The German Body Comp program is unquestionably one of the most popular and effective methods to lose fat without compromising muscle. By adjusting the GBC method slightly to use tri-sets and varying the tempo of the exercises, you can get even more impressive results. This method is called “Escalating Velocity Body Comp Training,” or Escalating Velocity BCT.
The German Body Comp (GBC) program is based upon pioneering research by Hala Rambie, a Romanian exercise scientist who defected to West Germany. Rambie found that the lactic acid pathway was superior for fat loss than the aerobic pathway. Rambie determined that high blood lactic levels decreased blood pH levels, which in turn sends a message to the brain to increase its production of growth hormone. Higher growth hormone levels accelerate fat loss.
A GBC program is characterized by performing weight training exercises with short rest intervals, usually 30-60 seconds between sets depending upon the muscle group. Multi-joint movements are preferred to help generate maximum growth hormone production. Also, unlike aerobic workouts, GBC training will not compromise strength and muscle mass. In fact, it can make your muscles bigger and stronger, which is why it is an ideal workout protocol for athletes.
Understanding the importance of achieving high lactate levels and wanting to use more exercises to recruit more muscle mass leads to the use of tri-sets. In contrast to supersets that pair two exercises, tri-sets combine 3 exercises. Tri-sets seem like a good approach because they can effectively challenge the peak of the anaerobic lactic capacity system. Another way to increase the emphasis on this energy system is by pushing the time under tension of each tri-set to about 90 seconds. The biggest difference from the GBC program, however, is changing the tempo prescription for each exercise.
By shortening the tempo prescription of the second and third exercises in a tri-set (in effect, escalating the velocity of each exercise), it's possible to train heavier loads. Heavier loads increase the intensity of the exercise. This results in a greater strength training and muscle building effect than regular GBC protocols (and certainly better than sets of 20 or more reps, which forces the trainee to use especially light weights). For example, rather than training three exercises with a 5010 tempo prescription, you might progress as follows: 1st exercise, 5010, 2nd exercise, 3010, 3rd exercise, 10X0 (with “X” meaning to perform that phase of a repetition as fast as possible).
The following is an Escalating Velocity BCT program for an advanced trainee. It consists of four training sessions a week, and is performed for three weeks for a total of 12 training sessions.
Day 1 (Monday and Thursday)
A1. Front Squat, 4 x 4-6, 5010, rest 10 seconds
A2. Back Squat with Heels Elevated, 4 x 8-10, 3010, rest 10 seconds
A3. Jump Squat, 4 x 12-15, 10X0, rest 90 seconds
A4. Chin-up, 4 x 4-6, 5010, rest 10 seconds
A5. Lean-back Wide Grip Pulldown, 4 x 8-10, 2011, rest 10 seconds
A6. Sled Face-pull, 4 x 15-20, 00X0, rest 90 seconds
Day 2 (Tuesday and Friday)
A1. Deadlift, 4 x 4-6, 5010, rest 10 seconds
A2. Lying Leg Curl, 4 x 6-8, 3010, rest 10 seconds
A3. Snatch Jump, 4 x 12-15, 10X0, rest 90 seconds
A4. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press, 4 x 4-6, 5010, rest 10 seconds
A5. Incline Dumbbell Press, 4 x 8-10, 3010, rest 10 seconds
A6. Supine Med Ball Chest Pass, 4 x 12-15, 10X0, rest 90 seconds
If your goal is to lose fat fast without compromising strength or muscle mass, and you’re willing to work hard, Escalating Velocity Body Comp Training may be just the workout for you!
Day 1 Workout (Print Version)
Day 2 Workout (Print Version)