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Strength Focus with 30-10-30?

Hey Dr. Darden. If I were to start focusing on strength gains rather than size, what tweaks would you suggest to 30-10-30 If any? Or would you suggest a different method altogether?

One of my friends, who has worked through the 30-10-30 ebook, also was interested in strength gains more than size. He says modifying the the numbers from 30-10-30 down to 15-5-15 did the trick for him. Why don’t you try 15-5-15?


That’s an interesting idea. What about the other components of the program such as avoiding failure, moving quickly between exercises, and limiting the overall volume?

That might a great way to train athletes who need a lot of strength but not a lot of added bulk.

My friend kept all the other guidelines the same as stated in the ebook.

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this is real interesting. I wish I had known the value of controlling eccentrics years ago.

I’ll definitely try it then! I also had a trainer tell me that as long as I keep endurance training at least 8 hours before or after weight lifting, size and strength progress will not be impacted. What are your thoughts?

Ive always felt it better to do cardio right after a hard workout as It will help flush blood through the muscles to help get rid of lactic acid etc products.

Keep in mind, true strength comes from muscle gain otherwise it’s just neurological. It really depends on your goals.

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Just my two cents. I was a competitive powerlifter for more than 10 years and 30-10-30 or any variant thereof seems far too much like endurance training to be of any value in regards to strength…Remember the adage: “What fires together wires together”…Interpretation: One must train with weights at or above 90 percent of maximum to develop strength…From my vantage point: 30-10-30 or 15-15-15 et. al…would require weights that are at MOST 60 percent of max…That just won’t cut it…Respectfully, Steve…

Probably true but at least for me strength is a low priority over hypertrophy and endurance.

I think it’s about defining increasing strength. As it relates to the three powerlifting lifts and a person’s “max”, there are proven protocols that support that objective. But if you mean getting stronger in general, I think 30-10-30 works well and just about as good as anything else. For example, if you start 30-10-30 using free weights and 95lbs for your squatting weight and x months later you are using 150bs, you have gained strength, in fact a lot of strength. I use 30-10-30 for pull-ups. I’ve never gotten beyond 30-4-30, but now can do 15 conventional pull-ups. That’s not weak.

Fair enough. It all comes down to priority. That being said, I thought the thread was about gaining maximal strength with 30-10-30 or 15-5-15?..Seems as if all those protocols would do is divide the stimulus and result in moderate improvement in endurance and moderate hypertrophy…Remember the SAID Principle…Train Specifically for said (no pun intended) needs…Strength requires both myofibril growth and efficient neuromuscular firing…To gain strength one must train with predominately heavy (90 max) weights…Respectfully, Steve

Perhaps it is obvious, but you should probably add that not only is use of heavy loads necessary, you have to use those heavy loads in movements which are as similar as possible to the movement you will use to test for strength. In other words, you get your best results by training the movement or exercise that you use to measure strength. That is why testing strength in the more general sense can get a little murky. You can only measure strength by performing a specific movement, and you’ll get better results if you train the test than if you don’t.