T Nation

Day 1 of 30-10-30:mht log

And you are seeing better results with 30-10-30 than with going to failure on slower reps? From a pure muscle mass perspective?


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The Nautilus book. Can’t recall which edition though. Possibly first edition.

OK. Thanks.

The oldest book I have by Dr. Darden is the Nautilus Bodybuilding book (1982). I also have Total Fitness The Nautilus Way (1978), which is a collection of articles by Arthur Jones, Dr. Darden, and others. Skimming those books, I didn’t see any mention of not to failure workouts. But it must be an older strategy than I realized.

Fair to say that other HIT guru’s went the way of thinking that if failure is good, beyond failure is even better. Uber Hyper High Intensity Training!!!

I think we all went that way… I have made plenty of mistakes

This is going to be real interesting, it’s been a long time since I have stopped 2 reps short on any set. I can’t wait to try this tomorrow! One down side of getting older is that it takes longer to recover from workout sessions. My patience for waiting hasn’t kept up with my recovery time , ha ha!

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== Scott==
I kept forgetting to comment on this. Man you must really know how to push it! Sounds like Jones was there pushing you! Ha ha !! I can’t remember ever working so hard that I had to sit and sip water for two hours lest I throw up after my workout. I do remember sort of feeling that way after finishing a marathon.

I thought for sure I read somewhere that Jones recommended two failure workouts per week
With one ntf workout between the two…i must have been mistaken because I can’t find any reference in his nautilus bulletins to that effect…must have been in one of Dardens books

Actually, now you remind me of it, I do remember reading something along those lines many years ago.

As you say, over the years, regularly including ntf workouts somehow got lost.

Thank you

Hi everyone.
Thank you for the replies. I did this workout on Friday evening. Today I am quite sore my quads and hams especially along with my lats and pecs. Actually all major muscle groups are sore. I can’t imagine attempting a workout today or tomorrow. My plan going into the workouts this Friday is to lower the load about 15-20 percent and build from there. I do think the load on the leg press was appropriate or close to it. The upper body exercises were very difficult and each set was to failure especially the pressing movements. I think Dr. Darden is on to something with this program.

I guess this not to failure but a deeper inroad idea is a hard concept to get our heads around. At least it is for me. I’m so used to the feeling that a not to failure workout is just something you’d do so as to recover from other to failure workouts you’ve been doing but if this 30 10 30 gives deeper inroad it’s not a break from a more demanding set, it’s as demanding or result producing but not as draining!! That’s pretty amazing!

Hi Scott. I am not sure how this will go this week with workout two. Those 30second eccentrics were tough. I wear a heart rate monitor during my workout and after the pulldowns I was at about 90% of my predicted max. I am concerned that even going lighter the workouts will still be difficult. I bet after a few weeks of this training my body will adapt and hopefully I can progress from there.

Going into this workout I was performing a twice per week total body HIT program. To me the biggest difference is those eccentrics.

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One thing that comes to mind, is if I’m actually performing til failure on 30-10-30, or if it’s just my perception?

Remember an article on the old Darden forum, where Dr Darden discussed the importance of having a personal trainer to push you… Meaning you may not be able to push yourself to the limit - even if you think so.

An example of this would be Casey Viator’s workouts with Arthur Jones, where Jones pushed (insulted) Viator to do some more.

I’m not sure I dare to estimate my “2 rep from max” in case I am underperforming. Would I be able to do two reps more with someone pushing me? I’m honestly not sure, especially if I have a bad day at the gym.

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Hi pettersson,
I know exactly what you mean. I have learned to “know” when to start the final negative portion but the question to ask yourself is does it really matter if you could do another 1 rep, 2 reps or 3?? Probably not IMO.

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When i start to feel “non involved” muscles starting to “work” during the regular repetitions I will usually make that my last rep before performing the second negative.
That last rep should be tough , but not “eyeballs out” and should be pretty close to imaculate form wise.
The “turnaround” to the second negative should never be compromised for the sake of “another” regular repetition.
That is my interpretation.


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Thanks Jeff and Mark,

As always, intelligent reflections that put matters into perspective. I think my own aim and technique for a set is in line with Mark’s description.


In the power lifting world, it is starting to become more common to monitor bar speed (or more generically movement speed) as a way of gauging when you are approaching failure. When you find the movement starting to slow down involuntarily, that can be a good clue that failure is close.

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Dr. Darden,
So evidently you’ve changed your stance on going to failure with 30-10-30 over the past year? Page 81 of your Killing Fat book states “The idea is always to work to momentary muscular fatigue, especially on the in-between positive-negative repetitions and the finishing negative.” Could you comment Please? Or will this be answered in your new BackLoading ebook? Thank you.


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You can do it the way the Killing Fat book describes and you’ll certainly get results. But after much experimentation, I’m getting better results by not going to momentary muscular failure on the in-between reps and the finishing negative. There’s less stress on your nervous system and your recovery ability.

I’m working on a 30-10-30 eBook right now that covers all the details.

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Thank you for the reply. I did read the previous posts, but as a guy who has always been on “the lunatic fringe of High Intensity Training”, I am skeptical that by not training as hard, I can get better results. Besides a few select exercises, I have always trained to momentary muscular fatigue. I’ll have to try it for myself to find out.