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17 Minute Growth Surge

" . . . . does a max-weight drop set, consisting of an all out, max-weight positive rep, followed immediately by a very slow 60-second negative."


I am extremely sceptical about someone doing a genuine “all out, max-weight positive rep” then immediately following it with a 60 second negative with that weight.

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Seems to refer to an article that Dr. Darden published on T Nation in 2008.


Yes, sorry, this article appeared as the lead article on my tnation feed yesterday!

An interesting routine though! I wonder what the cadence is for the “all out, max weight positive rep”? 1-2 secs?

I can recall from “The new HIT” that the risk of injury is highest within the first rep, which tells us that it may be a high risk procedure to follow this routine. Tempting though…

So basically, the “all out, max positive rep” puts the weight into position for an initial 60 second negative. Isn’t that kind of what happens at the start of 30/10/30, except that you start with a sub maximal weight? Perhaps this Flanigan workout was the seed that grew into Dr. Darden’s current protocol???

I’d also not be a fan of starting with an all out concentric while cold (no warmup), just because of the potential for injury.

No, that would not be my understanding of it and, in fact , the article actually clarifies that::

"Do at least one warm-up set with less resistance before each of your 1-repetition maximums. . . . "

So, in practice, your are required to do a 60 second negative with (and immediately after) your 1RM! Incredible if you can do it!

If you read the article all the way to the end, you would see a recommendation for at least one good warmup set before doing the max effort set. Also, it says most trainees are good with 20% over an 8-10RM. Looks doable to me. Especially on a machine.

You think so? So,with a weight that you can only complete a single concentric repetition you are going to immediately perform a sixty second eccentric? Well done, as I said earlier, I personally think that is incredible.

My question about something like this is does it really result in growth after jumping into some crazy hard routine that would get you so sore you can’t move? There seems to be a million routines I could jump into that would put me at deaths door and more than likely after I recovered I’d be right back where I started, not stronger?

According to the one rep max calculators I have found, and using round numbers, a 200 lb 10 rep max set would calculate to a 267 lb 1 rep max. 20% over the 10 rep max would be 240 lbs, or 90% of the one rep max. It is not a 1 RM lift, but a 90% of 1RM lift and 60 second concentric, then drop set reps with 120 lbs.

As to Scott’s query, I trust in Dr. Darden to shoot straight, and if he believes Big Jim enough to write about this method, I can at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Try it once, and if after four days you think it is bs, so be it. But to sit behind a keyboard and write that is too tough or you might get hurt, or whatever, without giving it a true trial, what may you be missing?

I have gone off the deep end so to speak and jumped into a workout so hard and different that I was sore for a week or so and I didn’t find that after I had recovered I had surged to greater heights . Maybe it’s just my pathetic body? More than this particular workout I am wondering if the idea of doing something so different and harder that results in one being sore as hell in reality usually leads one to greater gains? Have you guys experienced this? I’m to old to run out and try every routine I might see on here or anywhere just to see if it works .

The year was 2008. Maybe Dr. Darden can verify, but if memory serves, Travis Hilpot was in his 20’s? Maybe early 30’s? And he had been training with Jim Flanagan for a period of time. Long enough for someone with Jim’s vast experience to know what he could or could not handle. Good idea for someone 40 or 50+ who has not been training with low reps for a period of time to jump in and do it? Probably not. Good idea for someone 50+ to do really low reps in the first place? Probably not.

If you haven’t been training with low reps, coming in at 90% is probably better than 100% and risk not being able to complete the 1-rep max effort.

And I have almost always come out on the other end of a once-a-month kick-in-the-ass routine a little better for doing it. Whether it was to bust a plateau, or to just be a motivator if training was becoming a little stale.


Maybe read the article again as that is not what it states; it’s a 1rm not 90% of 1rm.
Followed by a 60s eccentric.

As I said earlier, if you can actually do that, that’s incredible. I’ve tried, on various movements, and it’s beyond me - so no need for the condescending remarks about “sitting behind keyboards”. You don’t know me.

I re read the article, but I really didnt have to. It said “ Most trainees can do 1 rep with approximately 20-percent more resistance than they can do normally for 8 to 10 reps to muscular failure.”

It does not say one rep max, it says one max rep. Huge difference. 20% above a 10 rep max is 90% of a 1RM. No offense, but maybe you should reread the article, or perhaps just give it a pass.

It says: “an all out, max-weight positive rep, followed immediately by a very slow 60-second negative.”

So you are executing a concentric with as much weight as you can handle, and then you greatly slow down the eccentric part of that rep. So a 1RM performed with a greatly exaggerated eccentric.

On my initial read of the article, I missed the advice to do a warmup set, which seems wise.

Is 60 seconds doable? Probably depends on the individual, and the manner in which you have previously trained.

As they say… give it a try and report back.

== Scott==
Even if I was 30 years younger I don’t need to try something like that to know it’s dangerous as hell!’

"Do at least one warm-up set with less resistance before each of your 1-repetition maximums. . . . "

Ok, thanks for your input.

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its another method amongst a 100 methods to stimulate the muscles…if some think its too dangerous, then do a set with a weight that is not your max…i.e. do a warmup set of 10 reps of about 50 percent of the weight, then immediately add weight to almost your max, about 90% then perform the concentric movement (not explosively) for one rep then do a 60 sec eccentric rep…i do this every now and then and i can feel it…however, i never can reach the 60 sec mark

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Me neither, or any of the other people I’ve had try. Which was what prompted me to start the thread!