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Question For Dante / DC Training

L2o9

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Glad this thread developed nicely. In my opinion, there are some key things people under look when discussing the strength-size connection and results.

The first is that this relationship holds true particularly when performing a movement with the target muscle, not just performing the movement. So getting stronger at bench pressing wouldn’t necessarily translate to more muscle if you got stronger by improving leverages and distributing the weight more over different muscles. This is where learning how to perform a movement, targeting a specific muscle, in accordance to your structure comes in.

Related to this, there’s also the thing about repetition control. You should be able to control the eccentric slowly (not excessively). It’s very common to see people “getting stronger” but just letting the weight return without resistance in the eccentric. If you can control the eccentric in your heavy sets, you’re gaining tissue.

The final point is that you have to train hard, to or close to failure to progress (the latter if you work on higher rep ranges) and recover. You should train as frequently as your recovery allows, not just as “frequently as possible

I assure you: if you get stronger with the three caveats above, you’ll definitely add size.

Then of course there is the limit of muscle gain, particularly on naturals. I’m a believer that at some point, if you want to push as much muscle as you can, you have to get heavy and uncomfortable. Suck it up, eat your weight up, get as stronger as you’ve ever been, hold your weight for some time and then diet down. Only there you can say that you’ve reached your limit.

PD. Getting heavy is also the key for growing stubborn calves. Have you seen any obese with small calves? 😉
 

tokon

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If he has acknowledged it then why harp on it? You know what happens when people start voicing dissatisfaction over trivial things? People can sometimes stop feeling motivated to keep doing them if they start to think they aren't serving a purpose or people are bothered by their existence. None of us want that to happen. I think we should just appreciate what is there and the form it is in.

Hey guys, no-one is "harping on" (at least imo), you seem to be getting a bit defensive for no reason. From myself, it was just a suggestion. That's all.
Dante does a blog; great. He doesn't; absolutely no problem, just grateful for the knowledge he shares, when ans where he shares it. Chill.
 

homonunculus

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If someone would like to gather Dantes posts together...

This can be done using a browser and loading up IG via a URL:

http://instagr.am/p/CBQxoLWDN_3/
OBSERVATION: Simple observation and limiting certain facets can tell you so much about what you are supposed to be doing in bodybuilding. Observation! What are the two times a bodybuilder gets the largest the fastest? Simple observation tells you that newbies in their first 2.5 years of s lifting are the first time and the second time is when that same person gets on steroids. What happens during those two times? A newbies strength goes thru the roof up by leaps and bounds in his first two years, he gains strength hand over fist, 25 lb dumbell presses turn into 35, 45, 55, 65, 75, 80lb dumbell presses for reps...squats go from 135 lb squats to 155, 185, 205, 225, 245, 275lb squats for reps. And then all the gains slow down. This same lifter later on goes on steroids and what happens? He again gains strength hand over fist, 80lb dumbell presses turn into 90, 105, 115, 125, 135, 140lb dumbell presses for reps...squats go from 275 lb squats to 295, 315, 365, 405, 455, 495lb squats for reps. So what SHOULD that tell you? That strength gains on key productive exercises and progressive weights are the key! Im not talking singles or 3's im talking reps in any rep range you deem safe for yourself, the key is train progressively. Scenario #2: This whole volume argument that goes on and on for infinity. Observation: Do you and others have weak bodyparts? Why? Because its simply because you arent doing enough volume for them? No the reason is because you havent found the correct mechanical positions training wise to improve that bodypart. Its your fault! (CONTINUED IN POST #2 BELOW)


#2 Scenario 2: Is that guy Jimmy over there going to get gigantic legs if he does do 25 sets of leg extensions after warmups? No he wont because Jimmy is not in the best mechanical positions to build massive legs no matter if its a massive amount of volume or not. Is his twin Billy going to have a much better chance of building massive legs if he does (after warmups) two all out incredible work set of squats for 12 and 20, and two all out worksets of leg press for 16 and 30, and two all out sets of hacks for 12/20 and 2 all out sets of belt squats for 12/20. Yes Billy's quads are going to be massive and his 8 sets are going to destroy Jimmy's stick legs and 25 sets and volume did not matter. It was the mechanical positioning that mattered! The key is putting yourself into key mechanical positions and being progressive with those exercises until you reach a strength plateau. Then what do you do? You find an old or new very valuable mechanical positions to get in and then take that up to a strength plateau. Rinse and repeat for your whole bodybuilding career. Remember that awesome goto exercise that always works for you? It finally made that bodypart grow and it was and still is so key for you!? It wasnt volume was it? You finally found the right mechanical position to be in!! It was the mechanical position that did it! (CONTINUED IN POST #3BELOW)

#3 You have been lifting for 8 years and you still have a subpar bodypart. Maybe its arms maybe its chest, maybe its backwidth. Obviously you have proven to yourself that what you have been doing exercise wise for the last 8 years isnt working to bring up that bodypart has it? Do you really think doing more volume and sets of what you have already proven to yourself DOES NOT WORK is going to change anything? Its not volume...its your fault that you have not found the mechanical positions your unique proportions and genetics structure needs to be in. (CONTINUED IN POST #4BELOW)


#4 Scenario 3: This whole "you dont need to lift hard to gain muscle" thought process going on. Do you have unbelievable genetics? No? Then lets take that out of the equation and limit certain facets. If you use enough drugs virtually anyone can grow no matter if they do things correctly or incorrectly right? Then lets take them also out of the equation shall we? Welcome to the greatest scientific study ever done on the sport of bodybuilding. Just OBSERVE! Remember 10 years ago, remember 5 years ago, remember last year all those guys 20 to 50 years old you have seen training in all these gyms across the USA that never change? They looked the same years ago and they will look the same 5 years from now when you say hello to them in the gym once again. Those guys are in every gym in America...millions of them! Just go look! Observe them. They talk and socialize and go thru the motions but they dont get after it, they are just there with the boys hanging out and lifting. Whats the one resounding fact? DO YOU SEE THOSE GUYS GETTING HUGE? No they arent! They don't train hard!!! Across the USA. It's the greatest number of non hard trainers you could ever gather together. They are not getting big! If those millions of guys who dont train hard dont prove it to you I dont know what else to tell you. (CONTINUED IN POST #5 BELOW)

#5 Scenario 4 : The following is so beyond simple I almost feel idiotic to say it. Lets keep god given genetics out of it. We will put drugs back in. Lets Observe. Natural or unnatural...who are the guys with size in the gym? They are the guys lifting heavy slag iron over in the corner bombing away TRAINING HARD! Squatting, deadlifting, pressing heavy slag iron for reps. Its been done for 60 years!!! Its has always worked! The wheel aint broken, there is no need to fix it. The human body does not want to be 230 to 270lbs of muscle mass. Do you really believe "not training hard" is the way to force it into remodeling itself into 230 to 270lbs of muscle mass? I dare you, absolutely dare any of you reading this to go train a natural bodybuilder who has 5 plus years of training under his belt and tell him "Dude we are going to get you up to the next level in size, and do you know how? Wait for it...By not training hard". Drugs screw up peoples deductive reasoning so badly on what truly works and what doesn't because 'drugs work almost regardless'. Virtually the only way to get a natural guy with a lot of training years under his belt larger is to seriously go to the well and back with weights and reps. It is virtually the only way to force him beyond the homeostasis the human body so desperately wants. (CONTINUED IN POST #6BELOW)


#6 I wish so many people could think along the lines of "What would natural me do" and also just observe power in numbers and it would answer so many questions for yourself. Ask yourself the questions? If you are an 13 second sprinter in the 100 are you going to become an 11 second sprinter in the 100 by jogging? How are you going to force yourself to remodel and become faster? Then why approach bodybuilding the same way? Go look in your gym at the number of people who NEVER CHANGE...what are they doing? That will tell you so much about what you NEED to be doing. "Hey Dorian, do you know what you needed to do to become even bigger as a freak in the 90's? Man you blew it buddy! You needed to not train hard". I dont get it and I sure dont get this huge emphasis people put on volume. That psycho trainers 6 sets does more trauma than that lackadaisical trainers 22 sets so how the heck do you measure intensity across the board? This is all about YOU finding the correct mechanical positions to be in and being progressive with them and recovering and then doing them again. Doing countless sets on exercises that you have proven dont work for your unique makeup = more of what hasn't worked for you. Again go to thousands of gyms and OBSERVE the greatest bodybuilding study of what you should not or should be doing.

-----------------

That took me about 30 seconds just to double click to select the entire post and copy paste and re-order (per his numbers).

-S
 

w8tlifterty

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Hom-

#6
'What would natural me do' is profoundly useful as a white guy w so so genetics. Keeps you grounded and focused on the task at hand, especially as we age and transition to baby doses.

I dont care where you post it, but just keep doing it as you see fit Dante. You are a needle in a haystack of shit my friend and so many of us have based our training/bb off of your teachings. I will say, I signed up for IG this year bc of you which has usually led to less sleep as I wind up on some random page watching bullshit Haha gymfuckery and lookatthisrussian are pure gold btw
 

Knight9

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Hey guys, no-one is "harping on" (at least imo), you seem to be getting a bit defensive for no reason. From myself, it was just a suggestion. That's all.
Dante does a blog; great. He doesn't; absolutely no problem, just grateful for the knowledge he shares, when ans where he shares it. Chill.
I was trying to help you and anyone else out with the monday morning quarterbacking and making requests. Knock yourself out going forward, I just don't want to see a good thing stop because it was perceived as not user-friendly over something that requires a tiny bit of attention to decipher.
 

MaconiDDS

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Ha. Genetics plus ballooning up to 320lbs, then getting lean.

View attachment 118167

lol 19 year old girl I met recently has absolutely massive calves. Squats 5x225 easily after a short period of time training, her legs in general are just nuts but calves in particular are very standpoint. Not surprisingly her dad also has huge calves. Very fit / lean as well.

I have in fact seen plenty of obese men with bad calves.
 

tokon

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I was trying to help you and anyone else out with the monday morning quarterbacking and making requests. Knock yourself out going forward, I just don't want to see a good thing stop because it was perceived as not user-friendly over something that requires a tiny bit of attention to decipher.

thanks for the help, much appreciated.

ike i said . . . . chill.
 

MaconiDDS

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Just wanted to provide a little anecdote to emphasize the point I was trying to get across earlier.

Since COVID caused gyms to close I have had to workout at home, and so I switched my leg workouts to largely a hamstring curl and leg extension I have at my house along with squats. I was already doing these exercises beforehand but different machines. Now, over the last 3.5 months I have added weight or reps every single session to those new machine exercises. And my legs have not grown one iota. How do I know?

Because I've been dieting that whole time, have cut down 15lb, and have lost 1-2in on my thighs (certainly plenty of fat has been lost there). So how, after 15 years of serious training, could I be gaining strength on every single workout? And how could I do so in a significant calorie deficit that whole time? Because I have been making neurological adaptations and I've become better at doing those exercises. Now, if I stuck with it for the next year or two and kept gaining then yes eventually the increases would have to come from muscle hypertrophy, but those initial gains are largely not from muscle growth. That article by Christian Thibaudeau someone posted earlier in this thread is spot on.

To summarize, I DO agree with finding exercises that work for you as an individual and getting strong as hell on those over the years. 100%. I do not agree that switching exercises frequently and gaining on them for short periods (weeks to a few months) means you've put on any new muscle at all. This is how many lifters fool themselves into thinking they're making all these gains year after year while looking the same.
 

DOGGCRAPP

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You honestly thought you were going to gain muscle mass while dieting and using leg extensions? I really dont know many people who would think the same. I could go to a new gym and start a new exercise while dieting hard and gain strength every single workout from it. Big deal....you dont gain muscle mass while dieting especially as a natural....

Strength gains whether made or not do not result in size gains if everything else isnt in place to gain muscle mass.

The sole reason to switch exercises is "strength plateaus".....there comes a time when you are not gaining strength on an exercise any more and at those times you should switch to new exercises to be progressive on and then later come back to that original exercise. Staying on an exercise in hopes of gaining 1 rep or 2.5lbs over 6 months is the biggest waste of time you could ever do in bodybuilding.

You cant do standing hammer curls starting out at 30x12 and progress up to 170x12 simply by "sticking to it"....you get to a point where you have eked out everything you can on that exercise (lets say 65x12 over time) and you find yourself getting a rep here or there over many weeks....its time to switch....in the future when you come back to hammer curls, you will find you start low again and will with time go by the previous 65x12 and maybe end up at 75x12 and continually failing at that....time to switch out again.

I swear and Im not patting myself on the back but every single training partner I have had over the last 30 years (natural or unnatural) has gotten massive.....and I swear I hear the same thing from the lot of them "man I was really overthinking things"....I truly believe people overthink this stuff to the 9th degree...it really isnt that difficult

a) put yourself into a muscle building environment (food supplements rest)
b) Whatever you did last week do your best to beat it this week and the next week and the next week....keep stringing workouts together like that and dont overthink it...if you plateau out on something...switch to a new productive exercise/s....again next week beat what you did last week repeat repeat repeat.....the day you are doing
500lb deep squats for 20 reps
incline bench presses with 405 x 20 reps
deep strict dips with plates for 20 reps
smith front presses with 300lbs for 20 reps
deadlifts for 500lbs for 20 reps
rack chins with 150lbs in your lap for 20 reps
and onward and onward etc etc etc OR JUST THE JOURNEY of trying to accomplish the above......will be the last day anyone will be on a message board wondering why they cant get any bigger.

Overanalyzing such a simple concept such as bodybuilding where its simply "adapt to this and remodel" or "dont adapt" to me is the biggest waste of time in bodybuilding...but so many people in this sport are absolutely paralyzed by over analyzing.

Maconi i dont understand why you want this thread. You said you want a discussion but you are obviously set in your ways and you are using this thread to try to convince yourself that the way you want to do things is correct. Then keep doing the things you want to do...I dont understand the need for this thread. I find it strange when someone loves to eat liver and onions themselves and then wants to convince everyone else that liver and onions tastes awesome because they want a reaffirmation of what they are going to do anyway.
 

MaconiDDS

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You honestly thought you were going to gain muscle mass while dieting and using leg extensions? I really dont know many people who would think the same. I could go to a new gym and start a new exercise while dieting hard and gain strength every single workout from it. Big deal....you dont gain muscle mass while dieting especially as a natural....

Strength gains whether made or not do not result in size gains if everything else isnt in place to gain muscle mass.

Yes that was exactly my point, I wouldn't expect to gain muscle while dieting, yet I gained strength. We are saying the same thing there. Neurological gains.

The sole reason to switch exercises is "strength plateaus".....there comes a time when you are not gaining strength on an exercise any more and at those times you should switch to new exercises to be progressive on and then later come back to that original exercise. Staying on an exercise in hopes of gaining 1 rep or 2.5lbs over 6 months is the biggest waste of time you could ever do in bodybuilding.

You cant do standing hammer curls starting out at 30x12 and progress up to 170x12 simply by "sticking to it"....you get to a point where you have eked out everything you can on that exercise (lets say 65x12 over time) and you find yourself getting a rep here or there over many weeks....its time to switch....in the future when you come back to hammer curls, you will find you start low again and will with time go by the previous 65x12 and maybe end up at 75x12 and continually failing at that....time to switch out again.

I swear and Im not patting myself on the back but every single training partner I have had over the last 30 years (natural or unnatural) has gotten massive.....and I swear I hear the same thing from the lot of them "man I was really overthinking things"....I truly believe people overthink this stuff to the 9th degree...it really isnt that difficult

a) put yourself into a muscle building environment (food supplements rest)
b) Whatever you did last week do your best to beat it this week and the next week and the next week....keep stringing workouts together like that and dont overthink it...if you plateau out on something...switch to a new productive exercise/s....again next week beat what you did last week repeat repeat repeat.....the day you are doing
500lb deep squats for 20 reps
incline bench presses with 405 x 20 reps
deep strict dips with plates for 20 reps
smith front presses with 300lbs for 20 reps
deadlifts for 500lbs for 20 reps
rack chins with 150lbs in your lap for 20 reps
and onward and onward etc etc etc OR JUST THE JOURNEY of trying to accomplish the above......will be the last day anyone will be on a message board wondering why they cant get any bigger.

Overanalyzing such a simple concept such as bodybuilding where its simply "adapt to this and remodel" or "dont adapt" to me is the biggest waste of time in bodybuilding...but so many people in this sport are absolutely paralyzed by over analyzing.

Absolutely agree with all of that :)

Maconi i dont understand why you want this thread. You said you want a discussion but you are obviously set in your ways and you are using this thread to try to convince yourself that the way you want to do things is correct. Then keep doing the things you want to do...I dont understand the need for this thread. I find it strange when someone loves to eat liver and onions themselves and then wants to convince everyone else that liver and onions tastes awesome because they want a reaffirmation of what they are going to do anyway.

Lmao nah I agree with everything you said man. Unfortunately I think any sort of disagreement on forums comes across as argumentative but I really am the type to just enjoy discussing training intricacies and why things may or may not work. Your example above with those big lifts (and whichever ones people find works for them) is exactly how I feel about it. Anyone with those numbers will be a tank, and at least getting as close as possible will get you to your genetic peak. As for the point of this thread, you actually answered my point #1 in the OP very well already. Point #2 was more just a discussion point and it's clear to me we believe the same things for the most part. There are some small semantics / terminology I think would lend itself to subtle differences that would be interesting to discuss live (simply to nerd out, not because it makes a real world difference) but doesn't lend itself well to a discussion on a message board in my opinion :)
 

MaconiDDS

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Also, Dante, if you're still reading along, let me further agree with you by stating that I probably came at the discussion as overly pessimistic, using the example of someone who is genetically maxed out. In that case, it doesn't make a lot of sense for me to argue about any one particular method because by definition of being maxed out that person is not going to make progress regardless of what they do, so it's a moot point. If they still have some room left to grow, then I think what you describe makes perfect sense and is likely one of the best ways to do it (and further, no one knows for sure they're maxed out so again they should be doing everything they can, as you describe).

As an aside, you might find it interesting that even one of the most evidence based naturals and prolific researchers, Brad Schoenfeld (who if I recall you respect) recently told me even he questions the literature showing failure training doesn't have beneficial effects. Essentially, I told him that despite what the literature says we have tons of massive and intelligent guys (Meadows, Scott, you, etc) extolling the benefits of to-failure and beyond-failure training and I think it can be important. He agreed. I don't agree with the current push in the "evidence based community" to do a lot of training far from failure.
 

BIG1512

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I like advanced guys to do that http://instagr.am/p/BuFjRBQniJv/ because i feel everyone in the beginning needs size and the best way to do that is do the way heavy hitter and others have described but when someone gets more advanced there comes a time you can train your strong bodyparts once a week and still gain and your weak bodyparts 2x (one full and one not) a week and gain.

I could come into your gym and in one week i would show you about 10-15 variations of exercises that you have not thought of before....because i just have a mind like that...i see an exercise or a machine and i take it apart and think how i can get everything out of how it pulls down or presses...where i should be set up, and just the mechanics of it. I know this because i do this at every gym i go to and training partners and friends always say "how the hell did you come up with this"...and its just simply I take note of every single apparatus in the gym and what i can do with it....I do this almost every night when im falling asleep. Sometimes i go in and try it out and its a 100% certifiable disaster and wont work....sometimes i go in and "Boom" it is awesome and works exactly like i thought it would. Do you know you can do about the greatest fixed lateral raise there is on one of the hammer strength chest press machines? Its a fact. Thats how you got to get your mind working
Are you rotating exercises every week on this and keeping a log?
 

BBIADB

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I've not heard of some of those exercises you mentioned, I'll search for them. I did the steep incline walking for months to no avail, but I think my calves are unusually stubborn. I've also done the traditional DC method for calves (15-5-X-1 tempo) again to no avail. No size increase in my calves since high school lol despite 60lb of weight gain. Big fan of widowmakers.

Regarding Cutler, I only mentioned him because that's the example Dante has given a few times. I'm not particularly familiar with Jay's training through his career so I'll have to take your word for it that what got him to beat Ronnie was going back to super heavy basic training, but I've never heard that before. In fact he recently said in an interview he never trained to failure. But that might just be another example of what Dante said where the person forgets what got them their size.
Have you ever tried really high reps? I used to have trouble getting mine to grow but I started doing really high 30-40 reps with as much weights as possible and they started growing. I know for me, I have to hit them hard enough that I walk like I’m crippled the next 2-3 days before they grow.
 

bigjim6775

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This may be the “GOAT” thread. Very Nice to meet you DC! Big fan and proud to say I have survived a few DC training logs, my training partners at those times not so much ;).
Wanted to say personally , thank you!
 

MaconiDDS

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Have you ever tried really high reps? I used to have trouble getting mine to grow but I started doing really high 30-40 reps with as much weights as possible and they started growing. I know for me, I have to hit them hard enough that I walk like I’m crippled the next 2-3 days before they grow.

I have, yes
 

Biggerp73

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I've not heard of some of those exercises you mentioned, I'll search for them. I did the steep incline walking for months to no avail, but I think my calves are unusually stubborn. I've also done the traditional DC method for calves (15-5-X-1 tempo) again to no avail. No size increase in my calves since high school lol despite 60lb of weight gain. Big fan of widowmakers.

Regarding Cutler, I only mentioned him because that's the example Dante has given a few times. I'm not particularly familiar with Jay's training through his career so I'll have to take your word for it that what got him to beat Ronnie was going back to super heavy basic training, but I've never heard that before. In fact he recently said in an interview he never trained to failure. But that might just be another example of what Dante said where the person forgets what got them their size.
(1) if you've already tried everything else for Calves and nothing else has worked, try absolutely frying them with heavy weights every single day. IIRC I remember Lee Haney saying this.

(2) when Jay said he never went to failure, he was talking about doing past failure training, using a spotter, going to absolute absolute failure, etc. He wasn't saying he didn't lift hard and heavy. Check out his videos. He's INCLINE benching 500lbs for 10-12 reps, etc. That's hard and heavy.
 

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