One of the most popular workout routines in every gym is Dave Draper’s 12-10-8 workout routine. At least one person in every gym is following this routine. The only problem is that everyone has heard about the magic numbers but no one knows the science behind it.

The 12-10-8 is coming haunting back at you now, and killing your gains! The worst part is that as long as you are working out with the modified version of the widespread 12-10-8 workout routine you cannot do anything about it.

Yes, we have a solution for it, but before we jump to the solution let’s understand the workout first.

What is the 12-10-8 Workout Routine


The 12-10-8 is a method which uses cumulative fatigue to train your muscles. The idea behind the routine is to fatigue the muscle and still be able to train it to challenge the body.

In the routine, you lift a weight with which you cannot do any more than 12 repetitions, for the first set. You do the set to failure and then lift weights with which you cannot do any more than 10 reps and so on. Do it for 3 to 4 sets.

We have written a complete article on it with all the “dos and don’ts” and explaining the science of cumulative workout. Check it out if you need more information about the 12-10-8s here – Mass Gain Routines: 12-10-8 Workout Routine – Dave Draper’s Set

Why is it Killing Your Gains?

So, if everyone is doing it, and if it is so effective and backed by science then why is it killing your gains?

The workout is not wrong, the science works, the problem is with the way it is being executed. With such widespread over the years, the legendary 12-10-8 workout routine lost it’s meaning to the grapevine.

Do it right and boost your gains!

Meant to be Done till Failure


The 12-10-8 workout routine is meant to be done to failure and with weights that are just right. Most of the bros and broettes doing Dave Draper’s workout routine run for the numbers instead of meeting the purpose of the number, which is wrong.

The reps are to be done until your muscle is fatigued and you have to drop the weights and not necessarily till 12 reps. You can do less or more but don’t do it for the sake of meeting the number.

When we feel tired in the middle of the set we do half reps or cheat through the set to get to those reps, which kills the purpose of the set.

Don’t Rush Through The Reps

Ideally, the length of a set should be around 45 – 60 seconds. Most of us just rush through the 12 reps and are done with the set in 20-25 seconds.

The frequency of the reps should be such that it takes 4-6 seconds per rep. The lift can be jerky, then you hold the weight at the highest point and release really slow. We jerk through the entire set and believe the workout is done. Well, you did it wrong!

Don’t rush through the reps, breathe out during the lift and breathe in through the release.

What are you supposed to do during the hold? Uh, hold on to your life, maybe?

Fatigue in the Last Few Reps

Before failure, the last few reps are the most difficult. The focus of the workout is on these reps. If you cheat in the middle of the set, when you are on 4-8 reps, and do half reps or save energy for the next set, then we have no fatigue to battle during the last few reps.

The last few reps will not be as effective as they could have been. Remember the number is not of the essence but reaching failure is important. Fatigue and tiredness in the last few reps is important to make the 12-10-8 routine a success.

Okay, bros and broettes, don’t let the 12-10-8 workout routine kill your gains. Fight back and follow Cannot Cardio for more articles!

Stay Fit and Stay Awesome!

Posted by:Sunain Banga

This is Sunain! I'm might turn up as shy at first, like I might extend my hand for a handshake and if you don't react within the next 0.03 second I'll just take it back wondering if I over did the acquaintance limits, but if you do react, I'll just take back and flee because you came out too bold and I won't be back until I don't think it is necessary to crawl out of my hole. But, when I do crawl out, you are going to have a night full of stories and a day full of well, more stories. I talk a lot. Also, I'm an Author! The title is The First Crush - at 13.

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