OK... to be quite honest, it's simply NOT possible to change body
fat into muscle. But it has become a popular saying. What it REALLY
means is to lose body fat while retaining and/or gaining muscle
In this article I would like to share the basics of a training
protocol advocated by Charles Poliquin and many other bodybuilding
gurus called German Body Composition (GBC).
GBC uses weight training for fat loss. Aerobic training is not
utilized -- at all! The primary goal of this method is fat loss
while preserving hard earned muscle. Contrary to popular opinion,
aerobics usually cause a LOSS of muscle tissue.
Also, as an added little perk, many trainees will also add lean
tissue during the course of a GBC cycle.
Results normally seen from this type of training average a loss of
approximately one-half a percent of body fat per week.
The basic premise behind GBC is the promotion of fat loss by
increasing lactic acid levels in the body, which in turn produces
higher growth hormone levels. This puts the body in an optimal
state to burn fat and build lean tissue.
So how do you go about attaining this state with your workouts?
The following is a bullet point list of what you need to do:
Full Body Workout Utilizing Upper and Lower Body Supersets -- By
alternating between upper and lower body exercises it is possible
to keep the rest intervals short, even with big compound movements
like the squat and bench press. This allows you to accomplish a
large amount of work in a relatively short time.
High Reps (10-15) Stopping Short of Failure -- Studies have shown
that high reps sets with a time under tension of 40 to 75 seconds
produce an appropriate amount of lactic acid for the purposes of GH
release and fat loss. You should stop about two reps short of
concentric (positive) failure. Training to failure has little
benefit and potential drawbacks with this protocol.
Remember, the goal is to create the environment within your body to
Also, if you train to failure it would be highly unlikely you would
last until the end of the workout. The volume of work is pretty
high (at least for a natural trainee).
Short Rest Intervals (30-75 seconds) -- By alternating between
upper and lower body exercises, you will be able to cut down on
needed rest intervals greatly compared to repeating the same
movement in a straight set fashion. These short rest intervals
accelerate the accumulation of lactic acid and create our desired
Workout Duration Less Than One Hour -- Studies have shown that
weight training sessions lasting over one hour tip the
anabolic/catabolic scale in the negative direction. Fifty minutes
seems to be the ideal time frame. This does not include warm-ups,
stretching, or cool-down.
Below are three sample workouts based on the GBC protocol. These
three workouts can be alternated throughout the week. Frequency of
workout sessions depends on training age and starting condition.
The minimum is twice a week and the maximum that I would recommend
would be five per week.
In these examples I use the notation system developed by Charles
Poliquin because it provides a good amount of detailed information
on each of the workout variables.
There are a few notations that you might not be familiar with.
These are used to denote supersetting and tempo.
Supersetting is designated by the use of letters and numbers i.e.
A1 and A2 or B1 and B2. First perform the A1 movement. Rest the
prescribed amount of time and then perform the A2 movement.
Continue alternating between the two exercises until all the
recommended sets of each are complete.
Tempo (the speed at which you perform the movement) is designated
with a three-digit number in units of seconds i.e. (301). The first
number is the eccentric or lowering portion, the second number
indicates the isometric or pause, and the final number is the
concentric or positive portion. For example, on a bench press with
a 311 tempo you would lower the load for three seconds, pause on
the chest for one second, and then extend to the start in one
second. Note: "X" denotes explosive effort.
A1 - Step Ups 4 x 12 (20X) 60 sec
A2 - Chin Ups 4 x 10 (311) 60 sec
B1 - Lunges (dynamic) 3 x 12 (311) 45 sec
B2 - Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 3 x 10-12 (411) 45 sec
C1 - Seated Leg Curl 3 x 10 (401) 45 sec
C2 - Barbell Shoulder Press 3 x 12 (311) 45 sec
D1 - Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2 x 10-12 (411) 30 sec
D2 - Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions 2 x 10-12 (422) 30 sec
A1 - Deadlift 4 x 10-12 (311) 60 sec
A2 - Swiss Ball Push Ups 4 x 12-15 (222) 45 sec
B1 - Leg Press 3 x 12-15 (411) 60 sec
B2 - Seated Cable Row w/rope to Neck 3 x 10-12 (321) 45 sec
C1 - Single Standing Leg Curl 3 x 10 (411) 45 sec
C2 - Lateral Raise 3 x 12 -15 (221) 45 sec
D1 - Barbell Curl 2 x 10 - 12 (311) 45 sec
D2 - EZ Bar French Press (seated) 2 x 10- 12 (311) 30 sec
A1 - Squat 4 x 12-15 (401) 60 sec
A2 - Bench Press 4 x 10-12 (411) 60 sec
B1 - Lunge (static) 3 x 15 (311) 60 sec
B2 - Barbell Rows 3 x 12 (311) 60 sec
C1 - Good Mornings 3 x 10 (312) 60 sec
C2 - Standing Alt. Dumbbell Press 3 x 12 (201) 45 sec
D1 - Reverse Barbell Curls 2 x 12 -15 (212) 30 sec
D2 - Triceps Pushdowns (underhanded) 2 x 12 -15 (312) 30 sec
I hope you find this program effective in achieving your goals.
Give it a shot and let me know how it goes for you.
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