Modified EDT Program For Serious Strength Increases!

The program worked well and I had tons of clients putting on size and increasing strength like never before. In addition, I wanted to modify the EDT program for people that simply wanted to get stronger without getting bigger.
Several months ago I wrote an article on how to combine top strength coach Charles Staley's EDT (Escalating Density Training) program with kettlebells for massive gains in size and strength. The program worked well and I had tons of clients putting on size and increasing strength like never before. Regardless, I knew that EDT could be tweaked more for even greater strength increases. In addition, I wanted to modify the EDT program for people that simply wanted to get stronger without getting bigger. Well, I did just that and my modified EDT program with kettlebells is working extremely well.


What Is EDT?

Let's start off by going over what EDT is and then I will get into how I modified EDT to emphasize strength gains. Coach Staley realized after several years that the key to getting bigger is to simply do more volume in a designated time period at each workout. For example, if you did 40 total reps on the bench press in a 15-minute time frame with 300 pounds, then your goal at your next bench press workout is to do a minimum of 41 reps.

As long as the total reps go up, hypertrophy will follow. To start off, Coach Staley had his trainees take their 10-rep max on any given exercise and he had them do as many reps of five as possible in a designated time period called a PR Zone (Personal Record). As fatigue accumulates during the PR Zone, the trainee will simply increase the breaks and decrease the rest periods. As your conditioning improves, you will be able to do more reps in each time period and thus get much bigger.


Read more on Charles Staley, click here!

There is no doubt that Coach Staley's EDT program works for getting much bigger. In addition to the incredible pumps, increases in strength occurred as well. However, I knew that the strength increases could be enhanced by decreasing the rep range to 2-to-4 per set and by shifting the focus to total sets. In other words, instead of focusing on total reps in which you take super short breaks and gut out as many reps as possible.

I found that it is better to keep the breaks at one minute between each exercise, and to focus on getting 2-to-4 reps per set. Moreover, I eradicated the PR Zone so that trainees do not feel like they are fighting the clock. The initial goal is to do ten sets of two 2-on-2 antagonistic exercises in a single workout. For example ten sets of two on bench presses and bent over rows. Take 1-minute breaks in between each exercise.

Start off your first workout by doing ten sets of two. If you completed all ten sets of two, then work on doing ten sets of three at the next workout. When you can do ten sets of three with a training weight, increase the reps to four at the next workout. Finally, once you can do ten sets of four with the training load, increase the weight by 4 percent at the next workout and go back to 10 sets of two again. Now stay at the new training load until you can do ten sets of four again. Keep the breaks at one minute in between each exercise.

My modified EDT workout is taking the efficiency of Coach Staley's EDT focus, but shifting the focus on volume to training load intensity. By making the breaks longer and using heavier weights with fewer reps, you will shift the focus of EDT to strength rather than size. Also you are giving yourself more time to adapt to a new training stimulus, which in turn will allow you to stay on the modified EDT program longer without burning out.

Are you still going to get bigger, of course if you up the calories. Otherwise, you should notice more muscle density in addition to rapid increases in strength. Here is an 8-week program that you can follow with kettlebells to get into action:


Modified EDT Kettlebell Workout

Workout 1: Lower Body Emphasis

Do one set of two on A-1, take a one-minute break and then do a set of two on A-2. Keep going back and forth until you have completed ten sets of two on each exercise. If you complete all ten sets, then go up to three reps per set at the next workout.

Take a three-minute break and then do:

Click here for a printable version of the Modified EDT Kettlebell Workout Workout 1.

Workout 2: Upper Body Emphasis

Again, do one set of two on A-1, take a 1-minute break and then do a set of two on A-2. Keep going back and forth until you have completed ten sets of two on each exercise. If you complete all ten sets, then go up to three reps per set at the next workout.

Take a three-minute break and then do:

Do three sets of five on each exercise back to back. In other words, do one set of the Guard Attack, wait a minute and then do a set of Alternating Renegade Rows. Keep the weight the same on these exercises throughout the duration of the program.

That is the program sweet and simple and it will get the job done. Now if you only have one kettlebell, then replace the above exercises with unilateral kettlebell exercises such as: 1-arm Military Presses, 1-arm Rows, 1-Legged Squats etc. In order to add resistance to the kettlebells, use platemates or duck tape dumbbell plates to the bottom of your kettlebells. Warning: I do not recommend duck taping plates to kettlebells for ballistic exercises such as snatches. Switch to swings or another exercise.

Click here for a printable version of the Modified EDT Kettlebell Workout Workout 2.

For those of you that do not train with kettlebells or simply want to try the modified EDT workout in the gym, then try this:


Modified EDT Workout For The Gym

Workout 1: Lower Body Emphasis

Do one set of two on A-1, take a 1-minute break and then do a set of two on A-2. Keep going back and forth until you have completed ten sets of two on each exercise. If you complete all ten sets, then go up to three reps per set at the next workout.

Wait three Minutes and then do:

    Evil Wheel Roll Outs 3x5 (three sets of five) with one minute breaks in between each set.

Click here for a printable version of the Modified EDT Workout For The Gym Workout 1.

Workout 2: Upper Body Emphasis

Again, do one set of two on A-1, take a 1-minute break and then do a set of two on A-2. Keep going back and forth until you have completed ten sets of two on each exercise. If you complete all ten sets, then go up to three reps per set at the next workout.

Take a three-minute break and then do

Do three sets of five on each exercise back to back. In other words, do one set of the bent-over barbell row, wait a minute and then do a set on the standing barbell military press. Maintain the same training weight on these exercises throughout the duration of the program.

Click here for a printable version of the Modified EDT Workout For The Gym Workout 2.


Training Tips

  • Have a protein shake with some healthy fat two hours before each workout
  • Have a protein shake after each workout for recovery
  • Get a sports massage 1-2 times per month to enhance recovery
  • Take a cold/hot shower after each workout (30 seconds cold/ 60 seconds hot)
  • If possible, take a 20-minute power nap after each workout
  • Take advantage of Cryotherapy and get a cryocup.
  • Stretch for 10-15 minutes after each workout
  • Do Pavel Tsatsouline's Super Joints program each morning for active recovery.
  • Do not worry about rep tempo speed. Simply lift the weights as fast as possible while keeping perfect form on every set.

There it is, a program to take your strength up to the next level. Try this modified EDT workout for two months and you will be amazed with the leaps in strength that you achieve. If you have any questions, email me at mahler25@yahoo.com.

For more information on Charles Staley and EDT, go to http://www.edtsecrets.com

About The Author

Mike Mahler is a strength coach and Senior RKC based in Santa Monica, Calif. For more awesome tips and programs for increasing strength, subscribe to Mike's free newsletter. For more free articles, great products, and information check out: http://www.mikemahler.com.

Thanks,