T Nation

When I HIT The Wall, Change Protocol?

Dr Darden,

I may have touched briefly upon the subject in previous posts. After having persisted on 30-10-30 for two months (excercising every 4:th day) I came to a stall in both reps and weights, after having had good development. I suspect a case of overtraining, but do not allow myself only excercising once a week (scared of losing momentum and the good habit). Having returned to 4 sec pos and 4 sec neg reps (thus slightly increasing the weight) for 2 weeks - the progress has returned!

My question is how soon/often it’s advisable to shift protocol, in your experience? Should I have stayed on the 30-10-30 regime once weekly? I may next head for trying out 30-30-30 on a couple of excercises, just to get the feel of it, and then (when the 4 sec strategy comes to a halt) add it to all or most excercises.

Another question: Is the expected gains (hypertrophy) with 30-10-30 similar with 30-30-30? I have ordered your book upon the subject, but it hasn’t arrived yet.

Have a nice weekend you all!


I believe you are on the right track. You have a nice handle on mixing the techniques: 30-10-30, 30,30, 30, and normal. You can change your emphasis every two weeks. Or you could make changes during each workout. Just keep accurate records of what you are doing. Analyze your progress after each two weeks.

Thanks Dr Darden,

After some thoughts I actually intend to divide the two sessions per week into an A and B pattern. I will alter the sessions between machines and free weights, as well as shifting from either 30-30-30 / 30-10-30 with normal.

Do you have any suggestions, based upon your books, which regimes is best combined? Should they be similar or separate in terms of excercises?

I like mixing them up. And I don’t tell a trainee what his next exercise is until he finishes the one before.

In my experience one must reduce session volume and extend recovery times between similar exercises. One must also assure that the inroad into a muscle is not compromised with unloading which will often and likely occur if speed is not reduced as one gets stronger. The books all say this in one form or another, but it is often conflated with memes. We must just give our muscles the environment for growth without over-loading our system and it’s ability to heal, recover, and absolutely avoid systemic inflammation.

Planet health,

Thanks for your insightful thoughts re this matter. Looking at your comments in this forum, I get the feeling that you either have a professional connection and/or lots of valuable experience. Much appreciated.

Tried out 30-30-30 on a couple of machine excercuses for the first time yesterday! A good feeling, obviously a bit different than 30-10-30. Much to my surprise, I managed to lift the same weights as under normal regime. Looking forward to expand 30-30-30…

Enjoy the progress on your journey to increases in strength and associated health and appearance. One must be sure that as one is lifting more and more weight that one is not squiggling the motion and turning it into a performance … as 99% of trainees do. 303030 prevents this as does Max Pyramid. One must NEVER lose 100% CONTROL of the weight or else a SKILL subtly begins to develop rather than strength (which is measurable in size, strength and load). Beware that on this site you are a 1/2 click away from HGH, Roids, Olympic Lifting, Power Heaving, and Drugs. Skill develop is the reason most trainees never make measurable gains over decades.


Planet_health you sure sound a lot like the Grant D poster from the old site …

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You’re telling someone to beware of Olympic lifting with the same urgency that you are telling them to avoid drugs. That is profoundly absurd. Also, not that it matters, but most of the current users on this forum have not used steroids.


What is max pyramid?

Oh it was so nice and quiet for a while! Here we go again.

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Did I wake up the bear or something ? :wink:

I hope not, ha ha !

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I believe he’s been banned.

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Oh, I just haven’t heard of the max pyramid protocol.
I this something that Dr D has discussed or endorses?

It is an exercise protocol John Little came up with. Basically a series of static holds executed in a certain pattern. Google the term and that name, you will find videos and articles on it.

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Has anyone had success with it for hypertrophy gains? No reviews or feedback that I can find other than some christian thibaudeau articles on static holds.