Kris Gethin’s DTP — or “Dramatic Transformation Principle” — is one of those training methods that make you think … “That can’t be real, can it? Wait, is it? It is?”
With 500+ reps per workout, daily sets of 10–50 reps, 28 consecutive days of training, and a promise of “radically” transforming your physique, this 4-week program is downright insane.
But does it work?
Read on for our full DTP 4 Weeks to Maximum Muscle review!
About the Creator – Kris Gethin
Kris Gethin is the “beast” behind the Kaged Muscle supplement line and a personal trainer to the stars, including a few unnamed billionaires and Bollywood sensations.
Like Calum Von Moger, the superstar athlete is known for his enormous muscles and edgy training videos (which typically include an abandoned room and what sounds like an exorcism in the background).
But his real “claim to fame” is his unusual obsession with biohacking.
Gethin is also the founder of the entire “DTP” concept. (Whether DTP’s actually touched 150 million lives thus far is still unclear.)
What Is Kris Gethin’s DTP 4 Weeks to Maximum Muscle?
Kris Gethin’s DTP 4 Weeks to Maximum Size is nothing new, at least at its core: a high-volume and high-intensity routine designed to gain lean mass.
After suffering a series of training injuries (which, if you’ve seen his lifting form, is a given), Gethin created a program that allowed him to train around his weak spots while building muscle.
That program was DTP.
The Dramatic Transformation Principle is a pyramid-style routine that targets every muscle fiber in the way it responds best (i.e., type I with a high-rep scheme, and the opposite for type II).
To really capture what “DTP” is all about, here’s what to expect:
- 500+ reps per workout
- 1–2 exercises per muscle group
- Pyramiding sets (i.e., 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50)
- Higher weights and longer rest periods as you tack on more weight
- An alternating weights/cardio schedule for four straight weeks
- An intensity so high that it’ll elevate your EPOC for optimal fat burning.
The Wales native nicknamed “Iron Man” claims that this program alone can help you build 6–12 months of mass in a month’s time.
(We know this isn’t near anything an established strength coach like Charles Staley would recommend so our skeptical juices are flowing!)
DTP 4 Weeks to Maximum Muscle Details & Features
The official DTP program (on BodyFit) is full of surprises.
DTP is nothing short of wild, between the 20-calorie-per-pound diet for living large, clips of Gethin proving why he should be banned from all Planet Fitness clubs, and downing supps six times per day.
Learn more about the program below!
Kris Gethin clearly swears by his own routine, even insisting that it’s well-researched and scientifically proven to work.
He dispels the long-held “high reps don’t build muscle” myth by explaining how and why a program as ridiculous as DTP isn’t a complete and utter failure.
As for the pyramid sets, Gethin claims that those increase joint fluid, improve blood flow in the muscles, enable the proper contraction of muscle fibers, and open neuromuscular pathways.
But, generally, the goal of DTP is to target each type of muscle fiber individually.
First comes the “endurance” or slow-twitch fibers (type I) with high-rep sets. Then, as you stack up more weights and drop the reps, you’ll target the fast-twitch power-based IIa and IIb fibers.
This no-days-off routine is 28 straight days of a weightlifting/cardio cycle. Here’s a look at your weekly schedule with DTP:
- Legs + Upper Abs
- Chest + Back
- Arms + Lower Abs
- Shoulders + Upper Traps
* Wait, wait, don’t nope out just yet! Although the rest of the program is a total mindf-, the cardio days are really just 20-minute HIIT sessions.
What Equipment Do You Need?
Kris Gethin suggests that DTP is compatible with home gyms. But, the trainer also says, “There’s no need for fancy equipment or specialized machines.”
Then, once you see the workouts, you’ll realize that both of these things can’t possibly be true unless you’re one of Gethin’s professional athlete clients.
If you follow the program exactly as it appears on BodyFit — which ironically is tip #9 in the “Motivation” tab — you’d actually need all of the following:
- Leg press
- Adjustable bench
- Barbell and weight plates
- Dumbbells (ideally, adjustable dumbbells)
- Cable machine (with a straight-bar and rope extension)
- Pull-up bar (for hanging leg raises)
- EZ curl bar
- Smith machine
Of course, logic would say “replace EZ bar exercises with regular barbells” or “do regular shoulder presses instead of the Smith machine version.”
Bowflex SelectTech 552 Version 2
Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 pounds. Rapidly switch from one exercise to the next. You don't need multiple dumbbells cluttering up your home gym.
The Workout Schedule tab is where DTP takes a sudden detour to Crazy Town. Each workout includes 1–2 DTP Supersets, 20 or so total sets, and an ongoing goal of hitting muscle failure.
Unfortunately, the workout details Gethin shares in the videos don’t always match what’s written in BodyFit. To clear up some confusion:
- With each set, rest breaks will change (45–60–75–90–105, then 120–105–90–75–60).
- Increase the resistance as you drop the rep goals and vice versa.
- If you fail before hitting the rep goal, pause for a few seconds, then crank out more.
- Not all exercises will follow the 50–40–30–20–10 pattern.
- Some are 30–20–10–5–5 or 40–30–20–10–10, while abs are regular sets of 20–25.
- The exercises at either side of the pyramid may not be the same.
Gethin also includes a few pointers with each workout, though some make us go, “hmm.”
For example, he doesn’t sink too deep into the leg press because he already has a “big ass,” and he’s an advocate for “controlled cheating” on upright rows and incline bench explosions.
A few other oddities: Gethin stretches between every set and foam rolls halfway through arms.
Let’s talk more about the workouts themselves.
(Side note: While the BodyFit details are mostly correct, the most accurate details about the workouts are in the videos starring Gethin … sitting in an empty warehouse on a lone chair.)
The three weekly cardio sessions are nothing more than 20-minutes of HIIT with two distinct goals — improving your between-set recovery by increasing your endurance and trimming the fat.
Here’s how each elliptical HIIT session will go:
- 5-minute brisk walk
- 3-minute run at a sustainable yet brisk pace
- 1-minute walking rest
- Repeat steps 2–3 for at least five cycles
- 5-minute brisk cooldown walk
- 10-minute stretch
Gethin also recommends against wasting protein supplements pre or post-cardio.
Legs + Upper Abs
If you’ve seen a shot of Gethin’s calves, the fact that DTP starts what leg day isn’t the least bit surprising. Your first workout of the week features just three exercises:
- DTP Superset (up and down): Leg press & calf press on leg press machine
- Decline weighted sit-up
Chest + Back
Chest + Back day follows a different pattern. While you’ll still train in pyramids, you’ll go “down” the pyramid with two antagonistic (or opposing) exercises and travel up with two others:
- DTP Superset: Incline dumbbell bench press & dumbbell bent-over row (neutral)
- DTP Superset: Flat dumbbell bench press & dumbbell bent-over row (pronated)
Arms + Lower Abs
The Arms + Lower Abs day continues that same trend:
- DTP Superset: Standing biceps cable curl & cable overhead triceps extension
- DTP Superset: Barbell curl & EZ bar skullcrusher
- Hanging leg raise
Shoulders + Upper Traps
The fourth and final workout of the week targets your Shoulders + Upper Traps, but it’ll feel like sheer torture for your delts:
- DTP Superset: Smith machine overhead press & barbell upright row
- DTP Superset: Arnold press & standing dumbbells shrug
A no-rest-days program as intense as DTP requires not only a ton of calories to build muscle and stay energized … but also more meals per day and the “perfect” combination of macros.
This is a pretty extreme diet, on the same level as the scatter-brained Bizzy Diet.
Gethin recommends 20 calories per pound of bodyweight, six daily meals, and the following macronutrient split while following the four-week DTP:
* Each meal should also include lean protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.
He also lists off his preferred foods for each macronutrient, including:
- Protein: Chicken breast, egg whites, cottage cheese
- Carbs: Sweet potatoes, grits, rice
- Fats: Almonds, avocado, olive oil
The unofficial mantra of DTP is “go big, or go home,” and that’s definitely apparent in the included “clean bulk” Nutrition Plan.
In this case, that means eating or taking supplements ten times per day, using 11 different supplements, and drinking 1 ½ gallon (or 192 ounces) of water.
It’s also full of fresh fruits, steak, and supplements, so deep pockets are a must!
While the sample meal plan calls for 11 supplements, Gethin recommends just six. Would you believe they’re all from the same brand — Kaged Muscle — that the athlete happens to own?
Here are the suggestions:
- Pre-workout for mental alertness, energy, and strength
- Intra-workout to maintain the pump mid-workout
- Fast-digesting protein powder — like whey isolate — to repair the muscles immediately after a DTP session
- Multivitamins to close slight nutritional gaps
- BCAAs for extra recovery and repair
- Slow-digesting protein powders — like casein — for overnight growth
We’re just glad it’s not the same-old-same-old (i.e., the same six suggestions copied and pasted word-for-word from other BodyFit programs recommending Bodybuilding.com supplements).
C4 Original Pre-Workout | Caffeine + Beta-Alanine + Creatine
Formulated with strength-boosting Creatine, CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, and caffeine to improve your muscular endurance and keep fatigue at bay as you crush it in the gym.
Despite his Monday morning coffee enemas (which, thankfully, aren’t a part of this program), Kris Gethin touts his “brain” as his favorite body part.
DTP’s Motivation tab is a ten-point list of call-outs.
If you blame others for your failures, quit routines halfway through, or customize programs to make them easier, Gethin would like a word with you.
To maintain a diet of 20 calories per pound, you need to learn how to cook calorie-dense, nutritious, and none-cardboard-flavored meals.
Kris Gethin includes five recipes, including peanut butter fig cookies and “Mass Mush.”
4 Worthy Benefits of 4 Weeks to Maximum Muscle
- The DTP meal plan is within 5% of the ideal “bodybuilding diet” for all three macronutrients, according to a 2004 review. That study suggested a similar 55–60% for carbohydrates, 25–30% for protein, and 15–20% for fats year-round.
- If this is really the routine Gethin used for the last 15 years (which seems to be his only catchphrase), it clearly works. The dude is massive.
- While much of the program is questionable, many users say they love the program and have packed on several pounds of muscle in four weeks.
- Adding new training styles (i.e., supersets or pyramids), rep ranges, and varying loads can help break through plateaus, according to 2019 research. However, while these methods will shorten training sessions and increase muscle tension enough to spur new growth, they aren’t necessarily any better for building mass long-term.
8 Negatives of Kris Gethin’s DTP
- Gethin isn’t the most reliable person to be handing out training advice, especially when it comes to form. Calling a swinging momentum during upright rows — which are already linked to shoulder injuries — “controlled cheating” is a bit of a cop-out.
- If you grunt and slam weights as much as Gethin does, it’ll land you on Planet Fitness’s “lunk” watch list (probably).
- Recommending 11 supplements in the meal plan … in this economy? Gethin claims that anyone can succeed with DTP without making excuses, but most people don’t have $200+ to spend on supplements each month. In fact, 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 stashed away in their savings accounts!
- DTP will give you a killer workout seven days a week. Yet, there’s not enough research to prove that pyramid training is any better for hypertrophy than traditional sets. One study published in 2017 revealed that pyramid training increased muscle cross-sectional area by 0.1% less than traditional 6–12-rep training over 12 weeks.
- Whether it takes a single set or stopping and starting ten times, Gethin asks you to hit your rep goal with each set. But training to failure repeatedly isn’t the secret to muscle mass either. In fact, research from 2020 shows that taking each set to failure is actually less effective for cross-sectional area growth than leaving a few reps in the tank (+13.5% vs. +18.1% in ten weeks).
- No hamstrings. No squats. No deadlifts.
- The BodyFit videos don’t line up with the written details, which could become really confusing unless you write them down.
- Surprisingly, creatine didn’t make the cut in a hypertrophy routine.
Wrapping Up This Kris Gethin’s DTP 4 Weeks to Maximum Muscle Review
Kris Gethin’s DTP 4 Weeks to Maximum Muscle is a lot on all three fronts — training, supplements, and diet.
Many users swear by DTP, the diet follows the macro split of bodybuilders almost exactly, and it’s a nice (but excruciating) change of pace to your usual training routine.
But it’s also filled to the brim with red flags.
The number of supplements is wild. The 28-straight-days of training is even crazier. Not to mention, Gethin’s form advice is sketchy, and the training principles aren’t necessarily better.
If your gains are plateauing, DTP can rev up the progress. Otherwise, there’s nothing about this program that shouts “the secret to muscle mass.”