T Nation

Unable to Relate to Tyler's Results

Dr Darden
I have recently purchased your ebook. Its a good and interesting read and I am drawn to the 30-10-30 NTF style of training which would be new for me.

I have one observation.

Tyler’s results in term of natural muscle gain are significant to say the least. However as someone in my 60’s who has trained for many years I find it difficult to relate to the results which Tyler experienced. I would say they have no relevence to someone such as myself who has to work for a living, has family and life commitments, unable to simply lie in bed for 12 hours, nagging joint problems and perhaps most importantly at my age has a completely difference hormonal panel when compared to such a young athlete.

This is not meant as a criticism as the experiment was what it was and the results outstanding, but it would be great if you could repeat the experiment with people in similar circumstances to myself, perhaps in their 40’s, 50’s 60’s and even older, to see how much muscle mass could be realistically added. Also it would be interesting to see longer term experiments > 6months.

I’m guessing that many of the older guys on this board will have similar observations!. Personally if I could gain 1Kg of new lean muscle monthly for 6 months I’d be overjoyed!!

Best Regards



I’m trying my best to document to the letter the experiment for myself at 62 and my son at 41 in above thread. I too, do not expect to duplicate the results of the 18 year old son of a collegiate Mr America sleeping 12 hours some nights but we’re having fun with it. Only just finished challenge #5

I agree. Fortunately, there are 3 or 4 guys in your age group that are a week into the 30-10-30 plan right now. You should be able to check with them weekly on their progress.

I believe your goal of 1Kg of new muscle per month is possible.

== Scott==
Typically when I start a new exercise program like 30 10 30 or whatever so as not to be too disappointed I come into it with low expectations. After doing my version of 30 10 30 for weeks now I have to say I’m quite impressed that so far I’m actually making gains rep and weight wise. As for packing on visible or measurable muscle I can’t attest to that as that’s very hard to measure?
I realize that what these kids in the study and young studs like Tyler have done have no relevance to what old farts like me can expect to see as far as results but then again most likely nothing we can do will pile on muscle like these kids can do. I could care less how many pounds of muscle I may gain from months of doing this, what’s more important is just being able to look in the mirror and see an improvement. Hopefully after a few more months of this that will happen?

That is the problem with case studies, particularly one-off case studies. The results are so strongly influenced by the genetics, training history, and life style of a particular individual that it is very difficult to draw conclusions about what to expect for anyone else.

If someone has been training consistently, with a reasonable level of effort for several years, and hasn’t badly messed up other aspects of their life related to recovery (too much volume, insufficient sleep, under-fed, running ultramarathons, etc.), then I believe it would be unusual for such a person to suddenly see a big jump in muscle mass as the result of a change in training stimulus.

That is why I think it will be very interesting to see what Ricky’s results look like: He has been training consistently and appropriately for a couple years, and already seems to have the recovery and nutrition side dialed in. That plus his age would suggest relatively little upside potential. Maybe I’ll be surprised…


== Scott==
Yea, family and life commitments don’t lend them selves to great recovery happening such as lying in bed recovering for 12 hours. I don’t think I could lie in bed for 12 hours if my life depended on it, ha ha! I’m also wondering if some of Tyler’s results were muscle memory as I recall Dr Darden saying he trained Tyler many times in the past and away at school maybe he stopped training?

Yes and they should be taken with some skepticism.

Some criticism is good to sus out the explanations rather than taking things for face value.

I had a long conversation about this study with some of my friends in the industry and none of us think its metabolically possible. That’s just our thoughts, this is not me saying its NOT just that we don’t think so.

Its certainly possible to gain that much weight that quickly. That’s not the problem. The caloric intake would have to massive which I don’t believe was discussed. I won’t get into the thermodynamics involved. A lot of people are assuming also that these are LEAN muscle gains. Not so, a lot of this is water and should be represented as so.

Some major take outs I would like feedback on from Dr Darden…

  1. The photo… its misleading. Unless his head grew the first one is taken farther back than the second.
  2. The photo… the pose is different and classic of a before after posing difference. Knees ‘in’ on first pic and knees ‘out’ second given the illusion of size.
  3. The photo… the arm flex is different in the first pic and second with the first being an improper flex with arms overhead and the second being a correct flex giving the illusion of larger biceps.
  4. The photo… first hairy chest second shaved
  5. The claim that Tyler is 9.8% BF in the first photo is a major red flag. Ever seen someone with that low BF? Abs galore.

Again, these are things I would be curious as to why they were done this way. I’m not flaming and my knowledge base doesn’t even come close to Dr Dardens. I just think for the newbs looking at this they need to understand some of these things.


Yes I’ve actually been following your log with interest. There;s a lot of information here and it’s really good of you (and your son) to take the time to record and to share with everyone.
For my part I rely only on 3 measurements to determine whether or not I’m progressing, upper arm circumference calf circumference and . waist circumference. If the first two are increasing and /or the third decreasing, all is well with the world. I would stress that this is over a mucher longer timescale than 4 or 5 weeks. For the last year or two all is not well. My training has suffered through niggling injuries and covid has not helped, hence looking for a bit of a change and the challenge of 30-10-30 seems to fit the bill.
Anyway do you plan to post circumference changes at the end of the experiment? May I ask how they are progressing so far?
All the best

Dr Darden
Thanks for taking the time to personally respond.

I;ve been following Rickys workouts with interest and am keen to see the end redults.
I still think it would be good to take a group of older trainees and put them through a few months of 30-10-30 with a view to increasing muscle mass (not fat loss) under your personal tutorage.

As I’ve said if I thought for a moment I could gain 1Kg of leam muscle per month at my age and training age I’d be overjoyed. I will be trying the program regardless.

Thanks again


My thoughts entirely.

I don’t have access to bodyfat measurement devices etc and fom what I can gather they are notoriously unreliable and results vary wildly from day to day.

I take three measurements, upper arm, calf and waist and can tell from these plus the mirror whether I am progressing or not (usually not these days)



Totally agree. Results in 30 days doesnt really interest me as I know from experience that for me we’re talking months and years for visible/measurable changes.

Having said that I still believe that the 30-10-30 training system is an interesting concept worth a try.


My feedback:

  1. Different cameras were used, but I tried to get the poses the same way.
  2. and 3. Again, I tried to make the poses the same.
  3. He shaved his chest, which I should have done on the first shots. That’s my mistake.
  4. I use the Jackson-Pollock data to determine percent body fat. The numbers for teenagers is skimpy and probably not ideal. And you’re correct. Tyler doesn’t look as lean as the data suggested.

Thanks for the kind words… if you see the thread further above, I have posted circumference measurements, and plan to do so at the end… as well as after photos… I have not taken circumference measurements… since the beginning

Perspective… I consider myself to have below average genetic potential… (note some people are willing to conceded they don’t have “great” genetics or that they are just “average” but someone has to be below for the average to be the average… I started lifitng weights at 16 after losing an armwrestling match to my friend’s girl friend. In school yard sports, were teams were picked, “first pick, second pick”, I was the guy at the end, where someone would say, “okay, you can have Rick”… I only did weight training for about a year in my teens and then started again, in 1981 at the age of 23, and have been doing so ever since. My physique and the weights I handle would be a laughing matter by comparison to many, but, I have taken what genetics I have and successfully competed in amateur novice lightweight bodybuilding, after recoring from triple bypass surgery, and at 62, I am still lifitng significantly heavier poundages than my 41 year old and all of my clients some of whom are in their 20’s and 30’s… so considering my limited potential and the fact that I have rarely trained even one hour per week, and usually signficantly less, I’m quite happy with the return on investment that I’ve gotten from following abbreviated training most of which I learned from Dr. Darden… all this to say, my documentation as with any single case, should not be taken, in mmy opinion as proof or evidence of the validity of the protocol… at my age, many would be happy to maintain, or even slow down the gradual decline… I didn’t proofread above before clicking so any spelling/sentence structure gaffs are my own… I wish you and everyone great results but more importantly to enjoy the process and to keep it in perspective…hey, if us all old guys can avoid walkers and long term care facilities and enjoy our grandchildren, we’re all winners!


== Scott ==
That was pretty much me. I was always picked last and was always getting picked on by tougher kids and was always running for my life until years later when I got bigger from lifting weights! Then “Nobody Bother Me” as Jun Rhee used to say. They wanted me to go out for the wrestling team but I didn’t want to mess up my all important weight training and besides haveing never wrestled I was too much of a clod to compete with these kids who wrestled all their life. I kept lifting seriously until my early 20s and then jobs and stuff took precedence . Then for the next 40 or so years I worked out when ever I got motivated, on for weeks , off for weeks plus I got into triathlons etc. I was pretty good at that until several bike wrecks took me out of that permanently. I’ve pretty much followed HIT in one form of another all that time always pushing for failure or beyond so this 30 10 30 seems like a piece of cake compared to what I’m used to but I’m still trying to figure it out . It’s nice not to have to kill my self each workout while having little to show for it results wise no matter how hard I trained in the past.

I never got big enough from lifting weights to have “nobody bother me” but was lucky to have two older brothers who were big without lifting weights… I was pretty much the runt of the litter.

Ricky, have you found while doing this 30 10 30 plan any exercise where you couldn’t complete the full 30 seconds on the second 30 second phase of the set because it was feeling to heavy?

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That’s funny! But one’s physical size can sometimes have little to do, in my personal experience, with “nobody bother me” situations. I was the biggest kid in my grade school, so no one dared bother me. But in high school, I was not. Nevertheless, my mien and physical presence kept everyone away. But some of the bigger guys would harass me by rotating the small car I commuted to high school in 90 degrees in the parking lot so I could not easily drive home after school. No problem, after classes, I picked up the car and put it back into position myself in order to drive away - that just underscored what I might do to such “nice students” at my school. LOL! And at that school was a small teacher, Brother Nuuanu - but word was out that he was a serious martial artist so no one ever dared disobey this guy given this fact, plus his attitude, actions, and demeanor. Once a guy in a Harley rammed the side of my car as he came out of an alley onto a surface street on a very cold night. No one was hurt and as we waited for a cop to arrive, he approached me with an attitude of “I’m going to hit you!” So as he approached me, I picked up his Harley and put it on the sidewalk. He immediately started backing away rather quickly in fact … for some reason until the cop arrived. In Ireland after my wife, sister-in-law, her husband, and I left a restaurant, two seedy looking dudes approached us outside with a “We’re going to attack and maybe rob you” attitude - I simply looked at them with a “Got your will and funeral arrangements made already I hope?” demeanor and they took off. LOL!


No. Though I’ve found it challenging at times but completion was never in question. Last workout I likely exceeded program recommendations for pullover and super incline as I would not have completed 2 more reps in middle. If you watch video you will see that my 10th pullover range was truncated. Some would say my range of first 9 was excessive. In any case , I could only have done more “partials”. For those two exercises, last negative was more challenging, but again, never really in doubt

Thanks Ricky, you are about as thorough at what you do as anyone I can think of so thats reassuring !

[quote=“bohicabob, post:17, topic:272048”]
That’s funny! But one’s physical size can sometimes have little to do, in my personal experience, with “nobody bother me” situations. I was the biggest kid in my grade school, so no one dared bother me. But in high school, I was not.
== Scott ==
It’s not that I was the biggest by any means but I guess it just appeared I was tougher especially when I wore a tank top in gym. As much as anything it was a frame of mind. I felt tougher and carried myself better so I wasn’t such easy pickings as before. I remember thinking where are all these jerk kids now that I’ve built some muscle. Remember the movie Black Board Jungle, that’s what my school years and neighborhood were like.