What Next After Colorado Experiment 14 Workouts?

Dr. Darden
I am 3 workouts away from finishing the 14 Colorado experiment workouts you detailed in an older tnation article. While always doing HIT This is the first time I went with the full body workouts. I’ve made amazing progress. Strength up in every exercise, and visible muscle size improvement. My question is this. WHAT NEXT. Can I simply start over and keep trying to progress each workout? While I have the 30/10/30 ebook, gonna keep that idea in reserve. for the moment I like the feel of heavy weights, and going with full body training is working wonders.


Impressive and inspiring! Did you do it at the exact same frequency as the original experiment? Would really like to hear more details on your experience!

I trained MWF. I followed it more or less to the letter in terms of exercise order, pacing, and frequency. I made Reasonable substitutions. For example my gym has a pullover machine. So I used that instead of the barbell pullover. I tried to stick to machines as much as possible. So instead of barbell overhead press I did nautilus press. My understanding from the article is that these workouts were designed for the average person that didn’t have access to all of the nautilus machines Casey used in the experiment so I figured what machines I had access to I was going to use. Also for the negative curls I used the hammer curl machine. I curled with two arms and lowered with one for all the reps. Then switched to the other arm. And due to some back issues from powerlifting, instead of alternating leg press and squat I stuck with the leg press. Everything taken to failure with a 2+\4- cadence. And in negative exercises I used a 8sec cadence stopping when the speed dropped below 5sec.

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Amazing! Going through the article, I would have done similar frequency/substitutions/adjustments as you did. I look forward to follow your example sometime in the future (when completely wasted on 30-10-30 that is)! Congrats on the development!

How long you doing the 30/10/30 for?

== Scott==
Most interesting!! What I find that really stands out to me is so many days in a row where the same body part is worked again with a similar or same exercise and there’s multiple days next to each other where a full workout is performed. I’m used to taking a day off between workouts. Definitely something to think about!!

Now having done 30-10-30 (again) for about a month, twice weekly. Now mixing NTF and failure regimes. Applying full body A and B routines that differs in specialization routines and excercises. Will probably keep on doing it until diminishing returns.

Last time on a 30-10-30 routine to failure, I felt overtrained after about a month, and had to cut back on workouts. Successfully ended up on working out every 4th-5th day.

Any noticeable size gains?

Yes, I think so - But as my current aim is to lose some bodyfat (from 13-14%) and simultaneously gain muscle - the size is difficult to estimate. Also, going NTF makes strength increase harder to tell.

I am definitely harder, the waist is slightly smaller, clothes a bit tighter.

Seems like the weigh loss angle is covered with the 30/10/30. Is like to see more muscle building results before I commit to it though.


I trust your opinions. What do you think you should do next?

Food for thought. I hear people refer to increased poundages on their exercises as strength improvements. My opinion only and only applying to me :! A better term is “performance improvement “ or in longer form: improving my ability to “demonstrate “ strength. Why the distinction? If it were truly strength increases rather than looser form or better neurological efficiency then I suspect the correlation with muscle size would be better?

It took me awhile to figure out that the exercises listed in the article were not actually the ones used by Casey. Rather, this is a list of recommended substitutes put together by Jones and Darden, after the fact, to allow other people to attempt to do a similar program.

I gather that the problem with trying to exactly duplicate the original Colorado experiment is that some of the machines were prototypes that never made it into production?

I think this came up before in another thread: are the actual workouts used for the experiment documented somewhere? I vaguely recall some discussion suggesting that someone was promoting or selling a document that claimed to have all 14 workouts listed in detail. But I wasn’t sure if that was for real, or just rumor.

In the other threads a link was provided that showed the hand written log containing the actual workouts. The ones Dr Darden listed were almost identical, except for some free weight versions of machine exercises.

I was thinking of running through them again. Only with one difference. I noticed that a lot of exercises like dips and chins for example had alternating negative and full range days. I figure to reduce all the negative days from every other workout to every third workout. And exercises like the curl were negative only every workout, I’ll reduce those to every other workout alternating with full range.

Yes, I like your adaptations and your overall plan.

Make sure, however, that you take a full week off, before you jump into your program.

Am I correct in assuming there were multiple specialization weeks within this routine.
I noticed at the beginning there were a lot of leg exercises. Then some workout had 4 or more a
Exercises for the back. And the last few seem to be arm dominant.

Yes, you are correct.

I noticed that there was no shoulder specialization. Yet my shoulders seem to have grown the most. Strange.

I thought of another possibility. Seems the original plan used negative only, and negative accentuated as the sole intensity technique. What if I went through the 14 workouts again, but wherever an exercise is listed as negative only I instead use rest pause or breakdowns.