Precision mechanics is required to gain muscle and lose fat. So it should come as no surprise that the Germans – who brought us the diesel, the engine, the electron microscope and Heidi Klum – did a pioneering job.
According to legend, a scientist from the Eastern Bloc had gone to West Germany during the Cold War. There he conducted weight training experiments to rebuild the body. His team found that the combination of upper and lower body exercises, performing moderate reps and the limited break between sets resulted in an increase in muscle size and fat loss. This type of training is called the German Body Comp (GBC) and is a primary point of contact for coaches who need to get customers into shape quickly.
For a complete compendium of fitness knowledge, see the Men's Health Encyclopedia of Muscle
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How to train like the Germans
] The pairs of exercises you select usually work consecutively on the lower and upper bodies or are otherwise non-competitive. This means that an exercise does not affect your performance.
"Moving from lower body movement to upper body movement, one area can recover while the other works," says Joe Dowdell, a personal trainer in New York City. "So you're able to do a bit more work than just doing sets of one exercise at a time."
For example, you could alternate a squat with a pushing exercise. This type of mating also places an extra burden on your heart: Blood squats to your lower body and then has to run back onto your chest and arms during pressing. This increases the cardiovascular effect and calorie burning of the workout. Another example of non-competitive lifts would be a pair of shoulder and biceps exercises or biceps and triceps.
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The reps should be performed in the range of 10 to 15 with a rest period after the first exercise and then again after the second – both in the range of 30 to 75 seconds. "I might start with 60 seconds after the first lift and 60 after the second and lower it to 30/60 over a few weeks," says Dowdell. To better adjust lap recovery, Dowdell recommends using a heart rate monitor and waiting until your heart rate drops to between 60 and 65 percent of your maximum. Use the following formula to estimate your maximum heart rate: 207 – (0.7 x your age). During training, do three pairings like this and do two to four rounds per pair.
Push Your Protocol Even Harder
That's the classic GBC protocol works flawlessly, but Dowdell says when If you want to take it to the next level, you can add an outbreak of high intensity cardio after the pair of elevators. This could be a sprint on a fan bike, Versaclimber or rower or a skipping rope. "It works really well to generate enormous calorie expenditure during exercise," says Dowdell. No matter which cardio you choose, it should not be overly technical as you need it to be able to perform safely in a fatigued condition.
For example, pedaling on an Airdyne bike is a better choice than sprinting on a track, as running mechanics are likely to be thrown off by the tiredness you built up on the two previous lifts. The cardio should be performed at the most difficult pace, which you can maintain for 30-60 seconds.
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Dowdell wants to break the pace with another GBC twist on the lifts. Slowing your repetitions will help you stay in shape and increase the time your muscles spend on the excitement of the exercise, which is an incentive for growth.
The tempo is given in four digits: the first is the number of seconds you should spend in the lowering section of the exercise. The second is the time you should stop in the lower position. The third is the time you should use to lift the weight, and the fourth is the length of the break in the end position. A "0" means no time; Continue to the next number. For example, a 2010 squat on a squat means you need two seconds to lower your body and then immediately take a second to ascend. Dowdell prefers tempo of 2110, 3010 or 2020.
GBC can perform for four to six weeks three days a week (take a day off between GBC workouts). Beginners can do the same training in each session, while experienced lifters should follow an A-B split. So if you have two workouts, a workout A and a workout B, switch them off for three sessions a week. In week 1 you can do A on Monday, B on Wednesday and A again on Friday. In Week 2, you would then return to Monday B, Wednesday A and Friday B
The German Body Comp EoM Training
Try this Example Out of Routine from the Men's Health Encyclopedia of Muscle Alternative Phrases of Paired Exercises (marked with "A" and "B"). So you make one set A, rest, then set B, rest again and repeat the process until all the sets for the pair are complete, and then move on to the next pair.
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Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each pair of tempo for each one also t 60 seconds after the first exercise in each pair and rest until your heart rate after the second exercise has reached 60 to 65 percent of maximum heart rate. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, wait a maximum of 75 seconds.
If you want, perform high-intensity cardio for 30 to 60 seconds after every second exercise. For example, after bench press, hit the neutral handle, the reverse row, and the hammer ring racket ropes. Then follow the same remainder protocol as described above before repeating it: