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30-10-30 One Day And Different Method The Other

I started incorporating 30-10-30 to quite a few exercises. I suppose the Seated Leg Curl is my favorite, but the Leg Press seems to be a nice application.

I should say that I have artificial joints in both hips and was told to hold no more than 100 lbs when standing. I interpret that to squating with 100 lbs. I weigh right at 200 lbs. I figure that my hips can support 300 lbs (of course minus my weight below the hip joints, let’s say 50 lbs). My Leg Press machine is about a 35 degree angle, so the actual weight lifted will be about 57% (sin 35 degrees) of the weight of the carriage plus the plates. I use 320 lbs of plates and my guess is the carriage weighs about 120 lbs. So I am lifting, effectively, about 252 lbs. I feel fairly confident that I am at the upper end of the amount of weight I am putting on my hips.

Lucky for me the bottom stop of the Leg Press machine is at the bottom of the movement. I can fail at the stop and wiggle out of the machine. Ideal for 30-10-30. But the problem is that I am way too strong for that weight. My previous leg press method places its emphasis on TUT. To make the weight feel its heaviest I was doing 6 second reps where they are the slowest in the eccentric movement followed by a brief stop at the bottom, then a fairly quick contraction with no stop at the top (for obvious reasons - no resistance). I did a set of 20 reps (2 minutes) followed by a set of 30 reps (3 minutes). I should include that I preform the leg press with full range of motion, getting as deep as I can without my hips rising up. With the 3 minute set my quads start to burn at the beginning of the 3rd minute, but the final 30 seconds the burn changes to my glutes. Finishing the last reps is a challenge.

About four weeks ago I did 30-10-30 on Mondays and then my previous method on Fridays. For the last four weeks I became sore in my glutes and hams on Saturday and Sunday. The soreness subsides by Monday when I do legs with 30-10-30 (90 seconds) again.

My question: Why do you think I am experiencing the soreness? Is the weight on the 30-10-30’s just too low to be as effective as it should be? I’m guessing I could probably 40 to 50 reps between the 30 second eccentrics, but haven’t tried that yet.

The weight is key. Thru trial find the weight that allows 30-10-30. Just 10 reps, leaving a couple in the tank. If u can do 40 reps, weight is way too liw

You didn’t say it, but can I assume that before incorporating 30-10-30, you trained your legs twice a week, with your 6-second rep x 50 total reps?

If so, you went from a high rep stimulus twice a week to a high rep stimulus once a week (with a lower rep and lower TUT exercise in between).

Perhaps that is a big enough change to affect the DOMS that you experience? I say that because what really causes me soreness is doing a lot of reps (i.e., a lot of eccentric contractions) combined with some degree of novelty of the stimulus. So if I lay off an exercise for a period of time, and then resume by doing a lot of reps, I will be quite sore. If I then repeat that exercise frequently enough, the DOMS will be much less noticeable after subsequent repeat sessions. The exercise literature refers to this as the repeat bout effect.

Now if you are doing the high rep stimulus once a week, it would seem like that exercise shouldn’t be considered a novel stimulus (especially since you do the 30-10-30 between those two sessions). However, my own experience is that when I train just once a week, I do experience more muscle soreness than if I train twice a week. It isn’t a large difference, and the DOMS is not as bad as what I get after a longer layoff. But it does happen consistently enough for me to suspect that a 7 day rest interval is long enough to somewhat blunt the protection that I get from the repeated bout effect.

Anyway, just a thought…

Let me add a little clarity to my leg press training. When I was 64 years old my hip joints were bone on bone, to the point that the unsmooth movement felt like my knee was jerking. I was squating at that time doing 5-3-1 where my 90% max was 425 lbs.

I got both hips replaced and within a couple months I was doing leg presses with that above mentioned 440 lbs (equivalent 250 lbs) for 60 reps at a pace of 15 reps/ 30 seconds (that is how I timed the pace). The weight got extremely difficult the last 30 seconds and my rep pace slowed where it would take me about 2 minutes and 10 seconds to complete all 60 reps. I did that on Mondays and Fridays.

A year ago, or so, I read a TN article about slow negative reps, which I started my 20 reps for 2 minutes on Mondays and my 60 reps on Fridays. About 6 months ago I started doing the slower 20 reps in 2 minutes (3 sets) on both Mondays and Fridays.

And now, 4 weeks ago I added the 30-10-30 to Mondays. And Fridays, instead of doing 3 sets of 20 reps in 2 minutes, I did a single set of 20 reps in 2 minutes and added a single set of 30 reps in 3 minutes to increase the intensity. I never experienced DOMS until I started my current leg program.

You really sound like you would benefit from Super Slow. Ken Hutchins has info on it @ seriousexercise.com. Reach out to him with questions if you look into it. Im currently reading his Super Slow protocal book that he used to train his trainers. Good stuff for us older guys

Hi RT,

How about Zone Training as an alternative to 30-10-30? I keep mentioning this, currently practicing this combo. A great combo against adaptation, and very suitable in case of disability. Have you tried it yet? I think you participated in a previous discussion about Brian Johnston.

So that is a bit more complex than I had understood. In particular, 4 weeks ago you changed both the Monday and the Friday workout.

I will just observe that you are getting DOMS after the Friday session, so it seems that what you changed on that day is more likely to have triggered the soreness.

Leave Monday the same (30-10-30), and then on Friday, go back to 3 sets of 20 for 2 minutes each, and see what happens?

Is it foolhardy for me to modify the 30-10-30 in an effort to make it more difficult because I am too strong for my weight limitation? I have options I thought might help Monday leg press and interested in your thoughts.

  • Do more than one set of 30-10-30 on the leg press
  • 30-20-30; an additional 10 reps. It would add about 30 seconds to the desirable 90 seconds
  • 30-10-30-10-30, here I would be adding about 60 seconds

I’ve been doing zone training as part of a 30-10-30 set on some movements. Instead of the 10 normal reps in the middle of the set I’ll split it into halves and do 10 for one half and 10 for the other. I watch the clock and at 30 seconds start the last negative. So far, I like that method pretty well.

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I am not familiar with Zone Training, at least by name. And I don’t recall the discussion about Brian Johnston. What sub-forum was it on?

Sorry @RT_Nomad, I may have been mistaken. What I am referring to is either to do what @dsears suggests above - or do a set of Jreps/Zone Training that you finish with a 30 sec negative - if you can manage it (due to lots of fatigue)?

I haven’t found a proper link explaining Jreps/Zone Training anywhere on the net. Brian Johnston is like a ghost, but his books are as good as Dr Darden’s, with lots of scientific explanations. An easy read is the first book on the subject (available on Amazon). He also has some very interesting variations called High Density Training, and recently released an e-book “encyclopedia” of advanced bodybuilding (more than 500 pages incl HDT).

Zone Training is basically dividing a rep range in halves or thirds. Then you work each half/third, one after the other, beginning in the hardest part of the movement (usually the most stretched part). Cadence is one sec up, one sec down with a fraction of a second stops at both ends. Breath out with every positive rep. You do 8 reps in each zone with thirds, and 12 reps with halves. Do it similar to a machine in regularity. This means you will be working the set close to 60 secs.

Yesterday day was 30-10-30 Leg Day Monday. I had glute soreness on Saturday and Sunday from Leg Day Friday again.

I went to the gym trying to decide if I was going to try two sets of 30-10-30 or give 30-10-30-10-30 a go. I didn’t decide until I was doing the last 30 second negative. It sat at the bottom motionless for a moment, then I said, “Why not?”

With absolutely no stretch reflex to get the carriage moving I pushed and it was a very difficult rep, that was followed by 9 more much easier reps to finish their 30 seconds. The final 30 second negative was a true challenge.

So, the 30-10-30-10-30 took 2 minutes and 30 seconds, which is 60 seconds more than the target 90 seconds of 30-10-30. It felt like I did something.

So the question: Am I defeating the true benefits of 30-10-30 by exceeding the 90 second target time under tension? Keep in mind that my body has adapted to the pain of up to 3 minutes of TUT for the leg press.

You’ve written an excellent question. This one is going to take some practical applications.

Thank you for your expert consideration.

This may or may not be relevant . When In college my professor threw out a proposition to us all. Pick a weight and see how many reps we could do with it until you failed . I don’t remember the purpose? I chose the pulldown with roughly 50 pounds on it figuring it was light so it would be easy. I boasted I could do that all day and he just laughed . After what seemed like hours , probably much less, I kept going to about 200 reps till I failed and it was a killer. I did it but my back and arms were so sore it took over two weeks to recover . I was up for the task but not the recovery.
I think the point was pick your weight carefully, if I had picked a much heavier weight to start with I would have finished in a very short time with only doing 10 or 15 reps . Picking an easy weigh made the set go on forever. It was counter productive .

My extension of the 30-10-30 to 30-10-30-10-30 on Monday seemed to increase the muscle demand to point that my Friday leg workout did not make me sore either Saturday or Sunday.

Is there any reason you don’t change to a dumbbell squat or split squat? Those would probably be harder than a leg press if you still consider your weight parameters around your hips.

My patella tendon is not in the best of condition. Lunges are very iffy. So Split sSuats would be so also, I would think. I haven’t ever tried Dumbbell Squats, but the form would need to be where my knees don’t get over my toes, or the patella tendon issue would be a concern. Also, my erectors would be my limiting strength over time.

Leg Press is just easy to keep the form that doesn’t hurt my knees. I also do Hack Squats (the machine I use allows me to keep my toes a fair amount in front of my knees. I do one set for a minute - usually around 25 reps) My old age (72) plays a part of all exercise choices. I have 53 years of lifting, many of which was very heavy weights.

Good to know. Perhaps dumbbell squats while leaning against a ball/wall could work?


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