In A Look at Some Popular Hypertrophy Programs, I made mention of something called Doggcrapp (DC) training in terms of being one of several excellent approaches to hypertrophy training. The brainchild of Dante Trudell (who uses the screen name Doggcrapp, hence the name), DC represents an excellent synthesis of a lot of very good ideas applied to bodybuilding.
As mentioned in the article above, I don’t think that DC training is right for everyone, and not everyone does well on it. For those that do, they grow and grow well. Now, I’ve wished for a while that Dante would write a book on DC training as I think the ideas need to get wider exposure. Apparently he’s just not interested.
Thankfully, two of Dante’s ‘students’ (for lack of a better word), Jason Wojo and Franco Ditillo, put together a DVD to both explain and demonstrate the ideas that make up the DC approach.
Overall appearance: The DVD is professional in terms of packaging and appearance (e.g. the outside of the DVD). The audio is good (this isn’t the case for many products) and the video is nicely shot; it’s not professionally done, nor is it a guy with a handycam. Most of it is simply the guys talking at the camera but the training footage is well shot and it’s easy to see what’s going on.
The DVD itself: The DVD is divided into 4 segments which are Introduction, Workout 1, Workout 2, and Special features. I want to look at each in sequence.
Introduction: The first segment of the DVD is about 20 minutes long and consists of Jason Wojo explaining the guts of the DC system. Starting with who DC training is for (advanced guys who are able to push), it also covers who it isn’t for (beginners and wimps). There’s a refreshing element of honesty to this attitude, recognizing that the system that you personally think highly of just isn’t for everyone.
In a nutshell, DC is similar to high intensity training (HIT) in that it attempts to get maximal growth stimulation in the least volume required. In most cases this represents a single set but with a twist: after reaching failure once, two rest-pause sets are typically done with 10-15 breaths between ‘mini-sets’ so that a total of 11-15 reps per set is done.
For many exercises this is followed by an isometric hold and most movement are then followed by something DC calls loaded or extreme stretching. DC training rests on the concept of making progress at every workout (if possible). There is always an attempt to beat your previous best and make strength gains in a medium repetiton range. Coupled with sufficient food, that equals growth.
As well, for any given training cycle, multiple exercises are chosen and rotated each workout with the idea being that you will make better overall strength gains returning to the same exercise a bit less frequently.
In contrast to some HIT systems, DC calls for training each muscle group every 5th day so that growth is stimulated more often than with lower frequency training approaches. The basic approach is three days/week alternating between two different splits. Within that, as noted, exercises are rotated in and out within each workout.
As well, DC training follows an approach of ‘blasts’ and ‘cruises’ (essentially varying intensity) lasting roughly 4-6 weeks and 2 weeks respectively. So you cruise (training relatively less intensely) for 2 weeks and then blast (going for major gains) for 4-6 weeks. This is basically identical to how I recommend folks cycle my generic approach to hypertrophy training, 2 weeks of relatively easier work followed by 4-6 weeks pushing things hard before backing off and then building back up again.
Overall, I found the part of the DVD to be an excellent introduction to the concepts of the DC system. Frankly, it’s not a complex system but training doesn’t have to be complicated to be hellishly effective.
I would say that I think the introduction went a little bit wrong when Jason tried to get into some of the deep scientific reasons that loaded stretching might work (personally I think they are just a heavy loaded eccentric). Going from talking about progressive overload and beating your logbook to a discussion of hyperplasia and PGF2a seemed a bit out of place to me. Then again, in one of the bonus sections he mentions having a degree in immunology. So he’s just another labcoat; a big labcoat mind you, but a labcoat nonetheless.
As well, the camera guy thought it would be cute to move from a straight ahead shot to this sort of 45 degree angle shot (thank you MTV) so part of the time Jason is sort of looking off to the side of the screen and not talking directly to you. This is a pretty minor quibble on my part.
Workout 1: The first workout demonstrated consisted of chest, delts, triceps, back width and back thickness. Frankly, I usually find watching training videos boring as dirt and this wasn’t much different, it took me several viewings to get through it. Basically, we got to watch the guys explain and then warmup prior to doing a rest pause set for incline bench, DB shoulder presses, reverse grip bench presses and a sort of modified rack chinning movement (DB held in the lap), static holds were done after several movements although neither lifter got even close to 30 seconds on any of them.
For reasons that went unexplained, rack pulls for back thickness were done for 2 straight sets (note: the reason is that rest pausing deads is a good way to kill yourself when your form breaks down). Both Jason and Franco are big strong boys and they moved some serious weight (IMO, Jason had the better form on everything).
Possibly the most interesting bit of watching the workout was seeing the loaded/extreme stretches themselves. Those never lent themselves to verbal descriptions and seeing what is actually being done for them will be informative for anybody interested in the system. Since the lifters did slightly different stretches (sometimes), it also gives viewers some options for their own training should they pursue the methodology.
Each set is accompanied by loud heavy metal and the guys joke with one another between sets. The segment ends with each lifter explaining how they personally log their workouts. I found it kind of useless but, then again, when 99% of gym goers don’t record a thing, seeing that a couple of big boys record their workouts to keep track of their progress is a good thing.
Workout 2: Workout 2 consisted of biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings and finally, quads. Biceps were hit with incline DB curls, forearms (really brachialis) with a cross body curl that they called pinwheel curls. This was followed by a loaded/extreme stretch. Calves were a single LONG set consisting of calf raises with an incorporated extreme stretch, it hurt to watch. Hamstrings were leg curls, for some reason the hamstring stretch was not shown but only described via text. Finally quads were hit by leg press, two straight sets (no reason was given for not using rest-pause). Frankly, I was a bit disappointed here, DC’s guys tend to talk about 20 rep ‘widomaker’ squats as if they are the key to the system, I was hoping to see a good set of 20 reppers done on the DVD.
As with Workout 1, some good poundages were moved and the guys goofed off between sets. It was funny seeing the look on a couple of the other gym-goer’s face as Jason and Franco loaded up the leg press with just about every plate in the gym.
Special features: The DVD had a number of special features which I’ll describe briefly.
DC nutrition: A basic look at DC nutrition concepts including protein, carbs, fat, intake, how much to eat, etc.
Alternative exercises: Shows a bunch of alternative training movements (with an overemphasis on arm training in my opinion) some of which you’ve probably seen and some of which you haven’t. I’m still disappointed that the DVD showed no squatting.
Wojo’s Wisdom: One of the dudes on the DVD shares some of his experiences with training over the years, he makes some good points regarding getting injured, not being ego driven and taking rest if your body is telling you to and other things most gym rats simply don’t do (but should).
Interview: A very informal interview with Franco and Jason, I had trouble staying focused and paying attention to this.
Big Larry: I zoned out completely on this, it was something with 4 DC guys eating at Texas Roadhouse talking about something or another but I had completely lost interest by that point in the DVD. If I missed THE SECRET to DC training by skipping this, please let me know exactly what time point on the DVD it occurs and I’ll go back and watch it.
And that’s that. Overall, I think this is a good DVD and anybody interested in an excellent introduction to the DC system (and seeing how actual workouts play out) would be advised to purchase it. I usually find training videos to be painfully generic (watching a big dude blast his guns is boring as hell) but this one is actually pretty informative for folks who have heard about DC training and want to learn more.
Learn more about the DC Training DVD
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