An In Depth Look: 2-4-6-8 Protocol

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Protocol Overview

A1) 2 reps at 50X0, 10s rest
A2) 4 reps at 40X0, 10s rest
A3) 6 reps at 30X0, 10s rest
A4) 8 reps at 20X0, 3-5 mins rest & complete 2-4 more times

As you can see the protocol is a Giant Set (4+ exercises performed in concession for 1 x muscle group). With Giant Sets you can attack one muscle group from multiple angles and a prolonged time under tension. This leads to the trashing of many muscle fibres & motor units due to the increased volume & workout density. Milos Sarcev is probably the Giant Set King, but I first saw this layout from Derek Woodske who I was told got it from Charles Poliquin.


Fat Loss: This is great for beginners in an intensification phase to provide a stimulus to the higher threshold motor units, so commonly ignored in a Fat Loss program. For the more advanced trainee it could work in accumulation phases due to their neurological efficiency as this could provide an increased workout density for them.

Strength: This is a great protocol for accumulation phases where more volume is needed to ensure a carryover of muscle mass built into the final peak phases.

Lagging Body Part: Over load a specific body part with this protocol can lead to an improvement in sarcomere hypertrophy which provides a denser look. Muscle mass built with lower reps will lead to long lasting effects.

You can set up the protocol a few ways. As above I would use for 1 x body part. Some body parts have carryover, like quads & hams but recruiting & fatiguing the lower back, so these are best used an A series only. You can set up antagonistic pairs though and go A1-A4 then B1-B4 or A1-A4 & A5-A8.

Utilising mechanical drops can get you around the issue of using this in a Public gym where if you leave your equipment for more than 10 seconds, some muppet with no clue ends up curling in your squat rack. For example:

A1) Barbell Deadlift (Snatch Grip): 2 reps at 50X0, 10s rest
A2) Barbell Deadlift (Clean Grip): 4 reps at 40X0, 10s rest
A3) Romanian Deadlift (Clean Grip): 6 reps at 30X0, 10s rest
A4) Flat Back Extension (DB Across Collarbone): 8 reps at 20X0, 3-5 mins rest & complete 2-4 more times

Perform this as close to the Back Extension as possible and load the bar so you can strip some weight off quickly for the RDL. Job done!

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