My 10x3 Program

Discussion in 'Strength-Specific Training (SST)' started by kidkurious, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. kidkurious

    kidkurious New Member

    Below is a program I put together:

    It's a full body program, alternating between workout A and B.

    10 sets of 3 reps per exercise (excluding isolation movements)... 45-60 second rest between sets.

    The ideal load is supposed to be 80% of 1RM for all sets.

    Right now, I'm using submaximal loads, and it's been feeling good so far... It's too soon to tell if I'm making any gains yet.

    I was wondering if this would be a good program for increasing my strength in these lifts, or if it would be more suitable for hypertrophy.

    My goal is to get bigger and get stronger (priority: get bigger).

    The reason why I'm not on an HST routine now is because I want to increase my lifts first... or would I be better off incorporating HST principles into this program?

    Any suggestions?


    Any suggestions?
  2. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

    That certainly looks more like a routine for adding strength than hypertrophy.

    The rest periods will be too short in the long term. Once you are truly pushing your three rep max I imagine that you will no longer be capable of maintaining a 60 second rest period especially for ten sets. You will have to sandbag your lifts to do this and not really use your three rep maximum to get through it.

    That is a little high on the volume as well for such high intensity work. I have used 5x3 and 3x3 numerous times in the past and found that even a volume of 9-15 total reps was challenging. I can only imagine trying to push through 30 reps.

    I would suggest a tried and true routine such as 5x5 for gaining strength in the core lifts. You will gain more competence in the core lifts with a program such as this since the core lifts is the foundation of the program. The 5x5 is designed specifically for this purpose. The 5x5 is also designed to supply progressive overload over the course of the program. The program also has a taper designed into it before you reach the 3x3 loads.

    You had indicated that your real goal was size and HST can certainly do that for you. The latter portion of the HST cycle will expose you to plenty of heavy lifting on the core lifts. So why not just give the basic HST a try instead?
  3. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    Yeah, sounds like a basic power lifting routine... ish.

    Apparently, (going back to the 'old days'!) the rep ranges were always along the lines of
    high reps (15+) for endurance, medium rep range (10/12) for size/hypertrophy, and the low reps (3/5) for strength.

    There is, of course, variation on this, and the basic HST routine incorporates all three ranges.
    There is also a belief that higher and lower rep ranges work different muscle fibres? Fast twitch and slow twitch... but I'll leave those opinions to the technical brains to explain!

    As Wildman says... you're on the HST website. try the HST routine...

    Good luck

  4. kidkurious

    kidkurious New Member

    thanks guys [​IMG]

    my goal now is to actually increase my lifts.

    would you recommend starting HST in the 5's instead of starting with the 15's and 10's?

    will i make gains like this? or do i strictly have to start in 15's or 10's and then progress to the 5s?
  5. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

  6. Wildman

    Wildman New Member

    I wouldnt skip the 15s or 10s. These rep ranges will prepare your body gradually for the heavy work to come near the end of the program as well as other benefits. You will realize different results for each rep range. The higher rep ranges are more specific to training for hypertrophy and endurance while the lower rep ranges are typically used for strength training. The process of moving from one rep range to next also facilitates progression. Use the time in the early part of the cycles to perfect your form and maintain good form into the lower rep work. It is very easy to let form slip as the weight goes up. By enforcing good form as the weight is lighter in the higher rep ranges you will hopefully be able to maintain your form through the heavier cycles.

    Your lifts will increase using HST as well. It is not optimal for strength increases and is not designed to be. But the program does not ignore strength training altogether either. It is a good solid mix instead. Again your long term goals are to gain size. There is no real reason that you have to train for strength before training for size IMO.

    What you will find as you move forward is that by training only one aspect of a muscle such as strength alone will only take you so far. You will eventually reach your maximum potential for strength gains given your current size. You will eventually have to train towards increasing the muscles cross sectional size to continue to see further gains in strength. Strength only training is not the best way to get big. You can get stronger without getting bigger to a point but that is a short term thing. The HST approach will provide you with the tools to both increase in size and in strength at the same time within a cycle.

    The approach you are thinking of isnt flawed though. You could certainly train for nothing but strength and later switch to train for size and back again. Larger macro cycles like this are very common ways to train. This was exactly my approach when I was a competitive Power Lifter. But realize my focus was to only increase my 1RM in the three big lifts in Power Lifting. I would have taken a different path had my goals been for size specifically.
  7. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    kidk, that's good advice from the 'wild one.'

    I'm guessing that those loads are in pounds rather than kilos. If so, you should get plenty of mileage from regular HST cycles for some time to come before you need to try adding in 5x5 or 10x3 training. I made decent strength gains cycle-on-cycle for a good while (well over a year) before I needed to mess with anything. I didn't stretch the 5s out either; after four weeks of 5s I would SD for 7-9 days and then start over with 15s. I always aimed to add 5 or 10lb to my RM workouts every cycle. Drink your milk (ie. get enough cals) and grow like a weed.  [​IMG]

    When doing 15s, be sure not to start out too light. 75% of your 15RM is a good place to begin. To keep recruitment high with lighter loads, reduce rest between sets.
  8. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    I ran 7 cycles of HST before plateau hit. Then the Madcow 5x5 gave me a shock and raised the strength a good bit.
    All advice given here is spot on thus far, and tho Wildman is new to me, he seems to really know his schtuf.
    At first I didn't like the exersize setup until I realized what you were trying to do. Still, no auxiliary exersizes for legs would leave me feeling unchallenged.
  9. Brixtonian

    Brixtonian Active Member

    (Lol @ Jul. 22 2009,4:05)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">Brix: here's a useful article on fiber types, by a certain Mr. Haycock, for your edification.  [​IMG]</div>
    Cheers mate.

    Thought I remembered reading something along those lines years ago...

    Mark me as 'edificated up'...

  10. RUSS

    RUSS Member

    I've got more than a little experience with 10x3's and I wouldn't predict much success with your proposed programming.
    A good and productive 10x3 should be approached with a PLer mentality(IMHO) rests should be 3 minutes or so (5 wouldn't be crazy) once you get into the swing of the routine and begin progressing load .The whole point is to avoid fatigue (esp.cardio type) as much as possible and this is NOT accomplished by &quot;rushing&quot; (Waterbury be damned...).
    If you &quot;get&quot; what I'm saying in the above paragraph you will also &quot;get&quot; that your exercise list is a bit ambitious to be doing 10x3 for each movement (and that's putting it mildly).
    One 10x3 a workout is an almost magical thing if programmed wisely - 3 or more (IMHO) is a sure mark of someone who hasn't done 10x3 @ 85% very much if ever OR a sure sign of mountain gorilla cross breeding in their families past.

    You may respond extremely well to 10x3 - I wouldn't dismiss the idea entirely but it must be programmed intelligently and exist as a means to a specified goal - strength or size not both. The rest of your programming is what really distinguishes one goal from another:

    I used 10x3 in today's w/o here's what I did:

    (warm ups) + 4x1 @(roughly) 90%1RM
    5x10 @ 60%1rm (just to get volume in - think Wendler 531)
    Chest Supported Row
    (warm up)+ 10x3 @ 85%1rm


    Tommorrow I will do front squats and deadlifts like this:

    Front Squat
    (warm Ups)+ 10x3 @ (roughly 83-84%1rm
    Dead Lift
    (warm up)+ 10x1 @ 90%1rm


    I won't list my whole routine but it's simple straight forwards FOCUSED and very effective for the goal I have. Hopefully this will give you some idea of how 10x3's can be used and how they could be over used leading to QUICK stagnation. [​IMG]
  11. Russ, will you please consider linking me to the thread that outlines your program?

    disclaimer: I searched prior to asking.
  12. RUSS

    RUSS Member

    The program I'm referencing above is my current program and I don't have a thread on it. I personally get most out of the intensity and focus I can bring to 2 exercises a work out , 4-5 (or more) exercises a workout result in 2  being given the intensity and focus they deserve and the rest lacking at least to some degree in the &quot;oomph&quot; department; or - ALL must be performed with a degree of restraint that while perhaps &quot;ideal&quot; for hypertrophy and a comfortable &quot;fit&quot; for some temperaments, just seems to kill the passion for a temperament like mine .
                           A rough over view of what I'm currently doing using starting percentages , obviously these or number of reps are progressed each work out:

    (warm ups), 4-10x1 @ 90% (4 first w/o +1 more single each new w/o- think Doug Hepburn)
    5x10 @50- 60 % ( volume - think Jim Wendler)
    (warm ups), 10x3 @ 80%

    (warm ups), 10x3 @ 80 %
    (warm ups), 4-10x1 @ 90%


    (warm ups), 4-10x1 @ 90%
    5x10 @50- 60 %
    (warm ups), [email protected] 80%

    (warm ups), 4-10x1 @ 90%
    5x10 @50- 60 %
    (warm ups), 10x3 @ 80%


    I posted (some time back) a 10x3 routine that I had developed over the years and I'm not sure if you mean that instead ? [​IMG]
  13. <div>
    (RUSS @ Jul. 25 2009,3:47)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I posted (some time back) a 10x3 routine that I had developed over the years and I'm not sure if you mean that instead ?</div>

    and thanks for sharing!

    edit... finally found that sucker;f=2;t=14305;hl=russ
  14. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

  15. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    I also have a few 10 x3 routines outlined in my spreadsheet if anyone wants 'em.  Send me a message if so with your email address and I'll send it to you.

    Going back to the core of the original thread...

    Kid - your routine is a bit ambitious, with virtually no rest built in.  I think it's really a personal choice as to what type of program you choose to follow; Wildman and Russ both make excellent points to both the HST and triples aspects respectively.  Bottom line my friend, do some reading in the forum - read Russ' posts, Lol's posts (in his log, in regard to his cycles), and perhaps MOST importantly, read the Simplify and Win thread in the HST forum front to back TWICE.  THEN - after all that reading, do your programming.  We are all here to help - ALL OF US - so never shy from asking questions.  I just think you'd really gain a lot from reading a bit more on the different training types.  You will benefit from either one - just make sure you lay it out correctly to begin with so that you don't dig a hole for yourself that you can't get out of (recovery-wise).

    Take care and good luck!

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