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German Body Comp Questions from First Timer

Just got Poliquin’s book on German Body Comp. Very excited about getting started, but I have some questions that I cannot find answers to in the book, nor after sifting through many articles on this site.

  1. How many carbs/day does Poliquin really recommend? I have seen articles where he says forty to fifty grams is plenty for most people, but in the book he says 40% carbs/30% fats/30% protein. And he recommends carbs in post-workout drinks - are those in addition?

I have been training consistently for twenty years (just turned 39), and have successfully dieted down several times. Over the last couple of years, though, for the first time I really wasn’t sticking to my lifting, and I was unable to stick to a strict diet for very long.

Finally I got fed up and just went on Atkins just to get back into my “correct” jeans size, and have been quite pleased. I’m sold on the low-carb lifestyle for my body, but I want to find the lowest carb intake that will allow me to rebuild and maintain the muscle mass I used to have.

I basically hit on Poliquin as a low-carb/high-muscle proponent while researching options, which is one reason I ordered the GBC book.

  1. I have a fairly well-equipped home gym, but no leg curl machine to hit the hams directly and no roman chair for hyper and reverse hyperextensions. All the workouts seem to have these exercises in them. Are there some good substitutes for these?

  2. The workouts also tend to have direct ab work like leg lowering, rope crunches, etc. Due to a hernia operation years ago that didn’t heal right, I simply cannot do direct ab work - pain in the scar tissue and my nuts prevents it.

Are there some other good exercises to sub in for direct ab work, or can I reorganize the workout with a few other exercises that will keep the lactate up but not overtrain any muscle groups?

He doesn’t really discuss the “why’s” of the workout setup in the book. Why four or five supersets? Why pair certain exercises? How much work for each bodypart? How much work for each bodypart is too much if you want to tweak the workouts?

Having those “why’s” available would help me to tweak the workouts to allow for my personal limitations, so any insight into how the workouts are designed would be helpful.

Thanks!

[quote]theopowers wrote:

  1. How many carbs/day does Poliquin really recommend? I have seen articles where he says forty to fifty grams is plenty for most people, but in the book he says 40% carbs/30% fats/30% protein. And he recommends carbs in post-workout drinks - are those in addition?

  2. I have a fairly well-equipped home gym, but no leg curl machine to hit the hams directly and no roman chair for hyper and reverse hyperextensions. All the workouts seem to have these exercises in them. Are there some good substitutes for these?

  3. The workouts also tend to have direct ab work like leg lowering, rope crunches, etc. Due to a hernia operation years ago that didn’t heal right, I simply cannot do direct ab work - pain in the scar tissue and my nuts prevents it.

[/quote]

  1. Try only eat carbs in the p/w shake and the 1st meal AFTER your workout, other than that try limit the carbs if you put on fat easily which is what you seem to be implying.

  2. If you have no leg curl, do Romanian Deadlifts, or Seated Good Mornings.

3)If you do the big compounds then your abs will be “ok” to a point when the weights will stop going up, but that should be a while away.

[quote]300andabove wrote:
3)If you do the big compounds then your abs will be “ok” to a point when the weights will stop going up, but that should be a while away.[/quote]

Thanks for the reply. For #3 I’m not worried about ab development, but rather keeping the same number of sets and supersets prescribed in Poliquin’s workouts. So I am wondering what rules/exercises I can use to replace those direct ab exercises without overtraining any body part.

[quote]theopowers wrote:
Just got Poliquin’s book on German Body Comp. Very excited about getting started, but I have some questions that I cannot find answers to in the book, nor after sifting through many articles on this site.

[/quote]

Sounds like you figured it out on your own. Use the best diet you know to lose weight. For post workout I just eat a solid meal and stay away from whey as it is very insulemic. But that is me.

Other posters answered everything, and if you can build up to a body weight glute ham raise, you wont need leg curls

I have the German Body Comp book and you’re right, there is a bit of misunderstood/ambiguous information. However, after reading almost everything Poliquin has written that I can find on the internet, he has two theories of carb consumption;

  1. If you can’t see your abs, do not eat any carbs other than post workout (Surge is your best choice of course)

  2. If you are carb tolerant/very lean/ visible abs, the carbs you should be eating are berries, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and of course all vegetables.

He is anti-oatmeal, bread, brown rice, etc. all the typical Muscle and Fitness/Flex recommendations of bodybuilding foods. I would recommend reading Johnny Bowden’s 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Charles advocates this book and it’s an amazing source of information.

In regards to substituting exercises, good mornings are your best choice for this program. I wouldn’t substitute rom./stiff legged deads because you’d either be doing deads in back to back days and/or be doing them twice in one workout.

With the abs, replace them with shoulder exercises. Lateral raises or upright rows. You won’t really need direct ab work on this program.

Lastly, try and do everything he says to do. Don’t change anything unless you absolutely have to. I think his reasoning behind pairing certain exercises/4 groups is because of the intensity levels. He’ll give you a harder exercise, then an easier, etc.

Sometimes, I question Poliquin’s reasoning behind being anti-certain things and pro-other things.

Actually, I wanted to up this to ask what people feel is better:

GVT 2000 ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/german_volume_training )

OVT by Thibaudeau ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/optimized_volume_training )

or Thibs’ war room fat loss strategies?

I quite enjoy doing splits, so purely from that perspective I’m leaning towards GVT/OVT. On the other hand, I feel that Thibaudeau now endorses the newer “war room strategies.” It’s a tough choice, because, frankly, I just hate circuits, and would have a very hard time narrowing all my exercises to 2/3 strength workouts a week.

  1. Glute ham raises from the floor. Put a barbell or use something to secure your feet, grab a plate (if needed), rise up.

  2. Abs - try planks. Add weight to the back for added resistance. Don’t worry too much about not being able to do direct ab work.

[quote]G87 wrote:
Actually, I wanted to up this to ask what people feel is better:

GVT 2000 ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/german_volume_training )

OVT by Thibaudeau ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/optimized_volume_training )

or Thibs’ war room fat loss strategies?

I quite enjoy doing splits, so purely from that perspective I’m leaning towards GVT/OVT. On the other hand, I feel that Thibaudeau now endorses the newer “war room strategies.” It’s a tough choice, because, frankly, I just hate circuits, and would have a very hard time narrowing all my exercises to 2/3 strength workouts a week. [/quote]

I know OVT was done while he was cutting, but I can’t imagine doing that program while on a deficit or low carbs.

[quote]G87 wrote:
Actually, I wanted to up this to ask what people feel is better:

GVT 2000 ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/german_volume_training )

OVT by Thibaudeau ( http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/optimized_volume_training )

or Thibs’ war room fat loss strategies?

I quite enjoy doing splits, so purely from that perspective I’m leaning towards GVT/OVT. On the other hand, I feel that Thibaudeau now endorses the newer “war room strategies.” It’s a tough choice, because, frankly, I just hate circuits, and would have a very hard time narrowing all my exercises to 2/3 strength workouts a week. [/quote]

I am pretty sure he “endorses” HSS-100 now as far as pure size and strength work go over his previously written programs like OVT for example.

Think that OVT and its principles is faar away from modern day workouts CT is suggesting.
Not sure about cortisol/hi-volume/restorative properties while on caloric deficit.

However lactic acid inducing workout does make sense, but…

Substitutions for hamstring exercises - glute ham raise, maybe you should try dumbell-tied-for-ankle flexion or similar movement.