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FEAST: Escalating Density Training (EDT)

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Let’s talk about Escalating Density Training (EDT.)

EDT is the creation of Charles Staley, absolutely brilliant personal trainer, IMO. It gives you a solid, easily understood template that auto-regulates your intensity, volume and frequency but critically, also, your workout density. When you get all four of those in line, you really maximize growth.

Staley refers to “PR” Zones. That stands for “Personal Record” Zones.

I want to give you an example of a PR Zone for the upper body.

Exercise #1

A— Chin Ups, immediately into
B— Feet elevated pushups

You can put your feet up on a bench, if you’re strong enough to do them. If you’re really strong, put your feet up on the wall.

Rest 90 seconds

Do that superset again:

A— Chin Ups, immediately into
B— Feet elevated pushups

Rest 90 seconds

Do that superset again:

A— Chin Ups, immediately into
B— Feet elevated pushups

Rest 90 seconds

Do that superset again:

A— Chin Ups, immediately into
B— Feet elevated pushups

Rest 90 seconds

Do that superset again:

A— Chin Ups, immediately into
B— Feet elevated pushups

You perform a total of 5 such supersets with just 90 seconds of rest in between each sets.

Here’s how to calculate success:

In 5 supersets, let’s say you’ve did 100 total reps of chin-ups and pushups. And you did that in 12 minutes, from start to finish.

So in this example, during your next workout, you would keep everything the same. Your rest periods, the exercises you’re using and if you happen to use weights, keep those the same too. And shoot for more than 100 reps for your next workout.

If you do, you’ve stimulated growth. If you didn’t, you don’t stimulate growth.

That’s one example of one PR Zone.

 

Notes:

  • Staley, and I agree with him wholeheartedly, likes alternate antagonistic muscle groups in jump set fashion. (Superset, jumpsets, or whatever you want to call it.)
  • It means you go from one exercise right into the other.
  • Rest periods of 90–120 seconds. This is going to be real fast compared to your loading pattern work where you rest a minimum of 3, 5 or more minutes in between sets
  • If you are using weights and you are just starting with this,  your target weight is one that you can do 10 clean reps with.
  • Don’t work to, or near failure in the early sets. It is perfectly natural as you tire and you go through these supersets, you get fewer and fewer reps.
  • Your goal, however, is to do as many reps as possible in good form, from start to finish.
  • You may reach failure at the end as you try to beat your previous record.
  • Here’s the key point, once able to do 20% more reps than your first baseline workout, increase the load 5% and start over. (Again, that is if you’re using weights.)

The EDT Workouts:

Again, we’re doing our German Loading Pattern work first.

UPPER BODY DAY

You would do your bench German Loading Pattern. Then proceed to:

PR Zone 1
A— Chin Ups
B— Feet Elevated Pushups (like I just walked you through.)

PR Zone 2
C— Seated Cable Rows
D— Weighted Dips

At this point, a lot of guys like to add a third PR Zone for their biceps and triceps. I’m not opposed to that, if you can recover from it. For my money, I’ve always said this and firmly believe it, if you’re doing justice to your pushing and pulling movements, your biceps and triceps already getting plenty of work.

LOWER BODY DAY

You perform your bench German Loading Pattern #1 sets for squats. Then roll in to:

PR Zone 1
A— Romanian or StiffLegged Deadlifts
B— Hack Squats

PR Zone 2
C— Back Hyperextensions*
D— Planks (weighted on back or have a partner) and/or Hanging Leg Raises to Parallel. (Keep feet together, your legs perfectly straight. Raise your legs until they’re parallel to the floor.

Couple of pointers:

*On those back hyperextensions, do not add weight. Yes, I know you can do a million of them. You’re tempted to put a barbell or dumbbell behind your head or whatever the case may be. Please don’t! It brings to the forefront a major injury risk. Specifically, I’m talking about hamstring, tears or knee injuries, sometimes both! (I had a very good friend blow his knee on these because he was going heavy.)

A final word on the deadlift, don’t go to failure on any deadlift. Keep a rep or two in the tank because the risk of injury is just unacceptable, especially right after you’ve done heavy squats in your loading pattern work. So play it safe on the deadlifts and you’ll be fine.