Reduce Body Fat Before 30-10-30?

I recall reading that one should reduce as much body fat as possible before bulking with the 30-10-30 training, am I correct in this?

Have been getting use to the style the past few weeks and ready to go full on just determining if I should start in the deficit protocol first. Thank you!

Are you following the killing fat 30-10-30

Or the the HIT EXTREME 30-10-30

Yes, you’re correct. It’s better to be as lean as possible when you want to add muscle. Serge Nubret gave me this advice in the 80’s. It’s also in the New HIT Training book. Dr. Darden called it upside-down bodybuilding. It’s also what I did after Killing Fat and added a further 15 lbs of muscle to my frame.

You should also make sure you’re on a carb rich diet if you want to maximise your muscle gains. Ideally you need to be on this type of diet for 6 months prior to following the plan to get the most out of it.

Gentleman on the Door-Jeff-Shaw

ok cool, I think in the past I’ve been scared to go lean and lose all the muscle, former super skinny guy brain lol. Im about 5’9" 148# but realistically could be a lean and mean 135 then add on from there. Will get started at the 1600 cal a day strategy and get lean first.

Not the extreme, but am doing more than the killing fat basic 8 excersizes, have a routine of maybe 15 total, around 40 minutes total. so far have just been doing 2x a week and started with very low weight now its starting to really be more of a workout so based on the other response here am going to focus on 6 weeks of leaning out then 6 weeks of bulk

Wait a minute…you are 5’9" 148lbs

you are already lean,
build muscle and regulate your fatness as you are building

Fifteen exercises that will take you 40 minutes each workout is a lot, especially on 1600 cals a day, and will likely leave you disappointed in the results. I would also reinforce that to achieve your goals your best dietary approach is a carb rich diet coupled with LOTS of water and LOTS of sleep.

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I do 10 exercises in 20 minutes whether it be 30-10-30 or 4/4 cadence with 10 second eccentric at the end of each set

ok cool thank you!

ok yeah I was thinking of doing a bit less when I reduce calories , and yeah keeping the water and cards flowing!

I share my thoughts as I have done 30-10-30 repeatedly.

As @fitafter40 says you should not overdo the number of excercises. I never pass 12 excercises, calves, abs and lower back included. Also, two days a week to failure (or close to failure) worked fine for me. To be honest I wouldn’t be able to do it a third training day for results (but I’m 48 y.o. with a recovery rate like a 90 y.o.). I always aim to reach above 90% of my RPE.

I did a “lean bulk” on the 30-10-30 routine, taking in approx 3500 cals a day. Growing like a weed though still bodyfat around 14%. If you want muscles you need to get bigger through proper eating.

One thing that I personally find important is strength progression (in good form). Keep track of your progress, and strive to SLOWLY increase the weights over time. Keep track/log your workouts!

You should really feel the intensity on the final 30 sec negative - it should be very demanding (as a compensation for low volume and frequency).

Finally, bear in mind this is a tough program combined with other stresses in life or sleep depravation. Those days I only did the 10-30 routine to spare the system a bit.


ok thank you for this! I just today got to “failure level” on one of the excersizes, overhead press. I see how if I was pushing that hard it would not make sense to do so many.

My other though was to do legs and abs 2x a week maybe 7-8 movements, and upper body 3x a week 8-10 movements , but that may be me trying to overdo it again lol

Thats definitely over doing it

The full body approach is a better cost-benefit ratio, as you theoretically reap the benefits of “the indirect effect” (training legs as a driver to strength and gains in the entire body).

This theory actually works well in practice/reality, and other bodybuilding programs have been based around leg training.

If I would train full body three days a week, I would do different routines. Namely, shift between one session machines, one session free weights and one session free based including bodyweight excercises and resistance bands (in between the machines and free weights days - for a different stimulus).

Please see Arjen Meier’s video for inspiration: Full Body H.I.T. Workout - Ellington Darden 30-10-30 - Rubber Bands - YouTube

Why would you not just follow what it says in the book?

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My guess is that @Sufijan is influenced by the “more is better” and “no pain no gain” mentality. It’s hard to get rid of old ghosts, and your own brain working against you. No offence. I mean, weren’t we all at some stage? @Jeff60 has a valid point. Stick to the program. “More” re HIT lies in greater intensity, which 30-10-30 provides more than enough of.

Btw, it took me about 47 years of living to realize what my body responded to, and how to tweak programs to fit my physionomy. One of my previous lessons in life/training were the realization the more volume is not MY solution - thus MY solution was in HIT.

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Petterson, a couple of things,

  1. could you elaborate on your 30 10 30 routine
  2. did you try the surge challenge routine
  3. have you or anyone else tried to modify the 30 10 30 routine i,e perhaps a 10 5 10 for 3 sets

you are so right man, as a guy who at one point weighed in at 110# at 5’9" the 40# of muscle I have added is precious lol.

Here is my current routing:

DB squat
db pullover
Bench press
cable row
Over head press
ez curl
neutral grip cable pulldown
tricep rope cable pushdown
ez bar reverse curl
Hex bar shrug
db incline bench press
Cable rope face pull
Neck front then back
Hanging knee raise
lateral raise
leg extension (w monkey foot)

So I guess I’m at 17 movements haha.

only failed on OHP, tricep and incline bench so am not yet really feeling what its like to push the limits on few so I kept adding. I put together what felt like a full body, even though in my mind I keep wanting to add more lol.

If you are utilizing all of these exercises in one workout using the 30-10-30 method going to failure or almost failure 3x/week…thats the definition of overtraining

more power to ya

I’m curious as to your thoughts on 30-10-30 with machines vs free weight vs bands. In particular, how do differences in the resistance curves affect the utility of this training style?

I’m thinking that good machines offer meaningful resistance over a wider range of motion, free weight exercise are more likely to have sticking points, bands always have steeply ascending curves, regardless of the movement.