Escalating Density Training (EDT): What is Density Training?

escalating density training benefits and uses

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The main focus of Escalating Density (EDT) is to greatly increase the overall amount of work (exercise) you accomplish in a given amount of time. This strategy does wonders any athlete attempting to build their cardiovascular endurance, improve their overall strength, and create a leaner body; especially those playing sports where physical contact is involved. By building cardiovascular conditioning and overall strength through different movements at the same time, work capacity is skyrocketed as a larger amount of the body is trained.

EDT was developed by Charles Staley, and can help you build muscle mass and lose body fat in a short amount of time. Personally I have a large amount of experience with this training protocol as it comprised a bulk of my physical training while I was a NCAA Division One basketball player at Marist College.

Along with German Volume Training and the 20 Rep Squat Routine, Escalating Density Training is easily my favorite form of training out there!

Our team trainer was a huge fan of this method and I can attest to its ability to build an aesthetic body!

What is Training Density?

Density training is one of the most prominent forms of metabolic conditioning.

The amount of work which you are able to execute within a given time is known as your training density, scored by simply counting total repetitions performed in the given amount of time. If you are able to successfully perform a total of 15 sets of 10 push ups within a time frame of 10 minutes, your training density for that specific movement within a time frame of ten minutes would be 150 repetitions.

It is the amount of sets, multiplied by the total number of reps that was finished within a specific time frame.

EDT is generally performed using two antagonist exercises.  This ensures that one muscle will not give out on the body drastically quicker than any other. Even completely opposite movements such as deadlifts and tricep push-downs work very well. Multiple body parts are worked to exhaustion, and neither is relied upon by the other movement. A win, win!

Methods of Improving Your Training Density

benefits of escalating muscle density training workouts

In order to check your training density, you can make use of the example that I will be explaining below. There are two methods that you can adopt:

Method 1: Decrease Work-Time and Maintain Workload

Using this method, if you were to do push-ups, and you have the capacity to do 100 push-ups in 7 minutes, you can increase your training density by doing 100 push-ups in less than 7 minutes.

This means that your training density will increase if you do 100 push-ups in 3 minutes. You will do each workout for two 20 minutes and usually observe a rest time which will last for between 5 to 10 minutes.

When you relate it to weight lifting, then you will maintain the weight while decreasing the time that is needed for you to train. You will definitely increase your rest time as fatigue sets in.

Method 2: Maintain Time and Increase Workload

When using this method, you can increase your workload while maintaining the time, making use of the example earlier used. Since you are able to do 100 push-ups in 7 minutes, you can actually try to do 120 push-ups within the same time frame. By increasing your workload within the same time, you have also increased your training density.

One of the most effective methods that people usually prefer is the repetitive set, which is the method that seeks to maintain the time while increasing the number of workouts.

Reasons Why Escalating Density Training is Effective

There are several reasons why escalating density training is very effective.

First of all, escalating density training provides a fun and yet challenging method of training that keeps you fit. Similar to CrossFit workouts, EDT is a non-stop action workout. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to rest between sets like in traditional strength training workouts, this might be the workout program for you!

Along with that, it is a very efficient form of working out. The workouts aren’t as short as just doing two or three sets of Tabata Intervals, but you since Escalating Density Training seeks to do more work within given time, it is a time efficient way of doing a great workout.

Furthermore, EDT can be practiced at home, in a weight room, or just about anywhere else. Even without full gym equipment it is possible to use small weights you may have in your house and other bodyweight exercises to do your workout.

Lastly, the easily trackable “scoring system” of escalating density system provides you motivation and clarity. You can easily see your results from workout to workout because your “score” is the total amount of reps you are able to do. It is easy to motivate yourself to workout when you are competing against yourself each day!

Concluding Thoughts – Should You Try Escalating Density Training?

One of the most striking benefits of escalating density training is that it burns fat tremendously, as your body will have an increased metabolism for several hours after the workout. This is as a result of the process referred to as Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption.

Compared with nearly every other type of fat-loss method (even when compared with non-exercise based fat loss methods such as coolsculpting), the calories burned through EDT ranks higher than nearly anything else!

Although it is still nearly impossible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time, using Escalating Density Training is one of the best ways to accomplish this as much as possible.

If you want to develop a strong and well-conditioned body, escalating density training is right for you!

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