xx program overview

XX: Program Overview

XX is a suitable program for beginner-to-intermediate trainees looking to shred fat and sculpt a leaner body over the next four weeks.

It also works nicely as a feeder program before some of my more advanced material. For example, many trainees have progressed straight out of XX into Beach Bum and Classic Full Body to great effect.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key principles you’ll use in XX…


Russ Howe PTI XX

Training Calendar

This is a four week program, and you’ll be training five days per week.

Placing your recovery days on Thursday and Sunday will allow for the most effective recovery time between sessions, but you can shuffle your recovery days in order to make the program fit your schedule.

As with the majority of programs on russhowepti.com, you can shuffle order of the workouts (perhaps you prefer legs on Monday?) and you can shuffle the number of days you train per week by simply carrying the extra workouts over to next week (the program will take longer, but it still works).


high reps workout program

XX Workout Structure

XX combines several proven training methods into one system, so despite being only foud weeks long, you can expect great results.

Here’s more about those.

  • Blast Cardio

You’ve probably already heard of high intensity interval training. This stop/start, or fast-slow style of cardiovascular training has been used by athletes for decades, and remains one of the very best ways to shred body fat.

XX gives you a new twist on this, which I call Blast Cardio.

It’ll help you unlock most of the benefits associated with HIIT (fat loss, muscle retention, fitness improvements) but the workout has been condensed into just fifteen minutes. The first five minutes are a warm-up phase, where you pedal the stationary bike at a steady pace, then on the five minute mark you begin working with a 40/20 split (first 40 seeconds of each inute at a moderate intensity, final 20 seconds of each minute hard and fast) and repeat this until the total time expires. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

This is how you’ll start each workout, with the exception of leg day, which comes with fifteen minutes of traditional cardio to keep your lower body fresh for the workout which lies ahead.

  • High Reps Build Muscle

When it comes to weight training, you’ll be working with x20 reps per set for the duration of XX.

This is useful for giving your muscles a break from frequent heavy lifting, but I don’t want you to worry that you’re going to miss out on any muscle building results – quite the opposite, in fact!

You see, high rep training is just as effective as low rep training when it comes to hypertrophy. It also promotes improvements in muscular endurance, meaning you should finish this program a fitter, leaner, more conditioned trainee! (6, 7)

In order to achieve the best results from high rep training you must achieve muscle failure. That means arriving at the point where you’re unable to perform another solid rep. It takes a bit of experimentation regarding weight selection, but once you’ve felt it you’ll know about it! (8, 9)

As a guide, the last third of your set should feel very challenigng (so in a 20 rep set that’s every rep from 14 onwards), keep this in mind when you train. As you grow stronger, you’ll need to use heavier weights in order to achieve this same feeling.

Towards the end of your workout I’ll throw you a curveball by giving you two exercises for the same muscle to be performed back-to-back (a superset). On these supersts your 20 reps is split between ten reps on exercise #1 and ten reps on exercise #2, so it’s still actually a 20 rep set.

  • Double Dropsets

In weeks two and four you’ll switch from traditional high rep training to using my Double Dropset method.

This is one of my many Muscle Buster techniques I apply to programs in order to push your training intensity higher and achieve greater results. You’ll still be working with 20 reps per set, but this time you’ll break thw set in half by performing x10 challenging reps then reducing the weight by about 30% and immediately hitting another x10 reps.

This heavy/light combo is great fun, provides your muscles with a fresh stimulis to work against, and is excellent for reaching muscle failure! (10)

HIIT: Perform the first 5 minutes as a warm-up, then starting in the fifth minute switch to performing a 40/20 split (40 seconds moderate intensity, final 20 seconds of each minute hard and fast) and repeat this process until total time is complete. This will serve as a great warm-up, and is also a great fat burner.


XX workout plan

Recommended Nutrition Plan

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