Here are two tested and verified german body comp workouts you can do at the gym. They use simple, compound movements and high reps.
One of the best things I’ve ever done for my body is ditched longer, endurance training for a life of sprinting and lifting heavy things.
As a result of focusing my efforts on protocols such as German Body Comp training, I’m now leaner, stronger, and spend less time in the gym than I ever did in my college days. Sound too good to be true? It’s not!
What is German Body Comp?
German Body Comp is a style of lifting in which you do specific exercises paired in sets—usually one upper body exercise and one lower body exercise—and perform higher repetitions with shorter rest periods. This style of training focuses on producing human growth hormone (HGH) to improve body composition. It was popularized by Charles Poliquin in the 1990s as a way of increasing strength and muscular balance.
German Body Comp Training
If you’re looking to kick your training up a notch, German Body Comp is for you. When I first began researching the German Body Comp program, I was immediately drawn to it because it included multi-joint movements and high-intensity training which are both key components of building fitness.
German Body Comp is so effective because of its ability to increase lactic acid production. The more lactic acid you produce, the more you raise growth hormone production and Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption which allows you to burn more fat after your workout (learn more about that in How to Get Fit and Lose Fat.)
In short, if your goal is to cut fat or lean out, this type of training is perfect for you. German Body Comp also develops muscular endurance, and increases power and strength capacity, making you a lean, mean, totally-kick-butt-strong machine.
Is German Body Comp For Women?
Whether you’re male or female, strength training is absolutely necessary for the health of your body. In addition to making muscles leaner and improving metabolism, using weights makes your bones stronger and can bring relief to debilitating conditions like back pain and arthritis. It can also help correct postural imbalances and increase overall balance – especially as you age.
Women! If you think lifting weights will make you too big, don’t worry, that’s not a real thing. In short, women simply do not have the hormonal profile to gain muscle mass like a man. For women, lifting heavy things builds lean muscle which burns more fat and gives strength, tone, and definition to the body. Women who have big muscles typically have worked really, really hard for years to get that way, and have received quite a bit of help from supplements.
Armed with this info, let’s get on with the topic of today’s discussion, German Body Comp training.
The German Body Comp Workout
While German Body Comp is for both beginner and experienced athletes, I highly suggest having some experience with proper lifting before moving into this program. If you’ve never picked up a weight before, it’s best to enlist the help of a trainer for a month or two to make sure you’ve got proper form on all your movements.
Also, this training isn’t for the faint of heart. Because this type of training is anaerobic, you’ll want to pace yourself. If the weight feels slightly easy after the first round, give it time – it won’t feel that way for long.
In order to complete this workout, you’ll need access to a gym that has a set of dumbbells and a few essential pieces of equipment. While some of the movements use a barbell, I’ve included modifications to these exercises in the event you don’t have access to one.
The workout below is based on the principles of Charles Poliquin’s German Body Comp training. Each exercise should be performed utilizing tempo training which will increase the intensity of the movement (in other words, make it harder!) In short, you’ll see four numbers beside each lift that mean the following:
- First number: the time it should take to “lower” the weight to the ground
- Second number: the time you spend at the bottom of the lift
- Third number: the time you take to get to the “top” of the lift
- Fourth number: the time you should pause at the top of the lift
While at first glance it may seem a little confusing, once you test it out, it will make much more sense. Slowing down your lifts is a fun challenge, and it just might be your ticket to a more effective workout.
Day 1 Workouts
A1 Romanian Deadlifts (use dumbbells if needed) 3-0-1-0, 12 reps with :30 sec rest
A2 Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3-0-1-0, 15 reps with :30 sec rest
B1 Dumbbell Walking Lunges 2-0-1-0, 12 reps each leg with :30 sec rest
B2 Pull-ups (use assisted pull-up machine or bands if needed) 3-0-1-0, 12 reps with :30 sec rest
C1 Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise 2-0-1-1, 12 reps with :30 sec rest
C2 Bent Over Barbell Row (use dumbbells if no barbell is available) 3-0-1-0, 12 reps at :30 sec rest
Day 2 Workouts
A1 Dumbbell Squat 3-0-1-0, 12 reps with :30 sec rest
A2 Cable Machine Row 3-0-1-0, 15 reps with :30 sec rest
B1 Back Extension 2-0-2-0, 15 reps with :30 sec rest
B2 Standing Shoulder Press (Use barbell or dumbbells) 3-0-1-0, 15 reps with :30 sec rest
C1 Dumbbell Step-ups (alternating legs) 2-0-1-0, 12 reps each leg with :30 sec rest
C2 Push-ups (modify as needed in order to reach reps) 3-0-1-0, 12 reps with :30 sec rest
- For each exercise, you’ll need to pick a weight that is hard, but that you can complete the full amount of reps required. Challenge yourself, but make sure you are able to complete the last set. It may take a week or two to find that “perfect” weight for each exercise. Be prepared to push yourself and be uncomfortable, and get comfortable with it! If you’re new to this style of working out and are having a hard time with only :30 seconds rest, increase rest to :45 seconds for your first few sessions.
- Alternate each “paired” exercise. For example, you’ll want to complete A1, rest :30 seconds, complete A2, rest :30 seconds, and then continue on with completing A1 again. Do this until you perform 4 sets total of each exercise. Rest 4-5 minutes before moving on to the next paired exercises (for example, B1 and B2).
- Perform Day 1 and Day 2 at least 48 hours apart. For more advanced athletes, repeat one of the workouts each week for a total of three sessions a week.
- If you find yourself unable to complete the number of reps in a set, reduce the weight so you can finish out the reps. Use the lower weight the next time you do the workout.
- Because this type of training is about intensity, you don’t want to do this for more than six weeks (depending on your goals and ability.)
Other Workouts You’ll Like
Now that you have a german body comp program, go get on with your training! Feel free to post any questions below!