The German Body Comp program is unquestionably one of the most popular and effective methods to lose fat without compromising muscle. 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 lactate 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.
How Traditional German Body Comp Training Works
A German Body Comp program is characterized by performing weight training exercises with short rest intervals, usually 30-60 seconds between sets. 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 you bigger and stronger, which is why it is an ideal workout protocol for athletes.
Use Tri-Sets With German Body Comp
For more advanced trainees, one way to get better results with GBC is to use tri-sets. In contrast to supersets that pair two exercises, tri-sets combine 3 exercises. Tri-sets are a good approach because they can effectively challenge the body to handle lactic acid, which has a powerful fat burning effect.
A variation of the German Body Comp program is to use tri-sets that progressively shorten the tempo prescription for the second and third exercise in the tri-set. This approach keeps things interesting and helps you avoid boredom. It also lets you train heavier loads. Heavier loads increase the intensity of the exercise. This results in a greater strength training and muscle building effect than traditional German Body Comp protocols.
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 (the “X” means to perform that phase of a repetition as fast as possible).
The following is a German Body Comp program using tri-sets 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
B1. Chin-up, 4 x 4-6, 5010, rest 10 seconds
B2. Lean-back Wide Grip Pulldown, 4 x 8-10, 2011, rest 10 seconds
B3. 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
B1. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press, 4 x 4-6, 5010, rest 10 seconds
B2. Incline Dumbbell Press, 4 x 8-10, 3010, rest 10 seconds
B3. 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, Advanced German Body Comp Training is the workout for you.