To its supporters, Doggcrapp (also known as DC) is the best training system for packing on strength and lean muscle mass. It is the brainchild of Dante Trudel who used the term ‘Doggcrapp’ for this program because it was his username on a forum where his posts about bodybuilding practices were an instant hit (he has since expressed regret about the choice of name). Trudel admits to have been taken in by the old bodybuilding magazine workouts when he first began training at the age of 20 where he weighed just 137 pounds. He credits his training system with transforming him into the 270-280 pound behemoth he is today.
It is his belief that modern bodybuilders are too obsessive when it comes to training and deems high volume workouts to be a waste of time. Doggcrapp training advocates incredibly intense training sessions that last an hour or less. A number of professional bodybuilders have thrown their support behind the program with claims of gaining 30 pounds of muscle in three years not uncommon. However, Trudel states that only those with a minimum of three years worth of training and technical proficiency should attempt this form of training.
Below is everything you need to know about Doggcrapp including:
- Program & Exercises
- Extreme Stretching
- Rest Periods
- Cardio & Diet
Doggcrapp Training Philosophy
Trudel believes that constant progression is the best way to make the size and strength gains you desire. In his opinion, too many bodybuilders fail to gain the strength needed to have a truly dominant physique. For example, repetition training with a 115 pound military press will only get you so far. It is impossible for you to go from the aforementioned 115 pound press to a 225 pound press and NOT see a significant size increase in your shoulders. The same goes for other compound exercises. You will not see someone who looks weak squatting 500 pounds or deadlifting 600 pounds.
Doggcrapp involves low volume and high frequency with rest-pause sets the staple of the program. One of the main reasons why the system is not as popular as other programs is because it involves low volume, anathema to the bodybuilding community who believe that high volume is the way forward in terms of increasing muscle mass.
You will perform three sessions a week with each bodypart worked once during every session. The caveat as far as bodybuilders are concerned is that you only have one working set per exercise which is taken beyond failure. This is where most people steer away from Doggcrapp training, conveniently forgetting that Dorian Yates’ ‘Blood and Guts’ training followed a similar principle.
Although there is only one working set per exercise, it should be one of the toughest and most excruciating sets you’ve ever performed. The majority of exercises are to be performed in rest-pause fashion. This involves picking a weight you can hit 10 reps with. Once you are no longer able to perform the exercise with good form, take a short rest, usually denoted as being long enough to take 10-15 deep belly breaths and perform another set of technically excellent reps to failure. Take another set of belly breaths and perform one last set to failure. Once you reach 15 reps in this manner, it is time to up the weight. If you fail to reach 11, you have the option to lower the weight or attempt to do better during the next session. Although it is one working set, the rest-pause element means three quick working sets are being performed.
There are exceptions to the rest-pause rule however. Heavy compound exercises such as bent over barbell rows, squats and deadlifts have 1-2 straight sets performed instead. In the case of the squat, you normally perform 6-10 reps before resting several minutes and attempting the infamous ‘Widowmaker’, a fancy name for a 20 rep squat set. For the deadlift, Doggcrapp trainees usually do a set of 6-9 reps and a second set of 9-12 reps with a slight drop in weight. Calves are also only one set of 10-12 reps but these involve a 5 second negative, 15 second pause at the bottom for EVERY rep before performing the rep as fast as possible while still retaining smooth form.
It should also be noted that advanced trainees perform one ‘static’ rep at the end of the rest-pause set which involves holding the weight in a ‘power position’ with elbows bent slightly for between 30-60 seconds. Trudel believes that this provides additional Time Under Tension (TUT) for the muscles.
Doggcrapp Training Program & Exercises
You will train three times a week on the Doggcrapp program. There are two separate workouts. This means you will perform each workout three times every two weeks:
- Monday – Workout #1
- Wednesday – Workout #2
- Friday – Workout #1
- Monday – Workout #2
- Wednesday – Workout #1
- Friday – Workout #2
The exercises in Doggcrapp must be performed in a particular order and you choose any ONE exercise for each bodypart. Trudel recommends that you choose three exercises for each body part and cycle them over the two weeks.
For example, for chest you may have incline press, decline press and flat dumbbell as your trio. Stick with these exercises until you stop adding weight to the bar on each one. Interestingly, Trudel does NOT recommend the flat barbell bench press. He says that if you must use it, bench with an arch like a powerlifter. Below are three choices for each body part.
Workout #1 (in order):
- Chest – Incline bench press, decline dumbbell press, incline dumbbell press.
- Shoulders – Standing military press, smith machine press, dumbbell press.
- Triceps – Reverse wide grip smith machine press, close grip barbell bench press, dips.
- Back width – Pull-up, chin-up, lat pulldown.
- Back Thickness – Deadlift, bent over barbell row, rack pull
- Biceps – Barbell curls, dumbbell alternating curl, cable curl.
- Forearms – Reverse barbell curl, hammer curl, reverse grip one arm cable curls (Forearm exercises also performed with straight sets only).
- Calves – Seated calf raises, standing calf raises, leg press machine raises.
- Hamstrings – Romanian deadlift, leg curl, glute-ham raise. (Hamstrings usually have a higher rep range than other muscle groups).
- Quads – Back squat, leg press, front squat.
Sample Workout (RP = Rest Pause)
- Incline bench press (11-15RP)
- Standing military press (11-15RP)
- Close grip bench press (11-15RP) [For smaller muscle groups, it is permissible to do 20-30 reps in rest-pause fashion]
- Lat pulldown (11-15RP)
- Deadlift (6-9) + (9-12) Straight sets
- Barbell curls (11-15RP)
- Hammer curls (10-20 straight set)
- Seated calf raises (10-12 reps with slow negatives and pause at bottom)
- Leg curl (15-30RP)
- Back squat (6-10 straight set) + (Widowmaker 20 rep set)
- Decline dumbbell press (11-15RP)
- Dumbbell shoulder press (11-15RP)
- Weighted dips (11-15RP)
- Weighted chin-ups (11-15RP)
- Bent over barbell row (10-12 reps straight set)
Although bodybuilders know the importance of stretching, the Doggcrapp program takes it one step further. Trudel calls it ‘extreme stretching’ with the aim being to allow the muscle to grow bigger than it would otherwise by expanding the connective tissue that surrounds groups of muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Trudel swears by ‘extreme stretching’ which involves stretching each body part intensely after it has been trained. For example, once you have finished your rest-pause set of incline bench presses, get a set of relatively heavy dumbbells and press them in normal fashion. Fill your lungs with air and hold for around 10 seconds. Now, drop down into the deepest stretch you can muster and hold this position for 45-50 seconds (or as long as you can last). This should hurt like hell. There is a specific stretch for each body part which can be found here.
Cardio & Diet
Cardio is another essential element of Doggcrapp training and should not be skipped. As the training sessions are so intense, cardio should be performed on days off. Trudel recommends 3-4 sessions of low intensity cardio a week which should be 30-40 minutes in duration. He believes that fasted cardio is best as fat is used for energy rather than glycogen. It is not necessary to attend the gym for this as a leisurely jog is more than sufficient. If you can’t jog for this length of time, begin by walking and work your way up to jogging. Trudel is completely against high intensity interval training or any other form of fast-paced cardio. In his opinion, the program is too intense and such cardio will not allow adequate recovery.
Trudel also believes in counting grams of protein instead of calories. The intense training involved in Doggcrapp should create an increasing demand for food with the body adapting accordingly. Trudel recommends that all trainees on this program take in approximately 2 grams of protein for every pound they weigh. So a 170 pound lifter needs to consume 340 grams of protein a day. This is a tough ask for those unused to such dietary demands.
It is also important for Doggcrapp trainees to abstain from carbohydrates in the last four hours before they go to bed. Therefore, late evening snacks are comprised entirely of fat and protein. Generally, six meals a day with evenly distributed amounts of protein will suffice. During the resting phase, protein intake is cut to 1.5 grams per pound which means the lifter above would still need 255 grams of protein a day.
As the program is so intense, it would be a mistake to train for more than a few months at a time. Proponents of Doggcrapp say that a 6-12 week ‘blast’ window is sufficient to make great gains. Having this plan of periodization also prevents trainees from jumping into another program. The rest period of 10-14 days is known as the ‘cruise’ phase and can involve deloading or a complete break from the gym altogether. Newcomers to the program are urged to utilize the ‘cruise’ phase and resist the temptation to continue with full intensity for 16+ weeks which happens regularly. The result is that the trainee becomes disillusioned with Doggcrapp and jumps to another program as their gains stall.
Every program has their critics and Doggcrapp is no different. The biggest point of contention amongst experienced lifters is the emphasis on exercising smaller body parts first. On workout #1 for example, the deadlift would be performed last while on workout #2, biceps take precedence over squats. Trudel responded to this critique by stating that trainees would be too exhausted after a 20 rep Widowmaker or heavy deadlifts to complete the rest of the workout.
There is also some skepticism regarding the practice of ‘extreme stretching’. Various coaches have dismissed the notion that this form of stretching will help increase muscle size and suggest that any gains would be minimal and certainly not worth the effort.
Trudel has stated many times that he doesn’t care who uses the Doggcrapp training system because he knows it works. He has trained clients of various sizes, shapes and strength levels and claims to have achieved enviable results with all of them. Doggcrapp is designed for extreme muscle growth and is unsuited to those who are not serious bodybuilders. Although there may not be enough volume for bodybuilding purists, the working sets that are performed are extraordinarily intense and require mental strength and discipline. Also, the sheer volume of protein that must be consumed will keep other trainees at bay. Nonetheless, Trudel says that the system should not be tampered with as watered down versions will not achieve the same results.