6 Shooter Workout – Attack Your Dumbbell, Cable & Machine Exercises

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Straight sets on machines and cables bore the living snot out of me. 3×12, 4×10, whatever by whatever.

Yawn.

I’ll knock out this type of work if I have to, but I prefer to approach lighter work with a little more flair.

I have written several articles on the “run the rack” technique. This is an amazing and intense approach, but it involves at least 10-12 sets and can’t be performed very often. Why? It’s physically draining.

Related: Run the Rack and Back Chest and Triceps Destroyer

My original run the rack technique was designed to be used every 2 to 3 months, and not every day. If you hit the gym with a boundless amount of energy, or was just in the mood to crush it, then it was probably a good idea to try this extended specialty workout.

Lately I have been using an abbreviated variation of run the rack training. I call it “6 Shooter.” You will perform 6 total sets with your last set being a shooter; you will shoot for as many reps as possible on this final set. If you reach 10 or more, then the next time you perform this protocol you will add a small amount of weight to each set.

Dumbbell Exercises

6 Shooter Technique – Attack and Grow

The 6 Shooter approach should not replace your hard and heavy sets on the big compound movements like squats, bench press and deadlifts. Instead, save this technique for the dumbbell, machine and cable work that follows.

This technique can be used by the bodybuilder, powerlifter or powerbuilder. The workout that follows is designed for the late beginner to intermediate lifters who wants to build as much strength and muscle as possible. It can also be used by the powerlifter as an 8 week off-season program that precedes a peaking cycle.

Here are the specifics for the 6 Shooter technique:

  • Perform 6 total sets.
  • For the first 5 sets you will perform 8 reps each.
  • Your last set is your “shooter.” Perform as many reps as possible.
  • If you reach 10+ reps on your shooter set, add a small amount of weight to ALL 6 sets the following week. (See the example below)
  • Limit rest between sets to about 30 seconds. You want to maintain a brisk pace.
  • NO warm-up sets are required. You are working from a lighter weight to a heavier weight. The lighter sets function as your working warm-ups.

Progression example for dumbbell bench press

Let’s say you are able to perform about 10 reps with 80 pounders on the dumbbell bench press. Since 10 or more reps is the goal for the final Shooter set, it’s best to drop your final set weight down a bit to 75 pounders here.

The reason is simple.

Dumbbell CurlsYou’re performing 6 total rest-pause sets. By the time you reach your final set, you won’t be able to perform as many reps as you normally could.

So here is your first workout:

  • Set 1 – 50s x 8 reps
  • Set 2 – 55s x 8 reps
  • Set 3 – 60s x 8 reps
  • Set 4 – 65s x 8 reps
  • Set 5 – 70s x 8 reps
  • Shooter Set – 75s x max reps

If you fail to reach 10 reps on your Shooter set, continue using the same set and weight scheme. If you nail 10 or more reps on your shooter set, your next workout would look like this:

  • Set 1 – 55s x 8 reps
  • Set 2 – 60s x 8 reps
  • Set 3 – 65s x 8 reps
  • Set 4 – 70s x 8 reps
  • Set 5 – 75s x 8 reps
  • Shooter Set – 80s x max reps

An Example 6 Shooter Workout

This example workout is a 4 day split. Here is a sample schedule:

  • Day 1 – Chest and Biceps
  • Day 2 – Legs
  • Day 3 – Off
  • Day 4 – Shoulders and Triceps
  • Day 5 – Back and Traps
  • Day 6 – Off
  • Day 7 – Off

Add in calves and abs as needed.

Day 1
Chest and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press  4  5
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press  6  6 Shooter
Machine Chest Press  6  6 Shooter
Cable Flyes (Superset with Push Ups for max reps)  4  12
 Dumbbell Curls  5  12
 EZ Bar Cable Curls  6  6 Shooter
Day 2
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats  4  5
Hack Squats  3  12
Dumbbell Lunge Walking – 10 steps per leg  3  10
Leg Extensions  6  6 Shooter
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts  4  8
Leg Curls  6  6 Shooter
Day 3
Shoulders and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press  4  5
Seated Dumbbell Press  6  6 Shooter
Dumbbell Side laterals  6  6 Shooter
Face Pulls  6  6 Shooter
Lying Triceps Extension  5  12
Cable Rope Triceps Extension  6  6 Shooter
Day 4
Back, Traps and Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts  2  5
Dumbbell Rows  2  15
Seated Cable Rows  6  6 Shooter
Lat Pull Downs  6  6 Shooter
Machine Rows  4  10
Power Shrugs  4  10
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.