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30-10-30 Eliminated Shoulder Pain, Tendonitis, and Dramatically Reduced Back Pain

Since starting the 30-10-30, a method I have been using exclusively for 6 months with continuous modification (like reducing rest periods dramatically as recommended in the West Point study and promoted in NEXT), I have eliminated chronic shoulder pain and dramatically reduced low back pain. I used to contend with severe tendonitis in my forearm, so basically stopped playing tennis years ago. That is largely gone, too. It makes some sense scientifically as you are not moving these joints as often as you would with a traditional workout, but just wanted to share as that is likely a partial explanation (maybe less weight, more controlled movements, and better form help, too). Could just be an ancillary benefit or a program to consider for those suffering from similar issues. Appreciate all of your hard work and continuous quest for a better approach or method. Thank you!!

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Interested in these results because I also suffer from chronic shoulder pain which makes all upper body training a bit of a challenge (finding exercises etc).

Can I ask, did you perform 3 weekly full body , not to failure or was intensity and frequency modified also.

Also, after 6 months of this style of training did you obtain measurable results physiqoe wise or were you mainly just looking for a safe joint firendly way to get a workout in.

I actually tried 30-10-30 a few months ago and liked the “feel” of the exercise technique but after a couple of weeks felt I was actually regressing physique wise.


Thanks for the question. Keep in mind, I do not think Dr. Darden recommends using this program on a continuous basis, but would like to get his perspective. I get the physique thing. I addressed that by adding more exercises targeting the same muscle groups, not by adding weight (I have tried adding more weight on the first 30 second negative then dropping to a lower weight just based on something I read which talked about how much more weight we can handle eccentrically). I am up to 12-14 exercises, or 30-10-30 sets, per session. As mentioned, I have also tried to eliminate rest periods, shorten dramatically, or switch from upper to lower body when I can’t push my arms anymore. Plus, I mix in machines, cables, and bodyweight. Lastly, it is usually no more than 3 sessions per week, but I would prefer 4. And now that I am back in the office, I can barely button my dress shirts because my chest and back have gotten so much bigger. That being said, I work out to keep weight in check, energy level up, and back flexible not as much for looks. Hope this helps. Take care!

Slower is definitely better for the joints. The 30/30 will definitely help heal. The ballistic speed of the 10 reps i slow down a little when i do 30/10/30. Not a fan at my age(54) of 1-2 second reps

Thanks. This perspective is helpful.
Did you repeat the same wokout 3x per week or did you have A, B, C type routines (presumably each being full body).
Also what sort of time were you taking to complete 12-14 exercises?

I get that. I have been toying with the idea of slower reps in that middle section too. However, if I am to do that, then it will have to be fewer than 10 reps. I would not want to work with sets longer than 90-100 seconds (at least for Upper Body exercises!). I’m thinking 5-6 slower reps, with an emphasis on statics in the contracted position.

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Thats just about how i do it. I dabble around with the numbers. I like the 30/10/30 and Super Slow(Hutchins ). So i’ve been experimenting. Another way is do the 10 reps, slower, and reduce the 30s to 15-20. My gym in my garage is 8 Nautilus machines, so this variety with the numbers and cadence keeps my workouts fresh.

Nothing eliminated shoulder pain for me like a couple sets with resistance bands. Saw Jeff Cavaliers YT clip on it and I’m not kidding , a couple SETS … not a couple weeks … gave me new shoulders. I was blown away .

Now, I wasn’t crippled with pain or anything but was dealing with annoying things like reaching across a table for a glass and feeling impingement , etc. I swear by the bands now and even have incorporated them into my workouts for resistance and stretching between sets.

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To Gazz, every routine was full body. Took me about 25 minutes to 30 to complete. It is hard on your system, no doubt. I did mix up the exercises, but sometimes completed the same exercise or worked the same muscles but did bodyweight, machines, cables, dumbbells, etc.

Since shoulder pain was mentioned in the original post, I’ll mention something I heard yesterday. I was watching a video Q&A by Dan John. In response to a question about shoulder pain, he suggested the questioner try dead hangs from a bar - just something like 20 or 30 seconds several times a day. He said that when he began having his track and field athletes do this, they saw a significant decrease in shoulder issues among the (javelin) throwers.

Turns out that the practice is promoted by an orthopedic surgeon by the name of Dr. John Kirsch. Has a web site and a book. Just google “shoulder pain kauai study”.

Disclaimer: I can’t vouch for this from personal experience. Just found it to be an interesting suggestion.

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Thanks AA

One of the PT exercises for my impinged RC is crouching forward with my left hand on some sort of support. The right hand, holding a small dumbbell, hangs free. From there, you use your hips to gently swing the DB hand front and back, side to side, and in circles.

I have impingement in the left side of the neck and shoulder…everyday to relieve the impingement are chin tucks…works for me

Fans of training with Indian clubs and steel clubs will say that the swinging puts traction on the shoulder joint and helps offset the damage from compressive lifting. Who knows? But if it makes your shoulder feel better, who cares what the theories say?

`Thats why I was doing before I found JC clips on resistance bands for shoulder discomfort .It’s been all resistance bands ever since.

Everyone has heard how ineffective resistance bands are from the HiT aficionados McGuff/Little!
They likely have used such resistance bands sparingly if at all!

Resistance is Resistance. If machines are at least as good as free weights (McGuff). And bands have a built-in cam!!

I don’t remember those guys ever expressing strong opinions against resistance bands.

Now I do imagine they have a preference for machines over other forms of resistance. After all, they both own gyms equipped with Nautilus equipment or similar.

But they are not alone in that preference. Lots of guys posting here own Nautilus machines or other kinds of machines. Don’t you own a number of Nautilus machines? If resistance bands are so great, and provide a complete solution, why bother with the expense and space requirements of such machinery?

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== Scott==
I haven’t heard this from them because I pay little attention to what either of them has to say. Ha ha!

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== Scott==
Maybe I missed it? Did someone say resistance bands are the complete solution to building muscle vrs machines?