Experiment: 10 Sec Positive, 1 Sec Hold & 10 Sec Negative

Dr. Darden,

I am looking to experiment with a fullbody 10-1-10 cadence 3x/week for about 4 weeks

how many exercises per day should i limit myself too

thanks in advance

I know this isn’t what you asked - just curious as to why that cadence?

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Just to experiment and try something different for a few weeks

I have done the 1/2 cadence (too fast), 30-30-30 (did not like that one), right now doing 5-1-5 (not bad), 30-10-30 (my favorite so far), 2/4 (years ago)

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You show a “hold” at the end of the positive. Aren’t many exercises in more a rest position at the end of a positive. Does your experiment include a “hold” in the stretched position?

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Interesting cadence. I change cadences pretty much every exercise and every workout. Favourites are 15-15-15, 15-5-15, NO, Negative Hold, Double Holds and 20-20-20. Like you - I don’t like 30-30-30.

Depending on which exercises I’m doing I will use between 8 and 10 exercises a workout. The lower end of that range if I’m predominately Squatting, Benching, Pressing and Rowing and the higher end if I’m doing Leg Extension / Leg Curl, Lateral Raise, Curls etc. (I’m sure you get the picture). The main thing for me is not to get too entrenched in one cadence each and every time I train. Hope that helps a bit with your thoughts.

When i say hold, i mean contracted or sqeeze position

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Right now i am doing 10 exercises with the 5/5, was not sure if 10 would be too much with a 10/10

whenever i experiment nowadays, i always resort back to the 30-10-30 methods twice a week with what i call an accessory workout on Wednesdays ntf

I get the best workouts with the 30-10-30

Why not try 8 and have an evaluation? The 10s negative will certainly make quite an inroad. I just wonder if a 1s static is too brief to have enough of an impact but it’s certainly seems worth testing to me.

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I count the squeeze in my head as 1s, but it could actually be 2 or 3, :laughing:

lol… I think we all do that from time to time! I do mostly use a metronome so that my cadences are consistent. I know 2 HIT advocates here (UK) who train 100% of their clients using a metronome. It does help but it can be annoying.

Nope, too annoying for me…and i can just picture others in the gym telling me to throw that thing away, especially at 5am, :laughing:

Yes - I have had that. I wear headphones now!

I wear hearing aids, can’t wear headphones, lol

Interesting, but the equal emphasis on positives may be questioned. I have previously experimented with regular rotation of 30-10-30, 30-30-30 and 2/4 which proved successful and made every workout exciting.

But - I keep investigating hybridization variations. Currently combining Dan John ladders with 2/4 Darden HIT cadence for a musclegroup a day. HIT meets volume in freeform. An abomination. With the addition of a powerlifting day a week and the occasional AMRAP. I have found that different stimulus combined is the most time-effective solution. To hell with dogma. What builds muscle?

I agree with CT who advocates never counting rep tempo … just lift the weight.

Too much of this nit-picking takes away from the effort that should be going into the reps / sets. I think this kind of thing is over thinking everything.


I don’t really like the idea of slowing the positive portion of a rep. Type II motor units are only recruited on the positive portion of a rep when exerting maximum force output either through a weight in the final reps before failure or an explosive positive. Unless you’re just really, really fearful of injury or enjoy very boring training, I don’t think you’ll get much out of this.


I think you misunderstood, RTMomad. He was asking if you planned to have a 1-sec hold (Loaded!) or pause at the bottom of the rep too. I agree with him that you should. Actually, if you follow the SS Turnaround Protocol, you will wind up having a bottom pause anyway.

Are you talking about like the stretched position on chest flyes…hold that position for a second or two?