Welcome to Figure of 8.

figure of 8 russ howe pti

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

6 min read

Figure of 8 is a six week routine designed for gym newbies who want to fast-track their results, or if you are returning to training after a lengthy layoff.

This is a program I first released way back in 2014, and many website members have used it multiple times through, because the beauty of this one is in the simplicity.

I’ll take you through all of the program features below.


figure of 8

Full Body Workouts = Full Body Results!

Figure Of 8 is built around full body workouts, so you’ll train all of your major muscle groups each time you go to the gym.

This type of training is ideal for beginners, because muscles don’t need to same volume as more experienced lifters, and is also great for burning fat.

In 2016, Polish researchers published a study which compared the differences between full body training and a traditional bro split. One group of trainees worked their full body three times per week, while another group of trainees followed a three day split where the full body is trained over the course of several workouts. Interestingly, those performing full body workouts burned significantly more fat (dropping a crazy 6% body fat in just a month!) compared to the bro split trainees (2% drop in body fat)(1)

There was no magic at work here, just a couple of important training principles I’ve written about before.

The first is that full body training is a lot of fun. When your workout is enjoyable, you’ll simply work harder. The second is increased training frequency. I spoke about this in my Biceps Boom program, where we use this principle to pack size onto your biceps and triceps. The theory behind increased training frequency is that spreading the workload means you can train a muscle more intensely.

For example, if you perform 18 sets for your quads in one workout you’ll usually find that that the target muscle is fatigued by the halfway point, whereeas spreading this across three workouts means you’re fresh every time and can therefore go harder. This was demonstrated by Norwegian researchers at the 17th Annual Congress of Sports Science back in 2012. They had one group of powerlifters performing a squat, deadlift and bench press workout three times per week, while another group of powerlifters did the exact same routine in six (shorter) workouts per week. Interestingly, hitting the muscles more frequently resulted in an increase in muscle mass almost 10% higher than the other group! (2)


Reverse Linear Periodization

There are three types of people in most gyms.

  • There are people who have no structure, making it up as they train.
  • There are people who have been doing the exact same thing for months, or even years.
  • There are people who have properly structured routines.

That third group is the one I want you to focus on. You see, those are the annoying motherf**kers you see at the gym who always seem to get great results, no matter what they do. That’s because they’re training like an athlete, and they know about the next little “trick” I’m going to show you:


There are many different forms of periodization we can use depending on the goal of the program. The one you’ll apply here is called reverse linear periodization. With this training method, you will be gradually increasing the volume each muscle receives as the weeks go by, ensuring constant variety and a progressively harder workout program as you become more experienced. This form of programming gives you a tried and tested formula for unlocking continuous gains, which most people in the gym simply don’t know about. It’s all been structured for you in the workouts section!

reverse linear periodization

figure of 8 workout plan

As Easy As One… Two… Three!!!

If you’ve used any of my more advaned programs, you’ll be familiar with my tactic of increasing or decreasing rep ranges each week to implement periodization.

This program is a little different.

Instead of increasing the intensity by giving you more reps to perform, you’ll do it by using more advanced methods each week. During weeks one and two you’ll follow a traditional full body routine which works your entire body four times, then in weeks 3 & 4 you’ll perform full body workouts which use supersets (two exercises paired back to back) and finally in weeks 5 & 6 you’ll use tri-sets (three exercises back to back).

The variety and progression this structure provides are among the key reasons why Figure Of 8 has remained such a propular program over the years.



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