Radical Muscle Solutions: Tom Venuto channels Vince Gironda

Vince's GymWho better than Tom “Burn the Fat” Venuto to give us a comprehensive look at the back end of Vince’s famous 8 by 8 routine for advanced bodybuilders?

Based on the idea of a high volume, fast tempo, size building routine that is guaranteed to help you get leaner.

As Venuto says, “The short rest intervals stress the cardiovascular system to the point where calories are burned, the metabolism is stimulated, hormones are stirred up and the fat is melted away.”

Sound too good to be true?

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Bodybuilder Annibal Lobez under the watchful eye of the guru

Check out Venuto’s detailed summary, but, here it is in a nutshell: more work in less time = higher intensity and bigger muscles.

The idea is to select 3 or 4 exercises per muscle group and perform 8 sets of 8 on each exercise. You work 2 or 3 muscle groups per workout and rest 15 to 30 seconds between sets. You’re done in 45 minutes, an hour max.

As for how heavy and how many exercises per body part, that depends on what type of split routine you use. The Gironda theory is based on routines split 2 or 3 ways so you train each muscle group twice in a week. Advanced bodybuilders could use a 3-day split with a 3-day recovery between these mega-intensity workouts. These days, most bodybuilders go for the 4-day split which involves training 2 days on, one day off. The 8 by 8 is perfect for the 4-day split, and here’s a sample routine from Venuto.

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Bodybuilder Don Howarth flourished under Vince’s tutelage


Decline low cable crossover (touch hands at waistlines) 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

Zotman Curl 8 X 8
Barbell Wrist Curl 8 X 8


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

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Bodybuilder Howarth doing it by the book


Sternum Chin-up 8 x8
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 the same time) 8 X 8
Weighted crunch 8 X 8
Lying Bent Knee Leg Raises 8 X 8

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

As Tom says,

“8 sets of 8 reps performed in 5 minutes for a large muscle group can test the grip of the toughest bodybuilder.”

Guess that’s why it’s called the Honest Workout.

Vince's Gym

Vince Gironda walks the walk

Vince's Gym
Vince’s Gym

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