30-10-30 Avoiding Failure Clarification

Dr. Darden,

I’m doing Extreme HIT again and I have a question on choosing the right weights and avoiding failure. What I’ve noticed is as I fatigue during the workout, the later sets are obviously harder. But if I can’t get the last full 30 seconds does that mean I went to failure? If I try my hardest to get 30 but only get 20 seconds is that failure? Or should we try to always get the last full 30 seconds? For me, if I can barely get 10 reps in the middle there is a decent chance I won’t be able to get the second full 30 seconds. Or maybe a better question is should we have a couple reps left in the tank during the middle 10 reps?

For instance. I can probably barbell curl 75-80 pounds for 10 reps. Although at the end of the first workout I couldn’t even get the full 30-10-30 with the 45 pound bar.

I hope that all makes sense.

You’ve mentioned one answer and it’s probably the best:

Have a couple of reps left when you achieve 10 in the middle, then do the final 30-second negative.

When you can do that, up the resistance a little the next time you perform that exercise.

Okay, thank you for clarifying that!

Personally, I consider failure after 20 secs of the last 30 sec negative a success! You have chosen a weight that was slightly heavier than intended, but still managed 80 secs of TUT! Also, training to failure or not, is still a question open for debate.

I hear you. I personally enjoy doing one set to failure on about 6-8 exercises 1-2x a week. Personally fits my life much better than when I was doing 1 hour workouts 4 days a week. But I’m giving Extreme HIT a go again at the moment.

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