The following article was written by The Swole
DoggCrapp training is designed with one goal in mind, maximum size. You won’t find anyone recommending it for an athlete and the reason for this is that DC sacrifices every other end in the name of SIZE. DC is an advanced bodybuilding routine; don’t undertake it unless you already have a solid foundation.
DC was created by a man named Dante, who is himself a testament to the efficacy of his training protocols. Unlike other keyboard coaches who sport an off-season 160lb physique, Dante pioneered his methods through his own transformation from a gaunt 136lbs to a monstrous 300lbs in a couple of years. Another thing that separates Dante from said pack is the directness of his teaching method. Unlike many coaches whose programs require you to fund their small-scale supplement factory, Dante emerged with no supplement giant backing him and no marketing campaign, save for word of mouth.
The First Circle
But DC is not just a training program, it’s an all encompassing approach, an attitude, a community that shares in the fanatical pursuit of mass. This obsession with muscle gain manifests as an obsession with strength and new PRs since according to DC, gains in strength translate directly to gains in muscle. For this reason, the log book is an invaluable part of the arsenal.
The pretext of DC is that muscle growth is signaled in the gym, but doesn’t really start until you’re back outside. That is to say, you grow when resting and eating, not when struggling with a weight or experiencing a pump. The idea, then, is to maximize cycles of training and rest, a stimulus for growth and a recovery period during which growth actually happens. To optimize frequency of both training and rest, DC reduces volume to one set per body part. This single set may not sound like much, but Dante has discovered all of the ways to make it hurt. And to the point, training every other day will yield more than 100 growth cycles per year, compared to ~50 with regular volume training.
The purpose of DC training is not simply “completing a workout” but doing so while making the sets as intense as possible. Thus, sets are brutal, a combination of torturous variations Dante has devised to maximize intensity. The extreme sets are followed by extreme stretching. Because the point of the workout is the single set, there is no space for cheating through neglected form, extreme spotter assistance or speedy negatives. Rather than doing 8 sets of mediocre muscle activation, you will perform one absolutely devastating anaerobic set that is proven to jump start the anabolic process.
Explosive Positive, Slow Negative
Reps are to be performed with a controlled explosive positive and controlled negative. This is the cornerstone of the program. If you neglect the negatives, then you might as well stop reading here. Dante recommends a minimum 2-3 second negative on compound movements, for isolation slow it even more to 4-5 seconds. Negatives are key to developing strength and stretching the muscle to create growth.
(RP) are basically 3 sets condensed into one. Before doing these do a proper warm up to prepare for max effort exertion. First you pick a weight you can use for 6-7 or 10-12 reps, depending on your aim. You blast through the set and when you reach failure, the spotter assists you to once again raise the weight so that you can squeeze in one more negative. This, by the way is called a forced negative. Rack the weight and take 15 deep breaths. Then go in for a second set, same as the first: do as many reps as you can and the final, forced negative. Repeat the same for your last set and that’s it.
A note: if you were able to do more than the RP total 10-15 for example, then next time you do the exercise add more weight.
Blow a fresh balloon to its maximum size and deflate it. Stretch it out and blow it up again, and you will understand why Dante prescribes stretching. Muscle is surrounded by fascia which constricts the muscle fibre within. Extreme stretching loosens the squeeze from fascia, allowing the muscle inside to fill out. On top of that, stretching hastens recovery, which as you read is key in the muscle building process.
Perform each stretch for 60 seconds directly following the set. Exceptions include biceps, which should be stretched after forearms, and calves, for which the exercise itself provides sufficient stretching.
Blasting and Cruising
Any decent program is going to include some sort of periodization. Thus according to DC, after approximately 8 weeks of “blasting” the heavy weights and chasing PRs, you’re going to do a week of “cruising” and let your body recover. Cruising entails light training, i.e. no extreme sets or stretches. You can also slack off from the massive eating during this period. A recovery period like this is essential for the long run, to ensure steady progress and avoid over-training. Those who are less advanced generally can go longer without a cruise, so be your own judge. If you feel great, go a couple more weeks, but if you’re getting beat take a week off, regroup and come back harder than ever.
Picking the right movements is critical because you have only one set of one exercise through which to achieve maximum stimulus of a muscle group. Unlike other training patterns, DC does not give you a host of auxiliary isolation movements to fall back on. For this reason, you need to choose a movement that maximizes both range of motion and weight moved, i.e. a compound movement like bench or bent over rows or squats. Pick 3 exercises per muscle group and perform one of these each session. For example, take incline bench, hammer strength flat and dumbbell flat. Because you are training on a 2 day split, first session you do incline, third session you do hammer strength, fifth session is dumbbell, seventh session is incline again, etc. Each time the cycle returns on a lift, you must score a personal best, or you are required to exchange that exercise for another. This rule prevents slacking, stagnating and overtraining. Progress is key.
Here’s a sample template you can use. Train every other day. Do not change the order of the exercises for each part or within the split. The only thing you can change is what exercises to do.
Chest 10-15 RP:
Incline bench, Hammer strength flat, Dumbbell flat
Shoulders 10-15 RP:
Overhead shoulder press, Dumbbell shoulder press, Hammer strength shoulder press
Tricep 15-20 RP:
Close grip bench, Skullcrushers, Reverse grip bench
Back width 15-20 RP:
Lat pull downs, Wide grip pull ups, Chin-ups
Back thickness 8-20 SS:
Deadlift, Bent-over row, T-bar row
Biceps 10-15 RP:
Barbell curls, Preacher curls, Incline dumbbell curl
Forearms 15 SS:
Pinwheel curls, Reverse cable curls, Static holds
Calf machine, Calves with leg press, Calves in hack squat
Stiff-legged deadlifts, Leg curls, Good mornings
Squats, Leg press, Hack squat
*Calves: Perform these by doing a 2 second positive and a 15 second negative for 12 reps.