T Nation

DC Training Without Machines?

Actual question:

I train out of my garage, and don’t have any machines. I do however have a a trap bar and safety squat bar, along with bands, chains, boxes of various heights, blast straps, a sled, and some other toys that can change lifts around for the sake of variety, along with all the staples of a home gym (powerrack, barbells, tons of plates, adjustable dumbbells, bench). I was curious if anyone else has trained this way, or thinks this way could work, or if machines are absolutely necessary to run the program.

Background:

Hey all, if this would be better posted in the DC training thread, let me know and I’ll post it there. I thought it might warrant a separate thread.

I’ve been training heavily for a few years, mainly focused on powerlifting. I decided to finally trim some fat I had put on, and have gone from 210 to 195 at 5’9, with a goal of leaning up a little more. After that, I want to put on some quality mass, and was planning on using DC.

I haven’t taken the competition lifts for a heavy single in a long time, but my best gym numbers are

Bench (touch and go): 365
Squat: 475
Deadlift: 545

All raw, belt on squat only

The primary reason for machines is safety for guys that lift alone… with exercise options being an important factor as well.

If you have 5-6 lifts per body part you can effectively use with DC then have at it. Dante has said repeatedly that he used to train guys that had home gyms but later changed his mid due to running into a brick wall with exercise selection.

Most body parts are fine, I’m sure you can come up with a dozen pressing variations especially if you’ve got any “tricks” like bands chains and blast straps. Back should be covered by rows/deads and chins/rack chins… even better if you’ve got a pulley attachment. The primary body parts that people run into issues with are going to be lower body. It will be incredibly demanding on your recovery to try and squat for all three of your quad moves as well as likely all lower back heavy lifts for hamstrings, on top of heavy low back work for thickness. This is where machines can play a great role in giving yourself buffer room.

Calf wise, you’ve got standing work with a barbell on your back which you likely won’t be able to get a decent stretch on and then what after that? You can ghetto rig donkey calves maybe, maybe 1 leg calf raises holding dumbbells. If one of those stall(they all will at some point) do you drape a bar over your knees for seated calf work? lol OUCH

There’s no harm in giving it a shot if it’s a program you believe in but be aware that it is not the preferred method and you might run into some issues along the way.

What he said^^^

Scott, great response. For the lower body movements, I’m thinking the trap bar may be useful in giving my lowerback a chance to recover, and when done on an elevated platform, I’m really able to fry out my quads, but I will definitely have to monitor and see what happens. The calf movements also seemed curious. I’ve got a block I can raise off of (left over from boards for board pressing), but I will have to experiment.

I appreciate the input.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I’m thinking the trap bar may be useful in giving my lowerback a chance to recover, .[/quote]

Have your ever used a trap bar? Your lower back still gets hit hard

[quote]Scott M wrote:
If one of those stall(they all will at some point) do you drape a bar over your knees for seated calf work? lol OUCH
[/quote]

I used to pile plates on one thigh. And did pretty high reps. I’m not strong on them, but it wasn’t too bad.

Great post.

[quote]Rocky101 wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I’m thinking the trap bar may be useful in giving my lowerback a chance to recover, .[/quote]

Have your ever used a trap bar? Your lower back still gets hit hard
[/quote]

I’ve done 25 reps with 405 in one long ass set before. My lower back was nowhere near as hit as my quads, especially with belt use.

Something that I got reminded of is a former prominent poster on this board was using DC training out of his home gym and hired SuperD to handle all his diet/training for DC… he started going to a gym some 90 minutes away to have the proper equipment.

But like Dante says, sometimes you don’t have Viagra and you have to make due with two popsicle sticks and a rubber band.

Yeah, the more I’m reading, the more it looks like I’ll probably have to hit up the gym, but I may be able to at least do a few rotations at home.