DC Training is one of the best bodybuilding training programs in the world.
Most people use this program for building muscle but you can also use it to lose body fat during a dieting phase.
If you want to learn how to use DC Training while cutting then this article is for you!
- Part 1: The DC Training 2-Way Split
- Part 2: The DC Training 3-Way Split
- Part 3: The DC Training 5-Way Split
In this comprehensive guide I will teach you how to use DC Training during your cutting phase to lose body fat.
DC Training is a high-intensity bodybuilding training program invented by Dante Trudel. It uses many advanced techniques like rest-pause sets, extreme stretches and 20-rep breathing squats to help you build size and strength as fast as possible.
Here is a great video of Dusty Hanshaw performing a rest-pause set on the hammer strength overhead press. Check it out:
Talk about an intense set!
Dusty trains to failure three times in a row on the exercise with 20-30 seconds rest between sets. Rest-pause sets and other high-intensity techniques are great for building muscle mass. However, they do have one big drawback: they are very hard to recover from.
Many people find that they have a hard time recovering from DC Training workouts when they switch to their dieting phase and focus on losing body fat.
Don’t worry, Dante Trudel has you covered. Dante says that there are three different training splits you can use during a dieting phase to help you recover:
- Option #1: The 2-way split
- Option #2: The 3-way split
- Option #3: The 5-way split
Dante says that you should use the 2-way split for as long as you can. He has several strategies that you can use to make it easier to recover from these workouts.
When you can no longer recover from the 2-way split you switch to the 3-way split.
Eventually even the 3-way split will be too hard to recover from. At that time you switch to the 5-way split to finish up your long cutting phase.
If you perform this sequence correctly you should survive your diet while keeping all of your hard-earned muscle mass.
I consider this required information if you want to use DC Training during your dieting phase. Now let’s get down to business…
Part 1: The DC Training 2-Way Split
DC Training uses a 3 days per week upper body / lower body split. Dante Trudel calls this the “2-way split” because you are training your entire upper body in one workout and your entire lower body in another workout.
Here is the template for the upper body workout:
The DC Training Upper Body Template
- Exercise #1: Chest, 1 rest-pause set —–> extreme stretch
- Exercise #2: Shoulders, 1 rest-pause set —–> extreme stretch
- Exercise #3: Triceps, 1 rest-pause set —–> extreme stretch
- Exercise #4: Back Width, 1 rest-pause set ——> extreme stretch
- Exercise #5: Back Thickness, 1-2 straight sets
With the DC Training upper body workout you perform 1 exercise for your chest, shoulders, triceps, back width and back thickness.
For most body parts you perform 1 rest-pause set followed by an extreme stretch. The only exception is back thickness where you perform 1-2 straight sets.
Here is a great video of a bodybuilder performing his upper body DC Training workout:
And here is the template for the DC Training lower body day:
The DC Training Lower Body Template
- Exercise #1: Biceps, 1 rest-pause set —–> extreme stretch
- Exercise #2: Forearms, 1 straight set
- Exercise #3: Calves, 1 straight set
- Exercise #4: Hamstrings, 1 rest-pause set
- Exercise #5: Quadriceps, 2 straight sets ——> quad / hamstring extreme stretches
For the lower body workout you perform 1 exercise each for your biceps, forearms, calves, hamstrings and quadriceps.
It may look a little weird to train biceps and forearms on your lower body day but it works really well for this program.
Here is a great video of a bodybuilder performing his lower body DC Training workout:
With the 2-way split you are going to perform 3 workouts per week.
This lets you train each muscle group 3 times every 2 weeks or about once every 4-5 days. Check it out:
- Monday: upper body workout #1
- Wednesday: lower body workout #1
- Friday: upper body workout #2
- Monday: lower body workout #2
- Wednesday: upper body workout #3
- Friday: lower body workout #3
Most people are able to recover pretty well using this training split during a muscle-building phase. You have 1-2 rest days after every workout which makes it easier to get stronger and “beat the logbook” each workout.
However, this split can be difficult to recover from when you switch to your dieting phase. Dante says that you should continue using the 2-way split as long as you can during your dieting phase. The longer the better!
Dante uses 2 strategies to help you recover faster using the 2-way split:
- Strategy #1: Skip a workout every 2-4 weeks
- Strategy #2: Increase your rep ranges
The first strategy is to “skip” a workout once every 2-4 weeks. Dante Trudel says that you can use this strategy during the offseason but it is especially helpful during a cutting phase.
Here is what it might look like:
How To “Skip A Workout”
- Week 1: Workouts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Week 2: Workouts on Monday, Wednesday, Friday
- Week 3: Workouts on Monday, Wednesday
The basic idea is to skip one of your 3 weekly workouts whenever you are feeling off. This acts as a deload week and helps you recover for your next workout.
Don’t worry, you are still hitting body parts at least once a week even when you skip a workout so you won’t lose any muscle mass. Here is Dante Trudel himself describing this strategy:
“You’re feeling kind of burnt out so you take Friday off… you now have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off to recover. That’s 4 days off in a row!
Trust me by the time Monday comes around you’ll be good as new and raring to go.”
Skipping a workout can turn your 6-week blast phase into a 12-week blast phase. I highly recommend you use this strategy during your DC Training cutting phase.
If you don’t know what a blast phase or a cruise phase is then make sure you check out this guide on DC Training.
The second strategy is to increase your rep ranges on almost all exercises. If you normally aimed for about 15 reps rest-paused on an exercise then you would bump that up to 20 or even 25 reps rest-paused.
Increasing your rep ranges will make it slightly easier to recover from your workouts. It might even help you lose a little more body fat than normal.
Here is Dante Trudel describing this training strategy:
“You’re still going as heavy as possible but instead of failing at 7 or 8 at your first rest pause point like in the offseason you’re now failing at 12 (or 10-12).
This makes a 8+4+2 into a 12+5+3 or something similar to that.
Basically your rest pause range is going to go from 11-15rp to 15-20rp and on other body parts where its normally 15-20rp it’s now 20-30rp.”
I think you will be shocked at how helpful this strategy is. You won’t be lifting quite as much weight with the higher rep ranges but you will still be able to get stronger and beat the logbook every single workout.
Even if you do everything perfectly the 2-way split will eventually start kicking your ass. When that happens you switch to the 3-way split for a while.
Part 2: The DC Training 3-Way Split
The DC Training 3-way split is a modified version of a 4-day push / pull / legs split. You train your chest / shoulders / triceps on the first day, your back / biceps on the second day and your quads / hamstrings / calves on the third day. Check it out:
- Exercise #1: Back Width
- Exercise #2: Back Thickness
- Exercise #3: Biceps
- Exercise #4: Forearms
- Exercise #1: Chest
- Exercise #2: Shoulders
- Exercise #3: Triceps
- Exercise #1: Calves
- Exercise #2: Hamstrings
- Exercise #3: Quads
Dante Trudel says he uses the 3-way split for anyone who is trying to lose body fat. The shorter workouts make it much easier to recover from your workouts.
For example here is a great video of a bodybuilder performing his back / biceps DC Training workout:
This is the longest workout and you just do 2 exercises for your back and 2 exercises for your back. The other 2 workouts are even shorter: you just do 3 exercises!
Dante Trudel says these short workouts are much easier to recover from. You should be able to complete everything in about 30-45 minutes if you watch your rest periods. With the 3-way split you train 4 days per week.
For example you could train Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday or any other 4 days of the week. Here is what your workouts could look like:
- Monday: push workout #1
- Wednesday: legs workout #1
- Friday: pull workout #1
- Saturday: push workout #2
- Monday: legs workout #2
- Wednesday: pull workout #2
- Friday: push workout #3
- Saturday: legs workout #3
- Monday: pull workout #3
- Wednesday: push workout #1
- Friday: legs workout #1
- Saturday: pull workout #1
You still rotate through 3 different workouts for each body part like usual.
The 3-way split has some big disadvantages vs the regular 2-way split. Dante says that it is less effective for building muscle mass. He really only uses it for super elite bodybuilders and anyone in their dieting phase.
Here are some of the biggest disadvantages for the 3-way split:
The 3-Way Split Disadvantages
- Disadvantage #1: Reduced training frequency
- Disadvantage #2: Fewer rest days during the week
- Disadvantage #3: Potential overlap with legs and back exercises
With the 3-way split you are training body parts once every 5-6 days vs once every 4-5 days with the 2-way split. You also have fewer rest days during the week to help you recover from the workouts.
Finally you have to be very careful about which exercises you use for your back and legs. For example you would not want to perform squats the day after performing legs.
So why does Dante use the 3-way split if it has so many drawbacks? The truth is the 3-way split has one HUGE advantage during a cutting phase:
The 3-Way Split Advantages
- Advantage #1: Shorter workouts!!
That’s it! The 3-way split gives you super short workouts. I think you will be shocked at how much easier it is to recover from your 3-4 exercise workouts with the 3-way split vs your 5 exercise workouts with the 2-way split.
For example here is Jason Wojo performing his 3-exercise push / pull / legs workout:
If you can’t recover from a workout that short then you need to take up checkers or ping pong… bodybuilding is not for you!
You also have the option of skipping a workout every 2-4 weeks or increasing your rep ranges to make it easier to recover from your workouts.
Most bodybuilders can use the 3-way split well into their diet without any issues. However, eventually you may hit a wall with the 3-way split as well. This is common with bodybuilders who do a lot of cardio to lose body fat.
Eventually the extra cardio catches up to them and they hit a wall with their workouts. When that happens you can switch to the 5-way split.
Part 3: The DC Training 5-Way Split
The 5-way split is a 5-day bodybuilding bro split. You train 5 days per week and only train 1-2 body parts per workout. Check it out:
The DC-Training 5-Way Split
- Day 1: Chest
- Day 2: Biceps / Forearms
- Day 3: Legs
- Day 4: Off
- Day 5: Shoulders / Triceps
- Day 6: Back Width / Back Thickness
- Day 7: Off
Dante Trudel uses this split with anyone who is near the end of their dieting phase and having a hard time recovering from the 3-way split. Dante likes the 5-way split because it makes it very easy to get your cardio in.
If you have an hour of cardio to do per day then you can easily perform it after your workout for that day. Dante says that you should continue using 1 main exercise per body part per workout.
For example here is what your chest workout could look like:
5-Way Split Chest Workout
- Exercise #1: Flat DB press, 1 x 20-30 RP
That’s it! You go in, perform your 1 chest exercise and your extreme stretch and then you’re done!
If you have any cardio to do then you can perform it after your workout as well. These workouts are super short and very easy to recover from. You should be able to perform this type of workout even if you have low energy because of your diet.
If you are 1-3 weeks out from a bodybuilding competition then Dante says you should drop the rest-pause sets and perform 1-2 straight sets instead. You are not getting any stronger right before a competition so the best you can do is just try to maintain muscle mass while avoiding injury.
For example here is what your chest workout could look like 2 weeks before your competition:
5-Way Split Chest Workout Right Before Your Bodybuilding Contest
- Exercise #1: Incline hammer strength press, 1 x 12-20 SS
- Exercise #2: Flat machine fly, 1 x 12-20 SS
You just pick 1-2 exercises per body part and perform 1-2 straight sets in the 12-20 rep range. Dante Trudel has used this strategy with hundreds of competitive bodybuilders.
You might lose a tiny, tiny bit of muscle mass training like this for 1-3 weeks but you will avoid getting injured right before your competition and that is the important part!
DC Training is one of the best training programs you can use to build muscle. You can also use it to lose body fat if you know what you are doing.
In this guide I showed you how to progress from the 2-way split to the 3-way split and eventually the 5-way split as you progress through your dieting phase.
If you execute this progression correctly then you will finish your dieting phase strong while keeping all of your hard-earned muscle mass. What more can you ask for!?
Here is one more quote by Dante Trudel to pump you up even more:
“If you’re 2 bolts short of a train wreck then DC Training is for you Jack!”
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!
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