- May 18, 2020
- Added a section for “Key GZCL Concepts & Program Differences” which is a great overview of the different GZCL program options.
- I removed the spreadsheet previews for most of the spreadsheets because of negative impact to page load speed, especially for mobile users. All of the spreadsheets are still there, you will just need to click on the Google Sheets link with the green icon.
- In depth post on GZCLP programs added to new post
- 1 New? Not Sure Where to Start?
- 2 General Gainz
- 3 Jacked and Tan 2.0
- 4 GZCL Method Free Compendium (November 27 2016 Update)
- 5 GZCL UHF Method + Heavy Singles Spreadsheet (Sept 2018)
- 6 GZCL Free Compendium Spreadsheet (Original July 2016 Version)
- 7 GZCL Jacked & Tan 2.0 Spreadsheet
- 8 GZCL Jacked and Flan
- 9 GZCLP 3 Day 12 Week Spreadsheet (February 2019)
- 10 GZCL Jacked and Tan (Josip Version)
- 11 GZCL Max Rep Sets (MRS) – Beta Version from Cody
- 12 GZCL Jacked and Tactical (Bench + Squat Only)
- 13 GZCL Max Rep Sets (MRS)
- 14 GZCL Method 3 Week Cycle
- 15 GZCL Method Multi Day Cycles
- 16 GZCLP Big on the Basics Version
- 17 GZCL Basic Template (circa 2012)
- 18 GZCLP (LP or Linear Progression) Program
- 19 GZCL Method 5 Day Template
- 20 Key GZCL Concepts + Program Differences
- 21 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New? Not Sure Where to Start?
If you’re not sure where to start, I’d recommend checking out the infamous GZCL Free Compendium and checking out the infographic below.
(Source: GZCL Applications & Adaptations)
As GZCL is more of a framework than a strict program, there are many ways to adapt GZCL principles to existing training and find a version that fits your needs. Still, many folks (including GZCL himself) have taken the time to create great spreadsheets worth trying out – including many that will calculate the weight required for the major lifts.
If you find any of this useful, please consider donating to GZCL.
Before using any General Gainz spreadsheets, you must read this post by /u/GZCL first. Otherwise the programs will not make sense.
GZCL General Gainz Cheat Sheet [Infographic]
A great cheat sheet was created by /u/kvtb, which is quite helpful for understanding how to run General Gainz.
General Gainz Wave Linear Progression (LP)
General Gainz + Jacked & Tan 2.0 Hybrid
via Reddit user /u/Mephostophelus.
Jacked and Tan 2.0
Jacked and Tan 2.0 is available in the GZCL Method Free Compendium immediately below.
GZCL Method Free Compendium (November 27 2016 Update)
The Free Compendium update was directly released by GZCL in November 2016 contains a few program templates within it (lbs and kgs):
Volume Dependent Intensity Progression (VDIP)
Extended Deadlift Wave Formulas
Jacked and Tan 2.0
Ultra High Frequency
5 and 9 week programs (UHF)
The key difference between the November 2016 compendium (updated November 28th, 2016) and the July 2016 compendium is the Extended Deadlift Wave Formulas and Volume Dependent Intensity Progression (VDIP) updates.
The Extended Deadlift Wave Formulas provide a much more robust set of recommendations for programming around deadlift weak points (e.g. breaking off the floor or locking out).
The VPID update focuses high effort sets across a variety of rep ranges to allow for linear-ish progression.
This is a great starting point if you’re trying out GZCL for the first time, as this one workbook contains many different GZCL flavors to try.
November 28, 2016 update notes, focusing on Volume Dependent Intensity Progression (VPID) theory.
November 2016 release notes focusing mainly on the extended deadlift wave formulas.
July 2016 release notes focusing on the rest of the program.
GZCL UHF Method + Heavy Singles Spreadsheet (Sept 2018)
This is similar to the UHF program included in the GZCL free compendium, but it includes a heavy single in each training session (inspired by to RTS programming methods).
Summary and differences vs. standard UHF program:
- Designed to incorporate move heavy singles into training
- Some rep scheme, percentage, and lift differences vs. UHG
- Deficit deadlifts are now a T1 lift, for example
- Only increase the heavy single weight week to week if the rep was clean
- Focus on rep quality with the single, pay attention to rep speed
Guidelines from Cody:
- For Max Rep and AMRAP sets, leave 1-2 reps in the tank.
- If you’re feeling run down:
- Leave 2-3 reps in the tank for the rest of the week
- Deload volume by decreasing all T3 work by one set for rest of week
- Eat 250-500 calories more for the next two days and try to get 30-60 minutes more sleep each night that week for improved recovery
GZCL Free Compendium Spreadsheet (Original July 2016 Version)
GZCL Jacked & Tan 2.0 Spreadsheet
Now fixed as of October 15, 2019! Apologies to anyone that tried to use this before. Popular spreadsheet by /u/steve_dc
GZCL Jacked and Flan
Created by /u/flannel_smoothie, “Jacked and Flan” is a hybrid of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and GZCL’s Jacked and Tan, allowing the user a bit more control over volume. Includes lots of great volume and progress tracking as well!
GZCLP 3 Day 12 Week Spreadsheet (February 2019)
See the full GZCLP spreadsheet post for more variations.
GZCL Jacked and Tan (Josip Version)
An interpretation of the infamous original Jacked and Tan program by Redditor /u/JosephusBroz.
GZCL Max Rep Sets (MRS) – Beta Version from Cody
GZCL Jacked and Tactical (Bench + Squat Only)
This is a variation of Jacked and Tan that focuses on upper body hypertrophy. Squats are programmed 3x weekly and bench press is programmed 2x weekly. Deadlifts are not programmed in this GZCL variation. More details on this program are available here.
GZCL Max Rep Sets (MRS)
“An MRS template based on the videos Cody’s been putting out lately. Using the MRS scheme where you try to get X reps in Y sets, if successful then add weight. [Calculated] for all tiers.”
GZCL Method 3 Week Cycle
“Currently I’m using this custom 3 week cycle. After the third week, I check what lifts have improved and change my training max for the next cycle.”
GZCL Method Multi Day Cycles
This is useful if you’re looking to run GZCL across two, three, four, five, or six day per week cycles.
GZCLP Big on the Basics Version
This spreadsheet, developed by Redditor /u/TheAesir , is based off of GZCL principles with some personal tweaks that worked well for this particular lifter. “Includes templates for GZCL linear progression program and a three week GZCL-style program.” Generally recommended for novice to novice/intermediate level users.
s/o to /u/youngquinn for cleaning up the spreadsheets.
GZCL Basic Template (circa 2012)
A straightforward, no-nonsense approach to the original GZCL methods assembled by /u/durable and edited by /u/point3edu. GZCL approved!
GZCLP (LP or Linear Progression) Program
See the full GZCLP spreadsheet post for more variations.
GZCL Method 5 Day Template
Just another spreadsheet I found. I’m missing the source, so if you’re aware of it please let me know.
Key GZCL Concepts + Program Differences
Thanks to /u/Tommy92db for the great summary!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the GZCL Method?
GZCL is a method of programming that is based on Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1. GZCL’s usage of a Training Max (90% of 1RM), working in 4 week cycles, and using AMRAP sets to gauge progress are similar to Wendler’s ideas in 5/3/1. There are many variations of the GZCL method, such as Jacked & Tan 2.0, GZCLP, Ultra High Frequency (UHF), The Rippler, and more.
What’s the difference between GZCL and GZCLP?
GZCLP is a linear progression program based on GZCL principles. Practically speaking, GZCLP progresses more rapidly than other GZCL programs, making it ideal for novice lifters.
What are T1, T2, and T3 lifts?
- A T1 lift is the primary exercise movement, like a squat, bench press, deadlift, or overhead press. It is the priority of that training session.
- A T2 lift is a variation of the T1 lift (e.g. a front squat is a variation of the back squat, a deficit deadlift is a variation of a deadlift, etc.).
- A T3 lift is an accessory for muscular development and is done in higher rep ranges than T1 or T2 lifts.
What does GZCL stand for?
GZCL “doesn’t really stand for anything,” according to Cody Lefever. Cody developed the method and used his Reddit username to brand it, which is GZCL. The last two letters of the acronym are his initials. The first two letters are unknown or arbitrary.
What is a training max?
A training max is 90% of your 1RM (one rep max) for a given lift. So if your 1RM is 100 lbs for the squat, your training max is 90 lbs.
Originally published in September 2016.