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Thoughts on My Upcoming GZCL Program

Hey guys,

Currently doing the GZCL UHF5wk program and am loving it. Definitely sticking with the method for the foreseeable future.

I love working in excel, so I made a 10 week GZCL program with calculations and the what not. Was curious if I could get some input. The template can be found here:

A bit about my goals with this program:

  • I will be taking one full week off of training before starting this program, so I made a lighter intro week to get back in to the swing of things.

  • I am becoming a big believer that the best builder of the main 3 lifts - squat, bench, and deadlift - is increased exposure to the movement pattern itself. The only real variations that are worth mentioning are pause DLs and Squats - I’m pretty new to both so I’ve kept reps per set low with higher overall sets in the T2 percentage range.

  • This has me squatting 3 times a week (heavy, volume, pause); benching 4 times a week (incline - volume, heavyx2, and volume); OHP once (heavy), which I may add an additional volume day too if squatting 3 times becomes too much; and deadlifting twice (pause and heavy).

  • this can be run 5 days in a row with 2 days off at the end OR an off day could be thrown in to give a break in between the final two squat sessions. As of right now, I’m going to run it 5 days straight for as long as possible.

  • T3s: lower-body focused movements fall on Day 1 and Day 5 (heavy squat and heavy deadlift); the remainder of days use upper T3s. I like supersets, so I’ve used them for basically all my T3s.

  • training max inputs are initially set to 100 for ease of calculation testing - they will of course change when I go to print off my sheets to take to the gym. If anyone is interested, I’d be happy to make the excel file public so people could input their numbers

  • again, in sum, my goals are frequency, exposure, and building a hell of a lot of (managed) volume.


Bump - would you really appreciate any constructive criticism/input on this. Sorry for being a bother - I’m leaving at the end of this week for work and will be going right into this when I return the week after. :slight_smile:


I think part of the reason you didn’t get any responses is because nobody knows what GZCL is and if they do then they have no idea what that sort of program is supposed to look like. So ideally you would do whatever Cody whatever his name is wrote in the book.

If you ask me, it doesn’t look great. You are doing high rep incline bench on day 1 and then your main bench session the next day, sounds like you don’t really want much gains on your bench. And even worse with deadlift, your heavy session is the 5th day of the week. 80% could well feel like 90%.

Mike Tuchscherer has written and spoken about prioritizing certain lifts and exercises if you have limited time or for whatever reason want to split your training into more weekly sessions, the main idea is to do the competition lifts at the beginning of the week when you are freshest and then variations later depending on importance. Look for Reactive Training Systems and RTS Coaching Calls on YouTube. So with that in mind, you would do your heavy competition squat, bench, and ndeadlift at the beginning of the week. I have experimented with various high frequency full-body setups and have found that this is absolutely correct, although there are different way to implement it. For example, if you were going to do day 1&2 and take a day off then the following day would be a perfect time for your heavy deadlift session. If you were doing an upper/lower split then it wouldn’t matter if you were deadlifting on the last day of the week, but like this it will lead to poor results.

You also have too much incline, flys, and OHP and no heavy tricep work. Anyone who says that triceps aren’t important for raw benching is full of shit, you just also need to train your pecs and shoulders. Flys are good, but maybe once or twice a week at most. Incline and OHP are pretty much interchangeable, 1-2 times a week is plenty unless you have some severe shoulder weakness that needs to be addressed. There is also no point in making OHP one of the three heavy pressing exercises. If I could only pick three upper body lifts to train heavy, OHP would definitely not be one of them. And goblet squats? Why? You can’t really load that exercise, better do leg press or hack squats or some single leg squat variation.

Much appreciated Chris!

  1. T3 Movements
  • not satisfied with what I have now and am going to completely rewrite from scratch
  • will trash the goblet squats for different leg stuff and add more direct tricep work. Will reduce the instances of fly movements as well
  1. Scheduling
  • Your comments about having my heavy DL at the end of the week have confirmed a change I was already considering: swapping the order of days 4 and 5. The week would now end with Heavy Bench and Squat Variation. Heavy deadlifts would now be on day 4; OR

  • I include a rest day between Days 3 and 4 to break up the squat days (like I mentioned in my first post) and allow for recovery. Like so:
    Day 1: Squat/Incline
    Day 2 : Bench/ DL variation
    Day 3: OHP/Squat Volume
    Rest Day
    Day 4: Bench/Squat Variation
    Day 5: DL/Bench Volume

  • will consider doing a 2 on 1 off on 3 schedule with heavy deads moving to day 3 (like you suggested). I usually like to dl heavy on fridays bc I usually have more time available.

  1. OHP
  • I tend to agree with you about making this a volume move as opposed to training it for strength - going to try and swap it in as a T2 movement on another day.
  • overall, I’m not concerned with fatigue when it comes to the bench (or the squat or the dl) at this point given what I’m currently running. However, if I swap out OHP as a T1, I’ll have an empty T1 slot to fill, which I would not fill with another bench session.



Same problem

Then you should do more volume

Use a different bench variation. Also, I noticed you have bench twice a week with the same weight, sets and reps, seems pointless.

Ok thanks Chris you’ve given me a lot to think about.

Maybe I could do a T1 Incline Bench Day instead of repeating the same heavy bench protocol. I’ll consider that as an option.

As for scheduling I’ll likely swap days 4 and 5, bringing the heavy dl session closer to mid-week:

T1 SQ, T2 DL Variation, T2 SQ, T1 DL, T2 SQ Variation


Why incline? I would go with something like close grip bench or floor press.

I’ve been told that my narrow on my competition bench is more narrow than average - so I’ve stayed away from doing CGBP specifically.

Floor Press has potential, but I’ll have to test for a training max - not a big deal but running on limited time right now lol

Incline has just been my natural go to for bench variation - doing it has always helped my competition bench.


That means that you really need to build up your triceps.

Noted for T3 movements. I’m going to stay away from CGBP for this cycle anyway.

Thanks for you help!


Changes have been made and this baby is ready to run when I get back from work-related training in a weeks time.

New version: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/132IIeUeKJ5Ear3O0T7MDbuCgL56Q6E4j7SgViYPYjWo/edit?usp=sharing

Thanks @chris_ottawa for all the suggestions!

Tweaks made:

  • Heavy Deadlift day is now Thursday. This means that Squats and DLs are alternating daily and should help a bit with fatigue and deadlifting. Tried to move DLs to early in the week but it threw off the general flow of what I was going for.

  • Floor Press has been added with its own “wave progression” scheme (a la Cody Lefever). This provides some variety for the rep/set schemes used and allows for training a bench variation heavy as opposed to competition bench heavy twice in a week

  • Got rid of supersets for lower body T3 days (because I wasn’t satisfied with the original)

  • Revamped T3s generally: less chest fly with a bit more tricep work (limited options for these to allow for superset)

  • There are now 2 T2 movements on Day 3 - OHP is trained for volume, and not strictly for strength. Will be testing OHP on week 9 and not week 10 test by way of 5x5+ @80%. This decision was made because of what Chris had said in this thread and after consulting some GZCL “veterans” elsewhere. Was not aware that one can omit a T1 in place of additional T2 work.