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TNT Training: The Finer Points


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A sample week in TriPhasic Energy System Training is below..


Pullover and Step Ups – Heavy weights, long rest periods


EDT centric work – (Moderate weights, 90sec – 2 min between sets)


Lactic Acid Tolerance Training (back to back compound exercises, no rest between them. 1 min rest between all 5-6 exercises

Step By Step

To begin TriPhasic Energy System Training (TNT), you need to take a 1 rep max in the Step Up and Pullover. This can be done with a barbell or DB’s for the step up (add them together), or with a DB or EZ Curl bar with the Pullover. Once you have that, punch the !RM for each into the auto-calculator for GLP1 or 1 Workout A Wek To A New PEAK (1WWNP).

This will then give you six weeks of “Monday” workouts. Rest a minimum of 3 and up to 5 or more minutes between sets. Once you’re done with this, the workout for Monday is OVER!


Here we transition into full body EDT Blocks, which I’ve abbreviated for your needs. This by no means indicates that you’re shortchanging yourself/I’m shortchanging you. In many ways, this workout is even MORE demanding than the usual EDT protocol.

See EDT KEY POINTS below if you are unfamiliar with this training protocol.


Decline BB bench press, Supersetted with Seated Cable Rows.

You should perform 5 supersets of each, with approximately 2 minutes between sets. After some brief warm ups, this should find you completing this particular EDT block inside of 15 minutes max.

Superset 1: Decline BB bench press/ Seated Cable Rows – Rest 2 min

Superset 2: Decline BB bench press/ Seated Cable Rows – Rest 2 min

Superset 3: Decline BB bench press/ Seated Cable Rows – Rest 2 min

Superset 4: Decline BB bench press/ Seated Cable Rows – Rest 2 min

Superset 5: Decline BB bench press/ Seated Cable Rows – Final set

After a breather, finish off with 3 supersets of the following. Given the demanding nature of these exercises, I’ve elected only 3 rounds of each and allowed for an additional 30 seconds during the rest period. It doesn’t look like much, until you try it… 🙂


Leg press, super setted with the Romanian Deadlift

You should perform 3 supersets of each, with approximately 2.5 minutes between sets. After some brief warm ups, this should find you completing this particular EDT block inside of 10 minutes max.

Superset 1: Leg press/Romanian Deadlift – Rest 2.5 min

Superset 2: Leg press/Romanian Deadlift – Rest 2.5 min

Superset 3: Leg press/Romanian Deadlift – Done




Doesn’t look like much, right? Don’t be fooled. This is an incredibly demanding workout, hitting the entire body. Try it and see!

End result? Total tonnage done per unit of time will increase from session to session, largely thanks to your growing Alpha/Absolute strength work, performed on Mondays. Each subsequent session after the first “baseline” workout is performed you absolutely MUST perform more reps performed in the same unit of time, us- ing the same weights. You do have the option of shortening rest periods, to pack more work into a smaller unit of time – but I wouldn’t recommend this until first gunning for more reps with the same weight, per unit of time.


Perform alternate antagonistic muscle exercises in super set fashion:
Charles Staley’s EDT protocol generally prescribes 15-20 minutes within which to complete each EDT block, (Staley refers to these as PR Zones). I’ve shortened these considerably, given some recent research pointing to greater muscle growth. I don’t like working too fast between sets though. Rather, I favor using “enough” of a barbell/dumbbell load to find the sweet spot – which in my opinion leans more toward thickening of the actual muscle fiber vs. sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. The latter involves the muscle cell incorporating more fluid and doesn’t “stick around” as long, in my experience.

  • Your target weight is one that you can do 10 perfect reps with.
  • You will begin with alternating sets of 5 or 6 reps.
  • As you tire, you may reduce set reps to 4 then 2 and end with singles.
  • Your goal is to do as many reps with good form as possible in the PR Zone.
  • Do not work to, or near failure in the early sets.
  • You may reach failure towards the end of your sets, as you try to beat yourprevious record.
  • Once you are able to do 20% more reps vs. your very first “benchmark”workout, increase the load 5% and start over. Your other option here is changing the exercise menu, which I think is preferable to modulating rest periods between sets.FRIDAYBy Friday your glycogen stores will be somewhat depleted, but there will be suffi- cient glycogen stored in the muscles and certainly the liver to get you through this workout. You may feel flat, weak and lethargic. I’m hoping you can see why I don’t place the heavy work on this day.Friday’s workout is ideally performed on machines (Universal, Strive or what have you), as the weights are balanced and it becomes a rather simple game of push- ing/pulling. Normally, I rail against such apparatus yet, there is a time and a place for everything. The reason this arrangement is advantageous, is that Friday’s training is very fast paced, you’re in a depleted state and free weights (even when using perfect form), can be problematic insofar as form “slipping” and conse- quently, injuries resulting. Therefore, your Friday workouts should be structured as follows…

    To be performed in a giant loop with no rest between sets, in the following order (provided gym traffic allows)…

  • Machine chest press, reps in the 12-15 range
  • Machine row (rowing on the vertical, horizontal or mixed plane you haven’trowed on this week is preferred), reps in the 12-15 range
  • Leg extensions, reps in the 10-12 range
  • Leg curls, reps in the 10-12 range
  • Shoulder press machine, reps in the 12-15 range
  • Lat pulldowns, reps in the 12-15 rep range
  • Ab crunch machine, reps in the 12-15 rep range
  • 45 degree hyper-extensions, reps in the 12-15 rep rangeUpon completing this giant loop, rest approximately 1 minutes Then, repeat the same loop 3 more times.Assuming each set takes 1 minute (very conservative estimate), the entire workout should take circa 40 minutes – including rest periods. There shouldn’t be any need for excessive warm ups, given the weights will be necessarily light. What will hamper you is the possible nausea first time out of the gate. This is lactic acid forming quickly, and the body can’t clear it fast enough given the fast exercise pace you will be using. The worst case scenario is the trainee throws up, given the body has no recourse other than that avenue to “expel” the excessive acid build- ing up in the bloodstream. TO BE CLEAR: I do NOT want you to reach this point, so do temper the weights you’re working with to prevent that from happening. What’s desirable is a very uncomfortable burning sensation in the muscles, along with plenty of huffing and puffing from the pace involved. This taps into primarily the Lactic Acid energy system, but also a bit into your VO2 max threshold.


If you’re really pressed for time, here is a great alternative

Bodyweight Squats
Hangling leg raises to parallel

Rest 1 minute and repeat up to 5 times!

  • MOST IMPORTANTLYWorkouts such as this stimulate a MASSIVE amount of GH release, up to 9x that of what is usually seen in “conventional” workouts. They also stimulate the enzyme glycogen synthase to start jumping. This enzyme is responsible for shuttling carbs/glucose into the muscle tissue, being stored as glycogen. If you like your simple sugars, the hours following this workout are where to get them. They’re still quite active over the ensuing 24-48 hours, but understandably not as much as immediately after a training session like this.Therefore, I’d suggest starting your carb up IMMEDIATELY after this workout, and jamming as many carbs as possible in during the ensuing 18-24 hours. These can include simple sugars, although that luxury dissipates as time marches on. I’d suggest slowly switching to more fibrous carbs at the 18 – 24 hour mark, post workout and even more so as the weekend moves on.