There are many training systems out there, but one we really like to use to gain muscle and strength quickly is that of DoggCrapp training or DC for short. DC trainings ‘inventor’ is Dante Trudel, a 6’1 280lb monster, who after using typical bodybuilding routines decided there must be a be a more effective way to build muscle. This led him to dig through the books, academic papers and concluded that classic systems appeared ‘obsessive and compulsive’ and did not allow the adequate time for recovery for the muscle to adapt and grow.
DC Training was born
This led to the development of DC training, which flies in the face of the classic body part split training and high intensity, high volume sessions that were previously advocated to build muscle. Instead the DC program splits itself into 3 weekly sessions consisting of lower body and upper body sessions. For example week one would be;
- Monday-upper body
- Wednesday-Lower body
- Friday-Upper body
and the second week of this cycle would be;
- Monday-Lower body
- Wednesday-Upper body
- Friday-Lower body
then repeat. This system encourages a lot of rest in order to allow the muscles to adapt and grow, this is also important as each session is based around using heavy compound movements with which to hit each muscle group, so you are tearing down a lot of fibres that need time to recover and build back up. An example upper body day might include bench press for chest, deadlifts for back thickness and traps, pull-ups for back width and dumbbell shoulder presses. Each of these exercises is done for only one set and one exercise per body-part can suffice, although some variations may incorporate two or more after an initial period of adaptation!
Sounds easy right?
Well it’s not, as this is performed in a rest pause style, this means you choose a weight at which you can hit 10-12 repetitions and complete the set, then with only 5-10 seconds rest you go straight into your second set, which at this point usually manage around 4-6 reps and then a final third set after a further 5-10 seconds rest to failure usually in the 2-4 reps if done properly. When in the first set you can hit 15 reps then an increase in weight is required. The principle of this is that DC training creates enough muscle break-down to encourage adaptation, but after this point extra reps and sets are just encouraging the muscle to break down to a greater extent, making us more catabolic taking us longer to recover and reach the point of adaptation. This lower intensity training means that a body part can be trained on multiple days and grow bigger and stronger quicker. Although each set contains only around 20 repetitions the weight at which these are performed at means the session volume is still moderately high, and because each muscle can be hit on multiple days per week, your weekly volume would be similar to or even increased to a classic body part split. But importantly without creating levels of fatigue that may impact on the training sessions in the days to follow, meaning you can attack each workout at 100% and make incredible size and strength gains in a short period of time. Current research is starting to support the idea that it is the volume of work performed by a muscle each week, a product of the weight lifted and the number of repetitions performed, which is the key determinant of training to induce muscle hypertrophy.
So what does this mean in reality, well let’s compare a classic chest day split of say flat bench at 3 set of 10, incline at 3x10 and decline at 3x10. Now assuming muscle fatigue takes place our sets may look like this; Flat=100kgX10, 90kgx10, 80kgx10, Incline=80kgx10, 70kgx10, 60kgx10, Decline= 90kgx10, 80kgx10, 70kgx10, that is a calculated session and weekly volume of 1000+900+800+800+700+600+900+800+700 equating to 7200kg lifted per week. Now let’s compare that to DC, say we just did 2 exercise at 100kg on flat bench and decline for 20 repetition’s per set using the rest pause style, that comes to (100x20)+(100x20) equating to 4000kg lifted in a session. Now if we manage 2 sessions per week you can see that actually we have a weekly volume of 8000kg, that’s 800kg more than a conventional split and without causing excessive muscle breakdown allowing quicker recovery! What else is unusual about DC style training is that different body-parts are proposed to have differing repetition ranges which are optimised for stimulating the specific muscles growth. For example back thickness work, such as deadlifts, rack pulls or bent over rows are performed in 2 sets, one of 6-9 and then one of 9-12 repetitions. Heavy squats, leg presses and hack squats are performed with one set of 6-10 repetitions and one set of the muscle stimulating, 20 rep set of ‘widow makers’, where you choose a weight you can typically do 15 repetitions for but then stay under the weight until you squeeze out 20 repetitions, this is brutal but effective! Calf exercises are performed in the 10-12 rep range but these are done with a 5 second negative and 15 second stretch after each ‘raise’. This may not seem hard on paper but is an effective way of truly getting the calves activated and forcing these commonly stubborn body-parts to grow. Stretching is another important part of the DC program, some people theorize that muscle growth is restricted by tissue that surrounds the muscle called fascia, and by stretching this fascia using weighted or extreme stretches, held for extended periods of time this can create more room for the muscle to grow. It also means that you are getting a great stretch after each exercise which should at least aid in some part to muscle recovery. These short sharp sessions can usually be performed in 30-40 minutes comfortably, thus if you feel the need you can add in supplementary, isolation exercises, to target weak or lagging body-parts. On off days cardio can be added to make this an effective program for building muscle and maintaining a lean physique.
Do we have experience of this training technique?
DC training is a principle that many of our athletes at Team CSN employ in their training with each athlete adapting the program to their individual goals. If you’re an experienced lifter with a few years of training and a good foundation in strength and technique, then give this training program a go and we are sure that you will see some good results and give you a foundation to put your own unique twist and variety back in your training, remember sometimes a change is as good as a rest! Thanks for reading, peace, weights and protein shakes. Paul Rimmer (BSc, MSc).