Extreme 30-10-30 & Adding Sprinting vs. Reducing Calories

Dr. Darden,

I’ve returned to this program and I’m on my second cycle. I’ve cut my calories ‘modestly,’ oscillating between 500-1000 below my maintenance weight according to the TDEE calculator. As a 6’7 male, these are not the calorie ranges suggested in “Killing the Fat,” but I wasn’t overly obese to begin with. My goal is harden and tighten my body while maintaining muscle; if I gain, it’s a plus.

I’ve had to increase the weight on all the exercises at least once, and generally twice. Still getting crisp, clean repetitions in between the negative portions of the exercise. I’m very pleased with my diligent application of this program. I think it’s important to note that I have access to Nautilus equipment and can move from exercise to exercise as fast as my lungs will allow me. When I did this before I was using free-weights and it was harder on my body, and I’d often have to set-up the next exercise… which defeats the metabolic conditioning process.

I’m wrestling with two options to accelerate progress. I’m not at the stage where I’m ready for before and after pictures. I’m going to keep going with these five-week cycles until I get there.

My first idea that I’m curious is about adding 75% of max sprints to the end of the 30-10-30 days. Maybe 6 or 7 of these across a long field at a nearby park. I’d say it’s about 200 yards. Keeping with the spirit of the program, I’d be avoiding failure and all-out effort, instead focusing on good form and revving up the metabolism.

The other option is to lower calories further. I could go from 2000-2400 where I’m at now, down to 1800 per day. I think I risk regression in the muscle growth department but I’m not the guy with 50 years of experience. What do you think? I know what you’ve said in other books, but the rules have changed with the inroading vs. failure, and I’m wondering where you are at with this now.

Thanks! I appreciate the advice and will incorporate it.


Lower your dietary calories slightly, perhaps to 1900-2000 per day. Do not start the sprinting. Save it for later. Focus on gradually getting stronger in all your 30-10-30 exercises. Build a few more pounds of muscle and get rid of that nagging fat. It should not take you longer than 6 weeks.

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Thanks for the advice. Will do and I’ll report back in the latter part of January.

Started eating again a few weeks ago. I’m a skinny-fat guy and there is always a push/pull to lower calories to get rid of excess fat or just keep eating to gain as much muscle as possible. Making very steady strength gains on this program and can visibly see the muscular changing. Seem to be gaining fat again though, too, so going to re-apply myself to getting the calories back down to a reasonable level to lose a pound of fat per week and continue to push for progression.

Just wanted to update this because I said I would.