Unofficial exercise rep ranges and summary of DC Training:
(DISCLAIMER: the answers here are just my understanding of DC, I’m not pretending I’m Dogg or IH or a certified trainer in DC, this is just how I do it – and it’s working extremely well for me)
1. Yeah, you basically have six workouts, three for upper body minus biceps/forearms and three for lower body and biceps/forearms. So you need three exercises for each muscle, and you cycle through these; in two weeks you’ll have done all six workouts (training 3 days a week) and done all exercises once.
You don’t rest after 16 days, basically you ‘blast’ (go balls out, trying to increase weight each time) for 6-12 weeks (they recommend 8 and see how you handle it, if you can go on for longer do longer) and then take a ‘cruise’ for two weeks – this is two weeks where you drop a meal (to get your appetite back) and train with straight sets (no rp) at about 90% of your max weight, if you want to skip a workout or two feel free, this is to get your mental and physical sanity back. A lotta guys do specialised routines like 6-week blasts and 10-day cruises but they’re generally trained by DC or IH, I started with 8 weeks blast, two weeks cruise, then it went to 7 weeks, 2 weeks and has stayed around there since. If you feel like you gotta stop earlier, stop earlier, this program borders on overtraining if you don’t eat and rest properly so it’s best to stop before you burn out (as is sensible).
The key is progression (extra weight) so every two weeks you’re cycling through your exercises again, so for every two weeks of blast you’ve got a chance to beat the logbook on each exercise and that’s where growth happens.
2) Each exercise is as many warmups as you feel you need, then one rest-pause set which is the workset. Like you warm up, then hit the exercise until failure, 15 deep breaths, hit it again until failure (you should get half the reps or thereabouts), 15 more deep breaths then one more set (again, half the reps of the previous mini-set). Then you stretch, you can stretch after the exercise or after a few related exercise, like I do bicep workset, forearms workset, then stretch biceps and forearms (makes sense to me). You can do chest/triceps/shoulder worksets and then stretch all three bodyparts or stretch the muscle in question after its exercise, either way works.
Incidentally not all exercises are rest-paused, only chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, backwidth and some hamstring exercises; calves and forearms are straight-setted for 12 reps; other exercises have their own protocols. Quads are one heavy set (4-6 if a squat, 6-10 if a leg press or hack squat) and then a 20 rep widowmaker, incidentally Dante has often said that you don’t have to do the widowmaker on the same exercise as the heavy set, like you can do free squats for 4-6 and then hack squats for your 20 repper. (he said that ’cause really big guys have problems breathing for 20 rep free squats but it doesn’t just apply to them); deadlifts and rack deadlifts are 6-8 heavy, 3-4 heavier (50-60lb difference for me but I doubt that’s absolute); bent rows and t-bar rows are a straight set of 12; sumo leg press is a 12-20 straight set, leg curls are 20-30 rest-paused, SLDL to be honest I’m not sure, I’ve seen conflicting advice, one is a straight set of 12, the other is to do six reps, and keep adding 10lbs to the bar until you can’t get six, then next time start around 40lbs under the weight that stumped you.
Other muscles get a rep range in which your rest pause set must come under, for chest and shoulders it’s 11-15rp, triceps it’s 11-15rp (except skullcrushers which is 15-30 rp), biceps is 15-20 (preacher curls 11-15rp), back width (pulldowns etc) and dips are 15-20rp, err, what’ve I forgotten..
3) The eating is individual, DCers don’t count fats, carbs or calories, they go by their hunger, they get their protein down, eat carbs until they’re full and take their EFAs. Meals are kept pro/fat or pro/carb but that’s individual again, some people don’t seperate macros if it doesn’t bother them…
DC says you don’t count calories because you don’t need a magic number of calories each day, and I agree with him, some days you’ll need more and others you’ll need less. Like today I’ve eaten like 100g of carbs because I’ve sat on my arse most of the day, weekdays I eat more like 400. Get the protein in and eat as much as you need to get through the day and work out at peak efficiency.
4) Cardio is individual as well. To start with you do it on offdays and see whether you need less or more to control bodyfat. It’s generally low-intensity so as not to intefere with leg recovery. I personally managed HIIT over the summer and still made progress with the 3way DC split (as an experiment) but not if I was training legs twice a week.
For pre-cardio nutrition it’s up to you mate, some people have a small whey shake, others BCAAs, others a completely empty stomach.. if you go into the Roundtable forum on intensemuscle and look up the cardio topic you’ll see the experts suggesting all of those, I guess you gotta see what works for you.
DC has said BCAAs if you want to gain muscle and lose bodyfat, otherwise whey is just fine.. I go with that personally but sometimes do it on empty.