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Dante and Dusty: Raw Road to Nationals 2011

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  • Dante and Dusty: Raw Road to Nationals 2011

    Dante Trudell and Dusty Hanshaw: No Holds Barred-NPC Nationals 2011

    By James Tucci

    This article was originally written in April of 2011. We are now posting it for your reading enjoyment. As of now Dusty is 112 days out from the 2011 Nationals. He is mentally focused more than ever and is ready to destroy the stage with a look that makes last year’s USA’s look silly.

    How do you know when you’ve become a bodybuilder? Dusty Hanshaw is sitting across from me eating his 4th meal of the day in his Scottsdale, Arizona home. It’s the first warm weekend of March and Dusty just returned from a monster and top secret training weekend with DC (Doggcrapp) creator Dante Trudel. Dusty spends the day inside reflecting and focusing on the next seven months. Dusty is massive, a modern day monster. He has already eaten 10 oz of grilled chicken, 2 cups of rice and more greens than a vegetarian eats. “I’ll tell you how I knew I was a bodybuilder,” he continues flatly, tugging at his black I-Force T-shirt. “I was told.” We all want to know how this self admitted “hockey player” turned “bodybuilder” became the example of what is good in bodybuilding today. Dusty has opened his life both professionally and personally to his fans, although Dusty will be the first to admit that he hates the word “fans” and instead prefers the word “supporters.” In the first few months of “his dream” he started out much like any other bodybuilder, learning, eating, lifting, and dreaming of the day he’d make it to the national level stage. He’s worked with various trainers, nutritionists and a plethora of specialists all of whom have been on this road to the NPC National Championships exactly 7 months from the day of this article. He has welcomed all “nay-sayers” and “supporters” equally; never one to say anything negative Dusty prefers to “kill em with kindness.” I ask if it gets to him, but he simply smiles and says “I know I don’t have the greatest genetics in the world, I wasn’t born that way, but what I do have is a determination to do everything I can with the genetics and physique that I was given.”
    So here we are, 7 months away from the NPC National Championships and Dusty is the odds on favorite to walk away with the coveted IFBB Pro Card and accomplish a dream 10 years in the making. Dusty, 29 grew up in the northwest and southwest and is the owner of Arizona’s premier nutrition superstore House of Fitness. When he’s not training you can find him moving products, talking bodybuilding or helping aspiring bodybuilders to “not make the same mistakes, I did.” As I follow him around I find that Dusty literally will talk to anyone about anything, and while he is as wide as he is tall, the intimidating factor disappears after he cracks a joke or tells a story. He often remembers his first days of bodybuilding and how once he “set his mind to something, it was already over, the only thing left to do was to do it.” While an axiom, Dusty thoroughly believes that. That statement prompted me to find out “how” this came to be, so I tracked down Mr. Dante Trudel, the creator of DoggCrap Training and owner of True Protein.
    After some researching, becoming a member of the group and asking all around, I was finally able to track down the man who likes to think in terms of “rapid muscle accumulation.” Dante has trained or advised such athlete’s as Justin Harris, Steve Kuclo, Dave Henry, and Cedric McMillan. His name is known throughout the industry and is synonymous with bodybuilding, yet these days you won’t find him at many shows, or even with many clients. After much research and networking I was able to catch up Dante and ask him a few questions.

    JT (James Tucci): How did you first meet Dusty Hanshaw?
    DT (Dante Trudel): About 4 years ago I was in Arizona for the state show with Justin Harris as some of our athletes were competing. I saw Dusty stand up in the audience and I turned to Justin and said “pretty big boy there,” but I would guesstimate he was about 260-265ish then nothing like the absolute freak show you see walking around right now. Shortly after that he emailed me and asked me to train him…I refused, he kept bugging me, relentlessly, and I kept refusing. Yet he continued, he is a determined motherf*#ker, I’ll give him that and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Every time, I said “no” he’d email again with reasons why I was wrong. He eventually he wore me down and I said “yes.” I went out and met him a short time after that and we were underway.

    JT: What made you decide to start training Dusty? Because at that point weren’t you burnt out on training clients?
    DT: I checked him out. I asked around....I did my due diligence and everyone had good things to say about him. And good god was the guy determined. There is a difference between someone thinking about bodybuilding 24/7 and someone who is determined. 24/7 is someone who won’t be successful because they will burnout and are a one dimensional individual. Dusty is a robotic individual, there is a time to eat, time to train and a time to work and then a lot of time to enjoy life outside of bodybuilding. He knows bodybuilding is just one facet of what makes him up as an individual. That’s a huge plus in this selfish vain sport of bodybuilding. When I get emails of the like "Dante I live and breathe bodybuilding 24/7 and my only objective is to go pro".....I know that individual is doomed. One dimensional: Dusty isn’t that guy....he has a game plan, follows it and I like a well rounded (life outside of bodybuilding) individual.....that’s why I made the decision to take him on.

    JT: What was your first impression of Dusty after meeting him and training with him?
    DT: VERY THICK from fore to aft and when I say that his thickness from chest to back is much more than other bodybuilders….but I also saw some very weak spots in the beginning that needed to come up, namely his back and his arms especially were weak….nowadays 3 to 4 years later those are two of his better body parts…so you can imagine the work he has put into all this.

    JT: What is the best part of training Dusty?
    DT: A freaking robot, attacks the game plan, embraces the methodology, and MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL....UNLIKE THE MAJORITY OF BODYBUILDERS.... sees the big picture...."this is how you get to point B from point A"....these are the steps you take to get doesn’t t involve annihilating yourself today, it doesn’t t involve poly-pharmacying yourself, it doesn’t t involve risk taking, it doesn’t t involve a "I want it now no matter what I got to do" mentality.....its baby steps, a planned progression over time....3 steps forward, one step back, 3 steps forward, one step tell him, Dusty this is how I think we can get this accomplished.....HE GETS AFTER IT.
    Below is a picture of a CAT scan that Dante had Dusty have right before they started working together. Once Dante reviewed Dusty’s results, he knew ALL SYSTEMS where GO.

    JT: What “don’t” you like about training Dusty?
    DT: So easy this question is......He is so freaking strong that I constantly worry about him hurting himself. His training gives me anxiety. I have to constantly try to think of methods and movements in his training to make his exercises harder so he cannot use so much slag iron. Don’t get me wrong.....I’m that guy...I’m Mr. Progressively Heavier Weights for reps to make the human body into something it doesn’t really want to become (a massive bodybuilder).....but this guy is a human forklift. Weights that most advanced bodybuilders would do for max singles for their career is this guys daily training weights for 12 reps
    Again stopped in my tracks….really? I ‘m in kind of “awe” struck and trying to figure out how in the hell this guys throws around this much iron. I’m going to segue for a second and let you know that I recently saw Dusty training and he was able to rack dead (a DC favorite) a little under 1000 pounds. Yea, he’s moving weight. At this point, I’m turning into a fan again, instead of keeping my journalistic hat on I take it off and put on my fan hat and ask Dante about the 2010 Jr. Nationals (which for the record is the first time I’ve seen Dusty on stage).

    JT: Dusty shocked fans alike walking on the stage in Chicago at the 2010 Jr. Nationals, I think Dave Palumbo said "the minute Dusty walked out there I knew he'd won the class", is that the “shock and awe” you go for in Dusty's training?
    DT: Dusty knows he isn’t Bob Paris out there. I get a good chuckle at these guys online that think certain training can somehow change the body’s makeup and shape at the high end level. There is nothing and I mean no training that Nasser El Sonbaty, Markus Ruhl or Dorian Yates could ever do to get that wasp like waist and shape ala Flex Wheeler or Brian Buchanon. Branch Warren could train just like another guy his height (Shawn Ray for instance) and never in a million years come out with the shape and proportions of Shawn’s not in the genetic makeup! So what do you do? You take your god given genetics and steer toward the most successful road you can individually in bodybuilding......In Dustys case that’s not coming in with a paintbrush but coming in with a sledgehammer
    As I quietly reflect on Dante’s answers and what I know of Dusty; it is now becoming clear why the two of these titans work so well together. They are cut from the same cloth; they call it for what it is and make the best out of any given situation and they continually succeed.

    JT: Dusty has told me that his next competition is under wraps but will reveal it soon, what do you think Dusty has in store for the fans this year? What would you like to see Dusty do?
    DT: I know what he is doing but I’m sworn to silence.... I will say this though. Dusty and I listened to what people online said about him and we started changing his training back after the USA's to bring down his waist and try to bring him in the way people kept saying he should come in. WHAT A FREAKING DISASTER! His telltale thickness started to recede, his back started to get smaller because we got away from all heavy movements and other things that got him to the dance in the first place. He just started to get smaller. And he wasn’t exactly turning into Milos Sarcev shape was big step backwards......we went right back to what works and has worked. Like Dusty says "if you cannot be Phil Heath, be Markus Ruhl then"......

    Note: At the time this article was written, Dusty had no revealed that his plans were to compete in Miami at the 2011 NPC Nationals
    JT: What is the difference between the success that dusty has had and other clients that have not been as successful with DC? What makes Dusty different?
    DT: Sometimes (well a lot of times) a lot of guys don’t listen to me 100% and kind of do 1/2 what I say. It’s funny to see guys look at Dusty's success and come back to what I originally told them to do or even think I am telling Dusty secrets or something I didn’t tell them. I’m not telling Dusty anything different than other guys (except I tune workouts to people’s bodies and what I see as their weak spots) is the difference. AND THIS SOUNDS LIKE A SIMPLE THING BUT IT IS THE BIGGEST FACTOR IN A BODYBUILDERS GAMEPLAN. Dusty sees the big picture. You don’t get big from today’s workout. You don’t get big from that meal you ate get larger and larger by the string of workouts you string together over the next 9 months, you get larger from the robotic eating of clean foods day in and day out (without missing meals) over the next 9 months. That is the difference between Dusty and a lot of my other clientele. So you had a kickass leg work out today...AWESOME! That not going to make 30 inch’s the 75 to 100 kickass leg workouts you do over the next year that is going to make 30 inch quads
    Speaking of training, I started this article trying to figure out what happened between Dusty and Dante during their weekend, so I finally got the balls enough to ask him

    JT: I know you and Dusty just got done with an intense weekend of training tweaks is there anything you want to reveal?
    DT: Project Hanshaw is Defcon 5 silence……But I will say this: Border States = 238-242, Jr. Nationals = 256, USA’s= 265 Next Show = You do the math…I got 5 words for you: “Be afraid, be very afraid”

    Our interview ends after that and I’m left motivated to get back to my own training. More so, I’m going to be honest I AM AFRAID. I’m afraid for anyone that decides to stand next to Dusty. He’s a force (no pun intended) to be reckoned with and has the following and demeanor that in this author’s humble opinion has been lacking for the past couple of years in this sport.
    Since writing this article I’ve had the chance to see Dusty move some weight, hit a few poses and even jump into his psyche a little bit. That’s another article for another day. He is on his way, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. I just hope that I can keep up to see where it takes him, if the “scoreboard” is any indication he is well on his way to Pro Status and the coveted IFBB Pro Card and I don’t think it’ll be too long before Dusty can square off against Jason Huh again for some much wanted redemption. To follow Dusty and his quest to become a Professional Bodybuilder check him out at or find him on Facebook.
    Respectfully Submitted,

    Proud to be a DH Disciple

  • #2
    Very cool James. Really great job of capturing the relationship. Thanks for that.
    2008 WABDL World Bench Press Champioships, 2nd place 275lb submaster division state record bench press
    2001 WABDL World Record Breaker Bench Press Championships 1st place 275lb class
    2000 USPF Regional Championships 1st place 275lb division
    1999 USPF NorthWest Reigional Championships 1st place, 275lb division
    1998 USAPL State Championships 1st place 275lb division
    1997 AAU State Championships 1st place 275lb division
    1997 USPF State Championships 1st place 275lb division
    + more


    • #3
      I've been waiting for this!

      Thanks for posting it, great read.
      TRUE PROTEIN Discount Code- CSH730


      • #4
        good read thanks for posting


        • #5
          Cool read

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          • #6
            Thanks Guys! It was an honor to do this! I hope you enjoy it!
            Respectfully Submitted,

            Proud to be a DH Disciple



            • #7
              Nice article, James. Well done and thanks for putting that up.

              "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a pussy."

              "Carry 24/7 or guess right."

              "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

              "993 yo f9t[n9y[I8itineraryBMiy v][/t u 98 oh 99 u]y8y u[/hy jyip NH j o have I h"


              • #8
                Liked it, Thanks to all concerned.
                "Be gentle in what you do, firm in how you do it."
                Buck Brannaman.

                "It is the certainty of punishment that deters crime, not the severity of it."
                'Hanging' Judge PARKER

                "Nothing is so powerful as an insight into human nature... what compulsions drive a man, what instincts dominate his action... if you know these things about a man you can touch him at the core of his being."
                ~William Bernbach


                • #9
                  Thanks guys! I really appreciate it! IF there's one thing I've learned it's people like Dusty and Dante are so humble they need a guy like me who will scream at the top of his lungs how great they are, even if they yell at me for it. They deserve it!
                  Respectfully Submitted,

                  Proud to be a DH Disciple



                  • #10
                    Awesome Article!!!
                    Its not the size of the hammer, its the size of the man holding the hammer.


                    • #11
                      Very inspiring stuff!I am following along for sure!!!


                      • #12
                        nice post


                        • #13
                          Nice article indeed... As for "being very afraid", I remember an interview Dusty gave last year, combined with footage of a leg-training session, where he talked about some of the improvements he'd like to make to his physique. I guess we all will soon see the results of that plan.


                          • #14
                            Thanks for taking the time to write this. I really enjoyed it.

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