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One of the biggest questions posed to me (Richie Brew) in the gym, outside the gym, at work and while out with friends and family, (in fact everywhere!) is “how can I build lean muscle and lose fat?” Well, unfortunately, this is possibly one of the hardest things for any novice or experienced gym rat to achieve. Especially in today’s busy world where time is of the essence and training has to be short and sweet due to a busy lifestyle and creating an optimal work/life balance.

The 6-12-25 workout protocol is one of the closest fast workouts you can achieve that will build lean muscle; burn copious amounts of body fat and uses your time well in the gym. A two body part workout will be complete within 40 minutes and trust me on this one, if completed properly, the DOMS will be insane! You’ll see results within two weeks and the pump you leave with is almost addictive! I know personally that this workout is one of the most effective I’ve EVER completed and can also say (if you need any further motivation); this protocol is used by the world’s top fitness and muscle models. I know for fact 2 of this year top 10 placing muscle-model competitors use this workout to add lean gains to their frames.

So, why is the 6-12-25 protocol so effective? Basically, it’s a lactate inducing “giant set” workout, which is designed for the maximum release of growth hormone available – and you know what that means? Lean muscle growth and incineration of body fat!

A typical body split and exercise example is below – but the point is here, you do 6 reps (6th rep being failure, 4/5 second eccentric movement) of a large movement, 12 reps on a similar movement (12th rep being failure, 3 second eccentric movement) into a smaller movement for 25 reps where you completely exhaust the muscle (25th rep being failure, 2 second eccentric movement or explode). This circuit is completed 3 – 5 times and usually incorporates a 20-25% weight reduction on the 3rd and 4th sets. For optimal results, use this protocol for 4-5 weeks, then switch to a standard GBC or hypertrophy straight set workout:

 

Day 1 Shoulders and Abs:

  • A1. 6 reps: Standing Military Press – 40X0 tempo (4=4 seconds down 0=zero rest at the bottom of the movement, x=explode & 0=zero rest at the top of the movement), Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Seated Dumbbell Presses (elbows facing forward (supinated grip)) – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Prone Dumbbell Lateral Raises on 45 Degree Incline Bench (on your stomach, for rear delts) – 20X0 tempo – Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

 

  • A1. 6 reps: Weighted Hanging Leg Raises – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Weighted Cable Crunches – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Floor Crunches – 20X0 tempo, Rest 120 seconds. (Repeat 2-5 times)

Day 2 Arms:

  • A1. 6 reps: Standing Olympic Bar Curls – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Seated Incline Bench (45 Degree) Dumbbell Curls – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: High Cable Curls – 20X0 tempo, Rest 120 seconds. Repeat 2-5 times

 

  • A1. 6 reps: Weighted Dips – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Lying Dumbbell Extension (dumbbell scull crushers) – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Overhead Rope Extension – 20X0 tempo, Rest 120 seconds. (Repeat 2-5 times)

 

Day 4 Quads & Hips:

  • A1. 6 reps: Medium Stance Squats – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Bulgarian Split Squats with Weight – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Leg Extensions – 20X0 tempo, Rest 120 seconds. (Repeat 2-5 times)

 

  • A1. 6 reps: Medium Stance Deadlifts – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Leg Curls – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Back Extensions or good mornings – 20X0 tempo, Rest 120 seconds. (Repeat 2-5 times)

 

Day 6 Chest & Back:

  • A1. 6 reps: Incline Bench Press – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Flat Dumbbell Press (supinated grip)  – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Cable Flys – 20X0 tempo  OR  weighted flys, Rest 120 seconds. (Repeat 2-5 times)

 

  • A1. 6 reps: Bent Over Rows – 40X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A2. 12 reps: Neutral Grip Chin Ups – 30X0 tempo, Rest 10 seconds
  • A3. 25 reps: Rope Rows – 20X0 tempo, Rest 120 seconds. (Repeat 2-5 times)

Summary:

The most important parts to remember for this routine is, keeping the eccentric movement strict to the tempo, and ensuring no more than two minute rest between sets and 10 seconds rest between the giant set. Another thing I tend to add to this is, early morning completion helps maximize this workouts effectiveness, as that’s when your body has the optimal amount of GH release possible, simply meaning, if you can get out of bed early enough, even more gains are possible! Enjoy!

 

Remember, this is just one of many varying training protocols. Our LDNM Cutting, Bikini and Bulking Guides feature multi-phased, periodised training plans (which incorporate this protocol and many others), alongside fully comprehensive dietary plans.

 

 

Remember to follow us and post your meals on Instagram, and use the hashtag #LDNMuscle so we can see your lovely creations, repost some and spread the LDNM Community far and wide!

 

 

 

 

 

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22 Responses to “The 6-12-25 Workout Protocol”

  1. Lee Watts

    I defiantly try this. Sound like good advice! Always looking for way of gaining lean muscle. What supplements and diet do you suggest when doing this?

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Lee – I’d probably opt for a pretty standard hypertrophy based diet, keeping carbs low throughout the day with exception of morning, pre training and your post training meal…supplements wise, a good whey protein, l-glutamine and some bcaas should be suffice, but I will follow up fully on that question soon

      Reply
  2. Paul Reynolds

    Great article Richie…. Ill give it 4 weeks and report back. Any further tips on adding some additional core exercises, specifically those that could improve overall posture ?

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Paul – cheers matey. give it a go, you won’t be sorry, but remember to keep the intensity high and the eccentric reps VERY strict! Posture wise, full body comp exercises such as squats, dead lift, chins and dips, maybe try some strict Olympic lifts & finally, stand up staright, shoulders back and get a good seating position at work ;o)

      Reply
  3. Philip Reynolds

    Really interesting reading mate and great to have the programme there ready to follow…..i think its just what i need. Quick question though, are you doing any other training on days 3,5 & 7 (cardio sessions perhaps) or are these pure rest days?

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Nice one Phil!…glad to see the article made it all the way to the posh bit of Melbourne ;o)
      Am I doing trianing on off days? Well, it’s not a required, but active rest days are fine…I’ll be morning cardio & ab bound tomorrow morning on my off day…all depends on your target, and the time you have…let me know how you get on mon friend

      Reply
  4. Liam

    Hi, take the first day shoulders and abs for example, do you complete the 6, 12, 25 for shoulders, then complete the 6, 12, 25 for abs and then repeat 5 times. Or is it the 6, 12 ,25 for shoulders x5 sets then move onto abs. Thanks

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Hi Liam, thanks for the response. You do one body part then the other. So, to your example, you would complete 2-5 sets of the shoulder circuit, rest 2minutes then get on with abs…I like nothing more than high intensity down the gym, but a giant set super set is a little crazy even by my counts!
      Anyway, good luck, and let me know how you get on. And any further questions, feel free to reach out :o)

      Reply
  5. John Doe

    Few rookie questions for ya:

    1) The first number of the tempo is the eccentric/pulling/pushing/hard bit of the exercise in seconds?

    2) By giant set, you mean no more than 10 seconds rest between A2 and A3?

    3) Assuming your cardio routine is completely separate from this, when do you fit it in and what type of cardio would you go for whilst doing this workout?

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Hi “John” ;o)
      1) the 4 is seconds and is the eccentric part of the movement – e.g, the lowering of the weight if your doing standing military press, or bringing the weight to your chest if you’re doing bench. Keeping the eccentric movement as close as possible is a huge part of this protocol.
      2) once you’ve done A1, you rest NO LONGER than 10 seconds, which would pretty much add up to how long it would take you to prepare for A2 and the same goes for A2 to A3…you then rest 2 minutes and complete the next “giant set” (A1,A2&A3)
      3) this is a fat burning routine, so extra cardio is not necessary. However, active rest days are down to you…if you have the energy, I wouldn’t be against HIIT workout either. But, it’s not a requirement.
      And to your other point, unfortunately, this workout doesn’t coincide with the infamous chest Sunday…as much as it pains me to say! And thanks for the kind words on the site, glad it’s relevant to your goals!
      Good luck.

      Reply
  6. John Doe

    Also, chest Sunday and Day 6? Or would you advise one or the other, or even to leave Chest Sunday out of 6-12-25?

    Prep is key, just trying to get it spot on, great website btw alot more concise and relevant than forums.

    Cheers

    Reply
  7. B.

    Hello mate any other order I could do the workout in I play football sat an Sunday but doing legs on the Thursday is a nightmare am crippled till the Monday haha any idea supplements or anything to take the stiffness away feel like am dragging a caravan great workout though

    P.s post a diet haha

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Hi “B” the good news is day one doesn’t have to be Monday :o) so start your split whenever you so wish.
      In regards to the DOMS your talking about, I think you need to look at your diet as a whole. But BCAAs are a starting point. Check out my sups article for more detail :o) good luck.

      Reply
  8. James Small

    Really good regime Mr Bennett. When you’re pushing it, the lactic acid is intense – and produces some extravagant facial expressions. 2 weeks in and seeing results already, especially biceps and shoulders.
    For my own preference I have added some isolation moves in the high rep exercises for biceps and abs, so, forearm and core rotation respectively.
    My questions:
    1) Using this regime, is it beneficial to increase the weight and decrease the number of circuits, or, vice versa? (when the goal is lean muscle – opposed to power/bulk)
    2) I am currently using very heavy weights for the low rep exercises and very light weight for the high rep exercises – would you recommend this, or, a more balanced weight distribution throughout each circuit?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Richard Bennett

      Thanks for the feedback mr small, glad you approve…my advice would be to stay a strict as possible to the design as it is very specific for the reasons mentioned above. So, for you high rep bi’s, keep it a bicep movement…it’s all about how you hit the muscle fibres on this one sir.
      The low rep exercises, should be to failure, so the 6th rep, should theoretically be the last one you can do with that weight…the same goes for the 12th and the 25th. So, naturally, the weight is going to get lighter as the reps increase. An example of this would be, for me, shoulders-I do a 75kg, 4 second eccentric standing press 6 reps, followed by 12 reps on seated supernated dumbbell press with the 15kg’s (after 2-3 sets this decreases further to 12.5 or even 10kg), then, I use the 4kg dumbbells for 25 excruciating reps on the prone lateral raises as that all the weight I could possibly lift for 25 reps as I’m so exhausted.
      Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • philip Reynolds

        Richie – I’m very pleased to hear that you’re only on 4kgs for those prone lateral raises……tried it for the first time last night and picked up the 7.5’s…..had to stop 3 times to get to 25 – absolute killer. Great workout though mate, thanks again.

        Reply
  9. Brian

    Question… Is it necessary to keep strict with the off days? Or can I do the 4 workouts on consecutive days, then have a rest day, and then restart the split on day 6?

    Reply
  10. Richard Bennett

    the rest is there for a reason Brian, you need to recover, its a tough ask and without utilising the rest days, you won’t get the full benifit. so, i wouldn’t advise it! saying this though, I haven’t tried 4 full days on or anything like that…if you do, make sure you’re eating ok!

    Reply
  11. areid

    hi how important is rest day between day 4 and day 6? also when doing 25 reps is it ok if movements are small eg negative rep? also is it ok to use a diffferent exercise?. Regards

    Reply
  12. Skids Bradshaw

    I’ve just started training with this protocol again. It’s brutal, but effective and enjoyable. The DOMS are insane, but so are the gains!

    Reply

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