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Building muscle has its fair share of frustration. Take the rut, for example. The rut occurs when you work out hard every day, and your body refuses to physically progress. Although this gets frustrating, you can overcome this trend by changing your routine and pushing your muscles beyond your limits. This is where pyramid workouts like the 10-8-6 come into play. A 10-8-6 workout takes the place of your normal routine and uses varying repetitions of varying weight to push your body through a rut and build muscle.
Do not be intimidated by the numbers in the 10-8-6 workout. Each number stands for the number of repetitions to perform at each stage of the routine. The 10 is the first number of reps you perform. During this set, you lift 50 percent of your maximum weight. Next, you lift 75 percent of your maximum weight for eight reps. Then you lift your max weight for six reps and then rest for 30 to 45 seconds. This combination equals one set of 10-8-6.
Maximum Lifting Weight
Calculating your maximum weight is not an exact science. Many lifting methods start with the one-rep-max, or the maximum weight you can lift only once. The typical method used for the 10-8-6 workout routine requires you to lift the most weight you can handle for six repetitions. Handling a certain weight means a weight that causes you to strain on the last rep without losing form. For example, if you are performing biceps curls, the weight should cause you to strain but not shift your weight to one side or push out your belly.
You already know that the last six reps of the routine will be 100 percent of your maximum weight. Now you need to calculate the percentages for both the 10 and eight rep sets. For the 10-rep set, you need to divide your max weight in half. For example, if your max curl weight is 30 pounds, you would use 15-pound dumbbells for this set. Calculating the weight for your eight-rep set is a little more difficult. This set would require lifting 22.5 pounds. Most gyms do not have dumbbells this weight. In this case, you need to move to a dumbbell that has a weight closest to the required number, or 20 pounds.
The 10-8-6 program's design makes it a short-term solution to gaining the strength needed to progress on your fitness journey. It shouldn't be viewed as a long-term routine. Use it in place of your normal muscle-specific routines for three to six weeks and then take a break and return to your normal workout. Keep the 10-8-6 in your mind as an alternative workout to get you through tough training periods.