Old School Vince Gironda Training Method: Shorter Rest Periods For Bigger Gains

Sometimes old school methods work the best.

When it comes to training methods and routines, most bodybuilders have their own schedules that they like to adhere to, you know, certain muscles on certain days, a set amount of rest days, and so on. For the most part lifters tend to utilize the split training that is popularized by most of the professional bodybuilders out there.

There’s a reason why split training has gained a tremendous amount of popularity. It’s damn effective and will allow you to put all of your effort into training specific body parts, such as the chest, the legs, the back, and so on. This will allow for great muscle growth in the long run. But though many people may adhere to a split training program, there is still a tremendous amount of merit in full body training.

Many will tell you full body training is a waste of time, but in reality it can be extremely beneficial to creating a tremendously well built physique. Arnold Schwarzenegger was an advocate for training several muscle groups in one workout session, especially for those lifters who just beginning their journey of building muscle mass. But though it may be beneficial to beginners it doesn’t mean veterans can’t utilize the same principals to make quality gains in both muscle size and conditioning.

Enter Vince Gironda.

Vince Gironda Full Body Training

Often hailed as a bodybuilding guru in his day, Vince Gironda was an advocate for full body training. What made his method different than all the others? He had a program that focused on an 8 set, 8 rep scheme, which may seem like a lot of volume, but there is a certain method to this madness.

While 8 sets of 8 reps may not seem all that impressive, the real secret behind the success of this full body program was what Gironda did in between sets, when he was supposed to be resting. What Vince Gironda advocated was taking less rest in between sets. By taking less rest it promoted hypertrophy as well as conditioning all in one.

The Vince Gironda Training Method

So how exactly does this method work. Easy. You start off by performing 8 reps of your 60% max in a particular lift, usually the body part that is lacking the most, and then start with a 45-60 second rest. For every subsequent set you decrease the rest time by 5 seconds going no lower than 15 seconds.

Sounds easy, but by the end you’ll feel like your muscles have been murdered. Here’s a sample workout to get you started. Keep in mind that each of these exercises should be done with 60 % of your 1 rep max, for 8 sets with 8 reps, 45-60 second rest periods subtracting 5 seconds for every subsequent rest period.

  • Dips: 8 sets x 8 reps
  • Squats: 8 sets x 8 reps
  • Pull Ups: 8 sets x 8 reps
  • Preacher Curl: 8 sets x 8 reps
  • Triceps Extensions: 8 sets x 8 reps
  • Calf Raises: 8 sets x 20 reps

Full Body Training Wrap Up

While full body training may not seem all that useful, it can be very effective if you incorporate Vince Gironda’s training method of the 8 sets of 8 reps.

Have you ever tried the 8×8 training method? Let us know by hitting up our comments below or head on over to our official Facebook and Twitter.

Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.