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30-10-30, When to Contract and Un-Contract?

Hi Dr. Darden-
For the 30 second negatives–contracting starts at the beginning while one slowly un-contracts during the descent.
For the 10 middle reps,where are the contractions done for optimal results?

Thanks for reading and for your help.

Just so more of us understand: What exactly do you mean? Do you ever un-contract volountarily? I don’t.

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In chapter 4 of 30-10-30-page 15 under 1) work muscles…“instead focus your sole attention on the quality of each muscle contraction–the contracting and the un-contracting of the muscle”.

Same chapter,page 16 under The First 30-sec. Negative-- …squeeze the contracted muscle and begin the 30 sec. negative.Keep the movement smooth and deliberate,thinking about nothing but slowly un-contracting the muscle.Sounds to me like a voluntary un-contraction.

Ok, you have a point. Sounds to me we’re just talking positives and negatives with proper mind-muscle connection, to feel the movement to facilitate good form. I believe it’s easy to overthink here. I recommend using a stopwatch that counts seconds during 30-10-30.

That being said, I stand corrected if Dr Darden has another opinion on the meaning behind this.

“Un-contraction” is another work for the negative phase. You won’t find it in any physiology textbook. Contract and un-contract just make sense to me in terms of illustration.

Interlace your fingers on both hands in front of you. Now slide them together and smoothly slide them almost apart. Back and forth, together and apart, contract and un-contract.

Doing so helps me understand how muscle fibers work.


Thanks for pettersson’s and Dr Darden’s input.
If I understand this,you keep tension on the muscle the entire 90 seconds?(vs relaxing it?)

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In my opinion that is correct. What often is referred to TUT or TUL (Time Under Tension/Load). One of the paradigms in HIT.