30-10-30 with Resistance Bands?

Would 30-10-30 work with resistance band?

I’m really interested in Dr Darden’s scientific based 30-10-30 training as beiginner at home.

I know this topic is discussed before but just want to know Dr Darden’s official answer :slight_smile:

Thank you for wonderful HIT and 30-10-30.

Some variations of 30-10-30 would probably work with resistance bands. But I’ve not worked with the bands consistently.

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The short answer: In my opinion 30-10-30 does work with resistance bands. I have witnessed improved explosiveness with resistance bands increasing the tension on leg extension machines. While it is in essence a linear increase in force, it seems to work nicely.

Thank you for generous answer, sir!

what kind of variations would work with resistance band?

or would you strongly recommend at least dumbbells instead?

Sincerely, you can do almost any exercise with a bar and bands. Watch an X-3 bar or competitor video. I own an x 3 and a competitor version. I have tested both extensively but I would rather not discuss the pros and cons here. I obviously own or have owned free weights, machines, dumbbells, kettlebells and almost every gadget that looked interesting. In my opinion it really comes down to what keeps you exercising. Is it the convenience of bands or the sound of clanking weights or the encouragement of a trainer or peers that motivates you? I think Dr Darden once wrote that the hardest thing about working out is to get to the gym. (Paraphrase.) The point is that the most important thing in working out is to actually work out.

With thick bands a bar needs to have revolving (swivel) ends. Curls and overhead presses are more difficult at the top. Bench press, tension increases as the bar moves away from the body but it seems to match the strength curve well. (Linear progression of resistance.) Squats with bands are typically limited to front squats on a platform. However, the reality is that doing a 30 second one rep with a band is “a lot of work.” You might have to start with a 15 second rep instead. Similarly, if an exercise is too easy, increasing the 10 reps to 15 reps or increasing the time under tension might help.

Bands are fast and convenient since you can do them as soon as you get out of bed. One possible use of dumbbells is a variation to get away from the bands for a change of pace to keep from getting bored.

Bands can also be attached to barbells, cable pull down and leg extensions to increase tension. I have tested leg extensions enhanced by bands and find that its possible to quickly increase explosiveness doing so.

I hope this helps.

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I would think that the most difficult issue with using bands for 30-10-30 would be the highly variable resistance curve: low resistance at the start, when the band isn’t stretched so much, and high force at the end when the band is stretched out to the maximum extent. If you try to move at a constant speed for the slow eccentrics, a good portion of your time would be spent in the range of motion where the load would fairly low.

You’d probably want to start the 30 second segment with some kind of isometric hold at the point where the tension was highest, then linger in the range where you have meaningful tension, at least until you feel your strength bleed off. I wonder how much value you’d get out of the lower part of the eccentric, when the band tension falls off? It might end up being mostly an isometric holds, with just a bit of eccentric at the end. But then that would sort of defeat the purpose of doing eccentric training?


I really prefer not to get into too much detail on this cite. However, depending on what apparatus you are using, you can stack bands. Specifically, you can use a lower tension (but shorter) band to increase tension in the weak portion of the movement, if needed. Most users do not need to do that as band length can be adjusted to begin tension right away. (There are YouTube videos of strain gages showing the resistance of a single band throughout a dead lift that you can use to plot the strength/resistance curve if you so desire.)

Most of the protocols from the manufactures suggest beginning with partials in the strong range of motion until the muscle is nearly exhausted before doing the full ROM. 30-10-30 has been demonstrated with bands and on machines enhanced by bands. One can do it, but it can be mentally exhausting. And those that have ever read my writings know I am a fan of pre-exhaust isometrics before near full ROM exercise. Isometrics with bands can be brutal and when filmed one can see the band allows some movement. Again, just wanted to give this OP some answers and encourage anyone with interest to try different protocols (especially 30-10-30) on different devices to see what they enjoy the most.

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If you mean me, then thanks for the additional remarks.

My comment about resistance curves was really meant as just a general observation for the original poster. But I see you did provide some discussion on resistance curves in your later post regarding bands. And it seems like we would agree on some points regarding how best to use them.

Clearly, bands can be used for a lot of things, and they offer the great advantages of (relatively) low cost, portability, and small space requirements. How congruent the band resistance profile is with respect to the bodies force production curve is going to vary a lot depending on the exercise. But the same thing can also be said for free weight exercises. Leaving aside (controversial?) options like the ARX machine, a cammed machine probably offers you the best prospect for having meaningful and appropriate resistance throughout the full range of motion. So if I wanted to do slow eccentrics, an appropriately cammed machine would be my first choice. But they are hugely expensive, and you’d need a lot of them to do a full body circuit. Like most people, I make do with what is available to me at the moment.

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Returning to this thread as resistance bands are a fairly new experience. Recently bought the mountain dog band pack. Re 30-10-30 with bands - it is a great question that I’ve intended to experiment with.

That being said, I have high hopes that Zone Training would prove successful with bands. It would seem bands were made for Zone Training. Maybe @BDJohnston @tzabcan @average_al @ptcrusader @lionhearted721
@kd13 or any other resistance band trainee could elaborate on this? Have you tried it?

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this guy has a whole youtube channel using bands --lots of 30-10-30 stuff


I have a few bands, but I don’t use them all that much, mostly because I prefer using exercises with a full range of motion, and the variable resistance curve of a band often does not feel right for many of those exercises. That, plus the fact that I have adjustable dumbbells and a barbell that give me plenty of exercise options.

I do see where the zone approach could solve this issue. You can just pull the band to the appropriate level of resistance that you need for a particular zone. Then when you move to the next zone, adjust the stretch accordingly. I suppose the more zones you use, the better you could dial in the appropriate resistance. (Tangentially, isn’t this kind of like doing multiple sets of flutter reps as per Darden’s new protocol?)

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I got into using bands because of the gyms shutting down during Covid and having to drag out what I have left of my own equipment which was a trap bar , 400 lbs of plates and dip bars and one dumbbell bar. That’s all I really needed to have a great workout but being spoiled from what my gym had and variety , I wanted something more so ordered push up handles and a set of bands.

I like the bands as an added thing at the end of a set like ‘pull aparts’ following shrugs/ back stuff and ‘pull togethers’ after dips and other chest work. But I use them mostly as a shoulder warmup before every pull or push upper body workouts and nothing ‘cures’ some impingement issues I get now and then, then a couple sets of rotator cuff movements with a very light band. Works every time like magic !

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I love his channel. He’s a focused dude.

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