3 Day Split Power 8 Muscle Building Workout




Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
3
Equipment Required:Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Target Gender: Male & Female
Author:
Steve Shaw

Recommended supplements for this workout:

Pre-Workout
Whey Protein
BCAAs (recovery)
Animal Pak
Workout Description

Power 8 is a muscle building workout system that attacks major muscle groups in 3 different ways:

Power – Each major muscle group is first hit with a ramping 5×5; the same style of 5×5 made famous by classic bodybuilder Reg Park.
8×8 – Following the power sets, major muscle groups are then taxed using an 8×8 protocol. Rest between each of these sets is kept to 60 seconds maximum.
Isolation – Major muscle groups are “finished off” using an isolation exercise that focuses on a strict rep cadence.
Smaller muscle group are worked in a similar manner, but do not contain power movements. In addition, instead of performing an 8×8, you will target minor muscle groups with a 6×8 before finishing them off with an isolation movement.

6×8 – Minor muscle groups are first targeted with an 6×8 protocol (6 sets x 8 reps). Rest between each of these sets is kept to 60 seconds maximum.
Isolation – Minor muscle groups are “finished off” using an isolation exercise that focuses on a strict rep cadence.
Power 8 – Three Day Split

This 3 day split should be performed with at least one day of rest between workouts, if possible. You can rotate this 3 day split over the course of 6 or 7 days.

7 Day Variation

Day 1 – Chest and Back
Day 2 – Off
Day 3 – Leg and Abs
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Shoulders and Arms
Day 6 – Off
Day 7 – Off
For the 6 day variation, simply do away with “day 7″ and start the rotation over again. If your schedule forces you to workout 2 days in a row, the following schedule is recommended.

7 Day Variation – Back to Back Variation

Day 1 – Chest and Back
Day 2 – Leg and Abs
Day 3 – Off
Day 4 – Off
Day 5 – Shoulders and Arms
Day 6 – Off
Day 7 – Off
You want to keep rest between pushing days (chest – shoulders and arms) to a maximum. Keep those days in the same place, and adjust your leg training day as needed.

Selecting Exercises

Don’t shy away from hard exercises. If you do, you’re only selling your results short. A sample template is included below. If you need to change exercises because of limited equipment, choose the best possible substitutions. Try to make equal exercise swaps. Power 8 is set up as follows:

Major Muscle Groups

Power – A 5×5 using a heavy compound lift.
8×8 – An 8×8 using a less impactful heavy compound movement, or a machine exercise.
Isolation – A 3×8-12 using an isolation style movement.
Minor Muscle Groups

6×8 – A 6×8 using a challenging isolation or machine exercise.
Isolation – A 3×8-12 using an isolation style movement.
As mentioned, 5×5 exercises are ramped. The first 2 sets are working warm up sets.

Set 1 – 60% x 5 reps
Set 2 – 80% x 5 reps
Sets 3-5 – 100% x 5 reps
Set 5 is an AMAP set, meaning you will perform as many reps as possible. Do NOT train to failure. Stop set 5 when you feel like you might fail on the next rep, or if your form starts to severely deteriorate. When you reach 7 or more reps on set 5, it is time to add weight. The next time you hit the gym, add 5 pounds to the bar.

8×8 and 6×8 Exercises

Rest between sets for these exercises is kept to a strict 60 seconds. Do not exceed this rest period. If you are unable to hit 8 reps for each set, don’t worry. When you are able to perform 8 reps for each of these sets, it’s time to add weight to the bar. Add the smallest possible amount of weight the next time you perform this movement.

Isolation Exercises

Perform these movements using a 4-2-4 rep tempo. This means it will take you 4 seconds to compete a rep, followed by a 2 second hold at the point of contraction, and a 4 second eccentric – or returning of the weight to the starting position of the exercise. Add weight when it makes sense for these exercises.

There is no need to force heavier weights before you are ready. Also, you may need to drop weight from set to set. These exercises are very deliberate and taxing. Dropping to a lighter weight is perfectly fine. Again, the point is to finish off your muscles, so weight used is secondary. With that said, don’t go “too light”, this making a set too easy.

Power 8
Chest and Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 5 5
Dumbbell Bench Press or Hammer Bench Press 8 8
Incline Dumbbell Flye or Pec Dec 3 8-12
Barbell Row 5 5
Lat Pull Down or Pull Ups 8 8
Straight Arm Pull Down 3 8-12
Dumbbell or Barbell Shrugs 8 8
Power 8
Legs and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 5 5
Leg Press 8 8
Leg Extensions 3 8-12
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 5 5
Leg Curls 8 8
Seated or Leg Press Calf Raise 6 8
Standing Calf Raise 3 8-12
Power 8
Shoulders and Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press 5 5
Seated Dumbbell Press or Hammer Overhead Press 8 8
Bent Over Reverse Flyes 3 8-12
Close Grip Bench Press or Skullcrushers 6 8
Cable Tricep Extensions or Seated Dumbbell Extensions 3 8-12
Standing Dumbbell Curls 6 8
EZ Bar Preacher Curls 3 8-12
Power 8 – Frequently Asked Questions

When can I work abs?

You could add in 3 sets per day after each workout. Use whichever exercises you prefer.

Can I add in deadlifts?

Yes, you can use deadlifts on back day for your 5×5 exercise. If you do this make sure to use some form of row and pull up/lat pull down for your next 2 exercises. You may want to rotate weeks, and do an 8×8 for rows one week, and an 8×8 for pull downs or pull ups the next.

What about forearms?

You really shouldn’t need to work the forearms directly in the context of this system. Your forearms will receive plenty of quality stimulation.

Can I add in more arm work?

No. Trust the process. This workout system will build plenty of arm size.

Can I add in more chest work?

No. Trust the process. This workout system will build plenty of chest size.

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