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Preferable Negative Accentuated HIT Cadence for Squats?

Planning to re-introduce squats as my lower back is stronger now. However, I would like to try it on a regular negative accentuated cadence (not 30-30-30 or 30-10-30 just yet).

At first I was considering the normal 4 + 4 (4 pos, 4 neg) but as I would like to keep weights under 220 lbs, to begin with, in order to spare the lower back - I was wondering if anyone have tried something like 10+10 or variations around the 10 neg scheme (much like the chin or dip variation according to Darden)? 10 neg + 2 pos (aim for 6-8 reps)?

Grateful for any suggestions.

My first HIT routine (leg-arms emphasis from Dr. D’s 100 Ways… book) I tried something like 8/8 speed on that routine. I did find that doing leg exercises prior to the squat helped pre-fatigue the leg muscles. But doing the squat on its own with a slow speed tended to make my lower back fatigue too fast…now allowing enough inroad into the legs and glutes.

I did 2/10 on my squats recently, and found it a good workable tempo for a negative emphasised exercise.


Thanks Mark (HH32 and d_r),

It was actually your earlier description of routine, I had in mind when I came up with this (your) idea! Tried it (2/10) today, and it worked fine for 6 moderately heavy reps in good form, not til failure. No back symtoms so far.

How deep do you go, Mark? I aimed for just below 90 degress, after having gone deeper on the first reps - felt like the form suffered slightly then (took more on lower back). I think some (Darden) recommend all way down, which is how I used to do it back in the day…

Why not do dumbbell squats using 30-10-30

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Thanks! That’s a fine suggestion. Would allow better form re lower back. How does the dumbbell weight/load correspond (equals) to barbell squats?

I don’t do them, but Dr. Darden has suggested them in his growth for quads article…i prefer horizontal leg presses as I messed up back many years with heavy squats

Growth for quads article as on here at T Nation? Know Darden suggest dumbbell squats in one of the fine “fat” books…

Anyone here doing (heavy) dumbbell squats?

I would avoid NA for squats completely. I think 2/4 is just fine, with a 1-second static at the bottom, if you can manage it. Starting from the bottom and accelerating to the top will be much easier on your back than bouncing out of the bottom. Get your squat strength back with 2 or 3 NTF sets of 5. Or pyramid there with sets of 10, 7, and 5 with increaseing weight.
AFTER the squats, use Leg Ext or Press for your NA set.

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Yes, on T Nation

I do. But only since I don’t have access to gym and machines.
I have low back issues, but so far 30-10-30 with dumbbells feels ok because I use lighter load.

I understood from your posts that you can train also on different machines, and personally I would exclude heavish squats whatsoever. You can’t get from them more then other leg exercises, but you can easily put your already hurt low back on risk. I would avoid that.

And regarding heavy DB squats, I found that grip might be limiting factor for longer TUT.
Also, bigger dumbbells tend to interfere with my legs while squating up and down.

I use full squats , but that is personal preference (training by myself I find that over time my half squats edge closer to quarter squats as I increase load , so I only use them occasionally).
Both can be very productive.


Did you feel the need to reduce weight with full squats as opposed to half, and if so how much reduction? I am thinking about less time to move the weight in the positive rep during 10/2 - it would be rather explosive, wouldn’t it? Nothing wrong with that. I just want to plan it in my head in advance, in order to avoid planning during excercise.

Thanks FA40,

An interesting routine! Probably doable. Will try, though I seriously doubt a 25 lbs dumbbell in each hand is enough. We’ll se about that.

The whole routine is brutal…25 is heavier than you think