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Houston Texans

Fitness Corner -- Carr XPlodes

Texans strength and conditioning coach Dan Riley is back for another installment of his Fitness Corner column.

Riley and assistant strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright will continue to post selected answers to your questions throughout the year. Join in by shooting over an e-mail to

Here is an archive of past columns. Dan and Ray have also made the club's strength and conditioning manual available. Click here to download it. And here is an abridged one for the fitness enthusiast.

Here's Dan…

Since early March, Ray, Everett, and myself, have been busy with the beginning of our off-season conditioning program. Our entire team is here in Houston and working hard.

We've had the doors of our Fitness Corner website closed. We are ready to reopen the Fitness Corner and who better to kick off our new season than quarterback David Carr.

David was among a group of players to begin working out at the beginning of February. In this week's installation of the Fitness Corner David demonstrates one of our new workouts called the XPlode 10 – 8 Routine.

Nautilus has created a new plate load line of equipment called the XPlode line. We have three of the XPlode pieces and anxiously await eight more. Upon arrival we will insert the new XP equipment into our XP 10 – 8 routine.

Click here to obtain information regarding other 10 – 8 routines used by the Texans.

The organizational template for each of our 10 – 8 routines is identical. The movements are the same; the only difference is the equipment used. The XPlode line offers independent movement arms. This forces each side of the body to work independent of the other.

The XP 10 – 8 Routine includes the following exercises:

  1. XP Vertical Bench Press (1; 2)
  1. Pullover (1; 2)
  1. Overhand Lat Pulldown (1; 2)
  1. XP Incline Press (1; 2)
  1. Rear Delt (1; 2)
  1. Seated Row (1; 2)
  1. External Rotation (1; 2)
  1. Lateral Raise (1; 2)
  1. XP Seated Overhead Press (1; 2)
  1. Biceps Curl (1; 2)
  1. Triceps Extension (1; 2)
  1. Dips (1; 2)

Before beginning one of our 10 – 8 routines we ask players to perform several preparatory sets designed to thoroughly warm them up. David performed three warm-up sets of eight to ten reps each. We add more weight on each warm-up set.

On David's first set of 10 reps our goal is to select a weight he can barely complete 10 properly performed reps. We then allow 90 seconds rest between his first set and the second set.

Our goal on the second set is to select a weight he can barely complete eight properly performed reps. If a near maximum effort is exerted on the first set of ten reps, we must decrease the weight on the second set of eight reps.

The XP Vertical Chest has two grips. One is a conventional bench press grip (palms facing away) and the other is a vertical grip (palms facing each other). To add variety we ask our players to use the vertical grip.

Upon completion of the Vertical Chest David will pre-exhaust his upper back with the Pullover followed immediately with a Lat Pulldown using an overhand grip. The Pullover is the only exercise available to provide full-range exercise for the lats.

The lats insert on the back of the upper arm. To effectively isolate the lats the resistance must be applied to the back of the upper arm (Direct Resistance). Holding a barbell or a dumbbell to perform this exercise is far less effective and potentially damaging to the rotator cuff over time.

We preset the weight and the seat on the Lat Pulldown. This allows David to immediately perform the Lat Pulldown. To capitalize on the Pre-exhaustion Principle you cannot waste time between these two exercises.

After completing the Lat Pulldown David performs two sets (10 reps – 8 reps) of the XP Incline Press followed by the Nitro Rear Delt and the Nitro Seated Row. This combination of exercises will target the rear deltoid. These two exercises must also be performed one right after the other.

To help protect the integrity of the shoulder capsule our players perform the following isolation exercises each workout: Rear Delt (1; 2), Lateral Raise (1; 2), and External Rotation for the rotator cuff (1; 2). Many athletes ignore these "core exercises" designed to help protect the shoulders.

Upon completion of the Seated Row David will perform External Rotation for the rotator cuff and the Lateral Raise. These two exercises are followed by two sets (10 reps – 8 reps) of the XPlode Seated Overhead Press.

David finished his workout with a set of Curl Bar biceps curls, Triceps Pushdowns followed immediately with a set of bodyweight Dips.

Listed below is the protocol we followed for David's XPlode 10 – 8 Routine:

Exercise # 1: XP Vertical Chest (1; 2) – 10 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 2: XP Vertical Chest – 8 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 3: Pullover (1; 2) – 10 – 12 reps (perform Lat Pulldown immediately)

Exercise # 4: Overhand Lat Pulldown (1; 2) 10 – 12 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 5: XP Incline Press (1; 2) – 10 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 6: XP Incline Press – 8 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 7:Nitro Rear Delt (1; 2) - 10 – 12 reps (perform Seated Row immediately)

Exercise # 8:Nitro Seated Row (1; 2) – 12 reps

Rest: 90 seconds* *

Exercise # 9:Rotator Cuff* *External Rotation (1; 2) – 12 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 10:Lateral Raise (1; 2) – 12 reps

Rest: 90 seconds* *

Exercise # 11: XPlode Seated Overhead Press (1; 2) – 10 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 12:XPlode Seated Overhead Press – 8 reps

Rest: 90 seconds

Exercise # 13:Curl Bar Biceps Curl (1; 2) – 10 – 12 reps

Exercise # 14:Triceps Pushdowns (1; 2) – 10 – 12 reps* *

Exercise # 15:Bodyweight Dips (1; 2) – 10 – 12 reps

Total number of reps: 162

Total minutes of rest: 15 minutes

Total minutes spent performing exercise: 13 minutes 30 seconds

Total workout time: 28 minutes 30 seconds

If you are looking for some variety in your training give one of our 10 – 8 routines a try. Thanks to David for helping us reopen the Fitness Corner with the XPlode 10 – 8 Routine.

David had a message for his buddies back at Fresno State, "I’m baaaaaaack!"

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