August 19

On GBC and PHA


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After 20 weeks of very intense strength work in RevFit: Drumcondra it’s time to change things up a bit. And it’s really the perfect time to do it, because our sister gym, RevFit: Glasnevin will be kicking into a very similar program at the same time.

But what is this magic program I hear you cry?

Don’t worry yet – we need to talk about the background first.

 ** If you’re feeling lazy, watch the video here // or read on for the rest of the blog **


See, you can’t get stronger or fitter for 12 months out of the year. Your body will just burn out and stop. What you have to do to ensure long term success is “cycle” your training stimulus.

For example periods of accumulation, followed by periods of intensification (…and if peaking for an event – realization, then recuperation of course follows).

Essentially all the means is that some months have a lot of work with medium weights, and some months have a lot of work with very heavy weights (remember – movement and strength are the master qualities when it comes to looking good as a guy or girl).

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With that, you can now probably understand why we’re heading into a period of accumulation. The next block of training you’re undergoing has been inspired by a number of sources… Hala Rambie, Arthur Steinhaus, Bob Gajda and Charles Poliquin.

It’s commonly referred to as PHA training (peripheral heart action) or GBC (German Body Comp) training. And essentially it’s goal is this…

>> Help girls slim down and look toned and athletic

>> Get guys looking jacked in a t-shirt

Like I said in a pervious blog on why chasing numbers is bad, you must always remember why you’re training – and for most that is to look, feel and perform better. The training system is the tool that gets you there. And while I believe with every fibre of my being that guys and girls both need to at least double their beginning strength levels to start to look good, you can’t get strong all year around.

So for periods of time – we concentrate on body composition. Taking all the hard work you’ve put in getting stronger, and realizing those results with a period of leaning out / getting toned.


The guts of this style of programming is the alternating upper and lower body exercises. For example a superset might look something like this;

A1) Split Squat: 4×8
A2) Barbell Row: 4×8
*60s recovery between sets

B1) Stiff Leg Deadlift: 4×12
B2) DB Bench Press: 4×12
*60s recovery between sets

C1) Goblet Squat 3×25
C2) DB Row 3×25
*60s recovery between sets

What you have there is one part of your body (legs) resting and recovering while the other half (upper body) works. This is important for a few of reasons.

It causes a MASSIVE increase in blood flow around the body, increases heart rate FAST and avoids any localized fatigue. What that means for you is that you get twice the amount you’d normally get done in a session completed, so your workload has now effectively doubled with no extra time spent in the gym 🙂

Because everything is so elevated, you’ll continue to burn more kcal’s 24-72 hours after you leave the gym too (depending on what literature you read).

In addition, because everything is working and recovering all the time, blood lactate levels shoot up, which leads to an ensuing increase in growth hormone levels. The result? Fat burning increases even more.

Doesn’t it sound all a bit too good to be true? How can a single training program be so amazing, and why don’t you know about it already? Well there IS one problem.

It is brutally difficult (or at least it can be – if you make it that way). Because your full body is being pushed to the limit each session, you’ll probably want to quit and take long breaks or less reps.

But you absolutely must not. You owe it to yourself to get into it in a major way and charge headlong into it. You’re only going to experience each workout 6 times (3 different workouts per week). That’s 18 hours of total effort. Less when you include warm up and mobility work.

When we start to add in tempo prescriptions and timed rest periods you’ll want to stretch things out a bit. But you must not. You owe it to yourself and dig in. Do the work. Reap the rewards. One or two training phases like this in a year can literally change your life.

Every time you get lean, or back in shape, it gets easier the next time. I can think of a few of the guys and girls in RF: DC (myself included) who spend a lot of the year getting stronger, gain a bit of fat, do something like this, drop it, get leaner than ever and repeat.

This up/down cycle is the only good kind because the lows (body fat) continue to get lower and the high (fat levels) are less each time. Eventually it gets to the stage where you’re walking around in awesome shape all the time without ever thinking about it, or only ever 2-3 weeks away from being beach ready (Sarah HATES me for that btw!!).

Obviously what you eat and how you time your nutrient intake will be a big part of this. All of my RF guys and gals have, or will have, customized carb cycling plans to really support them doing this.

These plans effectively allow for 2 cheat meals per week (once you’re not a complete pig about it!) while still dropping body fat faster than you ever imagined possible.

I’m not going into carb cycling again – if you want to know more, go back and read the blog post.

If you’re a RF: DC or a RF: GN member, we can of course dig into it.

// The next training cycle kicks off on August 25th. If you’re a guy or a girl who wants to get into better shape than they ever imagined possible in just 6 weeks while still being able to go out with friends and have a social life, fill in the application form below now. //

Fill out my online form.


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