T Nation

Negative-Accentuated Repetitions

Dr Darden,

Having tried neg-acc reps (described in “The new HIT”, neg w one limb at a time, pos with both limbs, 8-10 sec for at least 6 reps) in the leg press periodically, I realized how effective this method is in building quads (and glutes), in analogy to the negative chinup and negative dip. I lately successfully used it to overcome pain in my right patellar tendon (most likely as a result of too quick progression in terms of loading - proving HIT really works).

I am thinking of applying the same method to other machine excercises featuring arms/legs. Primarily leg curl, leg extension and bicepcurl machine. Maybe also on bench press and shoulder press, if the machines can tolerate the uneven force it generates? This in order to create a special routine to use (for a maximum of two weeks) whenever a threshold in development occurs.

Do you have any thoughts or recommendations in this regard (before I proceed)?

Yes, I’d keep your negative-accentuated routines to no more than four exercises performed in that manner.

You can do a few more exercises, but do them in a normal way.

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First I’d like to welcome you to the site Dr. Darden. Obviously you have the expertise in negative accentuated training and I have a question regarding differences in how it’s applied.

Due to a couple shoulder surgeries and most likely a 3rd coming I have been forced to use lighter loads while somehow trying to make the weight feel heavy or use methods to really work the muscles. I began using high rep sets to failure but also started using slow eccentrics and pauses in the the stretch position which was all prior your 30-30-30 and 30-10-30 and so on to put maximum amount of tension of the muscle that I can with a lighter weight and I really like it.

My question is what is the difference results wise in how you would apply different eccentric type reps in a set? For example Ive done 30 second pauses followed by reps to failure followed by a negative pause to failure. I have done sets of 10 sec eccentrics with a 10 sec positive, very slow eccentric with explosive positives, 8 sec eccentrics with 3 second pause and a slow positive etc etc. I think you get the idea. I have experimented with numerous different types of formulas and they all work well to exhaust the muscle and also build a great deal of lactic acid and fatigue.

My question is do the differences really matter as far as results are concerned as long as I’m stressing the muscle for roughly the same TUT. Does TUT even make a big difference if the routines are all in the same ball park of TUT? My goal is hypertrophy first strength second. Thanks

What matters is EFFECTIVE INROAD into a muscle (and/or muscle group). The concept of Time-Under-Load developed as the exercise designers did not fully understand the concept of out-roading which will allow a skill to develop “faster” than true strength (not performed strength). TUL overcomes some of this by using a time element in place of assured focused inroad. TUL is irrelevant if the muscular load is unloaded dynamically between a flurry of attributes such as Multiple Joints (compound movements), Changing Moment Arms (musco-skeletal), Changing Moment Arms (machines, pulleys, and cams), Cascading Inroads (within a Muscle Group), Bracing, etcetera. If one assures zero momentum at ultra slow speeds one can then assure focused inroad regardless of TUL. In fact with ultra slow speeds (i.e 303030 and/or static) the TUL should stay relatively constant with the only change being an appropriate increase in weights.

Good questions.

Look around the gym, talk to the biggest, strongest guys; what do you think?

Honestly what do I think? I believe when it comes to size and strength that genetics is the main factor and a much bigger factor than anything else. Doesn’t matter if you diet correctly have the best training program and do everything right you’re only going to get as big and as strong as your genetics dictate. Someone with good genetics and sloppy diet can easily look better. I’ve seen it a million times. Of course it’s all relative to how good your genetics or training, diet etc. is, but bottom line is genetics dictate everything.

That being said my experience after training for 48 years is that progressive overload and using more weight in a quicker or normal rep cadence is what matters. No matter how hard I work my muscles using high intensity techniques with lighter loads (higher reps to failure, slow eccentrics etc.) I don’t have the same amount of size or muscle as when I was progressively handling more weight on each exercise or body part.

When I move up in weight for same rep range regardless of what that rep range is I grow. When I don’t and just use intensity techniques I’m lucky to maintain and actually don’t. I haven’t lost a lot but I consider 5 lbs of muscle loss significant. Being that I’m forced to go much lighter I didn’t want to accept my beliefs and was always looking for training techniques with light weight that at least maintains my size which didn’t work. For me at least.

Don’t get me wrong I actually like the break and training with the light weight higher reps, slow eccentrics, pauses and so on. It’s less stress on my body, joints and my nervous system than constantly pushing and pushing weight. It just doesn’t work. But I’m still open to any advice.

Good answer!

Of course it’s good to be open to suggestions and new training ideas but, sometimes, it can just be a distraction. I know as I suffer the same problems!

You know what works for you!

If you did three compound exercises once a week of 303030 or Static Max Pyramiding you would grow. In one week you will be adding weight. In four to five weeks you will visibly notice it in the mirror. In about eight weeks you will add an exercise or two as you begin to develop an A B C program which will extend recovery time. Very easy to initiate. Very easy to do. Very fulfilling that you are indeed assuring inroad. Once a week no more. Your TUL will stabilize and not change … but the weights will!

@planet_healh i’m trying to wrap my pea-sized brain around this concept… Is this correct: once per week (for arguments sake let’s go with machine chest press, machine row and band RDL) 30 seconds concentric/30 repetitions/30 seconds eccentric. Yes?
If that is correct, is there a specific tempo for the repetitions?

30-30-30 is 30 second negative, 30 second positive and 30 second negative…not 30 reps

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@fitafter40, ok. I was basing it on Dr Darden’s 30/10/30 protocol.

Totally understand

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Dr. Darden’s 303030 protocol …
30 second negative
30 second positive
30 second negative

I also believe he said he developed 301030 because 303030 was too intense for most trainees

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Who has experience with this type of training? Is there a recommended percentage of 1RM? Experiences to share?

i would suggest you read his book "killing fat’

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Take 80% of your normal 10-rep resistance on most exercises. That’s a good starting point for 30-30-30 or 30-10-30.

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Thank you all.

Two questions if I may. First off, so nice to see you answering questions on this forum. Looking forward to back loading e-book. Estimated publication date? (Okay, that’s 3 questions). I train many seniors , some older than you. Should I be avoiding failure as you are? These are not strong people like yourself looking to maintain. Secondly , in your description of your own program, you refer to 8-12 reps. Are you not personally utilizing 30-10-30 (or some variation) and if not, why not? One of the benefits I like is that it forces me to use less weight which, at 61 years of age is helpful. I also like stutter reps as per Brian Johnston which get me to failure very quickly with relatively light weights. And of course super strict super slow.

This is Rick Chartrand by the way


Failure: Just be careful with your older group. Sometimes you can go to failure, but not often.

I use 30-10-30 occasionally and I always feel it.

I see no problem with Brian’s stutter reps.

I hope my Backloading eBook will be available early in 2021.

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