German Body Composition vs. Full Body Resistance Training

German Body Composition vs. Full Body Resistance Training

German Body Composition and Full Body Resistance are two of the most common full-body training methodologies.

While both methodologies share a full-body split, the exercise composition within the split and the intent vary significantly between the two.

This article will compare the two, highlighting their differences and the best uses for each training methodology.

Table of Contents:

German Body Composition vs. Full Body Resistance

German Body Composition (GBC) Training Explained

German Body Composition Training is a type of training that focuses on producing human growth hormone (HGH) with the end goal of burning fat. In this training, you perform compound exercises back to back with little rest to build up lactate. This lactate then stimulates the production of HGH. 

This type of training originated in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Then in the 1980s, a lab in the USA proved its efficacy. Later still, Charles Poliquin, a former mentor to our founder, adopted this training style and began singing its praises.

The Goal of GBC:

This training aims to produce more HGH, which will help burn fat and create a conducive state to build muscle.

Who is it for:

GBC can be a potent way to improve body composition in intermediate and advanced individuals. However, a word of warning, it is very intense and recovery should be monitored to avoid burnout.

This style of training is not recommended for beginners, who should first prioritize developing movement efficiency before training in a highly metabolic state.

Sample GBC Training:

A1. Chin-Up, @50X0, 8-10 reps x 4 sets; rest 60 sec

A2. Back Squat, @50X0,  8-10 reps x 4 sets, 50X0; rest 60 sec

B1. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press,  @4110, 8-12 reps x 4 sets; rest 60 sec

B2. Romanian Deadlift, @3031, 8-10 reps x 4 sets; rest 60 sec

C1. Seated Cable Row, @2210, 10-12 reps x 3 sets; rest 60 sec

C2. Kneeling Leg Curl, @3110, 10-12 reps x 3 sets; rest 45 sec

D1. High Pulley Crunch, @2010, 15-20 reps x 3 sets; rest 45 sec

D2. Seated Calf Raise, @1111, 15-20 reps x 3 sets; rest 45 sec

Full-Body Resistance (FBR) Training Explained

Full-Body Resistance Training is a weight training method that hits both upper and lower body parts in a single training session.

Typically, these training sessions include exercises from each of the six movement patterns (squat, bend, lunge, push, pull, core). However, a full-body session could just include a simple one-exercise upper and lower body split, like a bench and a squat day.

The Goal of FBR:

The goal of FBR training is to develop motor control and movement efficiency. It teaches you how to move in each pattern and develops strength. The limitation for beginners doing FBR is motor control, and not metabolic, as in GBC.

It is important to note that fat loss and muscle gain may be secondary benefits of FBR, but the primary intention is to develop a foundation of quality movement.

Who is it For:

FBR is great for beginners. In fact, it is the training split we teach our CCP Coaches to use with all of their beginner clients, following linear periodization. Intermediate and advanced clients who only train 2-3 times per week can also use it.

Sample FBR Training:

A1) Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift @3030, 8-10 reps x 3 sets; rest 90 seconds

A2) Dumbbell Bench Press @2111, 8-10 reps x 3 sets; rest 90 seconds

B1) Goblet Squat @3311, 8-10 reps x 3 sets; rest 90 seconds

B2) Seated Lat Pull Down @3012, 8-10 reps x 3 sets; rest 90 seconds

C) Banded Dead Bug @3030, 10-12 reps x 3 sets; rest 90 seconds


Writing an exercise program can be tricky.

There are seemingly endless possibilities for training splits, exercises, and progressions.

But what if you had a principle-based framework? One that highlighted exactly what to include in your exercise program based on your client’s ability?

Sign up for our free course on exercise selection and learn exactly that framework, and how to create effective resistance training programs for all of your clients. 


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