The 10-8-6-15 Rep Workout

If you are looking to add some variety to your workouts and stimulate some new muscle growth, then you should give the 10-8-6-15 rep workout a try for yourself. This was a popular workout routine that Vince Gironda (aka the Iron Guru) came up with back in the Golden Era of Bodybuilding, the “Pumping Iron” days, back in the mid-1900’s in Venice California.

He used this program to help people bust through training ruts and get out of plateaus. For each exercise you perform 4 sets with a rep scheme of 10-8-6-15 and rest 2 minutes between sets. This set and rep scheme gives you the best of both heavy weight low rep pyramid training, and higher rep lighter weight training all in one workout.

Ideally, the weights you’ll use with these sets are as follows:

Take your 6 rep max for a particular exercise and base your percentages off this weight for the different sets.

For the 10 rep set, use 50% of your 6RM weight.

For the 8 rep set use 75% of your 6RM weight.

For the 6 rep set use 100% of your 6RM weight.

Then you would finish off with using 35% of you 6RM for the 15 reps set.

Click PLAY To See A Video Demo Of How This Workout Is Performed!

Note: if you can’t watch the embedded video clip above,
you can watch it right on my YouTube Channel by Clicking Here

Now it may take you a couple workouts to experiment and adjust the weights accordingly. For example, in the video I under estimated my starting 10 rep starting weight and ended up using that same weight for my burn out set of 15 reps at the end. So next time I’ll have to go heavier with my starting set of 10 reps.

You can perform this set and rep pattern with pretty much all your exercises to help stimulate new muscle growth. You’ll really experience a great pump, especially after you finish that last burn out set of 15 reps of each exercise.

One important point I should mention here is that you should still do 1-2 lighter warm up sets first before starting your 10 rep working weight set. Always warm up properly before lifting regardless of what workout routine you are following.

Give this workout a try for yourself and then leave me a comment below letting me know how it works for you.

And if you want to get some more information about Vince Gironda and his old-school training methods, download a copy of the Vince Gironda Program at:

This is an awesome book that’s jam packed with the actual workouts and diet plans that the bodybuilders of yesterday used to build their classic lean muscular physiques.

Vince Gironda Book
Click Here To Get Your Copy!

If you are a true bodybuilding fan, then this book is a “Must Read” in my opinion.

About The Author


Lee Hayward is a former competitive bodybuilder and muscle building coach who has been online coaching people since 1997. His work has been featured in several international magazines such as: FLEX, Muscle Insider, Muscle Mag International, Testosterone, Ironmag, and Forbes. Lee's main focus right now is with helping men over 40 - who don't want to be fat anymore - lose the gut, build muscle, and get back in shape. If you're ready to "Start Again" for the last time and finally build a lean healthy body that you can be proud of, just e-mail Lee to discuss a realistic action plan that's right for you...


  • Good stuff bro, I tried this out at the gym today doing Bi’s and Tri’s. This is a good way to build strength.

  • Jalen

    I will definitely try this workout when i go back to the gym. I give it two thumbs up

  • Dustin

    I think your percentages are off. The only set that is challenging at all is the 6 reps with 6RM.

    Did you mean to make those other sets percentages of your 1RM instead of 6RM? Because even THAT is a bit light for me. I can easily do 10 reps with 50% of my 1RM.

    I’m going to give it a try (It’s time for change for me anyway), but I think I’ll do trial and error to find the right amount of weight.

    Thanks Lee!

  • Joe

    Okay, so why in the Heck would you advise someone to do 1 or 2 light warm-up sets before starting this routine when the routine already contains 2 light warm-up sets??? I don’t think the percentages are correct either because if they are then that means this workout consists of only ONE actual work set–the first 2 ‘sets’ are too light even for proper warm-up sets, and the fourth/last set’s weight is so low (35% of your 6 rep max? That’s it!?!) that you’d have to do MANY more repetitions than a mere suggested 15 for it to even be considered a burn-out set. This is not a routine that works at all IMO.

  • Joe


    You, sir, are either an idiot or a newbie or both. You claimed:

    “Good stuff bro, I tried this out at the gym today doing Bi’s and Tri’s. This is a good way to build strength.”

    Your comment implies that A. You’ve only used this routine exactly ONE TIME and you are already praising it for its benefits??? And B. Again you’ve used it only ONE TIME and you also claim it’s a good way to build strength??? You can NOT measure the effectiveness of a routine after only ONE workout.

    You, my good man, are a blatant liar. This routine consists of ONLY ONE actual work set (the third set of 6 reps) and the other three ‘sets’ are so light that you might as well not even do them at all. And that’s on top of the fact that it suggests you do two additional light warm-up sets before even doing the routine!!

    Here’s a sample of this ‘routine’:

    6 rep max = 100lbs.
    (after the additional 2 sets of light warm-ups)
    1 set x 50lbs. x 10 reps
    1 set x 75lbs. x 8 reps
    1 set x 100lbs. x 6 reps
    1 set x 35lbs. x 15 reps

    This routine is a TOTAL waste of time, and I’m disappointed in Lee for ever having posted it. And after reading this comment I’m responding to, I’m now questioning if Lee is posting fake appraisal comments on his own articles.

  • Josue

    Come on guys give Lee a break. Maybe the percentages are off, but the science is still there…. Almost every respectable expert has a variation of this rep/set scheme… Either they separate it between exercise or the slide the rep scheme higher or lower. I think Bill Phillips had a 12-10-8-6-6…Arnold had at 10-8-6 or some variation on the same thing. Vince G…Vince D…Joe Defranco… I can go on and on.

    Honestly some of us can stand a 3-6 week change up in our routines. Take notes/logs and post your results of your favorite routine. I’m a new fan of Lee but a student of all physical culture (now please make fun of my half asleep morning rantings)

  • Joe,

    Relax Joe, if you want to lift heavier than lift heavier. You are allowed to do whatever you want to do. The percentages are just listed as a guideline to go by. Simply start off with a set of 10 reps, pyramid up in weight to a set of 6, and then do a back off set of 15.

    That’s it. There is no need to get angry or insult people, after all it’s only a workout.

  • YoElliotLive fan

    Im pretty sure the guy talking negatively about this routine doesnt look like vince gironda 😉 Good program

  • Damien

    Great idea Lee and I think you’ve mentioned this workout before. At first glance it would appear the percentages are to low but who cares…its a great variation and I love the idea of burning out 15 reps to finish off. How many times should the four set routine be done? Do you do it once through or 2 or 3 times?

  • james

    guys, calm down. you can easily adjust the weight depending on your strength level. you do not have to go by the percentages. the important aspect of the routine is the combo of high weight low rep and high rep low weight within the same routine.

  • David


    You don’t know what you’re talking about. I used a technique similar to that for a couple of years and it’s a good one.
    PS. I’m very close to qualify for ‘shot put’ in the olympics.

  • Miguel

    you mean resting for 2 minutes in between sets of 4 different rep ranges or in between each rep range?…

  • Damien,

    Just do the 4 sets once for each exercise.

  • Miguel,

    Do a set of 10 reps, then rest.
    Do a set of 8 reps, then rest.
    Do a set of 6 reps, then rest.
    Do a set of 15 reps and you are done for that exercise.

  • I am going to try this workout by the weights I can handle and take it from there! This looks like a different routine from my normal one and I could use some change! Great job Lee, as always! And as far as the negative testosterone lunks out there, give Lee and anyone giving this a try a flippin’ break! Just sayin’! 😉

  • Man I truly love your programs and your constant feed of information it trully can keep this married father of 3 from falling in a rut. This sounds like a great program to implement , thanks again and please keep up the good work.

  • William

    Lee, are any of these sets done to failure? I’m thinking the 6 and 15 rep are intended to be taken to failure, is that correct?

  • William,

    You can push yourself hard on the 8, 6, and 15 rep sets. The 10 rep set is kind of like a warm up set.

  • andrew

    its a bit like hit training with a failure pump at end
    dorian yates training was like this 2 warm ups one working set

  • josian

    hi lee:
    i really like this sets and reps ranges
    i don’t care if the people in this comments
    did not like this sets and reps workout i personally
    really love this sets and reps ranges i feel a nice pump
    when i train each body part with this workout!
    the people who did not like the workout are
    these who don’t understand it, any way nice workout lee!
    thanks lee!
    your friend,

  • Kurt

    I modified this workout 15-10-5-20 And have been getting great results.

  • Dr. Mike


    You need medication…
    Calm down! Tell you what,when you look as good as, or have trained as many people as Gironda then you can go off on your little distribe.
    Until then, relax, this is for fun. Trust me, you’re not going to make a “career” out of bodybuilding…

  • Kes

    Is there any need to increase weight? If I start with a weight i can do 10 reps with I can probably only do 8 on the next set with the same weight anyway,
    especially if rest time is only 1 minute

  • Paul

    I do the 10/8/6/15 religiously but like other posters I feel as though your percentages/weights seem a bit low.
    These are the percentages I use and these usually give me a pump.
    I also feel like I’m progressing as I progressively overload.
    I developed a spreadsheet that works out the percentages and it rounds them off to the nearest 2.5 kilos.
    Although it’s time consuming, and when it’s necessary, I do seek out the 1.25 kilo plates to stay faithful to the calculated weights.
    That seems the best policy because if you do your own rounding off, then when you next increase the weights you might have already been lifting those weights because of your upwards rounding and you’re not progressing. Are you?
    Hope that make sense!

    10 @ 60% of 1RM
    8 @ 70% of 1RM
    6 @ 80% of 1RM
    15 @ 50% of 1RM

  • Paul,

    What is the rest time between sets. I know a lot of his programs have you rest a minute or less.

    • It really depends on the exercise. For isolation exercises you can get away with 1 minute rest between sets. But for bigger compound lifts I’d recommend at least 2 minutes between sets especially for those last couple sets where you’ll be pushing yourself hard.