DoggCrapp: 8 Week Check In


I am currently in my 8th week of DoggCrapp, which matches how long I ran it…13 years ago, before competing in my first powerlifting meet and completely abandoning the program in pursuit of becoming a better powerlifter. Oddly enough, at that meet I set my best ever bench press in competition (342lbs as a 198 lifter), which was probably a lesson I should have learned but never did. But, either way, I’ve had 13 years to mature since then, and once again felt the call to take on DoggCrapp again, and after another 8 weeks I saw fit to get some thoughts down on it. This isn’t a full on program review, as I’m not “done” with DoggCrapp, but a quick check-in to express my thoughts so far: what’s been good, what’s been bad, what’s simply “been”, and, of course, my tweaks and mutations.


Let’s start with “what the hell is DoggCrapp?” DoggCrapp is the unfortunate name that Dante Trudel gave his training style, which was a joke of a name he came up with on an online forum in the early aughts that regrettably stuck with it for the rest of its life. Anyone that was online in that era totally understands how these dumb decisions you make in the heat of coming up with a screenname can last with you the rest of your life (self-included), but rest assured that the programming style itself is no joke. Dante, himself not a bodybuilding trainer at the time but simply an enthusiast, had made several observations on what were the variables in bodybuilding training that seemed to ensure maximal success, and decided to just take all those winning strategies together and make it into its own training style, very similar to the alleged history of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do: take what is useful and discard what isn’t. These ideas were circulated through various forum posts and eventually captured and consolidated in a thread known as “Cycles for Pennies”, with Dante eventually creating his own forum known as “intense-muscle”, where he poured our more of his nearly prophetic ideas.

For myself, my first exposure to DoggCrapp came via a T-Nation article titled “How to Build 50 Pounds of Muscle in 12 Months” by Nate Green, which I’ll link here, because it’s honestly a very solid primer on DoggCrapp and still what I rely on to this day.

And while we’re talking about background, where was I when I started DoggCrapp again? I had JUST finished up 5/3/1 Building the Monolith which, in turn, I took on because, prior to that, I was running Jamie Lewis’ “Famine” protocol and was honestly burnt out with lifting 4-6 days a week and wanted to cut it down to 3. Building the Monolith gave me that opportunity, after which I went on a Disney Cruise, ate my face off, came back home and STILL only wanted to lift 3 days a week, and be able to spend the rest of my days walking or conditioning, which was a great fit for DoggCrapp.


You really should just read that primer I linked, but for a quick overview of how DoggCrapp works.

  • 3 days a week of lifting (yes, there are other splits out there in DC, they are for advanced trainees, which I am not as far as bodybuilding is concerned)

  • Alternating A/B style workouts. The A workout is chest-shoulders-triceps-back width-back thickness, the B workout is biceps-forearms-calves-hamstrings-quads. Yes, it is in THAT order.

  • 3 workouts PER workout. What that means is, you have an A1, A2 and A3 day, and a B1, B2 and B3 day. So it takes a total of 2 weeks to get through all workouts (A1-B1-A2, B2-A3-B3, repeat).

  • One movement per muscle, one workset per movement (in most cases). Rest pause for the majority of the worksets.

  • “Beat the logbook”. Each workout, you either do more total reps than last time, more weight, both, OR, if you can’t beat the logbook, you change out the movement.

  • After the workset, engage in a weighted stretch for the muscle (60-90 seconds).

  • 30 minutes of cardio on the non-lifting days (ideally fasted).

  • 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight for the diet.


  • I’ve honestly kept things pretty close to original. The biggest thing is I removed the forearm work and replaced it with a shrug variant. I genuinely don’t care about my forearm size, and figure I can get it to grow with grip strength work. Meanwhile, I DO care about the size of my traps, and wanted to use this as a chance to maximize it. I felt like these were both “small” muscle groups, and fit in well as a swap, and having owned Kelso’s Shrug Book for a decade, I’m at no shortage of shrug variations to employ.

  • I am also still implementing ROM progression deadlifts, because I have found that, for me, this once a week pulling really gets me strong on the deadlift and doesn’t tax my recovery enough to impact other training. I’ve even managed to factor it into DoggCrapp: I include it in my A2 workout as my backwidth exercise. On the week I DON’T do the A2 workout, I do a ROM progression deadlift on Saturday. It’s one set and 5 minutes of work, and I often count it toward my “sprint workouts” (described below).

  • I also tend to go above the recommended cardio recommendation. I still keep it low intensity, because I dig how that’s effective for burning fat, but I tend to go on a weighted vest walk for 40-50 minutes, and will also use this training day to hit some odds and ends (kb swings, reverse hyper, band pull aparts, neck work and some lateral raises tend to be the go to).

  • I also include 3x10 standing ab wheels on the end of the lifting days. Direct ab work really serves me well. Some folks don’t need it, but I do.

  • I lift M-W-F, I do the walking/odds and ends on Tues/Thurs, and on the weekends I’ll get in non-fasted walking and “sprint” workouts. These are 3-6 minute high intensity conditioning workouts: things like the Grace/Fran WODs, TABEARTA, 5 minutes of ABCs, etc. It’s in my best interest to keep those on the short side, as the lifting is intense and I don’t want to dip too far into my recovery. And, as I wrote above, once every 2 weeks I’ll be including a ROM progression deadlift workout on a Saturday.

  • With me eating carnivore, I imagine I’m getting those protein recommendations, but I’m not counting or measuring to be able to say for sure.


  • Once again, the big draw was 3 days a week of lifting, giving me more time to walk. With it being spring leading into summer, I want to get outdoors more often rather than be trapped inside a gym, and this style of training allows me to get in the hard training that I need while affording me the opportunity to enjoy being outside. That’s also a one/two punch as far as the goals of a bodybuilding program goes, because I find walking to be the best physique improving non-lifting activity to engage in. Low heartrate level exercise tends to be the exercise that relies on fat as a fuel source rather than carbs, and I find it’s an effective way to either strip fat away from the body OR, at least minimize its accumulation when eating aggressively. It also allows me to get out in the sun, get a tan, and just be in a great head space.

  • This style of progression totally clicks with me. I hate percentages, and am somehow able to overcome that when it comes to 5/3/1 and Deep Water primarily because they just use them as a starting point, but in my most ideal world I’d never bother with them. DC is just about doing more than last time until you can’t, and then switching it up again. That’s what I grew up on with Pavel, and it still clicks to this day.

  • But along with just not having percentages, I ALSO appreciate how the progression is “slow”. And I put that in quotes because it’s much like how silly people say 5/3/1’s progression is slow. What we really mean when we say slow progression is “infrequent opportunities to progress”. You only play with the TM of 5/3/1 after the cycle is over, but you can still progress as fast as you want. You only get a chance to beat the logbook once every 2 weeks, but in between those 2 weeks you can make LOTS of progress.

  • And you really DO make a lot of progress between those attempts because of how intelligently the whole thing is set up. Forcing you to pick different movements for 3 different workouts is going to force you to work the muscles/movements from different angles, which is going to force you to bring up weakpoints whether you want to or not. So, for example, Dips for chest on day A1 strengthens the Incline Bench used on day A2 which strengthens the Dumbbell Bench used on day A3, which strengthens the dip. This, once again, funnily enough harkens back to my days following Pavel’s 3-5 out of his “Beyond Bodybuilding” book, which was supposed to, of course, be BEYOND bodybuilding, yet here we are again. I’ve also used this approach for Super Squats as well, and it’s really a lesson I just need to learn in general. Rather than having to keep a movement locked in for 6 weeks at a time and then do a whole new training block, we can vary the movements WITHIN the block to stretch it out longer.

  • Just to keep speaking to how much I like the set-up: a 2 week break from a movement isn’t enough time to get detrained on it, assuming you come into DoggCrapp with a solid enough base. This is something I learned first hand with Deep Water, where it was 2 weeks between movements on the actual Deep Water days. And considering Dante said not to take on the program unless you had 3 years of training and were over 26 years old, there was something in place there to ensure that. It’s honestly just a great cyclical periodization approach.

  • The order of the split/movements makes total sense to me. I like saving my hardest movement for last in a workout, vs most folks doing it first. And I most likely picked this up from the first time I ran DoggCrapp. But saving widowmaker squats for the end of the workout REALLY allows you to put your all into it and not have to worry about the swim back. Additionally, the “back width” exercise at the end of the A days allows you to employ a deadlift variant, which can make DoggCrapp more like a 3x a week full body workout vs a bodybuilding split, and, once again, you can REALLY go all out on the deadlift.

  • I like how unbodybuilder-esque this bodybuilding training is. Dante is really big on the whole 80/20 principle, and for movement selection it means picking big movements you can go heavy on. A big part of that is because you have to “beat the logbook”. If you’re doing 15lb lateral raises, it’s hard to progress each workout, but if you’re pressing 185lbs overhead, your shoulders have some wiggleroom. This really gels well with my meathead background. There isn’t much nuance to execution either. No tempo counts or rep range trickery. The calves are the most nuanced bodypart to train in the program, and I can tolerate that.

  • I dig the inclusion of a heavy set of quad work before hitting the widowmaker. Once again: very 5/3/1, and I feel like it does a good job of allowing me to stay strong. And being able to include a deadlift for my back width work allows a similar benefit.

  • Mandatory cardio. I’m honestly pretty good about doing that stuff on my own volition these days, but much like how 5/3/1 has conditioning in it, Jamie Lewis includes required walking, and even Deep Water has an active recovery day, I appreciate programs that are PROGRAMS and not just a lifting routine. Taking the whole picture into account is good. AND, laying out that the cardio is a 30 minute walk gives a good perspective of how hard to work on those non-lifting days. Complying with that has been good for my recovery.

  • I love Dante’s approach to nutrition. Once again, his 80/20 approach shines through. He wants dudes to focus on getting BIG while they run DoggCrapp. Leanness can come AFTER we get big. And according to Dusty Hanshaw, Dante’s philosophy was “If you’re going to overeat, it may as well be the stuff that muscle is made of”, which is how he settled on 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight, which aligns exactly with the same conclusion of Jamie Lewis in “Issuance of Insanity”, and is very close to the recommendation in “Feast, Famine and Ferocity” during the Feast phase. Trainees NEED this sort of reinforcement. Plus, with the thermic effect of food being a thing, there’s a fair chance that overeating this much protein is going to result in the same sort of fat spillover that one would experience with carbs or fats. And since insulin AND glucagon tend to rise together when protein is consumed, there shouldn’t be as many blood sugar spikes compared to what one experiences when overeating carbs. I think there’s a lot of method to this madness, and it once again appeals to me as a nutritional alchemist.


  • Workouts run longer than I care. I typically limit my weight training to an hour, and was getting most of my training done in about 45-50 minutes before DoggCrapp, but on DC it’s pretty rare for me to get a workout done in under 65 minutes. A big contributor to this is the warm-up sets. Because the dirty secret of High Intensity Training style programs is this: though there is only “one” workset, there is a LOT of volume to be found in the warm-ups. This style of training uses a ramping up warm-up, where you’re not necessarily burning out in the warm-ups, but you ARE getting a solid pump and putting in some work before you actually get to that work set. You want to really prime your system for max execution. Once again, 5/3/1 already trained you on this with the way Jim builds the lifts leading up to the topset of the mainwork, and we saw this also back in The Complete Keys to Progress. People will LOOK at a DoggCrapp workout and think “I’ll be in and out of the gym in 15 minutes”, which is once again why I say you can’t judge a program until you run it. When you actually do the workouts, to include the warm-ups in a meaningful way, it’s going to take some time to get it done.

  • A solution to the above would be to follow a split that has fewer muscle groups per day, but this would require training MORE days per week, which would rob me of the benefit of only lifting 3x per week. Instead, I just wake up 15 minutes earlier.

  • And because I’m being a good DoggCrapp citizen, I’m not in there knocking out giant sets or squeezing in a million assistance exercises between sets like I would on other programs. I AM keeping those warm-up sets very tight and short, but I’m still keeping myself focused on the movement, and will even grant myself a full minute rest before the squat and deadlift workouts. It’s hard for me to stay disciplined liked this, and I would prefer to get in a LOT of training density, but I also recognize how much I’ve written about periodization to know that I’ve done a LOT of training density work, so now it’s time to go abbreviated.

  • It’s really hard to care about calves, and they take SUPER long to train on the program, because each rep itself is 20 seconds long at least (5 second eccentric, 15 second hold), followed by a 70-90 stretch once it’s done. Just another way for the training days to run very long.


  • The weighted stretching. It’s just something I do because it’s part of the program, similar to the pullovers in Super Squats. It does suck because it’s just more time spent in the gym (adding to the long run time), but I don’t feel like it’s the secret weapon of the program NOR do I feel like it’s stupid to the point that I don’t need to do it. With only one big workset per bodypart, I figure the loaded stretch is just another way to get some more time under tension.


  • I like to think of DoggCrapp as “conjugate bodybuilding”, and I feel like a lot of its ideas could be lent to other programs. I have an idea in my head of taking Super Squats and turning it into 3 separate workouts to be run in a week (A1-A2-A-3, repeat). Still only go up 5-10lbs each time you cycle back. It would allow the program to be run for longer…which might not be a good thing at all! But also, dig how you do the pullovers in Super Squats and how that is a “weighted stretch”: it was DoggCrapp before it was cool. You could also move the squat to the very end like DoggCrapp and have the DC blessing even if it goes against the instructions of Super Squats.

  • Meanwhile, if we’re worried that we’re not getting strong enough with DoggCrapp, one could always take Easy Strength and use that to nudge up numbers. Think about how completely different the programs are: one is about cycling through 3 different workouts, not coming back to a movement for 2 weeks. Easy Strength has you stick with the same movement 5 days a week for 40 workouts. And Dan specifically says Easy Strength is there to take care of the strength work so that you can go on to “everything else”, and in a recent podcast specifically stated bodybuilding work as being included in the “everything else” portion of things. So you could open up with Easy Strength and roll into DoggCrapp if you had that some of training time. And since Easy Strength can be run as infrequently as 2-3x a week, there’s even an avenue to do it on NON-lifting days of DC. Especially if you run “Easy Strength for Fat Loss”, which specifically has you go for a fasted walk AFTER the Easy Strength workout. That may actually be a fantastic idea that I might just have to steal sometime. If you have any pet lifts that aren’t getting the love they need, this could be the answer.


Holy crap, look at how much I write when it’s NOT a program review. I haven’t even done a before/after or talked about results, or even my specific set-up this rotation (which is a good overview on how to make the most of a home gym, considering Dante advises strongly against trying that), but needless to say I am progressing well on this and have my first cruise ala “blast and cruise” coming up at the end of May, at which point I’ll have to see what my appetite is for continued crapping.

Thanks for reading! Always happy to discuss further. And if there is any interest in seeing the program in action, I’ve recorded every session and uploaded it to my youtube. Some of the videos got blocked for music, which is lame.


I initially read this as muscle, which wouldn’t have been lame at all.

I’d absolutely be interested in this- trying to find ways to safely fail (or even get set up in some instances) has been my biggest hurdle so far. I’ll try to run back through your videos and take some notes when I have some time.

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this program and my choice to run it aligns pretty closely with why you chose to. Keep crapping dude!

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Appreciate the catch on the typo: my computer lags pretty hard. I’m doing the write up on the home gym now, but funny enough didn’t really consider writing up anything on failure. With a rack, it tends to sort itself out. If you have strap safeties, those are a little more gentle on equipment. Suspended chains or tow straps can make it work too. @tlgains went OG with the saw horses with his own set up, and that’s a great approach too.

Good to have you in my corner dude! I always like to do an assessment of who I’m calling a peer, and when that list makes me happy, I know I’m in a good place.


Wasn’t meant as a call out whatsoever- I figured YouTube flagged the videos because there’s a shirtless dude that’s jacked as hell abusing a whole bunch of heavy metal in his garage. My initial thought was “eh, makes sense I guess”.

I unfortunately have a half rack due to height constraints in the room I lift in so I have about a 10 inch safety “bar” I’d need to fail into and I just can’t take that chance, especially with squats. It works fine for flat bench but that’s about it. I’ll have to get a little creative I suppose. I’d like to think I’m fairly accurate in assessing reps to failure, but the reality is I am very likely not.

Thanks for taking the time to write all this stuff out, man.


Man, I appreciate how you are committed to following a program even when there are “meh” components like the loaded stretches. I’ve been training like this (lower volume, high effort) going on 5 years straight. This after 15+ years of competing in powerlifting and Olympic lifting. I’ve noticed no benefit to the loaded stretches vs just emphasizing the stretched position of lifts when reasonable.

In fact, I’ve made BETTER progress just holding the stretch position for 1-2 seconds on each rep and emphasizing the eccentric portion just a tad more. I stopped the post set loaded stretches after doing them religiously for a long time.

I second what you said about the time cost. For me, extra time+effort with little to no return? Easy decision. But again, I applaud you sticking with the basic layout. More people SHOULD do that then make changes based on their individual responses.


@boilerman It reminds me of Jim Wendler saying he wanted traps so big it was illegal. When pressed to explain that, he said he wanted to be in a jail cell with someone, he asks “What’re you in for?”, guy goes “Armed robbery, what about you?” Jim says “Traps” and the guy just nods knowingly, haha.

I knew you had that half rack, which is why I was thinking the saw horses might be a solution. Just something to expand the field of play for the failure. Otherwise, it’s a tough nut to crack, outside of just getting some bumpers and crash pads and letting it fall.

@sirdanoman Hey thanks man! You’ve dropped some solid nuggets of wisdom on me for this approach. I always try to give a program it’s due diligence my first run through before I monkey around with it, because it’s hard to know what works and what doesn’t when you “make it taste like ketchup”, to reference my own blog, haha. I definitely think that DoggCrapp could work for getting just plain old stronger without those stretches, but I DO appreciate just how gnarly the chest and biceps stretch feel…and those are the muscles that matter, haha.

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Great write up. There were some things that stood out to me on the program that I was meh about as well. Stretching, forearms, and I knew it would take me more than an hour to do.

I do like most of the other philosophy though.

Thanks again for taking the time to write it up. :+1:

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Absolutely man! It’s definitely worth a trial run if your schedule can ever support, just from the learning experience of it.


Beautiful summary man! I definitely appreciate reading how well you follow the rules and outlines that Dante has and how you’ve immersed yourself in the interviews with Dusty. It’s been fun watching your workouts on YouTube along the way as well! You really personify the “Heavy Slag-Iron” mantra.

I’m loving running DC’s sister program Fortitude Training by former Dante-appointed DC coach Dr. Scott Stevenson again and am also doing so in the garage and it’s very heavy on variation so it pays to get creative! Definitely another form of “Conjugate Bodybuilding”! I think it would potentially be a program you’d enjoy, I think you would appreciate that it offers a lot of freedom but has a rough structure to help you organize everything and can be run either 3 or 4 days a week.

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It means so much that you swung by Dave, and I don’t take

Lightly. I could ask for no higher honor.

Fortitude may be in my future. I’m reaching that “old dog/new tricks” portion of my life, where I don’t want to learn new things. It’s why I keep playing my 30 year old video games instead of learning a new one, haha. But you’ve been such a strong resource in helping me bridge knowledge gaps, and I’ll definitely lean on you if I head in that direction.


I feel you on this, but, with acceptance, comes reframing. I’m not too stubborn to learn new things; I’m experienced enough to master a handful of approaches.

Great writeup, as always. I appreciate the introspective honesty vs. “all or nothing” dogma. It’s totally fine to think it’s a great program and still not think the stretching is an important variable… but you don’t get to say that without trying the stretching.


I love this! Very effective reframe indeed. It’s so true, and with that mastery comes a lens to be able to digest new information. It was much like when I took on Easy Strength and realized “Oh, this is just the 5/3/1 Mainwork”, of learning Anchors and Leaders and thinking “Oh cool: periodization”.

Thanks so much for the kind words, and for taking the time to read through it! Always value your input, as my “brother-in-arms”, pun fully and deliciously intended.


Well, apparently I’m in a writing kind of mood: Here is the home gym survival guide. @alex_uk @boilerman @heretolog Ya’ll might appreciate this.

Based off some inputs received from my last piece on running DoggCrapp with a home gym, I’m going to share my experience and ideas on how to make this program viable if, like me, your misanthropy compels you to avoid human contact whenever possible and/or you train at such bizarre hours that no reasonable institution can serve your schedule. Whatever your reason, for you garage gorillas and basement behemoths: this is for you.


  • Dante Trudel has expressed that DoggCrapp should not be run with a home gym. This is a matter of logistics: you have 3 different workouts for 2 different workout days you need to accomplish (A1-B1-A2, B2-A3-B3), which is going to mean 3 different movements for each muscle for just one standard split. Additionally, once you stop progressing on a movement, you are to swap it out in order to find a new thing to progress on. Dante (rightfully) contends that it will be too easy to run out of movements when equipped with only a home gym, whereas a fully stocked commercial/bodybuilding gym will have a wide enough variety of equipment that there will be no difficulty implementing a variety of movements to succeed.



  • One of the quickest parallels to establish is that DoggCrapp “feels” a lot like Westside Barbell Conjugate’s max effort day. In turn, take some inspiration from those that inspired Westside Barbell: the Original Westside Barbell club in Culver City. Specifically, look toward how these guys created variety in an era where there WAS so little to be had. In the absence of a million different specialty barbells and machines, these guys became the masters of playing with grip widths and stances in order to create “new” movements. We all know wide grip, close grip and standard grip bench, but what about just taking the grip in a finger width instead of full on close grip? What about feet flared out squats vs toes pointed forward? How about some duck footed deadlifts? To say nothing of deadlifts with weightlifting shoes on vs flat soled shoes, or flipping the script there with squatting. And if your bench happens to be an adjustable bench, every single angle you can incline it at is a BRAND new movement. And from there you can combine things, like low incline close grip bench press vs high incline wide grip and all the flavors in between. Even armed with just a barbell and a rack, you can create a LOT of variety, but it WILL require diligence in execution. It’s easier to shut off your brain and squat exactly the same way you always do while changing out the barbell than it is to use the same equipment in a different way, but that intention in training can result in the changes you need.

  • Still operating with just plates and a rack, think about how you can play around with ROM. Standing on plates will put you higher up, and using smaller diameter plates can create a deficit. This can be helpful with rows and deadlift variants. You can also elevate the starting height of a pull by placing plates underneath the plates. And, of course, you can spring for some patio pavers like I use for ROM progression mat pulls. And the rack itself can also be useful for changing the starting height of various movements. Partials may not be the best idea in a bodybuilding program, but it’s still A way to get some variety.


Ok, so now we’re going to flesh out the home gym a bit because we can only do so many deadlift variations before we want to blow our brains out (for those that are curious, that number is 2, because f – k the deadlift), so now let’s talk about the toys we can buy to maximize our training effect.


  • Bands and Chains: Once again, looking to Westside for inspiration, look at ALL those variations you came up with above and realize you can attach a band or chain to them and you’ve suddenly create a variation OF your variation. This one simple addition can exponentially expand your options. And bands work both ways: against AND reverse, so now you have even MORE options to play with. And take it from me: widowmaker squats against bands will pretty much blow your soul apart. And Dan John has gone on to say that, if he could do it all over again, he’d always squat with chains. Bands and chains can even be used with dumbbell movements, you can use them with chins (against, band assisted or against bands), you can do movements with JUST bands (pressdowns, rows, etc), and many more options available. And these things take up minimal space in a home gym.

  • A landmine: You technically can get away with just shoving a barbell in a corner, but landmine attachments tend to be pretty cheap and will spare your equipment. And, once again, this is one of those things that opens up a WIDE variety of new movements with just one small addition. Landmine work now gives you a lever to work with, which radically changes loading patterns. And this is assuming you are operating with JUST a landmine: throw some attachments on it and it’s really big. I like the Viking handle myself, because you get 3 different ways to grip it, which opens up multiple opportunities for presses and rows, but I’ve also implemented it for landmine RDLS and thrusters (not really a DC movement, but still). And with a solid enough set-up, belt squats with a landmine can absolutely blow up your quads.

  • Rubber Patio Pavers: I have written extensively about the value of these things, specifically as it relates to ROM progression training with the deadlift. These things aren’t that expensive and really open up a lot of options. You can stand on them to create a deficit, or you can elevate the starting height of various pulls WITHOUT a metal on metal impact you get from plates. They make excellent platforms to perform calf raises, you can stack them to make squats for box squatting (or box jumping, if you care to do that), use them to set up floor presses/tricep extensions, etc.

  • Dip Belt and Loading Pin: I honestly forgot to include this initially as it seems so obvious, but yes: absolutely get a decent dip belt. And if you don’t want to buy one, just get a length of 3/8 chain and a solid carabineer. If you value your skin, thread it through an innertube. And same with a loading pin: if you don’t want to buy one, make one out of plumbing pipe and a flange. But either way, this opens up loading opportunities on chins and dips, and also gives you a way to execute calf raises with a new loading mechanism. You can also do belt squats with a dip belt and loading pin (especially if you stand on those patio pavers I mentioned), and this loadout allows for other weighted stretching opportunities as well (a loaded dip stretch and a hang from a bar are both pretty effective).


  • The Ironmaster Collection: Ironmaster is one of the many adjustable dumbbell makers on the market right now, alongside Bowflex, Powerblocks, Nubell and a few others. Ironmaster is unique in its design by employing a screw locking mechanism vs a dial/pin system. This results in a longer adjustment time compared to other dumbbells, but also a sturdier and more “traditional” feeling dumbbell compared to many other adjustable ones on the market. However, what I like about Ironmaster in particular is how it’s a totally modular system: their dumbbells use the same plates and screws as their kettlebells, and the plates ALSO fit into the weighted vest as well. The benefit of all of this is that you only need to buy ONE base system to be able to have access to 3 different tools, and those 3 tools will WIDELY expand your training variety. You can wear the vest for any bodyweight based work AND during your walking for DoggCrapp, and many dumbbell exercises can also be performed with KBs. Where the KBs really shine is that they are loaded by a single screw vs the two screws needed for the dumbbells, which means you can increase the total load on a KB by the smallest plate available (2.5lbs) vs a 5lb jump. This allows for a LONG period of sustained progress on your movements: something that Dusty Hanshaw has expressed as a positive with DC training. Yes: this is going to hit you in the pocketbook initially, but as far as return on investment goes, it can’t be beat. You will open up a LOT of options buying this system, and it won’t take up a whole lot of space in the gym. And, for one final plug: hex style dumbbells are pretty awesome for anchoring bands, since they don’t roll.


  • An axle. Axles are VERY cheap to make: go to Home Depot and have them cut you a 7.5’ length of 2” plumbing pipe and use gorilla take 16” from the ends to make collars. You can buy one for about $85 from Titan if you prefer that. An axle DOES open up some additional training variety, as pretty much anything you can do with a barbell you can do with an axle…but as far as the impact to the pursuit of hypertrophy goes, it’s not going to be terrible significant. Axle deadlifts are quite brutal, even when strapped up (which you should be) because it creates a deficit AND puts the weight out in front of you AND it has zero flex in it, and axle curls will also blow up your forearms, but an axle squat isn’t really going to change things up on your quads too much. Axles can also make zercher lifts a little more comfortable, so you’ve got that going for you. And they won’t take up much space in the gym.


  • Trap bar: Do yourself a favor and read Paul Kelso’s trap bar course in his Shrug Book or many of his articles on the topic: you can do a LOT more with a trap bar than just deadlifts. You can, of course, do those, and you can do them from a deficit or you can elevate them, and if your trap bar has high handles you can pull on those or low handles. But you can also do rows with a trap bar, which are pretty baller, since the weight is centered on you. You can also do RDL/SLDLs with it, for another unique take on the movement. AND you can press with a trap bar, which is a very unique deficit neutral grip press. There’s JUST enough variety in there that it justifies a place in the training arsenal, compared to something like a marsbar, which is great at the one thing it does, but it’s only going to do one thing. Trap bars tend to take up a bit more space in the gym.

  • Safety Squat Bar: The SSB isn’t quite as versatile as the trap bar (although some dudes DO employ it for rolling tricep extensions), but aside from being able to squat with neutral hands, you can also use it for Hatfield squats, you can take your hands off the handles and place them wide on the bar itself to make it more like a cambered bar squat, AND you can flip it around for front squats, which actually makes front squat widowmakers viable, as you have far less chance of choking yourself out. The SSB is also useful for good mornings, which opens up your hamstring training arsenal, and you can use one with back extensions as well, if that’s your thing.


  • Multigrip/Swiss Bar: The theory behind this bar is sound enough, and it does provide you with several different options for pressing, rows, curls, tricep work, etc. I really SHOULD like this…but I just plain never cared for it. For benching, they tend to be hard to balance. I would save the purchase of this for AFTER you’ve gotten all of the above, because with barbells, dumbbells and a landmine you’re already going to be in a pretty good way.

  • Powertower: These things honestly are pretty awesome in general, but as far as DoggCrapp goes, they give you an option for dips and an option for chins…and that’s it. Now, if you DON’T have a rack, and only have stands, then this is a great way to open up some chinning options, and dips are a great movement in general. But as far as a cost per value thing goes, your money could be better spent.

  • Niche Specialty Barbells: In this, I’m including stuff like the cambered bar, Buffalo Bar, Spider Bar, Log, Deadlift Bars, Squat Bars, etc. Yes: I DO use these things, simply because I HAVE these things, mainly because I’m such a lifting nerd that I collect equipment, but if I were specifically going out of my way to build a “DoggCrapp Home Gym”, these things would cost too much and take up too much space for how much variety they allow. Many of these are just a 1 for 1 exchange, and often the change in stimulus is practically non-existent.


Just to provide an example of making this work in a home gym, here is my current split with DoggCrapp


  • Chest: Weighted dips
  • Shoulders: Kettlebell Clean and Press
  • Triceps: Ultra close grip swiss bar bench
  • Back width: Weighted underhand chin
  • Back thickness: Low handle trap bar deadlift


  • Biceps: Axle curls
  • Traps (my own program deviation): Axle shrugs against bands
  • Calves: Belt and loading pin calf raises
  • Hamstrings: Safety Squat Bar good mornings
  • Quads: SSB front squats


  • Chest: Flat dumbbell bench
  • Shoulders: Behind the neck barbell press
  • Triceps: Close grip axle flat bench lockouts
  • Back width: Neutral Grip chins w/chains attached to a dip belt (accommodating resistance)
  • Back thickness: Deadlift off mats (I use a ROM progression here, but you could easily keep the pull height the same and progress traditionally)


  • Biceps: KB curls
  • Traps: Hise shrugs
  • Calves: Calf raise while holding a dumbbell
  • Hamstrings: Glute Ham Raises (I know it wasn’t mentioned in the above: it’s definitely more of a niche machine, but I own one so I use it)
  • Quads: Squats


  • Chest: Axle incline bench
  • Shoulders: Trap bar press
  • Triceps: High incline KB tricep extensions
  • Back width: Angled grip chins against bands
  • Back thickness: Viking handle landmine rows


  • Biceps: Curls against bands
  • Traps: Viking landmine kelso shrugs
  • Calves: SSB calf raise
  • Hamstrings: Viking landmind deficit SLDL (use 25lb plates to create deficit)
  • Quads: SSB squats against doubled bands

Once again, this became SO much more than I expected, and I could honestly write so much more, but I’ll cap it off there. Hope it was of value!


That was such a an informative post, I’ll definitely be referencing it as I move along. Thanks dude!!


Great update and so much information to take in. Maybe this might get a run as one of my hypertrophy blocks in the future. Always good to have options.

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Should have asked above, Is the book ’ DOGGCRAPP TRAINING - Hardcore Muscle Building ’ worth a purchase and read. For someone who just likes to read training books.

Absolutely awesome suggestions! I too am a garage gym warrior, so I love the creativity that you can use with a program like this! A few implements I would add to the list would be the Super Squat Hip belt (gives several new options for squatting variations with no load on the spine and also functions as a dip/chin belt and can even be used for calf raises) and Dave Draper’s Top Squat which adds handles to a standard barbell which makes squatting and front squatting a bit more comfortable and gives added variation.

As a high cost/big footprint option, there’s the Ironmaster IM2000 self spotting rack which is a smith machine with built in high/low cables and several other implements that can greatly increase your exercise variety (vertical leg press and almost unlimited row, press and squat options).


Great write-up. My first encounter with Dogg Crapp was trying to run it in my garage gym during the COVID lockdowns. Always interesting how creative you can get when you have to! This is nice for folks trying to make a go of it on their own.

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@boilerman Glad you found it helpful dude! If you have any discoveries of your own, please share them.

@simo74 Absolutely dude! I feel like this style of training will suit you. I honestly didn’t even know there WAS a book out there, haha. I may have to give it a look.

@davemccright That’s an outstanding tip there! I actually have that very belt and haven’t used it: clearly I’ve been sleeping on it. I’ll make sure to bring it into play. Good call on that Ironmaster rack as well. They really have some solid products. Their bench transforms into some pretty cool toys as well.

@burien_top_team Hey thanks so much man! Your opinion holds a lot of weight for me.


Really impressive thread all around, and there’s even some non-DC nuggets casually tossed in.

for example (and I happen to completely agree).

I also didn’t realize this existed! I’ll be checking it out too.

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