The Ideal Cadence?

Hi Ell,
I am finding something really different about 10-10-10 that I haven’t felt with other variations. At the minute I’m not entirely sure if it’s the reduced negative phases or not or just a result of using a different cadence. The balance between the number of normal reps and the 2 “negative bookends” just seems to be giving me a much deeper / better inroad.

What sort of comments are coming back from your regular trainees? Do they simply find it easier to keep track or is there something else going on?



What cadence are you using?


Yes, there is something going on. I’m thinking it must have something to do with inroad. What’s your best analysis?

I’m also thinking it is related to inroad. I’ve toyed with the concept that it has something to do with the contractions and uncontractions going on during the middle phase - somehow releasing some of the tension in the muscle fibres, or chemicals, or nutrients etc that have been activated during the first negative phase. But that wouldn’t explain how it ties in with the final negative phase, unless the final phase is somehow concentrating them all again - the net result being a much deeper inroad.

It also wouldn’t explain why 10-10-10 does this any better than 30-10-30

No, i meant what is your middle 10 rep speed?

About 1 or 2 seconds to raise and about 2 to 3 to lower. My main goal is to keep them smooth (no jerking etc)

1 Like

like the 30-10-30

i have not tried the 10-10-10 method yet, so forgive my questions

are you seeing a better recovery due to reduced negative time?

are you able to use more weight?

are your contractions more intense?

are you breathing like a freight train during the session?

I hope i am not derailing your topic

Very interesting topic. A response on the fly…

Having tried 10-10-10 and really liked it, I believe (compared to 30-10-30) that it may be two factors as to why it MAY be more rewarding (than the established giant 30-10-30) - providing better inroading:

  1. Primarily a mental factor. You can more easily cope with a long set (and maintain good form) when the duration is less (50 secs instead of 90 secs).
  2. You can use more weight, providing an easier step for strength development to precede further gains.

I can also see other advantages:

  • Shorter workouts/less rest between sets
  • Positive failure or 1-2 RIR shouldn’t make a major difference whether 10-10-10 or 30-10-30.
  • 10-10-10 much easier to use on all equipment, most likely even resistance bands and also may allow for several (another) set.
  • Allowing for presumably better recovery.

I will continue my journey with 10-10-10 for some time. Especially interested in how it converts with resistance bands, which I will try. Currently recovering from Covid-19 (again), the 10-10-10 is the proper way back in the game!

@Ellington_Darden: Would you construct a workout any differently with 10-10-10 compared to 30-10-30?

Thanks for your reply. Both 10-10-10 and 30-10-30 are about the same in organizing a workout.

1 Like

After I learned about your 30-10-30 protocol and started using it to certain exercises, I adjusted it to conform to the number of degrees of rotation of the main targeted muscle group if possible. The 30-10-30 protocol worked fine on my homemade-Nautilus-like pullover machine because of the 240 or so degree rotation. But 30-10-30 was not what I used for barbell wrist curls for example or standing calf raises.

Please refer to my replies above

1 Like

The short range movements, such as the calf raise and neck machine, make it difficult to perform 30-10-30. Try 10-10-10 instead.

I also think there is something going on with the middle reps.

It’s hard to put into words. But it seems like the ten middle reps “last longer” in 10-10-10.