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A Load of Doggcrapp: Is Dante Trudel's Doggcrapp Training System T...

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A Load of Doggcrapp: Is Dante Trudels Doggcrapp

Training System The Next Big Thing In Bodybuilding?
Lets not call it a revolution yet, but if the 70s were the era of Arnold (double splits,
high volume) and the 90s were the years of Yates (high intensity, low frequency),
then this decade may be remembered as the age of Doggcrapp.

Try to ignore the name for now; instead, consider the fact that not only has DC become an Internet
bodybuilding board phenomenon, but DC disciple and pro bodybuilder Dave Henry has acquired 30
lean pounds in less than three years. Thats a lot of Crapp. We interviewed DC mastermind Dante
Trudel to learn about Doggcrapps rapid growth and why its adherents grow so rapidly. Trudel, 38,
grew up in Massachusetts and currently lives in Southern California with his wife, Dianne. He co-owns
the Internet supplement company At 61, he now weighs a muscular 280, but when
Trudel began bodybuilding at age 20, as he jokes, he was a wispy 137 after a good meal and with
four rolls of quarters in my pocket.
After developing his low-volume rest-pause training style and experiencing his greatest
growth, Trudel tutored his friends, who saw similar rapid results. From 1993 to 1995,
he published a cutting-edge bodybuilding newsletter called Hardcore Muscle.
However, it wasnt until Trudel posted his theories on an Internet discussion board six years ago that
his ideas began to spread. Unfortunately, he used the screen name Doggcrapp for what he thought
would be his only post. Much to his surprise, he was deluged with questions, his original post grew to
118 pages and his writings were copied and pasted all over the Internet.
Sad to say, Im stuck with the moniker Doggcrapp, Trudel laments with a laugh. If I
could do it all over again, trust me, I wouldve gone with a much cooler screen name.

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What was your early training like?

I did the good ol boys programs I saw in the magazines, jumping back and forth according to the
latest article. It took me two years of six meals a day and training hard just to look normal at 190. It
kind of sucked that I had to gain 50 pounds to look normal, but I had a never-say-die attitude. I went
three-and-a-half years barely missing a meal, and if I did miss one, Id get up at 2 AM and cook it. I
really believe that bullheaded consistency in eating put the 50 pounds on me more than any type of
training I did.

How did you first develop DC?

After three-and-a-half years of obsessive-compulsive volume training, I started to read everything I
could get my hands on concerning nutrition, supplements and training even abstracts and lab studies.
I got to the point where I thought, Jeez, there is no rhyme or reason for what people are doing
bodybuildingwise. It seemed to me that everything was done with an I must do inclines, declines, flat
bench, flyes, cable crossovers and pec deck or I wont grow mentality. I thought about what makes a
muscle grow, what would make it grow faster, and to absolutely stop thinking in this I want to be big
so bad Ill overthink and overdo everything concept. Why do people think in terms of annihilating
myself into rigor mortis in todays workout instead of progression and recovery over weeks, months
and years? I started stringing together workouts with a game plan instead of winging it and hoping I
was doing the right thing. I was 23 when I scrapped everything and reverse-engineered it. I broke it
down, took out all the things I felt were just fluff, and there for ego and obsessive-compulsive
satisfaction, and created a planned powerbuilding attack.

How fast did you grow when you first started DC

As soon as I got down to the brass tacks of what I felt worked and what didnt, I started gaining
again. I had been stuck at about 204, and then after I got my head out of my ass and attacked this
like a chess game, I consistently gained. Ive been over 300, but currently Im 280. I told my wife I will
slowly take it down to about 260 and stay there. I reached my goals, proving to myself that with my
extreme ectomorphic qualities I could attain a certain level through incredibly hard work and
consistency. Now, I want to learn to tap dance just kidding.

What are the basic principles of DC?

Heavy progressive weights
Lower workout volume but higher workout frequency
Multirep rest-pause training
Extreme stretching
Carb cutoffs later in the day
Morning cardio
Higher protein intake
Blasting and cruising phases

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Explain why continuously gaining strength is the essence

of DC training.
I believe he who makes the greatest strength gains [in a controlled fashion] makes the greatest
muscle gains. Note that I said strength gains. Everybody knows someone naturally strong who can
bench 405 yet isnt that big. Going from a 375 bench to 405 isnt an incredible strength gain and wont
result in much of a muscle mass gain. If someone goes from 150 to 405 for reps, that incredible
strength gain will equate to an incredible muscle mass gain. Ninety-nine percent of bodybuilders are
brainwashed that they must go for a blood pump, and those same 99% stay the same year after year.
Its because they have no plan. They go in, get a pump and leave. They give the body no reason to
change. A power-bodybuilding game plan stresses continually getting stronger on key movements,
and the body protects itself by getting muscularly larger. If you never get anywhere close to your
ultimate strength levels, you will never get close to your utmost level of potential size.

How does the three-exercise rotation work?

Pick the three best exercises per bodypart you can rest-pause generally those in which
you can safely make maximum strength increases.
For example, close-grip bench presses are better for triceps
than kickbacks because you should be able to make more
incremental improvements over a longer period. The three
exercises will be rotated, using only one of them each time
you train that bodypart. If someone only does one exercise
over and over, he plateaus on it very quickly. Ive
experimented with this multiple ways, and the three-exercise
rotation can keep you from plateauing for a long time.

How important is a journal?

Its crucial. You must always write down your weights used
and reps done, excluding warm-ups, in a logbook. Every time
you go to the gym, you have to continually beat your
previous weight, reps or both even if its just by five pounds
or one rep. If you dont beat it, you lose that exercise from
your three-exercise rotation. This adds grave seriousness to
a workout. I have exercises I love to do, and knowing Ill lose
them if I dont beat the previous stats sucks!
If you get to a strength sticking point, you must turn to a different exercise for that
bodypart and get brutally strong on that new one. Looking at that piece of paper and
knowing what you have to do to beat your best will bring out the best in you.

What training split do you recommend?

My usual recommendation is workout A chest, shoulders, triceps, back width and back thickness and
workout B biceps, forearms, calves, hams and quads. I recommend this bodypart order because it puts
the hardest bodyparts you have to train back and quads last in your workouts. This is contrary to
conventional wisdom, but after doing deadlifts or a widowmaker for quads, youre not going to have
the same energy for training anything else. The two-workout rotation is done three times over two
weeks on a Monday (A), Wednesday (B), Friday (A), Monday (B), Wednesday (A), Friday (B) schedule.
This creates more growth phases. The guy next to you is training chest on Monday and then waiting a
week before training chest again two growth phases over 14 days. You, on the other hand, train chest

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three times in 14 days. He trains chest 52 times a year and grows 52 times, while you train chest 78
times a year and grow 78 times.
Youre doing only one exercise, out of your three rotated exercises, per bodypart each
workout while Joe Gymguy over there is doing incline barbell presses, flat dumbbell
presses and Hammer Strength decline presses in his chest workout today. Youre doing
the same exercises hes doing over two weeks, but youre growing at a much faster

For DC, does it matter if someone is a beginner or

DC isnt for anyone who hasnt been lifting hardcore for at least three years. You have to know your
body well and your way around a gym before shifting to something this intense.

Why do you stress low workout volume?

On this schedule, you cannot do 12 to 16 sets per bodypart. Lower volume is the only way you can
recover to quickly train that bodypart again. Besides, once a growth response is met during a workout,
anything you do past that point is pretty much delving into your recovery and catabolizing muscle
mass, so I dont want to take one step forward and half a step back. There are many ways to build
muscle. In simple terms, Im using extreme high-intensity [rest-pause] techniques, which I believe
increase a persons strength as quickly as possible. Along with that is lower volume, for quicker
recovery and as many growth phases as possible in a years time.

Explain how a DC rest-pause set is performed.

Most of the sets are in the 11- to 15-rep range, although
sometimes its higher or lower, depending on the bodypart,
exercise, safety and health of joints. Every rest-pause set is
done with three failure points. A hypothetical incline bench
11- to 15-rep set would start with eight reps to failure, rack
the weight, take 15 deep breaths, unrack, two to four reps to
failure, rack the weight, 15 deep breaths, unrack, and a final
one or two reps to failure.

Should every bodypart be

Most quad exercises and back-thickness exercises are not
rest-paused due to safety reasons. These usually involve
incredibly large poundages and, as you grow fatigued during
a rest-pause set, its easy to lose form. I dont want someone
T-bar rowing 250 and pulling from a bent rest-pause dead
stop and getting a serious injury. For quads, I usually
recommend a brutally heavy set of four to eight reps
followed, after a rest, by a 20-rep set with less weight, but
still heavy. I call that 20-rep set a widowmaker. Once you
do it, youll have no question why.
For back thickness, I recommend a brutally heavy set of six to eight reps followed,
after a rest, by a slightly lighter set of 10 to 12, going to failure both times.

How many warm-up sets?

Whether its one warm-up or five, take as many as you need to get ready for your all-out working
sets. This all depends on the person and how advanced he is. For example, if someone was going to
rest-pause 405 for incline presses, then his warm-ups might go something like this: 135 for 12 to 20
reps, 225 for 10 to 12,275 for 6 to 8,335 for 4 to 6, then 405 for an all-out rest-pause set of 11 to 15
reps. A bodybuilder using a lot less weight may need only two warm-ups before his rest-pause set.

What is extreme stretching, and what are you trying to

accomplish with it?
Extreme stretching can have myriad benefits if done correctly: recovery, fascia size and potential
hyperplasia, which is still only theory. It can change your physique in pretty dramatic ways [especially
your chest, triceps and quads]. It should be done only after the bodypart has been worked. I
recommend extreme stretching for every bodypart except calves, and thats only because the way I
have people train calves already has an extreme stretch built into it. Basically, you want to get into a
deep stretch and hold it for 60 to 90 seconds. These are very painful. Ill walk you through a quad
stretch. You just got done quad training, so take an overhand grip on a barbell fastened in a power
rack about hip high and simultaneously sink all the way down. Push your knees forward and under the
barbell until youre on your toes basically a sissy squat. Now straighten your arms and lean as far back
as you can, and hold that stretch for 60 to 90 seconds. Its going to be excruciating for most people.
Do this one faithfully, and in four weeks your quads will look a lot different than they
used to.

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How important are static contractions?

I like to get people confident in the ability to handle big poundages, instilling the mentality that they
are in control of the weights and not vice versa. For this reason and for time under tension purposes,
some trainers should do a static contraction or static reps short two-inch range of motion reps at the
end of their rest-pause set.

How should trainers use cardio?

In the offseason, if you train three days a week, then do cardio on the four off days. If more people
took that approach, you would have fewer offseason bodybuilders looking like sumo wrestlers. Cardio
is a very individualistic thing, so its hard for me to say do this in an article without knowing a great
deal about whos reading it. Ive found that if people who have a difficult time gaining weight do
cardio walking on a treadmill or around the neighborhood first thing in the morning, appetite and
muscular weight gains become nonissues. Id have them get up, take in either branched-chain amino
acids or a scoop of protein powder, do their cardio and then eat the days first meal. The old wives
tale that you cant gain muscle mass if you do cardio is the biggest bunch of crap.
If done right, cardio is a huge weapon in a bodybuilders arsenal.

What are the basics of the DC nutritional philosophy?

Use a higher protein intake 1.5 grams to upward of 2 grams per pound of bodyweight.
Drink at least a gallon of water daily in direct relation to your protein times bodyweight ratio. For
example, if you take in 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight, drink at least one-anda-half gallons of water daily.
Except for postworkout carbs, most people should take in no carbohydrates after 6 PM, primarily
so morning cardio is done with lower glycogen levels.
Eat either protein and carbs or protein and fats, but dont mix up those components greatly. You
dont have to be absolutely meticulous with this, but its a generalized way to keep most people
from creating insulin spikes and driving fats toward adipose tissue.
Meals that are protein and carbs are usually eaten in this sequence: protein first, fiber and
veggies second, carbs last. This is simply because about half the time youre so full after the
steak, salad and broccoli that you dont eat all the carbs, and for bodyfat control, thats a good
There are some individuals who should eat mainly protein and fats because they are so
carb-sensitive, and other people who should take in carbs only pre- and postworkout. Its one of
those things where I have to ask a lot of questions of the person, and I come up with a game
Basically, I try to trick the human body into getting larger by becoming a muscle-building fat-burning
machine. In the simplest of terms, if youre 180 and want to weigh 200, youd better eat like a
220-pounder to get there. I say eat and train like a 300-pounder, cardio like a guy who is 8%
[bodyfat] and shore up all excesses with carb cutoffs, food combinations and key supplements green
tea, etc.

What are blasting and cruising phases?

I recommend people train all out for six to eight weeks [blasting] and then take a 10- to 14-day
period [cruising] in which they remove one meal per day and do only maintenance training. During
the cruise, only go to the gym two or three times, go through the motions with straight sets and try
out some new exercises you might switch to if youre close to strength plateaus on any current ones.
Guys come off that 10- to 14-day cruise like rabid dogs chomping at the bit to get blasting again.
Blasting and cruising must be done. You cannot train all-out all the time without overtraining. Blast
and cruise back and forth all year long.

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Let me play devils advocate.

Our muscles cant see the weight or count the reps; they only react to stress. As long
as I keep stressing them enough, why do I need to get another rep or use another five
pounds? Why cant I stress my muscles as much as a DC adherent with, say, supersets
or drop sets or new exercises?

I think I can answer that best by asking the readers a question. Would Ronnie
Coleman, or any top pro, be the size he is today if he stayed lifting the same light
weights he started with when he was a beginner?

What its all about

Bodybuilding is all about creating continual adaptation. The number of exercises you can do per
bodypart is finite. How many good quad-building exercises are there? Six, maybe? The number of sets
volume you can do is finite or infinite if you want to spend the next 3,200 hours straight in the gym.
As for supersets or drop sets or whatever, after you do them this time, what are you going to do next
time to make sure you went above and beyond the supersets and drop sets you did this time? Anyone
reading this can giant set squats, leg presses, hack squats and lunges, and they will be blown out and
sore as hell for the next few days. They could do that exact same workout with the same exercises
and weights every leg workout for the next year and theyd be blown out and sore for days each time.
Are they really going to gain any leg mass after the second or third time? No, because
nothing has changed in the parameters to cause an increase in muscle size.

What is pretty much infinite in training? Poundage.

You take a key exercise up to an extreme strength plateau, and at that very point, switch to a new
key exercise and get brutally strong on the new one; you do that continually. That repetitive
progression that youre held accountable for in your logbook is the key game plan to get to point B
where you want to be from point A where you are at the absolutely quickest rate possible.

Weve covered a lot of ground. What one thing would you

most want people to take away from this article?
A lot of what bodybuilding is about for many people is obsession-compulsion instead of deductive
reasoning. I would like people to start thinking of how to get to point B from point A in the shortest
route possible. I am not claiming to have built a better mousetrap, but I think Im showing how to
catch the mouse quicker.

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Dantes teachings have taken me to the next level. Most people hit plateaus, but this
style of training is all about progress. If theres a plateau, you move around it and
keep going. Its all about getting progressively stronger. David Henry

Ive been doing Doggcrapp since shortly after the 2006 Ironman. Im not sure Im
going to stick with it precisely. Im still into more of Dorian Yates style, but there are
things Ill take from Doggcrapp. I really like the rest-pause sets, and the
widowmakers for legs have been brutal. I do think the Doggcrapp philosophy that
gaining strength is the key to gaining mass is 100% correct. Mark Dugdale

Example Of A Doggcrapp Cycle

The exercise numbers (in orange) correspond to individual workouts. In our example, only the
five number-one exercises are done in the first workout, only the five number-two exercises are
done in the second workout, etc.
Each working set is preceded by one to five warm-up sets.
The additional set of 10-12 reps for rack and regular deadlifts, as well as the 20-rep additional
widowmakers for quads, is performed after a rest and with lighter (but still heavy) weights.
Abs can be trained on any day, typically with one warm-up set and one working set to failure of
both a crunching movement and a leg-raise movement. Working sets can be either rest-pause
sets for 20-30 reps or straight sets for 15-20 reps.

Exercise & Reps Per Working Set

A Workouts
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

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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

Back (Width)
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

Back (Thickness)
1 Deadlifts 6-9 9-12
3 Rack deadlifts 6-9 9-12
5 T-bar rows 10-12

B Workouts
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
All calf exercises are done with an enhanced negative portion of the rep. Each rep
consists of five seconds of lowering down to a full stretch, a 10- to 15-second hold in
the stretched position, then rising onto the toes.

Workout Schedule

The numbers 1 through 6 correspond to the exercise numbers in the Doggcrapp cycle
chart. Follow a pattern of A and B workouts for the bodypart split. Beginning with week
3, this pattern repeats, starting with the #1 exercises.
COPYRIGHT 2010 Weider Publications

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COPYRIGHT 2010 Gale Group


ben says:

May 4, 2011 at 8:07 am

Most effective strength & size builder for hardgainers

Harold says:

May 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

its because im still a beginner but ive honestly put on 20lbs in around 16wks, not all lean weight but a
large percentage im presuming..

Fred says:

August 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Ive read that you can grow more by doing split routines like this program says, but I dont understand
why that is better than doing full-body routines like Darden recommends.
Please explain

Jn Ingi says:

September 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

How is it on rest days? Do you do cardio and abs on rest days?

Jim says:

November 2, 2011 at 1:53 am

How does the rest pause work with the number of set? for example for biceps it says 6 Machine curls
11-20 rest-pause does this mean do 6 sets of machine curls and then on the last one do the rest pause to
11-20 reps? slightly confusedany advice would be appreciated

jin says:

November 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

@ Jim the 6 is for the 2 4 6 schedule.. i usually do 1 set of around 8 reps.. take 15 breaths then go again
to near failure or failure. and again either 3 times or till u get 20 on u

User says:

November 21, 2011 at 5:15 am

I am a bit unsure of how many sets per exercise, I am guessing 3?

jay says:

November 21, 2011 at 7:19 am

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I used 3 sets and had great results, decent workout!

ben says:

December 7, 2011 at 12:19 am

Everyone seems confused as to how many sets etc to do. To put it in simple terms you only do 1 HEAVY
(or working set), but to allow the muscles to warm up adequately and to recruit as many muscle fibres as
possible, some warm up sets will be required.
e.g. If my 6RM bench press is 20kg the exercise would go something like this for example=
warm-up set 1 = 8kg for 10-20 reps
warm-up set 2 = 12kg for 10-15 reps
warm-up set 3 = 15kg for 5-10 reps
(there is no set reps for this, just push out as many as needed, but dont reach failure on these warm-up
Once your body and head are ready perform the final set. e.g
HEAVY (working set)= Aim for 6-10 reps with good form. (Its ok if you only reach 6, as long as you get 7
or more reps next workout you are making progress.)
Rest for 10-15 breaths then aim for another 2-4 reps.
Rest for another 10-15 reps then aim for a final 1-2 reps.
As a side note: (there is no perfect rest time between sets, just make sure that it long enough that you
have gotten your breath back but not long enough that your muscles begin to cool down, this is usually
around 1-3 mins, but it really doesnt matter.(
Also, as your strength and weight lifted increases you may need to gradually increase the number of
warm-up sets to ensure that all muscle fibers will be recruited on your HEAVY (working set).
Hope this helps :)

sean says:

December 7, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I am so confused, so I take it most of the reps you do are just warm ups an that you only do 1 proper
workout set. So you build up 2 your heavy weight by doin all the warm ups, is that right ???

ben says:

December 8, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Thats exactly right, the pro bodybuilders that train DC style such as David Henry and Dusty Hanshaw
dont consider warm-up sets actual sets. There main focus is to lift more weight or get more reps out on
their WORKING SET each workout.
The reason for not going to failure on warm-up sets is because the WORKING SET is supposed to be AS
INTENSE AS POSSIBLE. If you do your warm-up sets to failure then your WORKING SET will not be AS
INTENSE AS POSSIBLE, thus defeating the purpose of DC raining.
Keep a log book when training and once you finish your WORKING SET write doen the total number of
reps you pushed out on your WORKING SET.
e.g. Barbell bench press
7 + 3 + 2 = 12 TOTAL REPS
Remember: As long as you beat the log book (weight or reps) each workout, you will be growing.
Train hard, train safe :)

mitch says:

December 26, 2011 at 11:12 am

Am i able to make this into a 4 day workout program? i just hate only going to the gym 3 days a week ;)

Daniel says:

August 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I have been experimenting with this workout for past (2) months and I must admit, my strength has
increased like never before. I have questions regarding the non rest-pause set/s and the cruise phase:
- Say for forearms that arent rest-paused. When u train them do you do just 1 set to failure or 4 non
rest-paused sets to failure similar to regular volume training?
- For cruise phase, do you still rest-pause and just NOT go to failure, while using lighter weights? OR is it
more like volume training just with lighter weights?
Thanks in advance!!

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December 16, 2013 at 1:27 am

sam says:
What do you recommend for lifting tempo/cadence ?

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