Lactic Acid Training for Fat Loss

by Charles Poliquin

Increase lactic acid to increase growth hormone and get shredded. One problem: It really hurts. Check out the program.

Whenever an athlete shows up at my training facility looking like he has spent the better part of the off-season camped in front of Krispy Kreme Donuts, I immediately put him on a program that incorporates short rest intervals.

Short rest intervals lead to an increased production of lactate, and an increase in lactate leads to dramatic increases in Growth Hormone, thus resulting in very significant losses of body fat.

This method is called the “German Body Composition” program, or GBC for short.

While many people in the field–TC included–have professed skepticism that the exercise induced GH release was sufficient enough to cause significant fat burning, my personal experience with scores of athletes confirms the effect.

Consider that the typical amount of GH that professional bodybuilders inject each day is actually a smaller amount than that released by the pituitary during lactate training! In fact, if the program is done correctly, GH production is 9 times normal–enough to make an army of dwarves grow tall.

While the original GBC program proved to be very popular for lay people and the average athlete, I often use an advanced version of GBC for elite athletes and super conditioned amateurs.

Not only does Advanced GBC lead to dramatic fat loss, but it is also quite effective in growing muscle and developing muscular endurance.

At first glance, the program seems easy, perhaps ridiculously so, but if done properly, it is anything but easy. When I first presented a version of it to the National Judo Team, they laughed.

I simply challenged them to do 3 circuits of the following:

  • 12 squats (at 12RM)
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 12 chins (at 12RM)
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 12 deadlifts (at 12 RM)
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • 12 dips (at 12 RM)

Despite their confidence, they only completed one circuit and promptly turned green.

The first time I tried it with Marty LaPointe from the Detroit Red Wings, we practically had to put him on the plane in a wheel chair.

The secret to making it effective, though, is choosing the correct resistance. In the version of advanced GBC training I am about to present, you must choose weights that accurately reflect your 6RM of an exercise, your 12RM, and your 25RM.

In other words, you must pick an exercise that will crush your spleen after 6 reps, after 12 reps, and after 25 reps. You should have one eye pop out of its socket upon completion of the last rep, whether it is 6 reps, 12 reps, or 25 reps.

The Advanced GBC Program

You will perform 2 exercises each training session using the following split:

  • Day 1: Chest and Back
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Off
  • Day 4: Shoulders and Arms
  • Day 5: Off
  • Repeat

The cycle is meant to be performed 6 times. Doing it longer will result in diminishing returns.

Here are some suggested movements, along with the prescribed rest periods.


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1 Incline Dumbbell Presses at 45° angle 3 6 10 sec.
A2 Incline Barbell Presses at 45° angle 3 12 10 sec.
A3 Incline Dumbbell Press at 30° angle 3 25 2 min.
B1 Weighted Chins 3 6 10 sec.
B2 Bent-Over Rows 3 12 10 sec.
B3 Seated Cable Rows to Neck 3 25 2 min.


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1 Squats 3 6 10 sec.
A2 Lunges 3 12 10 sec.
A3 Leg Extensions 3 25 2 min.
B1 Leg Curls 3 6 10 sec.
B2 Romanian Dead Lifts 3 12 10 sec.
B3 Reverse Hypers or Back Extensions 3 25 2 min.



Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1 Seated Dumbbell Presses 3 6 10 sec.
A2 Seated Lateral Raises 3 12 10 sec.
A3 Lateral Raises with Cables 3 25 2 min.
B1 Dips or Close-Grip Bench Presses 3 6 10 sec.
B2 Decline Barbell Extensions 3 12 10 sec.
B3 Cable Pressdowns 3 25 2 min.
C1 Incline Dumbbell Curls 3 6 10 sec.
C2 Standing Barbell Curls 3 12 10 sec.
C3 Standing Pulley Curls 3 25 2 min.

Additional Notes

  • If you work out at a commercial gym, you might be hampered by slackers and fat cows who steal your exercise stations. As such, you may need to improvise and do different movements.
  • Strive to do each circuit 3 times per workout. Progress to 4 circuits per workout after two or three weeks.
  • Use a 40X0 tempo on the sets of 6; a 20X0 tempo on the sets of 12; and a 10X0 tempo on the sets of 25.
  • You must use the entire 2-minute rest period. If you do not, you might not be able to use sufficient weight (or complete the prescribed reps), thus affecting lactate production
  • Doing fewer reps tha what is prescribed will not elicit enough lactate and consequently not produce enough GH.
  • These workouts demand a high level of motivation, so you had better be on something like Spike Shooter (Buy at Amazon) to help you complete the workout.

Additional Notes Regarding Fat Loss

As a reader of Testosterone Nation, I am going to assume you are familiar with rudimentary rules of proper eating. However, I would like to stress a few points that you might not have routinely considered.

First of all, keep in mind that approximately 75% of the American population simply does not do well with carbs. As such, try to eat carbohydrate foods that score below 50 on the glycemic index. The obvious exception to this is post workout, when it is recommended that you do eat high GI carbs, along with protein.

Secondly, simply eat more vegetables–lots more vegetables. That simple trick alone will help you burn fat. You might also consider gorging on the cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, as there seems to be an epidemic of “man boobs” in America. These vegetables are strongly anti-estrogenic, and including them in your diet could go a long way in eliminating this unsightly and decidedly embarrassing problem.

Final Words

You don’t have to be a pre-diet Jarrod from Subway to undertake this program, but if you decide to try it, you’ll be very pleased with your newly found definition and newly found size and endurance.