What Is Escalating Density Training (EDT)?

by Charles Staley on August 21, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 4.00.17 PMEvery Thursday, Charles Staley ā€” coach and author, and part of our TFT team, will publish a new blog post here at Target Focus Fitness. These posts will typically alternate between video and written content each Thursday

We’ll also link to this blog via TFT Facebook. Today Charles explains the ins and outs of his proprietary training protocol called “Escalating Density Training (EDT).”

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Barry Schechter

I bought Muscle Logic and began using it and the EDT paradigm you wrote about. I have had much success with EDT and recommend it very much. I’m also following Jeff Cavaliere who is a physical therapist and author of Athlean-X. You’re similar in some ways. He has a video regarding warm-ups where he uses a variation of EDT, starting at low weights for 2 sets, 25 % of your PR and then going to 105% of PR for a set and then 2 sets of PR for your 2 set workout. He also espouses short workouts, not more than 15 or 20 minutes. Combined the both of you have created a better focus and training goals for me. Thanks.

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Charles Staley

Thank you Barry!

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jerardf

great stuff Charles, there’s only three guys i pay attention to, You, Chek & Poliquin

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Charles Staley

Thanks Jerard!

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Mike

I have worked out (sessions now) in gyms for years without any formal plan, though I super-setted as much as possible as I like to keep moving and get more work in. And I did splits.

I just purchased your EDT book, “Muscle Logic.” I couldn’t be more pleased. I am 62 and have had a two year hiatus from the weights. I feel I am making the right re-start. I feel very fortunate to have found you through Tim Larkin’s website. Your training philosophy makes so much sense to me. Wished I’d run across you in my younger days. Never too late to improve one’s self though.

I did have questions about about program designs. I have started on the 45 minute program 1, as you advised. How long should I stay on this program 1 before moving to program 2. I know it’s good to mix it up, but if I keep changing programs all the time, can I still better my PRs on specific exercises if I only do them occasionally? I am a little confused here.

Great videos and great book, “Muscle Logic.” I am inspired.

Thanks,

Mike

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Charles Staley

Thanks Mike, love to hear that you’re having a good experience with EDT!

OK as for your question:

Usually when you do a fitness book, the publisher prefers to have plans for beginners, intermediates and advanced. However, I resisted this since such classifications can be both arbitrary and difficult to define. So instead I categorized the workouts based on time commitment.

So with all that said, the immediate answer to “how long should I do “xyz” is “for as long as it still works.” Now yes, variation is usual in terms of preventing boredom, overuse injuries, etc, But I’m a fan of gradual changes rather than complete program overhauls every 8 weeks or whatever. So, if in the course of a week you perform, say 12 exercises, you might change 3 exercises every 6 weeks. There are no absolute answers here, only guiding principles.

Hope that helps and appreciate your question!

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Mike

Very helpful. Thank you so much for your response.

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Dean

I am confused. How did I get from 3×10 and 10×3 to work your brains out
for 15 minutes? I must have missed something or two videos got spliced together. I thought 10 sets of 3 reps each was something I might be able to do but the 15 minutes burn out does not seem like what I could or would do. What am I missing?
BTW, I am old and old fashioned; I do not use any social media, I am on email only. Any help would be great.

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Charles Staley

Dean, I’m not actually sure what you’re asking here – can you rephrase your question?

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Dean

Regarding the video on Escalating Density Training. The first part of the video shows the advantage of using your personal max weight, say for the Bench Press and instead of doing 3 sets of 10 reps, doing 10 sets but only 3 reps. This would result in more actual “work”. I thought that was a great idea. Then, the next part of the video talked about using 2 dis-similar exercises and doing as many reps as possible in a 15 minute time frame. I am having trouble understanding this and why and how it relates to the first part. I thought maybe there was a break or cut that I missed. Maybe I do not see the connection.

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Charles Staley

Dean the 3×10 Versus 10×3 comparison was just to illustrate the principle that it’s the total work you perform that matters, not how it feels to do that work. EDT as a whole is a system that allows you to do as much work as possible in a given time frame. Hope that helps!

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Simon Lowater

Can you do more that one 15 minute session in a workout session or is this deemed as deleterious? e.g. Push ups and pull downs for 15 mins, followed by Squats and standing press

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George Macaluso

Charles
I have followed EDT Training off and on for years with great success and I wanted to know if you could suggest a app to track specifically EDT workouts. Thanks
Respectfully
George Macaluso

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Emir

EDT workout is one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to publish this app for tracking it: http://splitworkout.com/

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