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The 6 x 10 Routine

by Mark Cammack    September 3, 2019

Image that says Mark's GYM, Routines, 6 x 10

The 6 x 10, or six sets of ten repetitions, method works well for bodybuilding while allowing for some gain in power. This is one of my favorites for consistent results. It is a safer alternative to the 10 x 10 Routine for people who require more recovery following exercise. The 6 x 10 is not a reduced form of the 10 x 10 method, nor an advanced form of the 6 x 6 Routine. It is a style in its own right and is for intermediate to advanced athletes, bodybuilders, and exercisers.

The amount of weight used in this routine is moderate. There is blood vessel and muscle development. By resting between 30 seconds to a minute between sets, a pump is produced. A positive part of the 6 x 10 is that you should feel good and energized afterwards. As with any workout, if you are drained instead of invigorated, we usually need to look at these things: general state of health, amount of total exercise, the work you do, nutrition, allergies, sleep and rest, stress, mindset, and toxic chemicals or reactions from foods or surroundings.

A few people tend to do well with less sets. Vince Gironda said he came across one fellow who required only 3 sets per exercise, more was too much, and that man was entering bodybuilding competitions! Some other rare persons tend to gain consistently with 8 or more sets per exercise. We can expect most intermediate or advanced exercisers to feel and perform well, and look good, with the 6 x 10. It brings performance to bodybuilding like the Pontiac GTO Supercar does to the auto world.

Here is an example 3 day on, 1 day off program, each exercise is done with 6 x 10 unless otherwise noted:

Day 1:
Back:         Bench Rows
Biceps:      Dumbbell Curls (both arms at once - not alternating)
Forearms: Tennis Ball Squeeze (6 sets of 10 to 15 reps)

Day 2:
Thighs:      Leg Press
                  Leg Extension (3 to 5 sets if needed)
                  Leg Curl (3 to 5 sets if needed)
Calves:      Standing or Donkey Calf Raise (6 sets of 10 to 15 reps)
Abs:           Frog Crunch
Low back:  Hyperextension or Sphinx
Glutes:       Kickback (if needed)

Day 3:
Chest:       Medium to Wide Grip V-bar Dips
Deltoids:    Dumbbell Lateral
Triceps:     Dumbbell Pullover

Day 4:

One question that may arise is: But why is everything not exactly 6 x 10? The answer is that 6 x 10 is a general rule we are going by. The forearms, calves, and thighs might be exceptions for some people. Let's look at this.

The forearms often have 10 reps as the starting point, and may do well with 12 to 15 reps. They can require dedicated effort to grow. The calves are frequently the same way. I met people who had incredible forearm and calf development that did not do anything special with weights for it. One had walked in farm fields and said that was what gave him calves. His brother was always working on cars and engines. He had substantial forearms and claimed it was from regularly turning wrenches. The fellow who had the largest forearms of anyone I ever met was strongman and World's Strongest Man competitor Cleve Dean. He was a nice neighborly person and we had a good talk. Cleve said a lot of his initial size and power was from heavy farm work and good food. He emphasized the importance of fresh vegetables for strength and healthy tendons. These did not replace protein, but provided nutrients that are necessary.

The thighs may respond well with the leg press alone. If so, there is no need to add leg extensions or leg curls while on the 6 x 10. Some people require the additional isolation exercises for a little extra size or shape.

Do not add heavy weight with abdominal exercises. I did sit-ups as a youth and worked my way up to using an 80 pound dumbbell for reps. My feet had to be held in place by locking them down on an ab board, equipment, or under other dumbbells. Do not do this unless you only care about power and not appearance. It will thicken your upper abs. We want a V shape with a lean muscular waist and not chunky ab muscles. The better exercises for this are crunches, frog crunches, standing twists with the arms out or with a light bar, and ironically pullovers, but NOT sit-ups. Sit-ups can make the hip muscles wider and are not the most effective ab exercise.

There you have it - the result producing 6 x 10 Routine for intermediate to advanced athletes, bodybuilders, and exercisers. Enjoy it.

Related articles:

The 3 x 8 Routine for Beginners

The 6 x 6 Routine

Vince Gironda's 8 x 8 Routine


Mark's GYM: Routines 6 x 10 is © Copyright 2019 Mark Cammack. All rights reserved.


© Copyright 2019 Mark Cammack. All rights reserved.