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The Escalating Density Training


Treasure Chest
By Charles Staley, B.Sc., MSS
Director, EDTSecrets.com
Integrated Sport Solutions Inc. 2003

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Article #1
Escalating Density Training: From Confusion, Clarity
By Charles Staley

this is the end-all training system. I have not felt pain like this since
I first started training. I just did the leg workout and am trapped in my
basement because I CAN'T climb the stairs to get out. Chest is still
sore from Monday's workout and today it's Sunday...I love this!
every muscle in my body feels absolutely full and my skin is
stretched tighter than ever before. My quads have grown 3/4" in the
past 3 weeks and I can see a full teardrop just above my knees. My
biceps are up 1/2" and I can finally see striations in my triceps that I
did not know I had.
A few happy EDT users.
Three sets of ten.five sets of five.pyramidsdrop setssuper slow
training.explosive trainingthe more you read, the more confused you
become! Even my Olympic and professional athletes find themselves so
exasperated that often theyll often just say Charles, just tell me what to do
thats all I want!
Well, believe me, I can empathize with those who find themselves endlessly
confused as they attempt to wade their way through the chaos of conflicting
theories and methods about working out. In fact, it was my own discontent with
this lack of consensus that eventually led to the development of my own
proprietary training system, now known as Escalating Density Training (EDT).
Ultimately, as I refined my investigation into the underlying factors that cause
muscle to grow, what I came to appreciate is that what makes a program work
(or not work) has less to do with the particulars and more to do with the
governing principles. In other words, when you know the why to dos, the what
to dos usually take care of themselves.
Enter EDT
Now before I get into the meat and potatoes of the EDT system with you, I want
to make it clear that I have not invented or discovered anything new. Instead, Ive

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simply found a way to structure training in such a way that every workout will be
fully aligned with the established principles of gradual progressive overload,
specificity, variation, and individual response. The result? Far better results in far
less time.
What Makes EDT Unique?
Paradoxically, EDT is both nothing new and completely revolutionary at the
same time. When you first learn it, it has that Ahwhy didnt I think of that?
quality. Here then, are some of the most distinguishing characteristics of the EDT
training system:
Just as water assumes the shape of any container its poured into, EDT adjusts
to you (rather than the other way around) workout by workout. This means that
every workout you do becomes more effective than the one that preceded it.
Youll be absolutely assured of always performing the optimal numbers of
exercises, sets, reps, and workouts.
Most training systems feature workouts which indicate the number of exercises
to do, how many sets & reps, and how long to rest between sets. Then you
attempt to complete that workout in a reasonable period of time. With EDT,
youre first given discrete time frames (called PR Zones) and THEN do as
much as you can in that time frame.
Typically, exercise programs focus mainly on manipulating volume (usually by
increasing it). EDT acknowledges the importance of both volume and intensity,
but focuses primarily on a poorly appreciated, yet critically important facet of the
training load called density. Essentially, density is the work/rest ratio of your
training. Your muscles will get bigger when you force them to do gradually more
and more work in the same period of time. Many programs allow this to happen,
but EDT FORCES it to happen!
Nothing matches EDTs motivational appeal. Every time you initiate a workout,
you know exactly:
1) What must be acomplished. Its a LOT easier to go all-out when you know
exactly what needs to be done
2) When youll be finished. The importance of this is intuitively obvious: you
can work hard when you know youll be done soon.
Every workout, youll set a new personal record. And numbers dont lie when
they get bigger, so will your muscles!
The complete EDT system focuses as much on behaviors as it does activities.
The reason is simple almost any activity (read: training program) will be

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successful if supported by strong behaviors (read: lifestyle/habits), yet relatively


few trainees realize this. When you couple effective behaviors with the most
efficient style of training possible, the result is a powerful synergy that leads to
mind-blowing results, in much less time than conventional methods of training.
EDT Lower Body Training Cycle
OK, now that you understand the fundamental essence of the EDT system, Id
like to share a lower-body specialization program that has produced remarkable
levels of quadricep and hamstring growth in those who have followed it explicitly.
This training cycle consists of two workouts a week, separated by 3-4 days of
rest between workouts. There are no set loading parameters (see EDT Training
Procedure below for more details) your only objective is to force-feed gradually
more and more work on your quads and hams for 8 successive workouts. Couple
this with optimal pre- and post-workout nutrition, as well as post-workout
cryotherapy, and youll see noticeable improvements in your lower body in a few
short weeks. Its that simple (on paper anyway) the trick is to survive it!).
One final note of caution: EDT often provokes unusual levels of soreness,
particularly at the beginning So temper your enthusiasm until youve got a
handful of workout under your belt. With those precautions, please enjoy this
EDT leg training cycle.
Day One
Pre-workout:
(3-4 hours prior to workout) 500mg Vitamin C
One serving Tyrosine caps immediately prior to workout
First 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Quad-Targeted Hack Squat. Description: Place feet fairly low and lift the
heels about one inch from the platform. Descend into the squat over a 3 count,
hold and stay tight at the bottom for a full second, and then accelerate back up to
the start position.
A-2: Back Extension. Description: Sometimes called hyper-extensions, lower
the upper body over a 3 count and accelerate back to the start position. Squeeze
the glutes hard during the concentric portion of the lift. Clasp a weight plate to
your chest if additional resistance is required.
Notation: Two exercises with the same letter (e.g., A-1 and A-2) are performed
as a superset)

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Rest: 5-10 minutes


Second 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Left Decline Step-Up
A-2: Right Decline Step-Up
Description: Perform this exercise from an angled foot platform, such that the
heel is approximately 16 from the floor. The foot should be assume a 45-degree
angle to the floor such that the toe is lower than the heel (Often, the angled foot
platform of a hack squat unit provides an ideal place to perform decline stepups). Important: keep as much weight as possible on the working leg at all times,
and emphasize maximal knee flexion during the eccentric portion of the
movement. Use dumbbells for additional resistance if needed.
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex, Surge, or similar product (ideally, bring a Thermos to
the gym so that youll be able to drink the shake immediately post-training)
C: Post-Workout Cryotherapy: I was first exposed to the concept of post-workout
cryotherapy by Jay Schroeder, conditioning coach for Adam Archuletta, who
went on to break the NFL combines bench press record a few years ago. I use a
cryocup (from Cryo Therapy, 1-800-ICE-5722) Focus on the soft tissues, staying
away from bones and joints. Concentrate on long, deep strokes, going parallel to
the muscle fibers of the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and adductors. Continue
the ice massage until the cup has entirely melted.
Day Two
Pre-workout:
(3-4 hours prior to workout) 500mg Vitamin C
One serving Tyrosine caps immediately prior to workout
First 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Alternating Lunge. Description: Using a pair of dumbbells for additional
resistance (if needed), take a long step forward and slightly to the side. Upon
landing with the forward foot, sink into a lunge position, maintaining your torso
completely upright throughout. Then pull yourself back by contracting the glute
and hamstring of the rear leg as you drag the front foot on the floor (this creates
additional resistance for the working muscles. After you return to the start
position, repeat on the opposite leg this constitutes one rep.
A-2: Alternating Leg extension. Description: This is a standard leg extension,
performed one leg at a time. One rep with each leg constitutes one rep. Focus on
intensely contracting the quadricep muscle at the top of each rep.

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Rest: 5-10 minutes


Second 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Seated Calf Raise
A-2: Seated Leg Curl
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex, Surge, or similar product
EDT Training Procedure
General Notes: This is a specialization program. Specialization for one muscle
group by definition means putting other muscle groups on a maintenance phase.
So while embarking upon this very demanding leg program, simply use 1/2 the
total number of reps youd normally use for all other muscle groups. For example,
if you normally bench press 205 pounds for 4 sets of 8 reps, perform 4 sets of 4
reps with the same weight instead.
EDT is based on the concept of doing more and more work from workout to
workout, in the same period of time. Therefore, its critical that your exercise
biomechanics (i.e., technique) is consistent on every workout. If you perform
deep hack squats on one workout and shallow hack squats on the next, you
arent really doing more work (for the legs at least!)
I recommend 10-15 minutes of light aerobic exercise, followed by 10-15 minutes
of light stretching on "off" days for the purpose of promoting active recovery and
reducing soreness.
Each workout consists of (2) 15-minute PR Zones (and I mean EXACTLY 15
minutes use a stopwatch or timer) separated by a short (5-minute) rest
periods. In each PR Zone, youll perform two exercises, for a total of 4-6
exercises per workout.
In each PR Zone, the two exercises are performed in alternating fashion, back
and forth, using the same weight for all sets, until the PR Zone has been
completed.
After warming up the first PR Zone, select a load that approximates a 10RM load
(meaning a weight that you can lift 10 times but not 11) for each exercise. Ideally,
the weight used for each exercise in the PR Zone.
Sets, reps, & rest intervals: Most people will find it most productive to do higher
repetition (but not maximal effort) sets and shorter rests at the beginning of each
PR Zone, and then gradually progress to fewer reps per set and longer rest
intervals as fatigue accumulates. As an example, you might begin by performing
sets of 5 with very short (5-10 second) rests. As you begin to fatigue, youll
instinctively increase your rests between sets as you drop down to sets of 4, then

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2, and as the time limit approaches, you might crank out a few singles in an effort
of accomplish as many repetitions as possible in the given PR Zone.
NOTE: Do not perform early sets to failure, or even near failure. My
recommended starting point is to do 1/2 of what is possible (e.g., 5 reps with a
10RM weight) at the beginning of the PR Zone. As the time limit approaches
however, youll find yourself working at or near failure as you attempt to break
your rep record. My recommendation of starting with sets of 5 with a 10RM
weight is based on Soviet studies which concluded that power output is
maximized when you do only 1/2 of all possible reps in any given set).
Progression: Each time you repeat the same workout; your objective is to simply
perform more total repetitions in the same PR Zone. As soon as you can
increase the total number of reps by 20% or more, start the next workout with 5%
more weight and start over.
Would you like to learn more about EDT Training? You can order a pre-release
copy of Coach Staleys new book The Ultimate Guide to Massive Arms by calling
(800) 519-2492 or by logging on to www.myodynamics.com.
Charles Staley is known as the Secret Weapon by his Olympic and professional
athletes for his uncanny ability to see what other coaches miss. Charles has
written hundreds of published articles in a number of popular magazines and is in
constant demand by the media for his dynamic interviews and unique ability to
clearly explain his subject to varied audiences. Subscribe to Charles' FREE
monthly newsletter at http://www.myodynamics.com.

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SESSION ONE TRAINING LOG


Exercise

Weight

Reps(# of sets)

Total

First 15-Minute PR Zone:


A-1: Quad-Targeted Hack Squat
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

5(
5(
5(
5(

) 4(
) 4(
) 4(
) 4(

)3(
)3(
)3(
)3(

) 2(
) 2(
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) 2(

) 1(
) 1(
) 1(
) 1(

)
)
)
)

____
____
____
____

5(
5(
5(
5(

) 4(
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)3(
)3(
)3(
)3(

) 2(
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)
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)
)

____
____
____
____

5(
5(
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____
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5(
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____
____
____
____

A-2: Back Extension


Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex
Second 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Left Decline Step-Up
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
A-2: Right Decline Step-Up:
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

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SESSION TWO TRAINING LOG


Exercise

Weight

Reps(# of sets)

Total

First 15-Minute PR Zone:


A-1: Alternating Lunge
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

5(
5(
5(
5(

) 4(
) 4(
) 4(
) 4(

)3(
)3(
)3(
)3(

) 2(
) 2(
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) 2(

) 1(
) 1(
) 1(
) 1(

)
)
)
)

____
____
____
____

5(
5(
5(
5(

) 4(
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) 4(

)3(
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)3(
)3(

) 2(
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) 2(

) 1(
) 1(
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) 1(

)
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)

____
____
____
____

5(
5(
5(
5(

) 4(
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)3(
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____
____
____
____

5(
5(
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)
)

____
____
____
____

A-2: Alternating Leg Extension


Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex
Second 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Seated Calf Raise
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four
A-2: Seated Leg Curl
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Week Four

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Article #2
The EDT Fat Loss Solution: Lose 1/2% Fat Per Week With NO Dietary
Changes!
By Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS and Charles Staley, B.Sc., MSS
Since the inception of the Escalating Density Training system (see
www.EDTSecrets.com), one of the most common inquiries we receive at the
office is When are you going to write about EDT for fat loss?
How about right now?
As it turns out, EDT is perhaps the simplest and most effective training technique
available for body composition training. I was recently talking to my colleague
Alwyn Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness Training in Newhall, California has
been using EDT-inspired training programs to facilitate rapid losses in bodyfat
with his clients for several months now. In fact, Alwyn claims an average loss of
2% bodyfat per month with no dietary changes at all. However, there is a price to
be paid for quick results, and this program does exact a heavy toll Cosgrove
joking refers to it as Rambo training its not for wussies. I agree, but at the
same time, this is about as fun as hard work can be. Have a look
The Program
This EDT cycle is simple, brief and yet quite brutal. Youll perform (3) 15-Minute
PR Zones where youll attempt to accumulate as many total reps as possible
and then improve upon that number every workout (see EDT Loading
Parameters for more details). Each and every workout you know how long itll
last and you also know exactly what you need to accomplish. Its that simple.
Heres your program, make exercise substitutions if equipment or injury
restrictions warrant.
Monday
First PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Chins
A-2: Hack Squat
Rest: 5 Minutes
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Rows
A-2: Seated Leg Curl

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Rest: 5 Minutes
Third PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Overhead Press Machine
A-2: Incline Board Sit-Ups
Wednesday
First PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Dips
A-2: Back Extension
Rest: 5 Minutes
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Incline Press Machine
A-2: Leg Extension
Rest: 5 Minutes
Third PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
A-2: Reverse Trunk Twist on Ball
Friday
First PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Dumbbell Deadlift
A-2: Push Press
Rest: 5 Minutes
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Preacher Curl
A-2: Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Rest: 5 Minutes
Third PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A-1: Standing Lateral Raise
A-2: Prone Ball Roll
COSGROVE: Note that you can also reduce the rest periods between PR zones
thereby further increasing the density. I also prefer to have a bigger rep buffer.
In regular EDT I allow 20% more reps before I increase the loads. In Fat loss

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EDT I don't increase the loads until you perform 30% more reps. I think the
higher volume helps with fat loss (this assumes a good load selection initially).
Another rule I use is that the eccentric phase should be controlled, the concentric
should be accelerative.
EDT Loading Parameters
For those not yet familiar with EDTs unique loading parameters, heres the nuts
and bolts:
Escalating Density Training is based on the concept of doing more and more
work from workout to workout. Therefore, its critical that your exercise
biomechanics (i.e., technique) is consistent on every workout. If you perform
strict curls on one workout and loose form the next, you arent really doing more
work (for the arms at least!)
I recommend 10-15 minutes of light to moderate cardio, followed by 10-15
minutes of light stretching on off days for the purpose of promoting active
recovery and reducing soreness.
Each workout in this cycle consists of (3) PR Zones of 15-minutes duration
separated by a short (5-minute) rest periods. In each PR Zone, youll generally
perform two exercises, for a total of 3-4 exercises per workout.
In each PR Zone, youll typically perform two antagonistic exercises in
alternating fashion, back and forth, using the same weight for all sets, until the
PR Zone has elapsed.
After warming up the first exercise(s), select a load that approximates a 10RM
for each exercise. Ideally, the weight used for each exercise should be equally
difficult.
Sets/Reps/Rest Intervals: This is where EDT is truly unique. Most people will
find it most productive to do higher repetition (but not maximal effort) sets and
shorter rests at the beginning, and then gradually progress to fewer reps per set
and longer rest intervals as fatigue accumulates. As an example, you might begin
by performing sets of 5 with very short (10-15 second) rests. As you begin to
fatigue, youll increase your rest intervals as you drop down to sets of 4, then 2,
and as the time limit approaches, you might crank out a few singles in an effort of
accomplish as many repetitions as possible in the time allotted.
NOTE: Do not perform early sets to failure, or even near failure. My
recommended starting point is to do 1/2 of what is possible (e.g., 5 reps with a
10RM weight) at the beginning of the time frame. As the time limit approaches
however, youll find yourself working at or near failure as you attempt to break
your rep record.

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Progression: Each time you repeat the workout; your objective is to simply
perform more total repetitions in the same time frame. As soon as you can
increase the total number of reps by 20 percent or more, start the next workout
with 5 percent more weight and start over. Similarly, if you manage to improve
upon your last performance (for the same workout) by 40 percent, then youll
increase your weights by 10 percent on the next workout.
PROGRESS ACCELERATION TIPS:
I like amino acids as the post workout meal - an hour later I have a shake with
fiber when training for fat loss.
Aerobics: avoid like the plague - they cause you to lose muscle, and they help
you to become more efficient at burning fat. So how would you like your fat
burning machinery to get smaller and more efficient when you are trying to lose
fat ? Thought so.
For the EXTREME RAMBO HARDCORE ADDICT: Do EDT using hybrid lifts see below. Another very cool yet brutal tip is to do TWO 15 min periods in the
workout but perform TWO EDT workouts per day. Brutal but it'll carve you up.
First PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A1 Alternating max lunge
A2 Seated Cable Rows
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
B1 Step Up
B2 Push up-prone tuck combo
Third PR Zone (15 Minutes)
C1 DB Squat and Press
C2 Close Grip Pulldown
Day Two :
First PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A1 Bulgarian Split Squat
A2 Push Press
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
B1 SHELC
B2 Seated Row to neck
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
C1 Good morning squat hybrid

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C2 Incline Db Press
Day Three :
First PR Zone (15 Minutes)
A1 Deadlift
A2 Pullover
Second PR Zone (15 Minutes)
B1 Lateral Lunge and touch
B2 Arnold Press
Third PR Zone (15 Minutes)
C1 DB Swiss Ball Crunch
C2 Bent Over DB Row
Fuel For EDT
To maximize the effectiveness of this EDT fat-loss program, employ the following
nutritional strategies:
1) Reduce consumption of refined carbohydrate (breads, pastas, white rice,
potatoes, grains, cakes, cookies, etc.) to a bare minimum, especially later in the
day.
2) Virtually all meals should contain a fiber source, expect for post-workout
meals, which should ideally be a fast-absorbing protein/carb shake. Check out a
cool product called Fiber Smart. This is a unique, dietary fiber made from flax
seeds and other top quality ingredients to support proper function and health. It
also contains Acidophilus and Bifidus to promote a health bacterial balance and
amino acids to support a healthy digestive lining.
2) Eat every 3 hours for a total of 5 to 6 meals per day. No exceptions. Schedule
meals as if they were appointments with yourself because thats what they
really are when you think about it.
3) Calculate or estimate your lean body mass (total weight fat weight) and eat
one gram of animal-source protein per pound of lean bodyweight per day, divided
into 5 or 6 meals. For an individual who weighs 200 pounds and is 15% body fat,
this would mean 170 grams per day, which would equate to 5 meals containing
34 grams of protein per meal.
4) Hydrate! My recommended water intake is 60 percent of your bodyweight in
pounds, converted to ounces, per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds,
drink 90 ounces of water per day.

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5) Watch out for hidden sources of fat and sodium such as various salad
dressings and condiments.
6) Educate yourself on the caloric value of what you eat. If youre not losing
weight (fat) youll need to eat slightly less calories, and/or increase caloric
expenditure (via exercise). There may be some trial and error at first as you learn
more about how many calories youll need to create an energy deficit.
COSGROVE: this is key. Violate this rule and you are toast.
7) Develop strategies to cope with difficult situations, such as family gettogethers and going out to eat. COSGROVE: Fast food? Yes it's called grilled
chicken sandwich. Fries, no.
8) Virtually all breakfast cereals are to be avoided they almost always contain
high levels of calories, sugar and non-existent protein and fiber content the
worst possible type of food. COSGROVE: the only cereal you can have is
oatmeal. Nothing else.
9) Some saturated fat is OK, but its easy to take in more than you realizebe
careful with salad dressings, condiments, grilled meats, fried foods, Chinese
food, gravies, etc.
10) Stop analyzing everything to death and get down to basics its not that
difficult to figure out how to eat right. Which brings us to
11) Staley on simplexity: OK, lets get down to brass tacks here EAT LESS!
Im often asked about the fat loss value of various foods like grapefruit, cider
vinegar, etc. My patented response is Any food will make you lose weight if
you eat too little of it. A little trick is in order here the next time you feel hungry,
instead of giving in to it and feeling deprived, tell yourself OK this is good its
a sign that Im doing the right thing. Trick yourself into believing that being
hungry is desirable.
12) Heres what Cosgrove has to say about cheating:
If you cheat: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT change your next meal. I see many
clients who overeat at one meal and then under eat at the next meal as a kind of
payback. All you did now was screw up TWO meals.
If you cheat: get right back on track. A lot of people think after cheating I've
blown it so I might as well REALLY blow it! Let me ask you if you get a flat
tire do you get out of your car and slash the other three? Hey, you have a flat
tire might as well have four, right?
13) Cosgrove on hunger: Hunger is a sign that your body is lacking in energy. At
this point your body will use stored fat as a fuel source. It's a good thing. While I

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agree with Dr. Eric Serrano that calories are not created equal it's tough to
argue that eating less calories will cause anything other than weight loss. It's the
law of thermodynamics.
Learn more about EDT training at www.EDTSecrets.com

Article #3
The EDT Arm Specialization Mesocycle: One Inch in One Month (Oh, and
Yes, It WILL Hurt!)
By Charles Staley
Does putting a fraction of an millimeter on your arm measurement seems about
as difficult as nailing Jello to a wall? Have you tried everything from Lithuanian
drop sets to eccentric-phase tissue re-modeling with nothing to show for your
efforts?
Hey I can relate. Much like calves, putting a few millimeters of beef on your
upper extremities can be a challenging task, even for highly-motivated gym rats.
Well, I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that, if there is
any possibility of your pea-shooters turning into M-16s, I have a program that will
do it. The bad news? This program will also let you know if you are cosmicallyordained to look like Mr. Punyverse from the shoulder to the elbow...in other
words, if your arms are capable of growing, one month of consistent and
sincerely-motivated EDT training will take you from potential to reality. Its that
simple.
Think Im wrong? I only ask that you measure your upper arm girth (see: The
Truth About Bodybuilding Arm Measurements by Charles Poliquin at:
http://www.testosterone.net/html/body_90truth.html for measuring tips) before
you start, then perform these 8 workouts as instructed. Finally, re-measure your
arms and YOU be the judge. When youre finished, please send an e-mail (with
before & after pics if possible) to:
wowmyarmsgrewlikeweeds@myodynamics.com and tell me how it went. In a
future article, Ill share your responses with everyone.
OK, on with the nitty-gritty:
The EDT arm specialization mesocycle consists of two workouts a week,
separated by 2-3 days of rest between workouts. There are no set loading

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parameters (see EDT Training Procedure below for more details) your only
objective is to force feed gradually more and more work on your bis and tris for
8 successive workouts. Couple this with optimal pre- and post-workout nutrition
and post-workout cryotherapy, and the result is an average gain of 1/8 per inch
per workout. Its that simple (on paper anyway the trick is to survive it!).
One final note of caution: In my experience, I have found it helpful to postpone
any extra non-training activities for the arms for at least 3 days after each
workout. In other words, usual everyday activities such as combing your hair,
typing, etc., will take on a new meaning for the next month. Enjoy!
Day One
Pre-workout:
500mg Vitamin C (3-4 hours prior to workout)
One serving Power Drive (use club soda instead of water)
First 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Strict Barbell Curl. Note: From a standing position, soft knees, neutral
scapulae, head/chest up, begin the curl with straight arms and bar slightly in front
of your legs (not touching), pin your elbows against your torso as you curl the
barbell. Keep wrists flat, and do not extend your lumbar spine (a rearward sway
is permissible as long as you keep your spine neutral however). Make sure your
elbows reach a completely extended position between each rep, and do not allow
the bar to touch your thighs or your elbows to lose contact with your torso at any
time.
A-2: Supinated-Grip Triceps Pushdowns
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex, Surge, or similar product
Second 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Incline Hammer Curl: This is simply a standard hammer curl, performed
while face-down on a bench inclined to 50-60 degrees
A-2: Seated, Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex, Surge, or similar product
C: Ice Massage (I first learned to appreciate the value of post-workout
cryotherapy from Jay Schroeder, conditioning coach for Adam Archuletta, who
went on to break the NFL combines bench press record last year. Adam benched
225 pounds for 31 reps at a bodyweight of 212. I subsequently used this method
on a number of athletes with great success, including Gea Johnson, who broke
the track record in Park City, Utah, during last years Olympic trails for bobsleigh.
I use a cryocup (from Cryo Therapy, 1-800-ICE-5722) on each arm just
continue the massage until the cup has entirely melted. Focus on soft tissue,
staying away from bones and joints. Concentrate on long, deep strokes, going

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parallel to the muscle fibers of the biceps, triceps, and forearms. And, yes, this
feels completely miserable all I can say is just suck it up and do it.
Day Two
Pre-workout:
500mg Vitamin C (3-4 hours prior to workout)
One serving Power Drive in club soda
First 15-Minute PR Zone
A-1: Preacher Dumbbell Curl
A-2: Decline Dumbbell Tricep Extension (Description & tips: This is just a
standard dumbbell tricep extension, but doing it from a decline position creates a
unique and severe stress to the triceps.)
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex, Surge, or similar product
Second 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: EZ-Bar Reverse Curl
A-2: Close, Reverse-Grip Bench Press (Description & tips: Use a reverse grip
and bring the bar to nipple level, and press straight up the grip width should be
such that when you perform the movement, the insides of your forearms scrape
against your sides.)
B: 1/2 Serving of MyoPlex, Surge, or similar product
Third 15-Minute PR Zone:
A-1: Low-Cable Curl (left)
A-2: Low-Cable Curl (left)
B: 1/2 Serving of Surge
C: Ice Massage
EDT Training Procedure
General Notes: This is a specialization program. For a comprehensive look at
how to structure your training for other body parts during this one-month program
please see: Specialization Periodization by Tony Meazell at:
http://www.testosterone.net/articles/207spec.html)
Workouts should be performed on non-consecutive days (e.g., Monday,
Wednesday, Friday.)
EDT is based on the concept of doing more and more work from workout to

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workout. Therefore, its critical that your exercise biomechanics (i.e., technique)
is consistent on every workout. If you perform strict curls on one workout and
loose form the next, you arent really doing more work (for the arms at least!)
I recommend 10-15 minutes of light to moderate cardio, followed by 10-15
minutes of light stretching on off days for the purpose of promoting active
recovery and reducing soreness.
Each workout consists of (2-3) 15-minute PR Zones (and I mean EXACTLY 15
minutes use a stopwatch or timer) separated by a short (5-minute) rest
periods. In each time frame, youll perform two exercises, for a total of 4-6
exercises per workout.
In each time frame, the two exercises are performed in alternating fashion, back
and forth, using the same weight for all sets, until the time frame has elapsed.
After warming up the first exercise(s), select a load that approximates a 1012RM for each exercise. Ideally, the weight used for each exercise should be
equally difficult.
Sets, reps, & rest intervals: Most people will find it most productive to do higher
repetition (but not maximal effort) sets and shorter rests at the beginning of each
PR Zone,, and then gradually progress to less reps per set and longer rest
intervals as fatigue accumulates. As an example, you might begin by performing
sets of 6 with very short (15-30 second) rests. As you begin to fatigue, youll
increase your rest intervals as you drop down to sets of 4, then 2, and as the 20
minute time limit approaches, you might crank out a few singles in an effort of
accomplish as many repetitions as possible in 20 minutes.
NOTE: Do not perform early sets to failure, or even near failure. My
recommended starting point is to do 1/2 of what is possible (e.g., 5 reps with a
10RM weight) at the beginning of the time frame. As the time limit approaches
however, youll find yourself working at or near failure as you attempt to break
your rep record.
Progression: Each time you repeat the workout; your objective is to simply
perform more total repetitions in the same time frame. As soon as you can
increase the total number of reps by 20% or more, start the next workout with 5%
more weight and start over.
Charles Staley is a sports conditioning specialist and director of Integrated Sport
Solutions in Las Vegas, Nevada. A former martial arts competitor and trainer,
Staley is also an Olympic weightlifting coach, as well as a masters level track
and field competitor (discus event). He has coached elite athletes from many
sports, including martial arts, luge, boxing, track & field, bobsled, football,
Olympic weightlifting, and bodybuilding. Staley has written hundreds of published

www.IntegratedSportSolutions.com

www.EDTSecrets.com

articles, and has lectured extensively on the topics of human performance and
sport training. Subscribe to Charles FREE monthly newsletter The Unnatural
Athlete at http://www.myodynamics.com.

Article #4
Escalating Density Training
by Charles Staley

Editor's note: I placed a call to Charles Staley because it'd been a while since I heard
from him, which usually means he's been in a creative mode. Sure enough, Charles
(who lives suspiciously close to Area 51) has been putting the finishing touches on
his breakthrough training system, which he calls Q2 (that's pronounced "Q-squared"
for the phonetically-challenged). The system covers the spectrum of his thoughts
and training philosophies and I had to promise my firstborn just to get a glimpse.
Though still a work in progress, I was able to get Coach Staley to share a portion of
Q2 with T-mag readers. It's called Escalating Density Training, or EDT, and it
constitutes the hypertrophy portion of Q2 training.
As with most great breakthroughs, you'll find this program deceptively simple but be
forewarned: Escalating-density workouts result in PROFOUND soreness in even the
most advanced trainee. In fact, after my first "EDT" lat and triceps workout, I asked
my doctor if he would install a permanent morphine drip in my arm, but apparently
there are legal complications to prescribing controlled substances for DOMS. So with
that warning, get ready to grow (and hurt) with Coach Staley's latest offering.
TC

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."


Albert Einstein

What Causes Muscle Growth?


If I may dispense with the usual formalities and get right down to brass tacks, so to
speak, I'd like you to consider the following statement:
"When a biological system experiences a challenge, it modifies itself in order to be
able to more easily meet similar challenges in the future."

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Now, in my opinion, if you're interested in growing muscle, that statement contains


everything you'll ever need to know. Muscle is in fact a biological system, and it
grows (or atrophies) in direct proportion to the amount of work it is forced to do.
Of course, all training systems approach this reality by suggesting an endless array
of often conflicting recommendations regarding exercise selection, number of reps
and sets, length of rest periods, and so on. One system says 3 sets of 10; another
says one set to failure. One system recommends resting 1 minute between sets,
another 3 minutes. One system employs partial range of motion, another full range
of motion. On and on it goes. What gets lost in all this is the simple reality that
whatever system allows you to do the most work per unit of time is what causes
muscle to grow in an optimal manner.
That being said, the next question is "What is work?" And the answer is reflected in
the following equation: M x D = W (M= mass or weight, D = distance, and W =
work)
Every training principle you've ever heard of, plus most of the ones you've never
heard of, are designed to allow you to do more and more work over the weeks and
months. And Q2 is no exception. In fact, let me be the first to say that there is
absolutely NOTHING new here. The only thing that's new is the way I'm "framing" or
presenting the information. In a sense, the EDT system is just a foolproof way to
ensure that you perform more and more work in each workout that you do. The
benefits of the EDT method are as follows:
Motivation: When you do an EDT workout, you know when it'll
start, but more importantly, you know precisely when it will END. Also,
you know exactly what you need to do in that time period. In other
words, you have an explicit goal a definite purpose, and a welldefined time frame for accomplishing your goal. You have to
experience this in order to fully appreciate how easily it is to get "up"
for ED workouts.
Auto-Regulation: Forget about sets and reps. Forget about rest
intervals. Forget about time under tension. I'm totally serious all of
these parameters distract you from the essential truth that you
need to do more work this time than you did last time. It literally took
me over 20 years of studying these factors to realize that they don't
matter. So take out your training log, see how many total repetitions
you did during your last workout for the same muscle groups, start the
stopwatch, and beat that number. That's all. If you do this every
workout, you'll grow. And if you don't you won't. Any questions?
Clarity of Progression: EDT workouts don't allow you to hide from
the essential truth of training progression. You may think you were
abiding by the law of progressive overload before, but with EDT, you
KNOW you are.

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Q2 Principles: Fatigue Management


Perhaps the most limiting belief that people have about exercise is that it must hurt
(either during and/or afterward) to be effective. Now, it's true that a certain amount
of discomfort always accompanies getting out of one's comfort zone. But to gauge
the effectiveness of a workout by how bad you feel afterward is insane. There are far
more efficient ways to make yourself sore, such as taking a job as Lennox Lewis'
sparring partner, or applying for a job as a test dummy!
EDT involves doing a workout, measuring how much work was done, and then
consistently and gradually increasing that amount of work. When you do, muscle will
grow, metabolism will increase, and you'll have a leaner, more muscular body. Now,
as it turns out, there's a paradox at work here. Because good fatigue management
strategies allow you to do a lot more work, you'll end up plenty sore anyway, so for
you masochists out there, fear not you'll be in plenty of pain.

The EDT Program


In this first installment, I'll set you up with one month's worth of training to get you
on your way. While I've presented the basic concepts of EDT in this article, there are
a number of techniques and strategies that I haven't provided. So if you find this
system as valuable as many of my clients have, just send me a note and we'll set
you up with a new mesocycle each month. Good luck you have no idea what
you're getting into!

Monday: Lats/Elbow Extensors


First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Chins (palms facing you)
A-2: Lying EZ-Bar Tricep Extensions
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Seated Rows (Low cable or machine)
A-2: Reverse-Grip Tricep Pushdowns (palms up)

Tuesday: Lower Body/Trunk


First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Back Extensions (a.k.a. hyper extensions)
A-2: Ball Crunches (crunches off a Swiss Ball)

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Second 20-Minute Time Frame


A-1: Leg extensions
A-2: Leg Curls

Thursday: Pecs/Elbow Flexors


First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Strive Bench Presses (or any machine bench press variant)
A-2: Low Cable Curls
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Hammer Incline Presses
A-2: Preacher Hammer Curls

Friday: Lower Body


First 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Alternating Lunges
A-2: Sit-Ups
Second 20-Minute Time Frame
A-1: Seated Calf Raises
A-2: *Russian Twists
*Sit on the ground or a bench with knees bent to 90 degrees and lean your trunk
back to 45 degrees. Keeping this trunk angle, and with arms out straight, fingers
interlocked and arms maintained at 90 degrees to the upper body, rotate the trunk
from the waist (not the shoulders!)

Comments on Exercise Selection


This is not a rehab or functional-strength program. It's designed for lean-mass
development only. The inclusion of machine-based exercises in the above cycle is
based on my preference to avoid technical or coordination-intensive exercises (such
as squats or deadlifts) while in a "panicked" state of mind. In theory, this program
can be done using more technical lifts as long as you remain "present" or "in the

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moment." However, for your first exposure to EDT, I strongly suggest sticking to the
program as provided.

Procedure
Each workout consists of two 20-minute time frames separated by a
short (5-10 minute) rest period. In each time frame, you'll perform
two exercises, for a total of 4 exercises per workout.
In each time frame, the two exercises are performed in alternating
fashion, back and forth, until the time frame has elapsed.
After warming up the first 2 exercises, select a load that
approximates a 10-12 RM for each exercise. Ideally, the weight used
for each exercise should be equally difficult.
Sets, reps, and rest intervals: Generally, most people will find it
most effective to do higher repetition (but not maximal effort) sets and
shorter rests at the beginning, and then gradually progress to less
reps per set and longer rests as fatigue accumulates. As an example,
you might begin by performing sets of 6 with very short (15-30
second) rests. As you begin to fatigue, you'll increase your rest
intervals as you drop down to sets of 4, then 2, and as the 20-minute
time limit approaches, you might crank out a few singles in an effort of
accomplish as many repetitions as possible in 20 minutes.
NOTE: Do not perform early sets to failure, or even near failure. My recommended
starting point is to do 1/2 of what is possible (e.g., 5 reps with a 10-RM weight) at
the beginning of the time frame. As the time limit approaches however, you'll find
yourself working at or near failure as you attempt to break your rep record.
Progression: Each time you repeat the workout; your objective is to
simply perform more total repetitions in the same time frame. Apply
the 20/5 rule: as soon as you can increase the total number of reps by
20% or more, start the next workout withy 5% more weight and start
over.
And that's essentially it. No pre-ordained numbers of sets, reps, or rest periods. It's
entirely up to you. Your job is only to complete the 20-minute work period, and then
improve on it the next time around. Oh, and be ready to feel some pain. Don't start
this program if you need to attend some social event where shuffling and moaning in
pain aren't acceptable.

Charles Staley is a sports performance specialist and director of Integrated Sport


Solutions in Las Vegas, Nevada. A former martial arts competitor and trainer, Staley
is also an Olympic weightlifting coach, as well as a master's level track and field
competitor (discus event). He has coached elite athletes from many sports, including
martial arts, luge, boxing, track & field, bobsled, football, Olympic weightlifting, and
bodybuilding. Staley has written hundreds of published articles, and has lectured

www.IntegratedSportSolutions.com

www.EDTSecrets.com

extensively on the topics of human performance and sport training. Subscribe to


Charles' FREE monthly newsletter The Unnatural Athlete at MyoDynamics.com.
1998 2002 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Article #5
Escalating Density Training, Phase 2
by Charles Staley

"The sheer effectiveness and brutality of the EDT program does not come across in
the written word. This is a TOTAL gym experience"
Alwyn Cosgrove, CSCS, Director, Cosgrove F.A.S.T Systems,
Newhall, California.

"Once again your methods blow me away in their simplicity yet their incredible
effectiveness. The best part is every workout is a competition to perform better than
the last workout and that is tremendous for motivation. My trainers are psyched with
their results and our clients see progress every time they complete a workout.
Although I mainly train to increase combat performance, EDT is a great cycle to use
for body composition. Thanks again, Coach!"
Tim Larkin, Master Close Combat Trainer and Creator of Target
Focused Training.

"Charles has redefined simplicity with his Escalating Density Training system. Do
more in less time and you will grow. I wish I had known about EDT while on the
National Team (Luge). It would have saved me a ton of wasted time and training."
Jonathan Edwards, Olympian.

Editor's Note: Last month's introduction of Charles' unique (and painful!) EDT
system has resulted in an enormous amount of positive feedback, so we asked
Charles to provide T-mag readers with a follow-up program. We strongly urge that
you use appropriate cautions when embarking on these short, yet demanding
workouts. With those precautions, enjoy phase two of EDT!

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Last month, I presented a training program based on the concept of auto-regulation,


which means that over successive workouts, the trainee (that's YOU) gradually and
progressively arrives at the optimal set of loading parameters for muscular growth.
This program, called "Escalating Density Training" (EDT), is based on a simple, yet
often under-appreciated principle: in order for a biological system (such as muscle)
to grow, it must be challenged with ever-increasing workloads. EDT works because it
ensures that each workout represents a greater challenge than the one that
preceded it.
The primary difference in this approach as compared to other systems is that EDT
does not prescribe a specific set of "optimal" loading parameters. Instead, it implores
YOU to find ways of doing more and more work over a series of workouts. If this is
accomplished, then the loading parameters were in fact optimal, whatever they
happened to be.
Last month's EDT program, harsh though it may be, is considered an "entry level"
program, designed to familiarize you with the EDT concept, and also to provide a
foundational experience before moving on to the "full" EDT hypertrophy program
template.
This month's program consists of three training sessions per week. Each workout
consists of (3) 15-minute segments. During each 15-minute segment, you'll perform
two (and in one case, three) exercises in antagonistic fashion (meaning "superset" or
"circuit" style) back and forth, attempting to accumulate as many total repetitions as
possible before the 15-minute time frame elapses.
Then, the next time you perform the same workout, you'll have a clear definition of
success: the ability to perform more total repetitions in the same time-frame. Once
you manage to exceed the first workout's total reps by 20% or more, you'll bump up
the weight by 5% on the next workout and start the process all over again (NOTE: If
you manage to do 20% or more total reps after only one workout, increase the load
by 10% for the next session.).

Q2 Principles: Time-Framing
If you know when it'll be over, you'll work that much harder. The
EDT system employs short (in this case, 15 minute) time frames for
work sets. When the time frame ends, you're done, no matter what
you have or haven't accomplished. Your goal is to discover ways to
do more and more work within these time frames. As the old saying
goes "You can work hard, or you can work long, but you can't work
hard for long."

EDT Program Phase 2


Day One

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First 15-Minute Segment:


A-1: Machine Bench Press
A-2: Straight Barbell Curl
Second 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: Pec Dec
A-2: EZ-Bar Preacher Curl
Third 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: Flat Dumbbell Flye
A-2: Left Arm Preacher Curl
A-3: Right Arm Preacher Curl

Day Two
First 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: Machine Hack Squat, Feet Low on Platform, Heels-Elevated
A-2: Seated (Supine) Leg Curl
Second 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: Left Leg Stationary Lunge (i.e., quad emphasis)
A-2: Right Leg Stationary Lunge (i.e., quad emphasis)
Note: Assume a short stance that promotes maximal flexion of the front knee and
use dumbbells for additional loading, if needed.
Third 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: High Cable Crunch
A-2: Back Extension

Day Three
First 15-Minute Segment:

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A-1: Close, Parallel-Grip Pullup


A-2: Lying EZ-Bar Tricep Extension
Second 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: Wide-Grip, Straight-Arm Pushdown
A-2: Bench Dips
Third 15-Minute Segment:
A-1: Machine Seated Row
A-2: Reverse-Grip Tricep Pushdowns

Additional Notes
Taking 500 mg of vitamin C a few hours prior to the workout may
help to reduce post workout soreness.
Workouts should be performed on non-consecutive days (e.g.,
Monday, Wednesday, Friday.)
I recommend 10-15 minutes of light to moderate cardio, followed by
10-15 minutes of light stretching on "off" days for the purpose of
promoting active recovery and reducing soreness.
It's OK to make exercise substitutions if you don't have the
equipment or experience required to perform a particular exercise.
However, it must be kept in mind that EDT generates massive
amounts of fatigue. Therefore, this program isn't particularly suited to
exercises that require high levels of skill and concentration (e.g.,
power cleans, squats, deadlifts, etc.). Please use good judgment and
caution should you choose to make substitutions.
Each workout consists of (3) 15-minute time frames separated by
short (5-minute) rest periods. In each time frame, you'll perform two
exercises, for a total of 6 exercises per workout.
In each time frame, the two exercises are performed in alternating
fashion, back and forth, using the same weight for all sets, until the
time frame has elapsed.
After warming up the first exercise(s), select a load that
approximates a 10-12RM for each exercise. Ideally, the weight used
for each exercise should be equally difficult.

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www.EDTSecrets.com

Sets, reps, and rest intervals: Most people will find it most
productive to do higher repetition (but not maximal effort) sets and
shorter rests at the beginning, and then gradually progress to less
reps per set and longer rest intervals as fatigue accumulates. As an
example, you might begin by performing sets of 6 with very short (1530 second) rests. As you begin to fatigue, you'll increase your rest
intervals as you drop down to sets of 4, then 2, and as the 15-minute
time limit approaches, you might crank out a few singles in an effort of
accomplish as many repetitions as possible in 15 minutes.
Do not perform early sets to failure, or even near failure. My
recommended starting point is to do 1/2 of what is possible (e.g., 5
reps with a 10RM weight) at the beginning of the time frame. As the
time limit approaches however, you'll find yourself working at or near
failure as you attempt to break your rep record.
Progression: Each time you repeat the workout; your objective is to
simply perform more total repetitions in the same time frame. As soon
as you can increase the total number of reps by 20% or more, start
the next workout with 5% more weight and start over. Now pull out
that stopwatch, let everybody around you know that you're not
available for schmoozing, and get to it!

Charles Staley is a sports conditioning specialist and director of Integrated Sport


Solutions in Las Vegas, Nevada. A former martial arts competitor and trainer, Staley
is also an Olympic weightlifting coach, as well as a master's level track and field
competitor (discus event). He has coached elite athletes from many sports, including
martial arts, luge, boxing, track & field, bobsled, football, Olympic weightlifting, and
bodybuilding. Staley has written hundreds of published articles, and has lectured
extensively on the topics of human performance and sport training. Subscribe to
Charles' FREE monthly newsletter at www.IntegratedSportSolutions.com
1998 2002 Testosterone, LLC. All Rights Reserved.