat Loss]

So Mike Westerdal, the guy who helped me put together the Visual Impact Exercise Demo Ebook, is giving away a really cool free report this week. It is Vince Gironda’s Go-To workout for simultaneous muscle fiber growth and fat loss.

8 sets of 8

[Click on the cover above to get the free 17 page ebook.]

Gironda’s Top Routine for Getting Muscles Growing Again

Vince Gironda was no less than a training legend. He used a huge portfolio of workouts and this was one of his favorites.

The big highlight here is that this particular workout takes no more than 30 minutes.

It isn’t a circuit routine, but shares some similarities to modern circuit routines. It uses 2 exercises per body part, but they are performed in a special way.

So 3 More “Plateau Busters” to Implement in Your Workouts

  • Strength Plateau? Try 10 Sets of 3 Reps
  • Size Plateau? Try 10 Sets of 10 Reps
  • Size Plateau and a Little Chubby? 8 Sets of 8 Reps

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitchell @ Home Fitness Manual September 26, 2011 at 11:48 pm


I agree, Highlander is a cool movie.

That’s crazy about your db incline bench press experience. I’m always shocked when I decide to switch things up. I remember when I decided to surf the rack one time because I wanted to give it a try…oye, did that hurt.


Raymond-ZenMyFitness September 27, 2011 at 2:32 am

Definitely agree, I know when I have a body part which needs a bit of extra kick along a focused workout of 5×5, 8×8 works well. I never tried 10×10 but might try it out.
Possibly though if you train too often, too soon the recovery might become an issue whether it’s strength or size is the goal.
Certainly Vince’s methods are worth a try especially if nothing else has worked.

Howard - Energia Fitness September 27, 2011 at 2:48 am

Hi Rusty

Like the look of this and will definitely give this a try. I have also been experimenting with super slow reps (doing a 4-2 tempo) and found these to be very effective for adding size as they really burnout the muscles. Don´t about you but I have started getting back to basics with some good old fashioned weight training strategies lately and really enjoying it not too mention seeing results.



Kasper @ Fortius Fitness September 27, 2011 at 3:07 am

Vince Gironda knew his stuff and was so ahead of his time. Especially in the nutrition department where I have learned a lot from him.

Although I have never gotten very much out of the 10×10 approach other than a painful workout followed by massive soreness and fatigue, the heavier approach of 10 set of 3 reps or 5×5 have always delivered big time results. It’s advised for strength but this approach is also the one that have resulted in the biggest and fastest size gains for me.

But 10×10 is fun and the pump you get is out of this world. Sad it only last for 15 minutes.

the spaniard September 27, 2011 at 10:28 am

1. Highlander…wonderful movie, great music. But only the first movie…then they lost it. The TV series was also pretty cool.

2. This is a wonderful post because it is what I have been doing, mentally, since December. I am only interested right now in losing weight and gaining strength so I figured, if I was going to start training outside doing pull-ups it is quite clear I would only be able to do sets of 1 🙁 ,so, if I apply this method in a gym (no pull-ups) with weights it would mean I would have to do heavy sets with 3 reps. Reading your post shows that I was right.

3. You must wonder why I said mentally. Well, I was going to start training seriously after Christmas but, my wife and I had to close our store (landlord and on site management issues), and most importantly, I lost my father, so as you can imagine I have decided to touch you know what since he died. I have absolutely no desire right now to do anything…

Greg - Kinobody Fitness September 27, 2011 at 11:45 am

Great Article Rusty!!!

Vince Gironda is probably my favourite bodybuilder of all time. He was way ahead of his time. He has some pretty unique exercises that I like to implement into my workouts from time to time. Most of his special exercises are only conducive to high reps because of the stress placed on the joints from going too heavy.

I have given the 10×10 training routine a whirl before. But in all honestly my muscles didn’t really respond very well to it. The resistance I had to use to complete the routine was too low to elicit any hypertrophy gains.

One of my favourite routines for awesome strength increases and some muscle gain is 6 sets x 3 reps starting with a light weight and ramping the weight up on each set. Incredible for building explosive power and it really amplifies your cps. Once I finish my last set of 3 reps I reduce the weight by 20% and go for max reps. The weight feels incredibly light its awesome.

Learned this method from Christian Thibedeau. I don’t agree with everything he says but I think he has a lot of value.

Kyle - Tricking Your Metabolism September 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I would agree that interjecting a common routine every 4-6 weeks with this sort of lengthier routine with limited exercises is a good consistency.

I actually made the mistake of sticking with this kind of routine for a very long period of time. I saw my muscles grow to a point and then stop because I honestly wasn’t able to increase my weight due to lack of strength. haha

But great post Rusty!

Jazi September 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm

how would the 10 x3 be implemented in to a routine? Separate day? Before or after your workout?

Travis September 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I would use 10×3 for the primary lift in which are looking to gain strength. Do this first in your training session following your warm up then you can continue the session with a lower volume of supporting exercises.

Anthony September 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I’ll give it a shot. I’m looking to add size, not strength.

Do you recommend doing any work before or after doing this 10 sets of 10, or is that where you workout begins and ends?

Andrew September 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I tried the 8×8 today with pullups. I only managed 6 on the final set! So close! One day however I will be able to do 10×10 – onwards and upwards eh.

I also love doing loads of sets of 3 for speed training. Particularly deadlifts, love it.

Elliott Hulse September 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Vince Grionda is the shizz-nit!

Troy - Cube.Dweller.Fitness September 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Any workout with 10 sets is a brutal challenge. it wasn’t too long ago that I dove deep into German Volume Training. Awesome way to push through a plateau.

Josh September 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Great article Rusty! You should do an article on shockwave sets the guy who invented that carb-backloading craze invented it.

Mark September 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Hey Rusty,

awesome stuff, as usual! 😉

In an Accumulation Phase for some of my beginner-athletes I like to use the 10×10 protocol on Full Olympic Back Squats, and if they can on Close Grip Chins! 😉 Paired with some pressing exercise.

That Gironda Pullover-Row is sweeet man!

Hey thanks for yet another great and really valuable post:
Fitness Black Book is a one-stop resource for those who want to learn just about anything and everything about fitness … in a no-nonsense, authoritative way.
I recommend it to my athletes! 😉


Jean Maurice September 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Interesting post, as usual!
Question: I use mostly body weight exercizes (push, pull, …), how would you adapt that concept? I can see doing 10*3 pull ups, but 10*10 …


Jean-Maurice September 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I have tried this and it is amazing the difference i am experiencing. I have been using this routine for 4 weeks now. It is tough but works and I feel great.

derek krauss September 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm

how often should we train the muscle when doing 10X10 for triceps?

Os September 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi Rusty,

I know this is slightly off topic but I wanted to ask a question with regards to your fitness book. I am more closer to an ectomorph more than anything. Is your fitness book still ideal for me or is it mainly geared towards those who want to slim down? I am currently 65kg – not sure on body fat but I’m guessing about 15. I would like to be ripped at 10-12% 70kg.

Michael McIntyre September 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Can’t say I have ever tried this, but definitely looks like it would work, will give this a shot sooner or later, keep working hard Rusty and keep inspiring your apprentices including myself

Chris September 27, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Hey Rusty,
Just asking would it be ok to take turns doing strength on a monday then doing size on a wednesday.

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout September 27, 2011 at 11:58 pm


Great post. A 10 set routine seems very effective and also time-efficient if you only rest 1 min between sets. You can focus on one major muscle group per day and cover all of them in a week with less than 20 min or so per workout.


Sam- Look Like An Athlete September 28, 2011 at 12:06 am

I can vouch for this type of workout approach. I have tried doing 10 x 10 for pull ups and it definitely is a great way for my back to feel shocked. It’s a great way to break the monotony of a workout all while getting some growth in the muscle.
Like you said, it is something you shouldn’t do too often.


Michael- The Underwear Body September 28, 2011 at 4:30 am

I’m a huge Gironda fan and train like this loads. I had the same experience the first time I tried 8×8 on my chest; that second exercise was not gonna happen!

One exercise per bodypart is a great way to get the body you want in the time you have.

Good call on the pulley row too, I’m writing a piece about getting a v-shaped torso at the moment and the row is on the list.


Bob @ September 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

Never really tried any of the above methods (10X10, 10X3 nor 8X8).
Currently I’m on Vince del Monte Fat cutting routine, which is VERY effective for me.

So you don’t really do any other exercise per body part. Just one exercise? Very interesting. That would a nice short workout.

I will definitely give it a try once I’m completed with my current routine.

Thanks Rusty,


Dave - Not Your Average Fitness Tips September 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Great tips as always Rusty. I’ve had the same experience as you when switching from strength reps to mass reps focused on cumulative fatigue. I start with incline press and do bench press after at a significant reduced weight. Definitely hits the ego!

Jaren Myers September 28, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Do you have any ideas for the average person who just wants to stay in shape?

Niko September 30, 2011 at 12:09 am

I have recently done the 10 x 10 program and found it extremely difficult and humbling. I experienced the same issues you did on Incline DB Press except I was doing flat BB bench press. During the first few weeks I found the lactic acid build up during the later sets was intense. I have since changed off the 10 x 10 program, but it is something that I will consider again in the future.

Dankit October 2, 2011 at 5:16 am

Great info but is there some type of exercise you’d recommend for losing muscle? I mainly want to lose it in my butt and thighs. I’ve been doing something similar to 10×10 my whole life and i don’t like how my lower body as become.

Delf October 3, 2011 at 12:10 am

As someone who mostly does 2 sets and high reps of anything (I teach group classes), doing resistance that fits an 8 or 10-rep scheme ALWAYS makes a big difference.

And that said, anyone constantly on heavy volume work, I’ve seen benefit from 1-set of each movement/muscle group. In fact, for maintenance, 1-set is all that a “regular” population really needs.

Cool info 🙂

Tim October 3, 2011 at 11:50 pm

Great post Rusty!

Was just about finishing 3 weeks of German Volume Training (GVT). Only stuck to 1 exercise per body part. The burn is INCREDIBLE, and I do see improvements in my physique. Makes you hate leg day even more (10 x 10 deep squats are no joke).

If you have always trained with fairly low reps, high intensity and low volume, give 10×10 for a try.

(Behind The Workout

Kevin Francis Burke (DeBurgh) October 5, 2011 at 4:13 am

I see you show some youtube video of a guy using a gym machine. My personal opinion is that gym machines are inferior. I workout kind of like the NAVY SEALs and I have the lean body of a male model. I recommend only free weights and compound exercises such as pull ups, commando pull ups, chin ups and dips. As far as your idea here

“Today, I’d like to look at the idea of focusing on just one exercise per muscle group, compared to using a variety of exercises. If you have never tried a workout where you do 8-10 sets of the same exercise”

I kind of do this but not really. For instance today I did 5 sets of like 8-10 pull ups with 15 pounds on my back and I also did 20 sets of 15 dips with 15 pounds on my back as well as 20 sets of 25 pushups and 20 sets of 25 situps. I will also jog at least 6 miles today. Anyway, I’m 6’0 tall and 161.7 pounds. I’m also lean and ripped. To give you an idea the Calvin Klein underwear model Danny Schwarz is 6’1 and 160 pounds. The most such a model can weigh is about like 165 pounds.

What you are recommending seems like it would get more of the Brad Pitt look in the movie Troy, well the same size but maybe more ripped, however, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe hardgainer ectomorphs wouldn’t get that look from your workout.

All I know is what I’m doing now is working extremely well for me. The point is if you are going for the ripped underwear model look is to simply look like you exercise rather than lift heavy weights.

Kevin Francis Burke (DeBurgh) October 5, 2011 at 4:47 am

Oh, yeah, and as we all know diet is a huge part of the undewear model look too but diet is not part of this blog entry so that should go without saying. However, I should fix a sentence from my previous comment while I am making this entry :

“The point is if you are going for the ripped underwear model look is to simply look like you exercise rather than lift heavy weights.”

That should have said this instead :

The point is if you are going for the ripped underwear model look it is to simply look like you exercise rather than look like you lift heavy weights.

In otherwords :

It means to look like you are physically fit unlike Vince Gironda. Vince Gironda could never run a 10k or a full marathon because he wasn’t physically fit. He also couldn’t do a triathlon. Someone who looks like an underwear model could do all of these things or one of them at least in all likelihood. I dunno what your point was in posting Vince Gironda since the Calvin Klein underwear model look is something different.

Fitness In Charlotte NC October 5, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I will try this program but effectively if seem tougher! than change of exercises and give your muscle some rest!

Nice article, thanks!

m October 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

A note of general interest: released convict conditioning 2 on ebook.

rachid October 6, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Hi ,
I really like this aticle ? Iwill try with this tips

Tom Parker October 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

Great post Rusty. I often use pyramid sets to on a single body part to try and blast through plateau’s but I will definitely give this a try.

How would this work as an overall workout? Would you just do a single 10 * 10 exercise and focus on a different body part in each workout or would you hit 2+ body parts in each workout?

keep fit October 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

Another interesting exercise idea!

Jun - October 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

Rusty, I love the way you expose the masses to otherwise relatively unknown training concepts. I’m embarrassed to say that any time I’ve tried 10 sets of an exercise, they haven’t gone the way I’d planned. There is simply too much of a disparity between pure strength and lengthy endurance. I highly recommend going as low as 50-60% of one’s 1RM and adjusting from there.

Tim - The Lean Look October 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Wow! I tried doing the 10 sets of 10 reps with the incline dumbbell press and it was so tough that I had to use 35 pound dumbbells to get through the whole thing. My chest is so sore today. Great plateau buster for sure.

Jim Cutler October 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Generally I perform 3 exercises per workout.

1) A push
2) A Pull
3) Squats OR Deadlifts

This hits the whole body, then I change which exercises I do each workout so I hit all the muscles equally throughout the week.


rachid October 21, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Hi rusty
Great article I really like it , you give us usefull tips thank you

Flat-Belly-Trainer October 22, 2011 at 7:32 am

Nice demonstrations of the exercise and i am eagerly waiting to learn more from your blog, its best fitness blog and i have am going to subscribe to your blog very shortly thanks October 25, 2011 at 2:00 am

Yeah my wife and I just kind of shifted to this type of workout. We basically blast the muscle group and then let it recover for a few days. We do high intensity, high weight exercise.

Rick - fitness Workbook October 26, 2011 at 1:24 am


You never cease to amaze me, your posts are so informative. I like the idea of focusing on one exercise per muscle group but it is only short term just to mix your routine up.


RJ October 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I like the option of choosing just one exercise and then focusing on it for an entire workout. I found going to the gym and focusing on multiple exercises can be quite draining. There is no doubt though that doing 10 sets of one exercise with bring some serious soreness over the next couple of days. One of the most intense ways to implement a 10 set workout with just one exercise is to do squats only. Brutal to say the least.

Bryan October 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Rusty, these are excellent suggestions especially for anyone who doesn’t have time or is just starting out. It’ll save a lot of time.

Leonardo Salvador October 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I haven’t tried that yet because I always do full body work out. But if you recommend this, I’ll give it a shot. Thank you so much on this.

Chaba October 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Hey Rusty,

I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to get in shape the right way and as you can imagine I had to go through a lot of BS before I stumbled onto your program and onto Adonis Index. I’m not completely clueless about training and nutrition and have been working out off and on (well, mostly off rarely on) but frankly I’m konfoozed.

Both, your program and the Adonis Index looks awesome but both programs seem to be doing the same thing. Which one should I get? I know you will give me a straight answer I can trust.



Chaba October 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

@Bob – I’m not hating and I don’t know the guy, and I never really got into Vince and his program, but he lost some major brownie points with that video fiasco. A lot of people felt betrayed.

jason @ personal trainer November 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Took your advice on this and boy was I hurting. But a day later and the benefits were obvious as I could do my own set a lot better.

The plateau was broken and I could move on – and more importantly, upwards.

Going to recommend this to some of my clients who’ve stagnated! Let’s see them hurt too! LOL

Frank November 3, 2011 at 4:02 pm

I’ve tried the 10×10 before and it leaves my muscles fried! Will have to try the 10×3 and see how that feels.

Definitely going to recommend this to my friends. Oh, and the movie too! 🙂

Rayca November 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I tried 10 x 10 this morning for shoulders. OMG. Absolutely pumped and was such a nice change.

Stan November 8, 2011 at 9:12 am

Really interesting read! Had not heard the concept of 10 reps for 10 sets to break through plateaus. Will give this a try as I’ve been maxed out on bench for a while.

Exercise On Abs November 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

Vince Gironda is the greatest ! Love the part about dips..

EZ November 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Did anyone of you downloaded the free Vince Gironda 8×8 17 page ebook? I can not find the link. Rusty? Can you please help?



EZ November 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm

Actually I clicked the link but it does not take me to the free ebook.

fitness health November 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

awesome rusty, think I will be giving the 10 x 10 a shot next, week looks like a good compound exercise movement going on.
Cheers for the info

David @ The Natural Health Service November 19, 2011 at 7:24 am

When I first read about the 10 sets of 10 method some years ago it said to use a weight that you could normally do 20 reps with (rather than 15 as you said). Although this would feel light at first it gets much harder as you go on. But I guess you found that out with your incline dumbbell presses. I’ve never tried it though as I’ve never done well on high volume.

It’s also important to mention that if you are doing this sort of training to gain size you need to eat a lot at the same time (depending on your body fat percentage of course).

I’ve seen that pdf of Vince Gironda 8 X 8 and think alternating two exercises in the way he describes is a good idea. Might try that at some time.

Final point, I think if you don’t gain size on a higher rep count programme it’s because you’re not strong enough to lift sufficient weight for that rep range in order to make the size gains. So focus more on strength first.

Coach Calorie December 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

I’ve done both the 10×10 and 8×8 and found that I couldn’t sustain that amount of volume for much longer than a couple weeks. If you are trying to bulk up and are eating plenty of calories, I can see how these training methods could benefit. If on the other hand you are dieting, I think it’s a sure recipe for under recovering.

Helcio Sabatella December 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

Who Wants to live forever? I DO !!! The pumping iron Theme is great song and classics are classics. Vince Gironda, Larry scott, Charles Atlas.
You will never get the size of a Bull eatting like a bird …]

Keep Pumping!!!

Bodybuilder Meal December 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm

One lift per workout could actually seemingly be a pretty good idea. As long as you’re continually working on progressive overload, I don’t see why you still won’t be able to grow either way.

Hire Fitness January 9, 2012 at 6:07 am

We should go under a proper Gym trainer so that we can do needful exercises & make proper diet chart accordingly.

Right now, We can see everywhere, mostly people are suffering from high weight problem.
They frustrate from this common problem & start using many kinds of pills.
But remember : Pills may be helpful for weight loss but people should be careful as some pills are very harmful for
their body system.
The body symptoms may be separate of all people & pills does not suite to everybody.
Even, if you are patient & suffering from any disease, firstly you should contact to your doctor before
taking any kind of pills.

After-all, you can start gym, any kind of Exercises or yoga classes. These are very helpful
for heavy weight losses naturally .

Vans schoenen online kopen January 17, 2012 at 2:32 am

I back that advice up!
Really do one exercise and not more per muscle group.
It will do you more good for your body.
You will also see faster results.

Jon (AKA J-Spot Jon) Pietrunti January 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

This is fantastic advice, especially for all of the “hard-gainers” out there trying to put on size and strength.

Personally, I have had great results using similar set/rep schemes as described above. With focused training like this, there is no need to really use more than one exercise.

I have also had excellent results with this protocol in my quest for advanced calisthenic exercises (i.e. One-arm Push-ups and Chins).

Thanks for the great post! Keep it up!

Matt January 30, 2012 at 10:29 am

I am a restarting my muscle building journey. I often go through my lazy phases. My problem is, I get to a certain size and I don’t want to get any bigger. So, I lay off working out to avoid getting too big. Is there any recommendations that I can do to still remain active (avoiding getting lazy), but not become too huge?

Jared February 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm

But aren’t we supposed to do one exercise per muscle group on a full-body routine even if the sets are 3-4 at most?

Are you now saying that if you don’t so at least 10 sets you need another exercise for the same muscle group even on a full-body worlout or two-days split?

Andrew February 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Hi Rusty,
I was just wondering is there anyway to target one muscle group and lose muscle from just that group? I played lots of soccer throughout my life and now have pretty big quads I would like to shrink down a little. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Woody February 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I got here for the workout information and secrets of success ans stayed for the Highlander reference. One of my favorite all time movies. You know it’s good when Queen devotes a whole album to the soundtrack in order and never calls it a soundtrack.

I use P90x routine and it follows a lot of your suggestions and really helps break through those plateaus, which is key if you don’t want any of your routines becoming stagnate and really want to see continued results.

Andy March 9, 2012 at 11:02 am


Great article and a new way of looking at size and strength training. Will be definitely looking at the 10×10 workout and post back with my findings.


Jim March 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

this is great! i have recently been doing 5 sets and have thought that is a good amount to be doing but I never thought of boosting it up to 10 sets. this is great advice I am pumped to try out.

John Oxnard April 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm

I will definitely give this a try. 10 reps will be hard but hey, “no pain no gain”.

Gary June 2, 2012 at 4:29 am

The good thing about exercising one muscle group at a time is that it gives you more control over sculpting your body. E.g., if your abs are looking a bit ill-defined then perform some exercise routine that targets those. If your arms are looking a bit flabby, find an exercise that builds them up.

Kitchen worktops guy June 6, 2012 at 7:00 am

That’s my life motto, man.

rob link June 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

I find this article extremely interesting. However what single exercise would work best for shoulders? Being there are 3 distinct muscles ? Thank you

Vix- Miss Fitness Life June 23, 2012 at 12:41 am

10 x 10 is an absolute killer- I was sore for days. Girls try starting with 5 x 10 for a great workout when you want to mix it up!

Vanessa June 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

Thank you for sharing your expertise, I recently began working out; my goal is to get in shape and eat healthier! I have found this post to be very interesting! Thank you!

6 Pack Abs Guy August 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Good topics. It throws out the old adage 3 sets of 10. 8 sets of 8 is much better and NOT focusing on one group – this is what we talk about when teaching how to work out and how to get 6 pack abs. Just doing crunches and sit-ups all day long will not get you six pack abs – its the combination of many exercises.

Peter August 23, 2012 at 3:59 am

hunnnn, it sounds good. I tried 10 X 10 as like Video you have put but i must say it’s very difficult to do.

Well, thanks for guiding, I’m going to try your other tips

Roy February 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

I been working out hard for a little over a year now, and I lost over 50 pounds now. I been hitting the weights allot harder, and even though I can see some results it’s really slow. What’s the best way to get Lean, and lose this belly?

Yash March 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Hey Rusty…
I have recently started following your VI workout and have lost 3-4 kgs in a span of 2 weeks. My major worry is Moobs… Will it be possible for you to do some write up on moobs.. What kinda exercises to focus… volume and stuff like that…I guess it is a major issue with fat people like me…. Would really help.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: