The Toughest 15 Minute Muscle Building Workout Ever

By

Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer
and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle
Building.

Serious about packing on quality muscle size with just four 15-minute workouts a week? The 6-12-25 Workout is designed for individuals seeking maximal muscular development by trashing the Type 11b, Type 11a and Type 1 muscle fibers in one giant 43-rep set.

Warning: This is not for anyone with less than one year of consistent weight training experience. Nor is it for anyone not prepared to enter the hurt box, because this workout demands a high level of discomfort, focus and motivation.

The 6-12-25 method was introduced to me while attending Charle’s Poliquin’s 5-Day Hypertrophy Bootcamp, and I provided an extra tough twist to tailor it to any skinny hardgainer who wants to explode new muscle off his frame by exploiting the less-is-often-more training theory.

The Premise

The 6-12-25 Workout incorporates a variety of loads across the neural-metabolic continuum to stimulate the three primary muscle fibers required for muscle size and muscle growth: Type 11b, Type 11a and Type 1 muscle fibers. If you rely on training methods that only train one or two of these fibers, you will not experience maximal muscle growth because you’re not recruiting all the available muscle fibers for growth.

Due to the brief rest periods in this workout, you’ll also produce significant lactate which will aid in the production of growth hormone (GH) which increases the potential for fat loss and muscle growth.

How Does The 6-12-25 Workout Program Work?

You will perform one big drop set, also known as a “giant set” or “tri set” or “circuit” which combines three different exercises for the same muscle group. You’ll do 6 reps with the first exercise for strength gains, then you’ll do 12 reps with the second exercise for hypertrophy gains and then you’ll do a third exercise for 25 reps for muscle endurance gains. Combining the three into one mega giant set with short rest periods make this one hell of a way to get out of a strength, hypertrophy, or fat loss rut!

The secret to making this workout effective is selecting the correct loads, i.e. weight selection. You must choose loads that reflect your 6 rep max, your 12 rep max, and your 25 rep max. In other words, you must pick a weight that will result in an all-out war on the 6th rep, 12th rep and 25th rep. If you can steal an extra rep, that’s awesome. If you can steal two extra reps or more, you miscalculated your loads too light. If you fail one rep shy of your goal reps, no worries. If you fail two or more reps shy of your goal reps, you miscalculated your loads too heavy. Fix it in your next workout.

You will perform two body parts during each workout using a training split that looks like this:

Day 1: Shoulders

Day 2: Biceps & Triceps

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Quads & Hips

Day 5: Off

Day 6: Chest & Back

Day 7: Off

Repeat

Go through this cycle a minimum of three times (three weeks) and a maximum of six times (six weeks). Doing it for longer will result in diminishing returns and adaptation.

The Most Important Variable – Tempo!

The first exercise in the workout will be done with a 40X0 tempo.

The second exercise in the workout will be done with a 30X0 tempo.

The third exercise in the workout will be done with a 20X0 tempo.

If you’re unfamiliar with tempo – the subtle changes you’ll experience in this workout will make your muscles scream for dear life. Tempo is one of the most under-utilized variables when it comes to muscle growth. What does 40×0 look like on the gym floor?

4 is the eccentric portion or the negative. You will take four seconds.

0 is the bottom portion in a stretched position. You will pause for zero seconds.

X is the concentric or lifting portion. X means you will explode.

0 is the contracted position. You will pause for zero seconds.

Your load selection is dictated by the tempo and the number of reps you must hit.  Assuming this is a new lifting protocol, it will take a workout or two to choose the right weights to get this right. Every single one of these sets should be very, very hard to finish, which is why the workout is short in duration. You will rest 10 seconds between exercises and 120 seconds between giant sets. If you don’t abide by the rest period you’ll affect lactate production and miss out on the fat loss benefits.

Modifications based on training age

Beginners (anyone with less than one year training experience who insists on trying this) will do two giant sets for a 10-minute workout per body part.  Intermediates (anyone with one to four years training experience) will start with three giant sets for a 15-minute workout per body part. After a few weeks you can try to do a fourth giant set. Advanced lifters can take a shot at four or five giant sets providing a 20 to 25-minute workout per body part. Don’t be surprised if you need to stop after three giant sets though! This is normal if you choose your loads correctly.

Here is the four-day program!

Day One: Shoulders & Abs

A1. 6 reps: Standing Military Press

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Seated Dumbbell Presses (elbows facing forward)

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Prone Dumbbell Lateral Raises on 45 Degree Incline Bench

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

———-

A1. 6 reps: Weighted Hanging Leg Raises

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Weighted Cable Crunches

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Floor Crunches

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

 

Day Two: Biceps & Triceps

A1. 6 reps: Standing Dumbbell Curls

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Incline Cable Curls

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: High Cable Curls

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

——–

A1. 6 reps: Weighted Dips

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Lying Dumbbell Extension

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Overhead Rope Extension

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

 

Day Three: Off

 

Day Four: Quads & Hips

A1. 6 reps: Medium Stance Squats

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Bulgarian Split Squats with Weight

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Leg Extensions

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

——–

A1. 6 reps: Medium Stance Deadlifts

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Leg Curls

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Back Extensions

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

 

Day Five: Off

 

Day Six: Chest & Back

A1. 6 reps: Incline Bench Press

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Flat Dumbbell Press

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Cable Flys

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

——–

A1. 6 reps: Bent Over Rows

Rest 10 seconds

A2. 12 reps: Neutral Grip Chin Ups

Rest 10 seconds

A3. 25 reps: Rope Rows

Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

 

Day Seven: Off then repeat

 

Want to see the entire 6-12-25 muscle building workout on video?  Here is the entire video series below:

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The Toughest 15 Minute Muscle Building Workout Ever, 4.3 out of 5 based on 7 ratings

Comments

41 thoughts on “The Toughest 15 Minute Muscle Building Workout Ever

  1. On the work out on this site, there is two different body parts are they both begin work on that day ie; shoulder & abs; biceps & triceps. I just want to make sure. I like this program.

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  2. I aam regular reader, how are you everybody?

    This article posted at this web site is truly nice.

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  3. Truly when someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other users that they will help, so here it takes place.

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  4. Just to clarify on the cardio prescription because the phrasing confused me for a moment – 20 min intervals, 4x per week after each lifting session, yes?

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  5. Pingback: Turn Those Biceps into Big Guns | Nrcissi

  6. Pingback: Build Leg Muscle Fast with the 6-12-25 Strength and Endurance Workout | My Fitness Pins

  7. Any tips for someone who gets shoulder pain doing incline bench?

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  8. Hi Vince,

    I am the editor of a new digital Mens mag coming out in Sept, based out of the UK.

    We are interested in using this piece in our maiden issue. We think it is the perfect work out for our readers who don’t have a whole lot of time on their hands.

    Please contact me if you have any questions or stipulations.

    Full credit would of course go to you.

    Let me know 🙂

    [email protected]

    Best,
    Jessica

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    • Hi jessica….Do you mind emailing me the website addy for the Dig Mag. It would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

      [email protected]

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  9. Vince

    Could you make this into a total body work-out. By only doing two cycles through, and doing it three times a week, with cardio/abs on off days.

    I have always liked the premise of less is more and HIT, but also like the thought of working my entire body three times a week.

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  10. Hello Vince,

    I’ve signed up twice in the last week or so to receive your free ebooks but I haven’t recieved any kind of notification to confirm subscription and yes I also checked my spam folder.

    looking forward to hearing from you.

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  11. Hola Vicente!

    Saludos desde Mexico.

    quick question…. how often do you recommend to change routines…. MI40..a month, 6-12-25 a month…. then? your next program is schedule until July right?….so before I jump into the next program, please advice any other routine…. with extra cardio on it…. 5/6″ 161lbs 18%BF.. wanna target better %BF

    thanks for the amazing contents and all the stuff you do, next time you visit Mexico send me a message….I”ll show you that cancun is not Mexico..jejejejeje.

    Regards,
    OB

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  12. Hey Vince. Hope all is well with you and your family! This looks great, and I’m looking forward to giving it a run for a few weeks. Looks like it will do some proper damage 😉

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  13. If you start that work out by a set of 6 heavy reps, what about the warm-up ?

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  14. serious question that i would like you or your dad to tackle:

    “Bodily exercise profiteth little” 1 Tim. 4.8

    what should a christian make of this?

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    • Do you mind posting this in the Live Large members page? He could answer you in there. Good question.

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    • nb….By this statement in 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul is not saying that exercise is not good for you, but that Godliness is more important. I have the belief that you should not spend too much time doing one thing. For example…if you exercise so much that you do not have time to study Bible Doctrine, improve your faith and keep on your guard against all the evil, corruption and sin in this world…that will constantly tempt you and draw you away from God; leaving you an incomplete person in Christ, as well as possibly a good father, brother, friend, etc…..then it could also mean…if you do not have time for Christ, then when you need him…he’ll not be available for you. You might be in excellent shape, though… to endure all the bad stuff that may come your way because of your neglect.
      Back to what Paul had stated: He meant…spend more time improving your mind, soul and heart… then when you are in good physical shape, you’ll be able to truly enjoy life in all aspects of it, as well as all of the ramifications that result from ordinary life.
      If you want more information concerning this, check out this website: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/maintaining-physical-stamina
      I hope I did not dwell too long in mundane thingsm but that this was of some help.
      Fryzetti….

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  15. Wow…just 15 minute for body parts, that’s something. Can girl do this kind of workout with a light weight?

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    • For sure, but don’t use a “lighter weight” Follow the protocol as written.

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  16. Nicholas Williams April 10, 2012 at 11:12 am - Reply

    Just started this program and I’m loving it! On the off days, is it ok to do cardio and abs?

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    • Do abs with shoulder day.

      Cardio is dependent on your goals, level of leanness and metabolism…

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  17. Vince,
    Would it be still be effective to do a Mon/
    wed/Fri workout with legs on Tues/Thur because of time restraints? Something like Shoulders/abs on Mon Bi’s/tri’s on Wed and Chest/Back on Fri. Thanks, K

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  18. This looks like a great workout, can’t wait to try it. I had a question though, will your forearms get stronger while you workout your biceps or should you add a forearm workout as well

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    • If i wanted you to train forearms, i would have put them in 🙂

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      • I’m writing this after day 2 (arms). My forearms are sore…and so is everything else. This is a huge shock to the system. I’m really feeling it. Looking forward to legs tomorrow at 500 am.

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        • Yup! It’s a tough one.

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  19. Vince,

    Thanks once again for posting the awesome videos as well as the article. I have been doing the giant sets since you released the first video and have seen great gains already. However, I am utilizing the paleolithic diet and it doesn’t seem to provide enough energy for this workout. Any nutritional suggestions?

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  20. hi vince!

    i can do this train for how many time?

    im thinking in doing this for 4 weeks, when i go do the 10 pounds gain diet

    what i think about it?

    tks

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    • 3-4 weeks is perfect.

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  21. Hi Vince, I’m shortly finishing BPaks MI40 program and have seen some great gains. Would you recommend the 6-12-25 program to follow the MI40, or would you suggest a break and then restart MI40? My next goal is to reduce my body fat by 8-10% (currently 18%). Any advice much appreciated.

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    • Do the 6-12-25 workout for 3 weeks after MI40. You’ll need to deload for a week after MI40 though.

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  22. Denniz Johnston April 7, 2012 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Why is there no work out for calves??

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    • Add it on shoulder or leg day.

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  23. Man I cant wait for your new muscle building program.

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  24. Do you think that this is apropriate for someone on a bulking phase ?
    Looks good for loosing fat while trying to maintain strength..I think that there’s too much lactate in there 🙂

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    • Absolutely! That’s why it’s called a muscle building workout 🙂

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      • Sure, i could read that..
        it’s just that when i use this kind of approach with super or tri sets, going for a higher lactic acid production and metabolic effect i get less explosive and weaker over time..
        Good for cutting, not as much for bulking in my case, everybody is different off course.
        But maybe if it is done with this volume (just 3 exercises and youre done), it might work.. i usually do a lot more and that might be the problem..

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  25. Awesome content again Vince, thanks for laying it all out again.

    the videos itself was clear enough, but you made it even better 🙂

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