Training Methods for the beach – Escalating Density Training (EDT)


As it’s that time of year again when everyone is looking to trim down the fat and build some muscle for their summer holidays, I thought it would be appropriate for me to do my first blog on a simple weight training method that builds muscle and burns a large amount of calories.

If you’re looking to burn fat and build lean muscle mass in a short period of time (6-8weeks) your training doesn’t need to be complicated or unrealistic, it needs to be smart and well planned to suit you. First and foremost your training needs to be consistent and you need to train hard every time you go to the gym. If you don’t embrace these 2 factors, it doesn’t matter what type of training you do, you wont get that beach body. Hard work and consistency are vital.

What is it and Why do EDT?

There are many types of weight training that burn fat and build lean muscle mass, but the one method that I find most effective with my clients and myself over a short period of time is EDT. EDT sessions are very intense and if done properly, shouldn’t last more than 40 mins. The idea behind EDT training is to create as much time under tension in your muscles with minimal or no rest periods. This very intense type of exercise creates a large amount of mechanical and metabolic stress on your muscle fibres, which damages the muscles, and if executed with smart nutrition (high protein diet) and adequate recovery (1 day), will lead to quick gains in lean muscle mass. And because of the high energy expenditure of each session, the body burns off any excess fat.

If you’re not experienced in using frees weights this type of training will not be suited for you, but if you’re an experienced lifter, EDT should be right up your street. I would only recommend doing EDT if you’ve been weight training for at least 6 months and you don’t have any serious injuries.

How to do EDT?

Its best to split your EDT sessions into upper and lower body days.

On an upper body day

  1. pick 2 exercises, one push and one pull exercise so you’re working opposite muscle groups. For Example DB bench press (push) with Lat pull down (pull).
  2. Pick a weight you can do 10reps on each. Get a stopwatch, start the clock and for 15mins, each minute do 5 reps on both exercises, so you should have done 15 sets on each exercise after 15mins.
  3. Rest for 2-3mins and then repeat the same protocol but with 2 other exercises, for example DB shoulder press (push) with a cable seated row (pull).
  4. If you complete more than 15 sets before 15mins is up, you need to increase the weight for the next session, or if you fail to get to 15 sets you may need to decrease the weight or keep it the same for the next session. Either way if done properly you should be failing to get the reps out on the last minute, maybe the last 3mins. If you’re not, you’re not working hard enough.

For a lower body session

  1. Use the same process as above.
  2. For the first set of exercises pair Barbell Front/Back Squat with a Romanian Deadlift (stiff leg deadlift). Rest 2-3mins.
  3. The second set of exercises you can pair leg press with Seated/lying Hamstring Curls.
  4. Lower body sessions require more energy than an upper body session, because the nature of lower body exercises use larger muscles groups and more weight.

Therefore if your goal is to burn fat do 2 lower body sessions and 1 upper body session a week.

i.e. Mon – Lower body      Wed- Upper Body      Thurs – Lower Body

If you’re an experienced lifter add another upper body session on fri.

If your goal is to increase size and lean muscle mass first I would start with 2 upper body sessions and 1 lower body session. i.e.

Mon – Upper body      Tue – Lower Body     Thurs – Upper body

And again if you’re an experienced lifter add another lower body session on the friday.

You can follow this style of program for 6-8 weeks just in time for the closing parties and beach in Ibiza.

A good book to get more information on EDT workouts is Muscle Logic Escalated Density Training by Charles Staley