10-10-10 Guidelines

Hi Dr. Darden,

I am getting good results from your new 10-10-10 approach.

I’m doing eight exercises twice weekly, resting only thirty seconds between exercises.

Are there any other guidelines you could share to get the most out of 10-10-10?

When you can do 10-10-10 in good form on a specific exercise, add 3-5 percent more resistance at your next workout on that exercise.

So 10-10-10 is more progressive than 30-10-30?

Do you recommend stopping a set one or two reps before failure in 10-10-10?

I’ve used it both ways with my trainees. Most of the time, with people over 50, I stop it a rep before failure. With younger trainees I would push to failure.


And is metabolic conditioning a part of 10-10-10?

Am I on the right track by resting thirty seconds (or less) between exercises?

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Yes, you are correct.

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I have many questions, but will wait to ask until I’m more experienced with 10-10-10.

Thank you for your replies.

Hello again, Dr. Darden.

I had a couple more questions.

How often would you recommend taking a layoff with 10-10-10?

And do you have any current recommendations for using Creatine?

After 6 to 12 weeks of 10-10-10, take a week off of training.

With creatine today, I’d recommend what the Biotest packets suggest.

Great Day Dr Daden! Been reading through your new book, Still Living Longer Stronger. Also, looking forward to the “Free Gift” offer in the back of the book. I highly recommend it to all over 50. Learning so much. Every evening reading a few chapters. What a change to what I’m used to.
As a 65 old getting back in shape. I’ve kept fitness in my life since Coast Guard bootcamp in 1976 until the last few years due to health issues. Now that’s under control and given Dr permission to workout as I see fit. No restrictions.
I mostly have done bodyweight, dumbbell (own PowerBlock 5-90lbs adjustable dumbbells) exercises and own a Total Gym(TV commercial type). Not doing 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps is a bit foreign to me from what I’ve been taught and doing for so many years.
I’m ready for your 10-10-10. It almost seems too good to be true. Yet, I love the before and after pictures in your book. When I commit to something I’ll do it.
Now to my question. Would there be any significant benefit to do the 10-10-10 two times through? Taking a brief rest after the first round then do another round of 10-10-10.
Just getting to chapter 8 - List of the 10 Best 10-10-10 Exercises. You may touch on this later on.
Thank you, Mark

PS - Attention! All those over 50. Purchase Ellington Darden’s new book - Still Living Longer Stronger - Then do what it says so you can still live longer stronger. I’m on my way, how about you?

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I would not recommend doing two rounds of the 10-10-10 routine. Put all your focus into the first set and you’ll achieve the best results.


Thank you

Good morning mcsmitty, I am late to this game, but after reading your post my gym sounds a lot like your gym. I have the Total Gym XLS and am able to add weight discs to increase resistance. Anyway, I find the Still Living Longer Stronger workout and my XLS fit well together. I will be 60 in a few days and I am finding that 10-10-10 is pretty spot on. I did just finish a month of volume, and made progress, but not like a Super Slow approach or 10-10-10. Good luck with your workouts. Friedrich.

Good day, having to sell the Powerblock dumbbells. The rotator cuff injury I sustained a couple of months ago is preventing me from using weights. The Total Gym and resistance bands will now be my only way of training. The results of the 10-10-10 guidelines is just as good as using it with dumbbells. Yet, with minimal rotator cuff pain I can now workout. The results are really coming along.

did you try much lighter weight in a superslow fashion?

It sounds like you found a working replacement solution! Bands are great, and as @fitafter40 said, can be used in a superslow fashion! Experiment with slow negatives, meaning - do try 30-10-30 with bands also.

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this guy uses bands almost exclusively.Has many Dr D and Mike Mentzer inspired work outs including 30-10-30

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Eccentrics can be very intriguing!

Negative-only done with specialty equipment such as vintage Nautilus which can bring results of a higher order of achievement.
I use a Nautilus Double-Chest decline press to do negative only! Ditto Nautilus OME chins/dips. Nautilus leg curls/extensions done N.A. work also. Further , eccentric Nautilus leg press, calf raises, and my specialty…… trap bar dead lift concentric followed by a stiff-legged eccentric!

Mainly , eccentrics utilize less ATP …glucose … glycogen … affecting. storage thereof! Eccentrics primarily stimulate fast twitch fibers all-the-while utilizing less glucose. This indirectly affects glucose levels and insulin levels. Mainly, hunger is abated by glucose levels left virtually unchanged. Almost all diets fail due to uncontrollable hunger!


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Don’t know about you, but I tore my left supraspinatus 3 years ago. I was 1) not going to get surgery and 2) not going to stop weight training. I did an 8-week stint of PT, which I cannot recommend highly enough. I still include 1 or 2 of those movements in every workout. And stretches (of some sort) are done daily. Lastly, I started hanging and it’s made all the difference. Check out: ‘Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention, Revised & Expanded’ by John M. Kirsch M.D. It’s not the fanciest book, but the straight-forward info kept me from going under the knife. I do 2 hangs before chest and shoulders and 2 hangs after back.

Bands are great, but there’s not enough resistance in the stretched position. This is where the best growth is found, according to the most recent research. Now, weightwise I have gone up carefully and slowly and after 3 years, 15-lb DBs are the highest I go on lateral raises (during the PT phase I started with 1 to 3-lb DBs!). Though most of the time these days, I’m usually using 10, 7-1/2, or 12-1/2 lbers and keeping things strict as possible. Importantly: Do NOT do lateral raises straight out to the side. Stick to the Scapular Plane – at the top, your arms are about 30 degrees forward from your torso.

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Great book! Hangs made my left shoulder quit hurting! Range of motion improved also.

Bill DeSimones’s new book on shoulders is enlightening. No more overhead pressing, no more overhead pulldowns, the shoulder joint is inherently unstable and must be loaded with external weights carefully and purposefully. I’m not crazy about various lateral raises either. Pulldowns with a straight bar are out, as they irritate my shoulders. I like the new pulldown handles!

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