Questions Regarding The Most Hypertrophic Program/Regime By Dr Darden?

Dr Darden,

Of all your programs/regimes - Which would you consider the most hypertrophic (bodybuilding oriented) of them all?

I would assume any 30-10-30 variation or the M3 Muscle program. But - I would like to exclude supplementation from this question - Making the M3 the not so obvious choice. The old Big routine comes to mind also. Obviously, this question is also a matter of ability/intensity and recovery, but let’s just focus on the program/regime here.

Why I’m asking is because I feel the “regular” reps of 3-4 sec up/3-4 sec down (as in “The new HIT”) seem to provide me with the highest intensity/exhaustion - even more so than 30-10-30 for some reason. I’ve come to this realization many times. Adding the need for lower weights on 4/4 (than 30-10-30). Could it simply be that the good old standard rep regime is still a force to be reckoned with? When in doubt, I often apply the 4/4 reps - Which never fails to get my full attention.

Am I the only one feeling this difference? Is the 4/4 standard rep scheme the most hypertrophic program to follow?

Or an additional question: Is it better to perform more short negatives - than one prolonged?

I know you didn’t ask me but I feel compelled to give my answer as a HIT advocate.

I do not think the duration of the eccentric portion of the rep is all that important so long as it is controlled. On occasion, I find things like Cheat Curls to be effective, but only insofar as to assist with me lifting more weight.

I firmly believe that Mechanical Tension is more important than the tempo of a rep, or what method of intensifier one uses, so long as the trainee is training to failure (or beyond).
That being said, I have only run the M3 Training protocol, but I found those intensifiers to be effective. I don’t think there is much variance in how effective an intensifier is compared to another, so long as failure is achieved.


Thanks for your input @Andrewgen_Receptors! I’m with you on your reasoning - Also a strong believer in going to failure.

But, I’m still learning where my failure point is - meaning I can adjust accordingly, if I intend to go all in, or just keep one rep in reserve. In my basic experience, you need to keep track on when the positives are taking longer to perform in good form.

I also find benefits with dropsets and rest-pause techniques. These are especially valuable when using alternative equipment (bands). Also, going full frontal on strict 4/4 reps with as heavy bands as manageable - is murder. I did that yesterday on split squats, with one band aligned around the neck, and another under the foot.

In order not to derail any further - Bands work extremely well with HIT.

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I’m curious what does your current training look like? I also enjoy training to failure more so than 30-10-30 but I’m getting used to the mental anguish I face with 30-10-30.

I won’t share specifics as my coach wrote this out for me, but you can see my training here. Jump to the newest posts for stuff I actually do now as my training has bounced around a good bit.

I’d pick TBJP and DoggCrapp as the top contenders for most effective training routines in existence.

I’ll take a look at your log. Thanks!

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