The Gironda System for Muscle Mass and Fat Loss

The Gironda System for Muscle Mass and Fat Loss

There are many different methods that you can employ to boost muscle mass. Some focus more on load, and others are very volume based. Some of the greatest systems have a mixture of both.

In this article we’ll take a look at the ‘Gironda system’ and how it can help you boost muscle and improve your body composition.

Vince Gironda was born in 1917 in the Bronx, New York. As a professions bodybuilder he was well known for his eccentric, unorthodox approach to training and diet – he did not value traditional bench presses or squats for example, and was a big advocate of low carb diets.

He was also a successful author, personal trainer and owner of ‘Vince’s Gym’ – a venue that was frequently used by other professional bodybuilders. His nickname was the Iron Guru due to his knowledge and respect in his field.
Vince was responsible for many training techniques that are still widely used today, particularly the more advanced hypertrophy-based protocols. One such protocol is referred to as the ‘Gironda System’ or the ‘Gironda 8×8’.  


What is The Gironda System?

This method is an extremely advanced size building protocol that Vince himself referred to as the “honest workout” due to its humbling effect on even the most conditioned of athletes. It really can reduce you to a blubbering mess! It’s sole purpose is to maximize muscle fiber growth in the quickest possible time for the advanced lifter.
8 sets of 8 reps is a relatively high-volume training protocol, fast tempo, size building workout. It is not designed for strength or power development – it is purely for muscle gain and bodybuilding aesthetics.

Here’s how the Gironda System works

Simply, you will select an exercise per muscle group or movement – preferably a compound lift, and one that you have good technique with – even when fatigued. It works well for lifts where your posture isn’t too compromised, so bent over rows might not be a good choice here.

You will perform 8 sets of 8 reps of the exercise, with only 30 seconds between setsTo complete the system, choose a load of ~65% 1RM  for your exercises and keep your rest times strict.

In reality it is unlikely that you’ll complete the full 8 reps for each set – you’ll probably notice that your reps will creep down from 8 to 7 to 6 and so on. If the system begins to become difficult, it is advised to drop the reps first until less than 4 reps can be completed per set, then begin to reduce the load if necessary. You must complete 8 sets regardless.

Initially it is suggested that only one exercise per session is performed using this method, however as your training ability increases 3-4 exercises per session is acceptable.

Key Point: The Gironda system: Aim to complete 8×8 on a compound exercise with 30 seconds rest in between sets. Only reduce the load if you cannot complete 4 reps per set.

What are the benefits of the Gironda System?

In short, this training system provides not only a muscle growth stimulus via mechanical tension and muscle damage, but it also massively elevates your heart rate and other autonomic responses, leading to a high calorie turnover. This will also boost your fat burning through post-exercise oxygen consumption – a process where your body continues to burn calories for a period of time after exercise. This will lead to a strong,well-conditioned physique.



As with all advanced training methods, you need to make sure that you have a base foundation of muscular conditioning in order to best response to the training stimulus – to attempt advanced methods without a proper foundation can lead to injury and/or excessive muscular soreness.

Due to the relatively high load and also volume of the system, you need to make sure that whatever exercise you choose to complete, you can do it with good form, even as you fatigue through the pre-determined sets. If you feel as though you’re technique is suffering you need to re-evaluate your choice and drop the load as appropriate.