T Nation

Ellington Darden: One Authentic Expert

I’ve known Ellington Darden for more than 35 years. Not only is he a true friend, I also consider him one of the few authentic experts in diet and exercise that everyone needs to know.

I’ve supported and assisted Ellington with many projects, books, and seminars. Our experiences — from the legends we’ve known, the places we’ve been, and the things we’ve done — range from very exciting and interesting to the bizarre and unbelievable. And some tales probably should remain untold.

One thing’s for certain: his methods and principles work! He’s had tremendous success coaching countless athletes and regular folks to unparalleled muscle and strength gains, and record-breaking fat loss.

Ellington Darden has the dedication, knowledge, and experience that can deliver the results you’ve been dreaming about. He understands. You just need to ask good questions, debate your doubts, heed his advice, and execute the plan.

The proof is in the doing.


The first program I ever ran was “Big Arms in 6 Weeks”. Gained about 1/2" on the arms. Not too bad IMO.

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Loved his stories about Arthur Jones, Mike and Ray Mentzer, Sergio Olivia, Boyer Coe, etc. Dr. Darden also had an impressive classical physique. Brought HIT to a whole new audience. Great coup for T Nation.

Yes, there were some really good arm pictures in that book. Big arms will never go out of style.

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Do you still stand by the pro measurements in that book? Some seem pretty low, but hard to tell on great conditioning?

Fwiw, I got the book from my uncle, and still page through it occasionally for inspiration. Some of the intensity techniques I still use. I can still remember doing 30 second up, 30 second down chins, brutal!

I first saw Boyer Coe when he was 18 years old. He was very unassuming and had these massive biceps and triceps that were shredded. It was almost like he didn’t realize his arms were so big. Some 20 years later, I asked Boyer to list his favorite arm routine. His reply was . . . “My arms seemed to grow from whatever I did for them.”

Don’t we all wish we had his problem?


Yes, I stand by all the measurements in my big arms book. Plus, I still use those 30-second chins and dips.


Speaking of classic physiques, here’s a photo of Ellington taken in 1970 after a workout in Tallahassee, Florida. He weighed 195 pounds. The week before, he won the Mr South contest in Durham, NC.


Welcome to the forums! Look forward to reading your info and learning!

Welcome Mr. Darden! :slight_smile:
Very glad to see you here…very intrigued by your workout philosophy, I have a lot of quesrions already…just my level of english (far feom perfect) and lack of time will make sure that all those questions will come step by step :smiley:

Kind regards from one small European country,


hi Big Coach

One of my favorite lat routines was the wide-grip chin, followed by the dumbbell pullover lying crossway on a bench, followed by barbell close-grip rowing with an underhand grip. I’d do each exercise for 8 to 12 reps.


Great to see you here on the forums Dr. Darden! Big fan, I love your “old-school” bodybuilding articles on T-Nation - absolutely fascinating reads. Looking forward to learning more from you here!

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Tried everything, I followed his instructions and he is the best imo. Just plain and simple facts, no bs.