Great post man! DC is the best, I love it
very informative read guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Science Behind DC Training
Posting a few posts from around the web that really wrap up the training theory of DC training. Some of you have seen this before, others perhaps not.
From Viscious ove at the HST board many years ago.
Max-OT has a complete absence of any high-rep connective tissue remodeling scheme. Even DC's program has built-in mechanisms to keep joint pain down.
DC's reasoning, which pretty much fits with mine, is to not derive your diet from a macronutrient ratio of the total caloric intake. Rather, you "default" to a protein/BW ratio (2g/lbs just seems like a safe ratio ), then let volume and TUL dictate your post-WO and daily carb intake. Having done both, then you push up your caloric intake, if need be, with fat. If gains stagnate, add in more protein (which will add more fat as well.) If fatigue increases, add in more carbs.
On the hypertrophy pecking order, I have them ranked as such:
For people who want a solid program for both hypertrophy and strength, I really think DC is the best one out there.
For strength-oriented people (i.e. powerlifters) who want a program tailored for them, I think Max-OT is the way to go. And it's the fastest among the lot at developing pure strength.
The average DC trainee has more successful training history than the average HST trainee, and thus have less problems structuring a diet to it. Max-OT is a really good program, but I think the success rate (hypertrophy) with DC have been measurably higher.
Is one set for a body part this infreqently really that effective?
It is when you torch it with 20-rep squats, post-failure technique (i.e. rest/pause, statics) and loaded stretches.
Two major advantages exist with DC over traditional HST
1) His use of loaded stretches is roughly the equivalent of thowing >5RM negatives into the 10s phase, and then increasing that load by modulating stretch variables. For the body parts that the stretches cover, it becomes the primary strain stimulator and such in those parts.
2) His rep ranges and the rest-pause techniques combine for a form of density training, which is great for creating endurance-related adaptations. That in turns means the supra-protein diet DC espouses will be used as efficiently as possible through the 24-hour period after that meal. Classic HST doesn't have anything that intensive unless you include drop sets.
1) DC = high strain through loaded stretch, high metabolic stress, weekly load progression, failure.
what is the benefits of the rest pause?
Rest pause is a form of clustering. It lets you hit more reps for a given weight than you'd normally would. He doesn't recommend RP for everybody, though. Both that and statics is up to the (CNS) recovery of the trainee.
Also he recommends statics? Where do you hold the weights near the contracted position and what is its benefits?
It's HIT/fatigue-oriented thinking. He views it as a way to extend the effort beyond positive failure. Holding the weight in a contracted position significantly increases metabolic stress, which as with the other burn techniques, can help creates a nice pump, boost erk1/2 signal, stimulate muscle metabolism, and really help out with the post-WO glycogen uptake.
DC's loaded stretches regimen creates a super-high strain effect that breaks the very high threshhold most advanced-level trainees have from not doing SD. Beginner-to-intermediate trainees don't need it to grow, but can certainly benefit from that sort of modality. What limits the DC noobie is basically their ability to hit failure, with the proper rep cadence (the 4-6 second negative), under extreme metabolic duress. I bring up Brawn, because most people who've done Hardgainer, have done the 20-rep breathing squats. If you can do 20-rep squats, you have the mental makeup to do DC. If you can't, then wait.
I have a lot of admiration for the DC training, but it's a hard program. It makes men out of boys1) DC's program requires that (natural! trainees eat at least 2g/lbs protein. (which is considered a lot anyway) will benefit you beyond extra calories, most serious DC trainees strongly abide by this. I don't think it hurts; it's relatively difficult for your body to convert protein into energy or excess fat. You have two training bouts where mRNA and protein synthesis levels will be acutely elevated as well as the overall summation effect. And, frankly, do you really want to eat all those extra calories in carbs and fat? I think that rec goes up to even 3g/lbs, but for this diet (and the fact that the carb intake would be higher than a normal DC bulking diet), we'll leave it at 2 g/lbs protein.
I wouldn't even recommend HST or Max-OT to somebody with less than one year of practical training experience and learning. And DC is harder than both.
I would normally agree with the DC experts. The strength gains on DC's system is largely dependent on the mass gains you get from the system. If you don't grow on DC, you have little-to-no chance of getting stronger. Failure-based systems use a sort of retrogressive causation fallacy to interpret the improved CSA=extra force relationship to support their ideas on recovery and their pragmatic model of strength=size relationship. That is, if they've done more reps than before, they've gained size. If they don't, they haven't gained size. was thinking, for example, a static hold of dumbells, with incline curls.
Yeah, that's DC stretch training territory. You'd hold it for 45-60 seconds; if the stretch is long enough, you'll kick in the myotatic reflex, which increases the effective tension. That's when Dante's stretching exercises become the devil.
With the loaded stretches he'd have you do, and that overall the DC routine would give you better results than " HST. That is, if you can handle the failure and keep progressing.
Roughly half of his stretches are isometric. They are effective because the light loads are relatively significant enough to stay ahead of the stretch-reflex threshhold. The other half, much like many of Parillo's fascia stretches, have a limited useful life. You could keep extending and extending the stretch time to fight off RBE, but then metabolic work, pain threshhold, and other factors quickly diminishes the dividends.
DC program is aggressive with mechanical strain and metabolic stress. By using loaded stretching (and having the myotatic reflex kick up effective peak tension through the stretched part of the muscle) on most of the bodyparts, he amplifies the strain/MAPKp38 signal to levels only accessible were a trainee using negative-heavy training. By using rest-pause, he implements a sort of density training which creates a horrible amount of metabolic stress. Finally, he uses a bulking diet structure that enables his trainees to eat very high caloric diets without a pronounced risk of bodyfat increase.
Or, rather, his trainees to eat big, then he bumps up the metabolic stress techniques (through the rest-pause and non-WO short cardio sessions), so that the body is storing this caloric intake as efficiently as possible. This plays off the idea of letting diet dictate your training. Believe it or not, this sort of bulking/training philosophy was the status quo up until the beginning of the 90s. Parillo, who was notorious for his insane high-calorie diets, discussed at length about using the body as a storage factory. And this is how most athletes have trained.
The mechanical strain techniques DC uses (cluster, LS, some DCers do high-load static holds as well), feeds off the traditional wisdom of letting your training dictate the diet. Ergo, the high protein demands. But, his group of people happen to be very good at doing the timed carb intake thing and eating sufficient post-WO carbs, because again they understand that DC is still a performance-oriented system. The DC system pursues both progressive and absolute load more aggressively than any other program in existence, outside of HST. And thus, the strain it generates on the muscle is always significant.
Even though DC is more or less 2x-a-week per bodypart, it would generate better results than HST provided you can muster the intensity and eat big. The mechanical strain is roughly equivalent to 5s/post-5s. But the metabolic stress is that of Strossen's 20-rep programs, which isn't true for HST's 5s program. Although I'll probably draw fire for saying this, but you can view it as a super, super tweaked version of a old-school HG routine.
) Rest Pause = cluster (high volume at high load = more p38) + density training (short rest period = higher erk1/2 activity)
2) Loaded stretch = high p38 through initiating reflex (though DC's approach arguably produces diminishing results for certain DC stretches due to detraining effect of said reflex)
3) Continuous progressive load = no need for SD (albeit, load steps may not be ideal and the rotate-the-exercise MU management scheme is not optimal for strain)
4) Aggressive high protein bulk, which for most folk would be a 750-1500 caloric surplus.
Well if you use progressive load on the loaded stretches then the reflex will be not detrained
The reflex actually always gets detrained when you use it. It's always most pronounced the first few times you perform the loaded stretch. Moreover, because in DC, the LS are done after heavy metabolic stress is applied, the reflex kicks in a bit later than it would otherwise. The progressive load helps to fight this, but not all DC/fascia stretches easily facilitate progressive load. Finally, the longer you go on a stretch, after a certain point, you won't be able to generate a higher tension response due to a relaxation counterresponse. That's not a knock against DC, just that there's a practical limit to using the reflex to generate higher tension.
Then why does dc uses 3 exercises per rotation? What is the rationale behind this?
It's primarily necessary in order to vary the MU recruitment pool and manage the amount of fatigue. Each session torches your CNS connection for that part, but does it differently than the session before. For example, if you do dips one day, then incline press for the other, the lower pecs and delts do not get torched both sessions. Also, because DCers rotate between free weight, free bodyweight, and machines, the stabilization factor varies, which adjusts the neural drive requirement. Or to pit it another way, a person would be crazy to do 20-rep at-the-floor squats for every leg day, but if say he interspersed it with hack squats and leg press, suddenly it's more feasible. The rotation creates a sort of cycling scheme for the CNS fatigue. The disadvantage to this, though, is that the strain you apply to the muscle does vary session to session in sort of zig-zag fashion.
How do you explain the wicked strength gains made on dc?
1) Frequency is twice every 8 days. Traditionally, that's the frequency range that HD2ers and HGers use to increase strength.
2) The 3-exercise rotation strategy implementing a sort of neural-drive cycling scheme
3) Although DC is a strength-oriented program, its requisite load ranges (as with many >5RM failure-based programs) and slow cadence means there's a significant requirement for metabolic efficiency as well as overall CNS adaptations in optimal functional performance. The combination of the bulking diet and high metabolic stress enables both high glycogen storage and significant endurance-related adaptations, taking care of a big part of the DC program. In comparison, Max-OT is much less influenced by this metabolic issue, because the rep cadence is more traditional and the rep range is very short.
4) Green tea is a mild stimulant.
5) Finally, any program that successfully puts on a lot of mass (such as DC), enables the possibility of enormous strength gains.
in dc there is only 1 set.do you think that this 1 set can provide huge hypertrophy as it is 2 sets bodypart week?
Remember that sets, as are all volume discussions, require context. DC is not a Big Four program. For any given session, you'll be hitting bodyparts directly or indirectly 2 or 3 times from just your work sets. A work set may be rest-paused, which roughly works out to two work sets per exercise for given relative load (i.e. 15-20 reps for 10RM.) Finally, you add in loaded stretches
DC said that for legs that dont grow a set of 4-8 reps then a 20 rep set with a weight you can do 12 only?
From the standpoint of weightlifting tradition, 20-rep squats is as time-honoured as they come. 20-rep squats produce a sick amount of metabolic stress and offer a form of clustering at a fairly high load. Finally, there's a possibility that clustering/density training could produce higher strain than contiguous reps. I'm working out a variation of 20-rep and Gironda with some people that more or less replicates that. But I'm not completely sure how well it will work. Again, from DC's point of view, 20-rep squats are part of the training methodology that has worked through the years.
Also dc does only 1 set of stetches duration 45-60 s per bodypart?do you think that you need to stick to 60 s or less?what is the ideal duration?do you recommend more than 1 set of this loaded stretch or 2 sets of ls are better?
Really, there is no ideal duration. It's more apparent if you read some of the flexibility training manuals out there. I only recommend shorter times because HST is high frequency and because the stretch loads begin near your 5RM. You need less duration to benefit from it. Whereas on DC, the lower frequency and more moderate stretch loads (with some exceptions) requires longer times.
Also, it's not desirable to do multiple sets of LS, because you'll speed up the detraining of the stretch reflex. The emphasis should be on continuous time per stretch, where the reflex increases the tension signal. At some time duration, an inverse relaxation response will kick in. Then the tension peaks or goes back down. You don't want to stretch that long. You don't want to detrain your reflex to be able to stretch that long. But 45-60s is reasonable for what he wants his trainees to do.
Is it an optimal split where there is no overlap compared to max ot?
Max-OT templates are wacky because some templates have a lot of upper-torso overlap, and other templates don't. Dude didn't think through his workout plan well enough. Week to week, your results seem to bop and weave.
DC's push-pull-leg split is good for managing the CNS stress. But I think it might help to throw in metabolic sets periodically every 2 days or so. For example, on leg and pulling days, throw in a 15-rep set with a machine chest press. On pulling and pushing days, throw in a 15-rep leg press set or do bike/stair cardio. On pushing and leg days, throw in a 15-rep row and pulldown set. All done at a very light weight just enough to cause some burn.
The strength gains from Dante's clients on his program, for me, is fairly consistent with my experience with HIT. Because HIT is about demonstrating your size gains through strength -- if you gained a lot of real, force-produced mass -- your strength levels will take off, even if the coupling of your system has been mitigated. There's of course significant flaws with HIT, and by no means am I saying that it should be used primarily as a strength-training system, but generally if your mass gains are big, your strength gains will be big. The general complaint among HIT trainees is that they enjoy these strength gains but have little size gains to show. But the brilliance of Dante's program is how its additional strategies creates safeguard mechanisms whereby a Brawn-ish HIT program can mantain HST-validity, even if the HIT aspect of it begins to collapse.
In fact, I'd also say that the DC program, provided you can continue the progressive overload, is probably more effective than HST routine at building mass. 1) His exercise rotation switches up the recruitment pattern, so that you can partially avoid some of the strength-negating effects of failure training. Of course, you still can't hit the bodypart 3x-a-week this way, but the residual damage from the load stretching means some growth is occuring at baseline protein synthesis levels.
2) He implements a periodized recovery cycle (right terminology) in order for the CNS to catch up. This isn't the same thing as strategic deconditioning, but it recognizes you can't be "on" all the time. Also, because the training program by default aims perpetually for new PRs, at least the first week of that recovery cycle will not be completely mitigated by RBE.
3) Use of post-failure techniques as well as 20-rep breathing squats means he's ratcheting up the erk1/2 levels, and thus even with the very low volume, you'll enjoy enormous sarcoplasmic hypertrophy workout to workout. Couple that with Dante's hardcore stance on EAT!!, you'll see immediate size results as well as some recourse against the wipeout of your CNS. Unlike a unoptimized HST routine, you can expect sarcoplasmic hypertrophy every workout.
4) Load stretching. Now, this part is the unique wrinkle of his program. Turns out this is, for the bodyparts we care about, the load stretching is the secret -- the primary growth stimulator -- this is what essentially creates both the strength increases and sustainable growth -- without frying the CNS. This is the genius part. It's not just that the program is taking advantage of the length vs. tension curve to create major sarcomere disruption workout to workout -- it's that he's also relying on the lenthy TUL to inititate the passive stretch reflex and indirectly create a progressive load at the super-stretched position. It doesn't really matter that the training loads are themselves rather low -- as long as the trainee remembers to increase the starting training loads (or stretch angles) workout to workout, or extend his TUL long enough workout-to-workout to kick off the passive stretch reflex, he'll effectively have his necessary mechanical stress progression. Nearly every time. And so, he'll get his major p38 activity here, his sarcomere hypertrophy here.
5) And if you believe there is a relationship between cell volume and satellite cell creation, then you'll also realize that his three-part combination of post-failure techniques, loaded stretches, and managed load progression -- all accomplished in the same workout -- is a nicely packaged milieu that creates a snowball hypertrophic effect. Ergo, the amazing results.
Great post man! DC is the best, I love it
Very thorough post. DC is taking this forum by storm. Reps!
Think training's hard,. try losing!
ya it really is, but most good things are like that lol
well, its b/c it WORKS!!!! reps!
Good Read but, I believe its kinda dated and has has tweaked some things around. Still gives a lot of accurate information and will help many people understand Dc better
I've started reading up on DC and I like the training principles, but am not a big fan of some of the bunk science behind the nutritional advice. Advoiding fat with carbs is silly. ASP will shoot fat right into your adipocytes even in the absense of insulin.
I'm interested in hearing from more individuals who have tried DC. Anyone out there that didn't like it, or have any major issues with the training philosophy?
my only issue was believing that it would work...i dont neccesarily do anything with the nutrition other than carb cut-offs(but ive been doing that for years). I am old school 10-15 sets per bodypart....always have been. It really scared me at first to train this way....but i love it now....i spend a quarter of the time in the gym and im bigger than i ever was before
The only issue I have is how much I have to eat to recover in time for the next workout
awesome post! reps!
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