T Nation

edt training

i would like to hear from anyone who has given edt a serious try. i was a competitive strength athlete for many years (shot, hammer in HS and college, powerlifting and highland games later in life) but now want muscle mass while maintaining my current strength levels AT LEAST. edt makes some since theroetically, but not the way he has his “circuits” and otherthings grouped together. and it is a nightmare to get a hold of while in the gym. i tried and ran into several problems: i tried to follow his guidlines on loading and reps, but found when i did 5-6 reps with a weight that i could do for 10 reps i NEVER fatigued! for example, with an arm workout, i superseted dips with preacher curls. i can do 10 reps with a 40lb dumbell in the dips and about 60lbs for ten on the preacher curl for ten. so i started out doing sets of 5 for a 15 minute “pr-zone”. well about ten 7 minutes in to it, i was not even breaking a sweat! no “pump” not nothing! so i bumped the reps to 6-7 and still no luck. all sets were easy. so i shortened my rest times to where i was going between the two exercises with NO rest at all between the two. still ran out of time way before ran out of muscle. i did 72 reps each in the 15 minutes, that seeems like a lot of volume but two days later i am not even very sore. what am i doing wrong?

Well, you could be predominantly fast-twitch, and that might be causing a problem. I’ve encountered problems similar to what you describe. For me, doing 5 reps at a 10RM weight doesn’t do a whole lot, because my 10RM is -considerably- lighter than my 1RM. For example, my best squat is 335, as-to-floor, but I can’t imagine doing 275 for more than two or three reps. So you can see, my 10RM is even further down the pole, and doing 5 rep sets at it isn’t super productive. How would I get around this? Easy… use more weight! :slight_smile:

Yah, I just experienced the same thing today. I did my first day of EDT and followed his guidleines for loading. I also didn’t rest inbetween sets and actually started runinng to the diferent exercises near the end, and I didn;t get a pump or even really feel much fatique in my muscles. Especially for abs and triceps. I guess I am gonna up the weight next workout and see how that goes.
:slight_smile: groove

Staley approximates the number of rep expected in a 15 minute period to be 60-75. You fall in the high end of the range. EDT will adjust the weigth automatically. If you beat your reps by 10% you raise the weight 5%. If you beat it 20% you raise the weight 10%. In EDT every workout builds on the previous.

I did EDT a while ago, but I took two weeks in the beginning to get my weights right. The third week I started ‘week one’. Play with your weights for the next two weeks - obviously you need more weight - once you get the weight fine tuned EDT can be killer.

I had the same experience. crank the weight up and bang it out. It was a guideline only, merely a place to start. It isn’t working for you so crank the load up.

I’m on my 4th week of an edt program now and tend to agree with the other posts. Up your weight. I’ve found at the beginning it was important to pick a weight that I could “barely” get 10 reps on, then start with 6 reps. Also, by putting together a large muscle group with a smaller muscle group in my 15 minute set I fatigue more quickly than when I was doing only the arm specialization.

The hardest 15 minutes by far remains the lunges for me. Using 30 lb dumbbells leaves me a mess.

John, I swear Staley stated the rep range for a 20-minute PR Zone should fall between 50-65, but I could be mistaken. Based on that, I figure the rep range for a 15-minute PR Zone should be around 45-50. Could you (or anyone else) clarify this for me? Thanks.

The 10RM is only a guideline i.e. it’s likely to suits 70% of the population. Charles also wrote about using 70% of your maximum 1RM and then start doing sets of 5. My instinct tells me that with your background, a 10RM is nearer to 50-55% than 70% so you’ll have to bump the weight up. Try it again with 45-50LBS for dips and 65-70LBS for preacher curls and see how you fare.

To Ike:

IMHO, I don’t think the main problem is fast/slow twitch ratio but rather past training experiences. SInce this man has trained as a strength athletes for most of its career, I would think his body behave like a fast-twitch(which is good)predominant body. Or he might as well be a real fast twitch athletes but it doesn’t really matter.

Hope it helps,


I think you’re doing the opposite if what you need to do. Try using a weight that gives you SOME trouble for 4 reps. Then, begin by banging out triples until you can’t do them any more. At the end of the 15 minutes you should be reduced to banging out singles. Your rep range will probably be 30-40 for each exercise. So, the answer is simple: More pig iron!

I agree with the training history observation. My observation was that low-rep, high-intensity, ‘strength’ training will force the transitional fibers toward a more ‘fast twitch’ arrangement. I’d go so far as to say that training history has even more of a determination on rep/set performance than actual fiber distribution, but that’s my own theory.

ALso agree with the training history idea. I know that when I did EST I got scads more reps (generally in the 90-110 range) for the 20-minute periods than was predicted. I experienced nice gains, and so didn’t see the need to change things around. If it ain’t broke…

That said, and having been very pleased with EDT, I would caution you that it’s NOT a strength program. In fact, you will most likely lose some 1RM strength after training EDT-style for any length of time. Just so you know.

(This applies to the original version of EDT. I don’t know what would happen with the recent 1RM version of the program…)