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…
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, alternatively you can move 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 even 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).
XX Workout Structure
XX combines several proven training methods into one system, so despite being only four 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.
Essentially, 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 minute 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 cardio model 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)
Now, in order to make sure you achieve the best results from high rep training we must discuss intensity (how hard you work). It’s no coincidence that all of the studies which show the best improvements in muscle growth via high reps had trainees taking the target muscle to (or at least close to) failure. This is something I want you to do. 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 challenging (so in a 20 rep set that’s every rep from 14 onwards). Keep this in mind when you train because 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.
You may be familiar with this method if you’ve used some of my other programs. It’s one of the many Muscle Buster techniques I apply to programs in order to push your training intensity above and beyond what most people consider “good enough”. You’ll still be working with 20 reps per set, but this time you’ll break the set in half by performing x10 challenging reps and 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 stimulus to work against, and is excellent for reaching muscle failure! (10)
Put all of the above together and a workout will look something like this:
|Stationary Bike (HIIT)||1||15 mins||0 sec|
|Incline Push Ups||3||20||45 sec|
|Incline DB Bench Press||4||20||45 sec|
|Flat DB Bench Press||4||20||45 sec|
|Butterfly Machine||3||20||45 sec|
|Standing Cable Flye >> Standing Cable Push Out||3||10/10||45 sec|
|Swiss Ball Crunches >> Lying Leg Raises >> Plank Climbers||3||20/20/20||45 sec|
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