Rich Piana’s Top 3 Insanely Crazy Workouts

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

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In the realm of bodybuilding and fitness, Rich Piana stood out not only for his imposing physique but also for his transparent approach to training and supplementation.

Piana was no stranger to controversy, especially regarding his candid discussions about steroid use.

However, his legacy encompasses much more than these conversations; it includes a series of workout regimens that pushed the boundaries of human endurance and strength.

This article delves into the top three workouts that defined Piana’s philosophy: a testament to his belief in hard work, discipline, and the pursuit of greatness.

1. The 8-Hour Arm Workout

Piana’s 8-hour arm workout became legendary, not just for its duration but for its meticulous structure aimed at maximizing muscle growth and endurance.

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This marathon session isn’t for the faint-hearted; it’s designed for those willing to push their limits in pursuit of monumental arm size.

  • Workout Structure:
    • Duration: 8 hours
    • Mini Sessions: 16, each lasting approximately 30 minutes
    • Repetitions: Alternates between two mini-workouts, eight times each
  • Mini-Workout 1:
    • 4 sets of skullcrushers (10 reps each)
    • 4 sets of barbell curls (10 reps each)
  • Mini-Workout 2:
    • 4 sets of single-arm dumbbell extensions (15 reps each)
    • 4 sets of dumbbell hammer curls (15 reps each)

This grueling routine demands not just physical strength but unparalleled endurance. It’s a vivid demonstration of Piana’s commitment to achieving and maintaining peak physical form.

2. The Bedtime Arm Workout

Crafted with the goal of promoting arm growth during sleep, the bedtime arm workout is unique for its simplicity and timing. It requires minimal equipment, making it accessible for anyone looking to enhance their arm size.

  • Equipment Needed: Two 15-pound dumbbells
  • Routine:
    • 100 straight reps of skull crushers to target triceps
    • Immediately followed by 60 straight reps of hammer curls for the brachialis and brachioradialis muscles
  • Sets: 3, with exercises performed back-to-back without rest

Although less intense than the 8-hour arm workout, this routine requires significant endurance and is a perfect example of Piana’s innovative approach to muscle growth.

3. 100% Club Chest Workout

The 100% Club Chest Workout is Piana’s answer to those seeking dramatic chest development. This high-volume, high-intensity routine combines classic exercises with Piana’s trademark intensity.

  • Key Components:
    • Smith Machine Incline Bench Press: A 100-rep drop set starting with 10 reps, then decreasing weight and continuing until 100 reps are achieved
    • 100% Club Bench Press: 10 sets of 10 reps with weight equal to your bodyweight
    • Cable Flies: 4-5 sets, increasing weight with no less than 10 reps per set
    • Old School Weighted Dips: 4 sets to failure, emphasizing depth and control

This chest workout is a comprehensive approach to upper-body strength, combining endurance with raw power to stimulate growth across all major chest muscles.


Rich Piana’s workouts are not just exercises; they’re a philosophy. They embody his commitment to pushing the limits of what’s possible in bodybuilding.

Each of these workouts demonstrates a different aspect of Piana’s approach to fitness: relentless, innovative, and always challenging the status quo.

Whether you’re a seasoned bodybuilder or a fitness enthusiast looking for new challenges, Piana’s workouts offer insights into achieving physical excellence through hard work and dedication.

Remember, these routines are intense and should be approached with caution, especially by those new to high-intensity training.

Always listen to your body, and consider consulting a fitness professional before embarking on these extreme workouts.

Rich Piana’s legacy in the fitness world remains strong, with these workouts standing as a testament to his larger-than-life approach to bodybuilding.

Through these routines, Piana continues to inspire and challenge individuals to push beyond their limits and achieve greatness.

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