Consider this a warning to the squeamish: this article is going to talk about Doggcrapp. Rest assured, though, there will be no mention of canine feces. However, there will be static contractions, 335-pound underhand barbell rows, extreme stretching and the vein-gorging, eye-popping, flesh-baking, never-say-quit intensity that, in a mere two years, turned a 167-pound barely heralded middleweight named Dave Henry into a 200-pound IFBB juggernaut. This is your last chance to skip to the next article. Those brave souls still reading, journey with us to the Wild West and discover how bodybuilding’s Goliath-slayer is giant-sizing himself with minimum volume and maximum pain.

A BUNCH OF CRAPP | The training philosophy that would become Doggcrapp — also called DC — was created circa 1991 by Dante Trudel, now an elite personal trainer and co-owner of The scatological moniker was simply Trudel’s screen name when he first posted his workout beliefs on an Internet message board six years ago. The posts sparked a firestorm, and as Trudel kept answering questions, the DC training thread grew to 118 pages and generated more than a quarter-million views. His writings were cut and pasted onto countless other bodybuilding sites in numerous languages, and DC has now become a popular hardcore training methodology.

DC begins with the premise that the key to gaining muscle mass is gaining strength. Instead of pumping up with isolation exercises or exhausting with volume, the focus is on growing progressively stronger. DC is frequently grouped under the high-intensity training (HIT) umbrella, but Trudel contends DC differs significantly from HIT because DC is done at a higher frequency (bodyparts are often worked twice per week). Volume is limited to only one or two exercises per bodypart (sticking to compound basics, such as Smith machine incline presses, deadlifts and hack squats) and these are pushed to extremes, typically with one extended set (not counting warm-ups). The two paramount techniques are rest-pause (pausing briefly for limited recovery before proceeding with more reps) and static contractions (holding the weight at or near the fully contracted or stretched position). Two-and-a-half-pound plates are invaluable tools, for each workout one should strive to use more weight and/or get more reps (typically in the nine to 15 range). A workout logbook is mandatory for monitoring strength gains.

There are enough specifics to the DC philosophy to fill this magazine, but the fastest way to grasp the DC ethos is to jump into the trenches with its foremost practitioner and observe, as Henry strives to push his two working sets for back and one working set for biceps to places he has never gone before.

For more in-gym details and photos, along with David Henry’s training routine, pick up the July 2006 issue of FLEX available on newsstands now.