How To Deload On DC Training!


DC Training is one of the most popular bodybuilding programs in the world. It is also one of the most intense bodybuilding programs.

If you want to succeed on this program then you must learn how to use deload weeks!

Introduction

  • Part 1: The 2-Way Split
  • Part 2: Blasting And Cruising
  • Part 3: Deload Weeks

In this comprehensive guide I will show you exactly how to deload using the DC Training program.

DC Training is a hardcore bodybuilding training program invented by Dante Trudel. It uses many high-intensity training techniques like rest-pause sets, extreme stretches and iso-holds to help you build muscle mass as fast as possible.

Here is a great video of Justin Harris squatting 500 pounds for 16 reps on his DC Training back-off set for quads. Check it out:

Talk about an intense set!

DC Training is very hard on your body so Dante Trudel recommends everyone use deloads when necessary. There are 2 ways to deload with DC Training:

How To Deload With DC Training

  • Option #1: Blasting and cruising
  • Option #2: Skipping a workout

The first option is very straightforward. You have a blasting phase where you train all-out for 6-12 weeks at a time. Then you have a cruise phase where you stay out of the gym or perform easy recovery workouts for 1-3 weeks at a time.

Dante says that you can make progress year-round as long as you rotate between 6-12 week blast phases and 1-3 week cruise phases.

The other strategy is to take a day off once every 3-6 weeks. For example if you are training 3 days per week then you would just skip one of your workouts whenever you feel like you need an extra day off.

Even if you use the 2nd deloading strategy and take a day off every once in a while you still need to cycle between blasting and cruising phases. They are a core part of the DC Training program.

I hope you found this overview of deloading on DC Training helpful. Now let’s take a closer look at both of these deloading strategies.

Part 1: The 2-Way Split

DC Training is designed to help you build strength and therefore muscle mass as fast as possible. In order to accomplish this it uses a 3 days per week upper / lower split. Check it out: 

Week #1

  • Monday: Upper Body Workout #1
  • Wednesday: Lower Body Workout #1
  • Friday: Upper Body Workout #2

Week #2

  • Monday: Lower Body Workout #2
  • Wednesday: Upper Body Workout #3
  • Friday: Lower Body Workout #3

Dante Trudel calls this the “2-way split” because you are splitting up your body 2 different ways. You train your entire upper body (minus biceps) on one training day and your entire lower body (plus biceps) on the other day.

This is a little unusual for a bodybuilding training program but Dante Trudel says this split is ideal for rapidly building size and strength.

The 2-way split lets you train body parts every 4-5 days while most bodybuilding program trains body parts once every 7 days.

Here is the DC Training guru Jason Wojo driving this point home:

“What we’re trying to do with DC Training is hit the body parts a little more frequently with that higher intensity and lower volume to give us more potential growth spurts during the year.”

For each workout you are going to perform 5 total exercises. You train your entire upper body (minus biceps) on one training day and your entire lower body (plus biceps) on the other day. Check it out:

DC Training Upper Body Day

  • Chest: 1 rest-pause set —> extreme stretch
  • Shoulders: 1 rest-pause set —> extreme stretch
  • Triceps: 1 rest-pause set —> extreme stretch
  • Back Width: 1 rest-pause set —> extreme stretch
  • Back Thickness: 1-2 straight sets

DC Training Lower Body Day

  • Biceps: 1 rest-pause set —> extreme stretch
  • Forearms: 1 straight set
  • Calves: 1 straight set
  • Hamstrings: 1 rest-pause set or 1-2 straight sets
  • Quads: 2 straight sets —> extreme stretch

If you are not familiar with the DC Training 2-way split then make sure you check out one of my epic guides on DC Training:

For each exercise you are only performing 1-2 sets to failure. This can be a rest-pause set or 1-2 straight sets. Dante Trudel says these workouts are much harder than they look.

Most people underestimate how hard it is to recover from the DC Training program with just 3 workouts per week. Check it out:

“Do you realize how bombed you are after one rest pause set or 2 sets of legs (4-8 and the 20-rep widowmaker set)? And you thought you were hardcore doing your 8-20 set routines!”

“What sucks now is it’s very hard to go back–if you ever want to try going back to those kind of routines you’re going to find that you taught yourself how to train so psychotically hard this way that it’s going to be very very difficult to go back and ease up.”

Almost every bodybuilder starts the DC Training program thinking there is no way they will have a hard time recovering from just 3 workouts per week.

If you are performing the program correctly then you will be beating the logbook every single workout and you will need all the recovery you can get!

That is where Dante’s deload strategies come into play…

Part 2: Blasting And Cruising

The first way to deload with DC Training is to take a cruise week where you take it easy for 1-3 weeks and give your body a chance to heal up.

DC Training is all about beating the logbook and getting stronger in the 6-20 rep ranges. Dante says that getting stronger will help you build muscle mass very quickly but it will also take a large toll on your recovery ability.

After 6-12 weeks of hardcore training you will need to take a break from your normal workouts to give your body a chance to recover. Dante calls this “blasting and cruising.”

First you have a “blast phase” where you train all-out for 6-12 weeks. When you feel like your body needs a break you take a “cruise phase” for 1-3 weeks.

During the cruise phase you can go to the gym and perform lighter recovery workouts or you can skip the gym entirely and take 1-3 weeks off. The choice is up to you. Check it out: 

DC Training Blasting And Cruising Phases

  • DC training blast phase: 6-12 weeks of hard training
  • DC training cruise phase: 1-3 weeks of taking it easy

Dante Trudel says that the blasting and cruising phases are absolutely essential for maximizing your long-term progress.

This is one of the ways that Dante uses deloads on his training program. Check it out:

“Yes, my whole concept is based on “blasting” and “cruising”. I have every trainee of mine “blast” for somewhere between 6-12 weeks all out and then I have them do a cruising phase which is maintenance training for 10-14 (sometimes 21 days) depending on how long their blast was.

It has to be done. The people who try to go all out all year round with this are the ones who go into overtraining mode and eventually recede in gains.”

So how long should your blast and cruise phases be? That is a very individual thing.

Dante Trudel says that you should “listen to your body” and start the cruise phase whenever you start to feel really run down and unmotivated. If you hit a wall in your workouts where you can’t beat the logbook then that would be a good time as well.

Here are some sample blast and cruise phases that you could use:

Sample DC Training Blasting And Cruising Schedules

  • Option #1: Blast 7 weeks, cruise 7-10 days
  • Option #2: Blast 12 weeks, cruise 14 weeks
  • Option #3: Blast 10 weeks, cruise 10 days
  • Option #4: Blast 12 weeks, cruise 7 days

These were actual blast and cruise phases from some of Dante’s old bodybuilding clients. Dante says that drug-free bodybuilders can usually blast for longer than bodybuilders using “extra stuff” but this all depends on the individual.

If you are someone who hates the idea of taking 1-3 weeks off from the gym then you can still go in and do some lighter restoration workouts. Just don’t train to failure and keep the weights a little lighter than normal.

Here is IFBB pro Dusty Hanshaw emphasizing the importance of taking cruise weeks with DC Training:

“If there is one thing I have learned over the last two years it is that both the body and mind NEED a break from all we put them through both in the gym and at the dinner table.

If you have done your homework and are truly kicking ass in the gym and at the table all that time off will do is give both the body and mind the rest that is needed to take your physique to an even higher level when you come back to training and eating.”

Cruise weeks are great but there is one more way to deload with DC Training…

Part 3: Deload Weeks

The second way to deload with DC Training is to take an extra day off whenever you are feeling really beat up.

Let’s say you are training 3 days per week using the 2-way split. After about 3-4 weeks you start to feel a little bit tired. You are having a harder time recovering from your workouts and you are starting to dread the gym.

Instead of taking a full cruise week you can skip one of your workouts so you are only training twice per week that week. For example:

How To Deload On The 2-Way Split

  • Week 1: 3 workouts
  • Week 2: 3 workouts
  • Week 3: 3 workouts
  • Week 4: 2 workouts (deload!)

Let’s say you skip your Friday workout on week 4. That means you now have Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off in a row. That’s 4 days off!

When Monday comes around you are going to feel like a new man and ready to attack the weights.

Here is Dante Trudel talking about this deload strategy where you take a day off once every few weeks:

“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.”

If you are an advanced bodybuilder using the DC Training 3-way split then you can still use this deloading strategy every few weeks to recover.

You would take off your 4th workout that week (or whatever day you want) and you would train 3 days on that week instead of the usual 4. For example:

How To Deload On The 3-Way Split

  • Week 1: 4 workouts
  • Week 2: 4 workouts
  • Week 3: 4 workouts
  • Week 4: 3 workouts (deload!)

This extra day off makes a huge difference for your overall recovery ability. Trust me, if you are training hard enough on this program then you are going to need that extra day off once every few weeks!

This is the exact strategy that the amateur bodybuilder Dave Smith used while working with Dante Trudel. Check it out:

“I had a guy on the 3-way split who took a day off whenever his leg day fell on a Thursday. He would train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and then take his Friday workout off that week.

That gave him 3 full days off and by next the Monday he’s chomping at the bit!”

Taking a day off can be the difference between a 6-week blast where you barely make any long-term progress and a 12-week blast where you absolutely destroy your old numbers on every exercise.

In my experience most trainees do best taking 1-2 days off per blasting phase. By the time you are ready for your 2nd or 3rd day off you should probably just go with a regular cruise week.

Here is how a drug-free bodybuilder might organize their first DC Training blast using deloads as needed:

Month #1

  • Week 1: 3 workouts
  • Week 2: 3 workouts
  • Week 3: 3 workouts
  • Week 4: 2 workouts (deload!)

Month #2

  • Week 5: 3 workouts
  • Week 6: 3 workouts 
  • Week 7: 3 workouts
  • Week 8: 2 workouts (deload!)

Month #3: 

  • Week 9: 3 workouts
  • Week 10: 3 workouts
  • Week 11: 3 workouts
  • Week 12: 0 workouts (cruise week!)

As you can see the deloads are taken once every 4 weeks to help him recover. I recommend you wait until you feel like you need the day off rather than planning ahead. I’m just trying to show you what your 12-week blasting phase might look like when it is all said and done.

Make no mistake – these deload weeks are absolutely essential. Taking an extra day off can be the difference between making screaming fast progress and running yourself into the ground with nothing to show for it.

Conclusion

DC Training uses 2 different types of deloads to help you make long-term progress.

The first type of deload phase is the cruise week. This can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks depending on your recovery ability and how long your blasting phase lasted.

The second strategy is to just take an extra day off whenever you feel you need it. This strategy works great for people who like to do longer blasting phases lasting 10-12 weeks. You just skip a workout every 3-6 weeks to recover.

Skipping a workout is basically a bonus deloading strategy that you can use.

Either way you should always rotate between blasting and cruising phases with the DC Training program. Otherwise you will overtrain yourself into the ground and Dante Trudel will have to call you a “candy-ass Nancy boy!”

Here is one more quote by Dante Trudel to pump you up even more:

“Do you realize how bombed you are after one rest pause set or 2 sets of legs (4-8 and the 20-rep widowmaker set)?

And you thought you were hardcore doing your 8-20 set routines!” 

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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