DFHT: Dual Factor Hypertrophy Training by Matt Reynolds

Posted on 20 Feb 2015 09:39

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I stumbled across this old routine a while ago and I think it has some good principles worth implementing. Originally conceived by Matt Reynolds, the Dual Factor Hypertrophy Program ("DFHT" for short) was meant to be thrown into a 5x5 type routine after 4-6 weeks and meant to be run for 4-6 weeks before peaking on 5x5 using a 3x3 rep scheme. I think this program might get lost on the internet as a lot of old routines are being shoveled aside for new cookie cutter routines - and infact one of the main reasons why I like this routine is that it is not a cookie cutter routine despite being attached to a generic one-size-fits-all type crappy routine like 5x5.

Before I post both the Dual Factor Hypertrophy Training Routine and the Dual Factor Strength Training Routine, I want to give you my thoughts on his routines. I will be focusing more on his "Strength Training" routine because I am a Maximal Strength trainee myself.

My thoughts on Matt Reynolds' DFHT and DFST Routines

To begin with, I want to say that I personally think 5x5 and routines modeled along a specific set-rep scheme which are cookie cutter routines glorifying some magical numbers are all stupid routines. My thoughts on 5x5 and why that entire method sucks is not important to this article and should be an article on it's own therefore I am not including much more of my thoughts on the matter in this blog post. I am only stating this because Matt advocates 5x5 and he also advocates generic strength parameters also which I don't agree with.

With that said, let me give y'all a brief overview of the actual routine(s): both are Upper/Lower type splits. One of the Upper days is dedicated to benching heavy and the other to speed bench press. One of the Lower body days is meant for either a heavy squat or a heavy deadlift and the other day is meant for both heavy squats and speed deadlifts.

What I like about this routine is the flexibility in terms of exercise selection and implementation.

If I had to adapt his routine for a lifter who is some-what used to handling heavy weights - and this is me being very general about the approach; this is how I would lay it out.

Lower 1:

  • Deadlift or squat exercise going real heavy from a maximal strength perspective: even if you are not going heavy, I do not believe in training all the big lifts in the same aggressive approach at the same time. So, I'd make the trainee pick between improving his deadlift or squat and whatever progression scheme had to be implemented would be placed here. This is the most important workout of the week and the most important lift will be trained as a priority in terms of volume, intensity and training determination. Just to be clear, I am recommending something like 6-10 actual work sets of 1-10 reps depending on the training protocol. This is not an easy workout. It is the main event.
  • Core training: either front planks or weighted front planks or side planks or side plank rows or band work or heavy static holds, etc - something big for 2-3 sets of time or reps.
  • If there is time, I will place some grip work or perhaps even bicep training as a secondary exercise
  • If still time permits - and as the trainee gets stronger he or she will have to put more and more time and effort into training so this time for tertiary exercises will begin to limit itself but before that happens I would place a posterior chain exercise like pullthroughs or swings or supine gute ham raises or regular GHRs for 2-3 sets of 6-20 reps depending on the difficulty of the exercise.

Lower 2:

  • A squat (or deadlift) variation for some reps and sets. I'm not very keen on going super heavy with this. As I mentioned, the main event day is Lower 1 so this is just to get the body moving and induce hypertrophy and basically get more "work" done. So even if say the trainee chooses 5x5 on squats, the idea is not to go balls to the wall but to put in a decent effort wherein the last set of 5x5 should be a wee bit of a struggle - not balls to the wall.
  • Unilateral leg exercise like lunges or step-ups or pistol squats for 4-5 sets of 6-20 reps
  • Posterior chain exercise from pullthroughs, swings, glute ham raises, romanian deadlifts and hip extensions for 3-5 sets of 6-20 reps
  • Grip or bicep training
  • Core training

This wraps up the lower body aspect of the routine. Now for the upper body

Upper 1:

  • Bench or overhead press for lots of sets and reps. It doesn't have to be set in stone and you can do 4-6 sets going from 20 reps down to 5 or 6 reps. It's not about going real heavy on this day but putting in the reps and getting the work done. It's to perfect technique and build the muscles - and as bodybuilder-ish as I may sound, for press work you need to build your pressing muscles.
  • Dumbbell Press variation or dips for 4-5 sets of 6-20 reps using techniques like unilateral pressing or drop sets, rest-pause, etc.
  • Rows either banded or cable or pulley for 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps
  • Traps - shrugs or upright rows for 2-3 sets of high reps going light and focusing on the muscle (again: think like a bodybuilder)
  • Triceps - 3-4 sets of pressdowns or jm presses, etc for 10-15 reps done slow and controlled (yes: thinking like a bodybuilder)

Upper 2:

  • Similar to my approach to squats and deadlifts, I will have the trainee pick between bench and overhead press and train this lift as the "main event" movement.
  • Lots of back work - pull-ups, dumbbell rows, cable rows, barbell rows, t-bar rows, etc. A good 10-20 sets in total. If you line up 3 exercises for back (and that's a decent combination) and you set aside 5 sets for each, I would recommend going heavy on the first even down to 2-3 reps per set and then with the following 2 exercises I recommend you go light, controlled, and train like a bodybuilder with really high reps.
  • Traps or triceps depending on the time you have left because the bulk of the volume should be dedicated to training the back.
  • If you want you can do some high rep squats for 1-2 sets just to get the blood flowing in the legs and to prepare you for heavy deadlifts or squats next. You should be going light on this.

I would recommend either an 8 day rotation or a 7 day weekly set-up.

Personally, given my new found love for 8+ day rotations, I would do:

Lower 1
Upper 1
Off
Lower 2
Off
Upper 2 with squats at the end
Off
Off
repeat

Anyway, this is my take on upper-lower splits.

Taken from the Meso RX Forums, this is the routine:

Dual Factor Hypertrophy Training Routine

Note: This is a direct lift and written by Matt Reynolds himself.

DUAL FACTOR HYPERTROPHY TRAINING:

Loading Weeks: (2-3 weeks)

Upper Body Workout One: (Monday)
1. Barbell Bench Press: (flat or incline, primarily wide grip, 4x10 with the same weight for each set)
2. Dumbell Press (flat, incline, or decline for 3x8-12 same weight)
3. Horizontal Lat Work (heavy barbell rows, 5x5)
4. Shoulders/ Traps (emphasis on medial delts - shrugs, high pulls, dumbell cleans, lateral raise complex, face pulls pick 1-2 exercises for 4-6 sets total)
5. Tricep Extension (skull crushers, French presses, JM Presses, rolling dumbbell extensions, Tate Presses, pushdowns pick one exercise for 3x10-12)
6. Biceps (1-2 exercises, 3-5 sets total)

Lower Body Workout One: (Tuesday)
1. Heavy Squats (butt to ankles, 5x5 working up each set to a 5rm, or try for a 3rm or even an occasional 1rm)
2. Goodmornings (3x5 same weight or work up to 5rm)
3. Pullthroughs (3-5 sets of 10-12, some arched back, some rounded back)
4. Glute Ham Raises or Hamstring Curls followed by Leg Extensions (2 sets each)
-or-
4. Leg Presses (3-4 sets of 10-12) or- Occasionally a Hack Squat (for 3-4x10-12)
5. Weighted Abs/ Obliques (5x10 total weighted situps, ab pulldowns on high cable or with bands, dumbbell side bends, etc.)

Upper Body Workout Two: (Thursday)
1. Flat Barbell Bench Press (close or regular grip heavy work 1rm, 3rm, 5rm, or 5x5)
2. Board Press/ Floor Press (5rm usually start where you left off on bench press)
3. Overhead Press (Standing military press, push press, dumbbell overhead press various rep schemes 5rm, 5x5, 4x10)
4. Dips (2-3 sets)
5. Vertical Lat Work (lat pull-downs or pull-ups 5+ sets if on lat pull-down use different bars and work different planes)
6. Triceps Extension (skull crushers, French presses, JM Presses, rolling dumbbell extensions, Tate Presses, pushdowns pick one exercise for 3x10-12)
7. Biceps (1-2 exercises, 3-5 sets total)

Lower Body Workout Two: (Friday)
1. Lighter Squats (back squats or front squats for 5x5 or 4x10 with the same weight)
2. Deadlifts (conventional deadlifts or deadlifts standing on 2-3 box, mat, or 100lb plate - 1rm, 3rm, 5rm, or 3x5 same weight, )
3. Pullthroughs (3-5 sets of 10-12, some arched back, some rounded back)
4. Glute Ham Raises or Hamstring Curls followed by Leg Extensions (2 sets each)
5. Weighted Hyperextensions (2-3x10-12)
6. Weighted Abs/ Obliques (5x10 total weighted sit-ups, ab pull-downs on high cable or with bands, dumbbell side bends, etc.)

For unloading weeks (1 week), reduce volume drastically by completing only the first two exercises on lower body days, and the first three exercises on upper body days. Slightly reduce intensity/load (with regards to one rep max), and keep frequency the same (four workouts per week.)

Dual Factor Strength Training Routine

Note: This is also a direct lift and written by Matt himself.

DUAL FACTOR STRENGTH TRAINING (RAW GRITTY STRENGTH)

OK, for those of you who's primary goal is just raw, gritty strength, then this is a slight variation of the DFHT-Revisited program.

Also, as with DFHT, if you can't squat AT LEAST 1.5x your bodyweight Olympic Style, butt sitting on your heels, then you need to be doing JS's 5x5 program coupled with his 8 week squatting program (they work together). Over the last couple years I have become good personal friends with JS and have had the opportunity to train with him. The 5x5 is hands down the best mass and strength builder for beginner to intermediates out there. Even most of JS's elite level athletes and many of us elite level powerlifters use the 5x5 for some time during the year to get back to building slabs of mass and give us a break from the really heavy stuff we do. It's just a good, solid, unmatched program for beginners to upper level intermediates who desperately need to pack on mass and get much stronger in the core lifts.

Now, when you get to the point when you can squat double your bodyweight raw Olympic Style ATF, then you really won't be able to handle squatting 3 times per week anymore because the overall volume and load is increased so much. So, both JS and myself advocated dropping the squatting to twice per week; one heavy and one lighter (but still really hard work). This is where DFHT comes into play.

So, to reiterate:

1) If you can't easily squat 1.5x your bodyweight Olympic style, all the way down, then you need to be doing the 5x5.

2) Once you can easily squat 1.5x your bodyweight Olympic style and your goal is primarily strength and secondary size, then you are ready for DFST.

3) However, a major issue with DFHT is loading and unloading phases. The fact is, until you become an upper level intermediate lifter, there is little need for planned loading and unloading phases. When you get to the point where you can squat 2x+ your bodyweight and bench 1.5x your bodyweight, then you might begin experimenting with loading and unloading weeks.

4) Regardless of what program you are on, (be it 5x5, DFST, or something else) you need to be eating;… ALOT. When mass is the goal, eating is as important as the training. Eat every 2-3 hours and get plenty of protein in every meal.

OK, here is the program/split:

Upper Body Workout One:
1. Barbell Bench Press: (flat or incline, normal grip pinkies on rings, 5x5, 5rm, 3rm, or 1rm)
2. Board Press/ Floor Press (1-5rm usually start where you left off on bench press)
3. Dumbell Press (flat, incline, or decline for 3x8-10 same weight)
4. Horizontal Lat Work (Barbell JS Rows, 5x5)
5. Shoulders/ Traps (emphasis on medial delts - Shrugs, High Pulls, Dumbell Cleans, Lateral Raises, Shoulder Horn, Face Pulls pick 1-2 exercises for 4-6 sets total)
6.Tricep Extension (skull crushers, French presses, JM Presses, rolling dumbbell extensions, Tate Presses, pushdowns pick one exercise for 3x10-12)
7. Biceps (1-2 exercises, 3-5 sets total)

Lower Body Workout One:
1. Snatches/Overhead Squats (snatches 1rm or 3x3 @ 75%, then overhead squat to a heavy single)
2. Max Effort Movement: Olympic Squats, Low Box Squats, Front Squats, Deadlifts, Deadlifts off a 2-3 box, mats, or 100lb plates) pick one exercise and work up to a 1 rep max.
3. Goodmornings (3x5 same weight or work up to 5rm)
4. Pullthroughs (3-5 sets of 10-12, some arched back, some rounded back)
-or-
4. Glute Ham Raises (3-5 sets of 10-12)
5. Weighted Hyperextensions (2-3x10-12)
6. Weighted Abs/ Obliques (5x10 total weighted situps, ab pulldowns on high cable or with bands, dumbbell side bends, etc.)

Upper Body Workout Two:
1. Speed Bench: Flat Bench Press, 9 sets of 3 reps w/ approx 60% of raw max, (3 sets close grip, 3 sets regular grip, 3 sets wide grip) eccentric and concentric should be as fast as possible push bar as hard as you can all the way to lockout as if you were doing a max weight for every attempt. addition of accommodating resistance can be used; i.e. chains or bands added to the bar.
2. Close Grip Bench Press (pinkies 2 inside rings heavy work 1rm, 3rm, or 5rm)
3. Overhead Press (Standing military press or push press 1-5rm, or 3-5x5)
4. Dips (2 sets)
5. Vertical Lat Work (Lat Pulldowns or Pullups 5+ sets if on lat pulldown use different bars and work different planes)
6. Tricep Extension (skull crushers, French presses, JM Presses, rolling dumbbell extensions, Tate Presses, pushdowns pick one exercise for 3x10-12)
7. Biceps (1-2 exercises, 3-5 sets total)

Lower Body Workout Two:
1. Cleans (1rm or 3x3 @ 75%) drop low to catch the weight and front squat it up
2. Olympic Back Squats (Ultra deep ATF - 5x5 w/ same weight, or occasionally work up to a 5rm, also use accommodating resistance approximately every other week)
3. Speed Deadlifts (conventional deadlifts for 6 singles with 60% of max deadlift. Do a single, wait about 45 seconds or a minute and then do another single for 6 singles. Concentrate on speed and form.
4.Pullthroughs (3-5 sets of 10-12, some arched back, some rounded back)
-or-
4. Glute Ham Raises (3-5 sets of 10-12)
5. Weighted Hyperextensions (2-3x10-12 )
6.Weighted Abs/ Obliques (5x10 total weighted situps, ab pulldowns on high cable or with bands, dumbbell side bends, etc.)

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