Lose Fat and Build Muscle: The 6-12-25 Protocol

A fat-burning muscle building, results producing training protocol

Are you stuck in a muscle-building or as even more specific to this article – a fat loss plateau? Well look no further than this awesome training protocol to give your body the shock it needs to kick start growth.

Introducing, the 6-12-25 plan. This is very similar to rest pause training and has also been labelled reverse pyramid training, cluster training, waveloading, etc. Basically, it stands for 6 reps, 12, reps, 25 reps – That is one set.

Depending on your goals and the exercise you’re performing, you can adjust the rest between each set from 1-4 minutes. But the rest between each ‘mini set’, is literally 10-15 seconds max, or the time it takes to change the weight, e.g. when deadlifting.

Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Talbot, a scout with Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, dead-lifts 475 pounds during a daily work out at Camp Korean Village, Iraq, May 6. The native of Torrington, Conn., began working out at age 10 when his mom decided to attend aerobics classes at the local YMCA. While his mother was engaged in her workouts, he took the opportunity to achieve what would become his life long goal: becoming a professional body builder.To use the deadlift example again, you would perform a set of 6 at a weight in which you can barely reach 7, then immediately lower the weight, say 40kg, then bust out 12 reps, then lower again, say another 40kg, and bang out 25 reps. – Yes 25 deadlifts! Expect to be very shattered after this one ‘set’.


Now, the absolute key to making this work is picking the right weights. Do not pick a sissy weight that you are certain you can hit 6 or 12 with relative ease. Certainties are to be avoided in this programme. Certainties are in fact the reason that many plateau in the first place. Instead, pick a weight that by the time you reach the target rep (6/12/25), you’re eyes have expanded 4 inches and black smoke is coming out of your ears.

Another important factor is the rest intervals. Between the ‘mini sets’ of 6, 12 and 25 the rest should be very minimal. Do not relax this factor. The rest between the usual sets (after completing 3 ‘mini sets’), should be determined by your goals and the exercise. If you are performing the deadlift, rest periods of 3-4 minutes are mandatory, as it is such a fatiguing exercise that very quickly taxes the body – particularly the lower back. If you are doing dips, bicep curls or bosu-ball-one-legged squats (Please Don’t), then you can lower the rest to 1 minute.


If you main goal is fat loss, lower rest periods are the way to go. Don’t expect to be lifting PR’s on this programme.

If the goal is muscle building, then longer rest periods are needed, so you can lift heavier weights with better form.

What can you expect from this programme?

  • To be very tired after the final set, especially if your goal is fat loss and you are doing it properly.
  • To blow you heart rate through the roof by the end of the set.
  • To be feeling sore the following 2 days.
  • To feel tired, but amazing after having completed such a hard workout.
  • To see fast results if program is adhered too.
  • To be scared of the first set of the workout. – It is not easy.

How to get the most from it:

  • As this plan is very taxing on the body, do not try and fit in more work afterwards. Because the intensity is so high with this training, it is virtually impossible get any more valuable work done afterwards, because intensity will drop, as will focus.
  • Perform it 3 times per week, every other day.
  • Focus on lifts that get the work done and recruit a lot of muscle fibres: Squats, Deadlifts, Bench presses, Bulgarian Split Squats, Pull-ups, Dips, Rows, Jumps, Sprints, Overhead pressing.
  • If doing hard lifts such as the deadlift or squat, pay special attention to your form and NEVER sacrifice form for reps. If you fail to reach the target rep, lower the weight and refocus on form.
  • Do not do this training for more than 6 weeks. Your body will adapt and its time to do something new.

A word about form and tempo:

To get the absolute most out of this plan, form has to be priority, and special attention should be paid to tempo. I recommend a 4-5 second eccentric movement on the 6 rep set. A 2 second eccentric for the 12 rep set, and as fast as you can for the 25 rep set – whilst maintaining form.

With every rep, focus on your muscle, get you head inside the tissue, and breathe properly. If form dips, stop and regain.

This can be a very rewarding programme if you stick to it and follow the principles outlined here. It is also very ideal for those who have limited workout time, because you can get a lot of work done, very fast. Remember to pay special attention to recovery and ensure you are eating right (why wouldn’t you be?)

Have fun.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.