T Nation

Escalating Density Training?

I picked up Charles Stately’s book on this approach where you set yourself a number of reps to complete in a certain time limit, then push yourself to complete more and more reps within that same time limit as the weeks progress.

However, one thing that struck me was that he asked who would receive the better training stimulus;

1). Someone using their 12 rep max to perform 3 sets of 10 reps?

or

2). Someone using their 12 rep max to perform 10 sets of 3 reps?

Like probably most people, I thought that option 1). was clearly the right response. This is because I thought the previous 2 sets of 10 reps would have ensured that a state of near-failure would have been reached on the 10th rep of the 3rd set, which would have meant that the fast twitch muscles were being activated and fatigued (and thus, ‘trained’).

However, Charles argued that option 2). is the correct response.

His argument was that since in option 2). you are not fatiguing yourself to the same degree as in option 1)., you are able to move the bar faster on EVERY rep of your 10 sets of 3 reps. Moving the bar faster means that more fast twitch muscles are being activated and, because you’re moving the bar quickly, you’re actually supplying more force to lift that bar than if the bar was traveling slowly.

Thus, as each rep is fast in 10 sets of 3 reps (and not every rep is fast in 3 sets of 10 reps), you produce more total force in option 2). than in option 1)… Charles argued that because of this, even though you don’t ‘feel’ as fatigued after option 2)., option 2). still gives you the better workout.

I am unsure of the logic behind this as I thought it had been found that dynamic effort training does not increase maximal strength.

Can anyone clarify the argument behind this?

And has anyone had experience (positive or negative) with using Escalating Density Training?

[quote]alternate wrote:
However, one thing that struck me was that he asked who would receive the better training stimulus;

1). Someone using their 12 rep max to perform 3 sets of 10 reps?

or

2). Someone using their 12 rep max to perform 10 sets of 3 reps?

Like probably most people, I thought that option 1). was clearly the right response. But then I did an 8-week program that used 10x3 and found out for myself whether or not it works better.[/quote]
Fixed. Or at least, that’s what probably should’ve happened.

In any case, I’m confused. Are we talking about EDT or 10x3? They’re two very different methods.

The kind explosive lifting being discussed for low rep-based hypertrophy (10x3) is done heavier/at a higher percent 1RM than “traditional” dynamic effort work.

Chad Waterbury can and did, several times.



I was kinda torn about posting these links though, because based on all the threads you seem to start, more reading is probably the last thing you need.