DC Training – Dante Trudel
DC Training is a training system conceptualised and taken to market by a world renowned trainer and bodybuilding mind, Dante Trudel.
It is a hardcore training system geared to add serious poundage to advanced trainees and definitely isn’t for the feint hearted!
In this article we’re going to share the concepts of DC training, an example programme and give you some insight into Dante Trudel.
Who Is Dante Trudel?
Dante Trudel began bodybuilding at the age of 20, he weighed 137lbs at a height of 6ft 1. Fast forward to now with a 280lb frame of muscle on top of muscle and you have the creator of DoggCrapp or DC Training. Dante first started following programmes he saw in magazines then eventually decided that came with a lot of “fluff”, he analysed the parts of those programmes that were responsible for getting results and then stripped them back to the bare bones. Dante really thought about what truly makes muscles grow, as opposed to what exercises programmes were telling you to do and in doing so, created DC Training.
Dante has dedicated his life and work into finding out what works best for bodybuilders, and calling out the “crap” in the industry, and he is renowned as one of the best minds in bodybuilding. So it makes total sense that when Dante talks, people listen and there’s a common phrase of “What would Dante do” when looking to really push hard or cut through the crap to become effective.
Dante is not research based, he’s all about direct practical application and whilst there’s many ways to build muscle, there’s a reason why when publishing DC training the industry took note and the low volume, high intensity training methods he outlines are adhered to by so many in the industry.
Dante in fact doesn’t want DC training to be popular, he knows it’s not for everyone.
What Is DC Training?
DC Training is Dante’s system. It is engineered for advanced trainees who are looking to pack on a sizeable amount of tissue and to do so quickly. It has been called intense, sadistic and also amazing, and is utilised by top level athletes across the globe.
The system itself is centred around progressive overload, at a lower overall volume but training with a high frequency.
The key variables of DC training are as follows;
- Heavy progressive weights
- Lower workout volume but higher workout frequency
- Multirep rest-pause training
- Extreme stretching
- Higher protein intake
- Blasting and cruising phases
The training method centres around a single absolute top work set per training session, but that one training set utilises rest pauses and is brutal. This rest pause set is however what makes DC training so challenging and effective.
The reason that the volume is lower is purely because you would not be able to recover from a 12 set training session on a given muscle group with this high intensity, it simply isn’t viable.
What is a rest pause set?
Well it’s quite simple really, you load whatever exercise you may be doing with a load that you think you can do for however many reps are specified, say 10 for example, then you complete that “set” without stopping until you reach that point of failure. After that, you take 5-10 deep breaths, then go again and keep doing so until you can’t complete another single rep with perfect form.
You then, as with everything else, try to beat this week on week, until you get to the top end of the rep range specified, then go up in load and touch some new weights for new volume.
In DC training, not every rep range for a rest pause set is the same, some are high rep 20+ sets, some are lower in the 10ish range and others in between.
The reps may be higher than you’re used to, but it is just one set, one set where you give it absolutely everything.
There are however some exercises that are not rest paused for safety reasons and these are those with very high loads, if your form goes to crap on a squat for example, the risk on injury is so much greater.
DC Extreme Stretching
DC extreme stretching is an intrinsic part of the programme and one of the key differentiators between it and other programmes.
Dante states that the best physiques of all time have a few things in common, they’ve all been immensely strong and extremely flexible, as such he treats stretching as a key component of the DC training system.
DC stretching however is a little different, it’s stretching under load. Stretching is done only after the body part has been worked and the muscles are full of blood and the stretches are held for 60-90 seconds and progressed just like every movement.
We’re doing some explainer videos of DC stretching and how to perform them, which you can find here;
There are stretches for everything except calves, as the calf training incorporate a stretching movement into it anyway.
DC Training Nutrition
Nutrition when undertaking DC Training is extremely important, it’s very intense so we need to maximise recovery capabilities. Dante does so by controlling protein and water intake more so than anything else.
The protein intake is high at 1.5-2g per lb of bodyweight and essentially you’re eating like 20lbs above your goal weight.
Carbs are cut off on the most part after 6pm and we’re getting through a gallon of water a day at minimum to keep hydrated. Cardio is done in the morning at lower glycogen levels.
Blasting and Cruising Phases
Dante’s methods are very intense, so much so that you cannot train (and eat) like this year round, you simply will hate training eventually and give up.
So he recommends going all out for 6 to 8 weeks then taking 10 to 14 days off. On those 10 days off, just go through the motions, straight sets, no rest pauses and swap some exercises around.
By the time that period is over, you’re raring to go again and looking forward to the tortuous next few weeks ahead.
Exercise selection is crucial in DC training as you’re taking exercises where you can inherently increase poundages week on week. For example, you may progress a lateral raise by 2kg in a block, where you could progress an OHP by 10kg in the same block, that way, the OHP is producing more output at a higher % strength progression.
As such, Dante recommends choosing 3 exercises for each body part that you’re able to rapidly progress poundages and rotate those through the A & B sessions.
DC training is agnostic to the resistance equipment used so feel free to use machines, cables and free weights so long as they’re exercises that you can effectively progress.
You are training 3 times a week, Mon, Wed & Friday with a rotation between A & B sessions.
The training week(s) looks as follows.
Mon – 1A
Wed – 2B
Fri – 3A
Mon – 4B
Wed – 5A
Fri – 6B
DC Training Programme Example
- 1 Incline Smith machine presses 11-15 rest-pause
- 3 Flat-bench barbell presses 11-15 rest-pause
- 5 Hammer Strength chest presses 11-15 rest-pause
- 1 Military presses 11-20 rest-pause
- 3 Medium-grip upright rows 11-15 rest-pause
- 5 Smith machine shoulder presses 11-20 rest-pause
- 1 Close-grip bench presses 11-20 rest-pause
- 3 Lying triceps extensions 15-30 rest-pause
- 5 Machine dips 11-20 rest-pause
- 1 Hammer Strength 11-15 rest-pause underhand pulldowns
- 3 Front wide-grip pulldowns 11-15 rest-pause
- 5 Close-grip pulldowns 11-15 rest-pause
- 1 Deadlifts 6-9 9-12
- 3 Rack deadlifts 6-9 9-12
- 5 T-bar rows 10-12
- 2 Barbell drag curls 11-20 rest-pause
- 4 Seated dumbbell curls 11-20 rest-pause
- 6 Machine curls 11-20 rest-pause
- 2 Hammer curls 10-20
- 4 Barbell wrist curls 10-20
- 6 Cable reverse curls 10-20
- 2 Leg-press toe presses 10-12
- 4 Machine donkey calf raises 10-12
- 6 Seated calf raises 10-12
- 2 Lying leg curls 15-30 rest-pause
4 Sumo leg presses (feet high and wide, press with heels) 15-25
- 6 Seated leg curls 15-30 rest-pause
- 2 Squats 4-8 20
- 4 Hack squats 4-8 20
- 6 Leg presses 4-8 20
So your 1A session would look as follows;
- Incline Smith machine presses 11-15 rest-pause
- Military presses 11-20 rest-pause
- Close-grip bench presses 11-20 rest-pause
- Hammer Strength 11-15 rest-pause underhand pulldowns
- Deadlifts 6-9 9-12
6 working sets total and you’re done. Sounds easy right? Wrong. It’s brutal, high intensity and it will hurt, a lot.
You can work out the other session examples from the above too.
Hopefully this gives you a little insight into DC training and what the fuss is about, if you’ve tried it, let us know your thoughts, if not, give it a go, and definitely let us know what you think!
It’s one we haven’t yet tried, but taken parts from like the widowmaker sets and rest pauses which are now a staple of our routines!