Improving Health Through Strength Training GZCLP Beginner Reference

  1. Strength is a defining attribute of masculinity.

It’s the literal power that has allowed generations of men to protect and provide for their families.

It’s the force that built our skyscrapers, roads, and bridges.

While our current environment doesn’t require us to be strong, developing our physical strength is still a worthwhile pursuit, for it lays a foundation for developing the Complete Man.

Strive today to become stronger than you were yesterday.

I promise as you do so, you’ll see a transformation not only in your body, but also your mind and spirit.

Vires et honestas. Strength and honor.


GZCLP Beginner Reference

Download First:
GZCLP 3- and 4- day spreadsheet by Blacknoir

Read First: 
GZCLP a linear progression program specifically designed for beginner lifters
GZCL Method
GZCL Applications & Adaptations

Read the above explanations & discussions on GZCLP program and its GZCL methods.

  • Understand the Tier 1 (T1), Tier 2 (T2), and Tier 3 (T3) Pyramid, and their linear progression.

Original GZCLP General Exercises

  1. Day 1
        • T1 – Squat
        • T2 – Bench Press
        • T3 – Lat Pulldown
  2. Day 2
        • T1 – Overhead Shoulder Press (OHP)
        • T2 – Deadlift
        • T3 – Dumbbell Row
  3. Day 3
        • T1 – Bench Press
        • T2 – Squat
        • T3 – Lat Pulldown
  4. Day 4
        • T1 – Deadlift
        • T2 – Overhead Shoulder Press (OHP)
        • T3 – Dumbbell Row

*3 Days per week or Rest a day in between workouts.


4 Days Upper / Lower Split

1Bench PressSquatShoulder PressDeadlift
2Shoulder PressDeadliftBench PressSquat
3Lat PulldownDumbbell RowLat PulldownDumbbell Row


Tier 1: Use 85% of goal weight (85 % of 5RM)  *Find the weight where you can lift 5 reps maximum.

Tier 2: Pick a weight that you think you can do it for 3 sets of 10 reps. (probably 65% of 1RM)

Tier 3: For each exercise pick a weight that you think you can do it for 3 sets of 15 reps. 

*Or start with just the bar, gradually learning the good forms as your weight increases. 


How to ‘Exercises’ – Learn Good Forms Equal Safety

How to Squat

*Use hip drive to squat, barbell move in a straight line, avoid shifting forward/backwards. (Cause Knee pain)

“Your back stays straight throughout. Don’t confuse “Straight” with “vertical”. (not rounded back)


How to Bench Press

*Upper back planted firmly against the bench, shoulder blades pinch together, chest up high. feet flat on the floor, eyes look skywards.

How to Overhead Shoulder Press (OHP)

*Chest up & Shrug shoulders while Pressing up, to avoid shoulder pain (shoulder impingement).

OHP shoulder Pain


How to Deadlift 

*Squeeze your Chest up before dragging the barbell upwards, barbell midfoot, slide up & down in a straight vertical line. (Else knee pain)
Never unlock your back while deadlifting.  (Back injury)

“Your back stays straight throughout. Don’t confuse “Straight” with “vertical”. (not rounded back)


*Hexbar / Trapbar

“I always tell everybody, bend as far as you need to bend to grab the handles.

That’s the key.

Then once they’re down and they’ve grabbed the handles, keep everything tight, (and) it’s as simple as stand up,” Boyle says.

The Trap Bar Deadlift allows for greater variance in safe executions of the exercise.


How to Lat Pulldown


How to Dumbbell Row


How to Face Pull

Biceps Workout

How to Power Clean

Tips for Novice Lifters & Types of Equipment

Recommend Single Prong Belt 
Support Abdomen – Squat, Deadlift, Overhead Press

Support Knees – Squat, Leg Press, Lunge, Leg Exercises

Support Wrists – Squat, Bench Press, Overhead Press

Warm-Up Sequence


    1. Plain Bar/ light dumbbells, 10 Reps, Rest 1 min.
    2. 50% of the weight of your first work set, 8 Reps, Rest 1 min.
    3. 70% of the weight of your first work set, 5 Reps, Rest 1 min.
    4. 80% of the weight of your first work set, 3 Reps, Rest 1 min.
    5. 90% of the weight of your first work set, 3 Reps, Rest sufficiently.

      Source: The Proper Weight Training Warm Up Sequence

Or Keep it Simple

      • 135 lbs Squat;
        – 10 x bodyweight squat, 10 x bar, 5 x 95 lbs, 5×3+ set at 135 lbs.

      • 100 kg Squat;
        – 10 x bodyweight squat, 10 x bar, 10 x 40kg, 5 x 60kg, 3 x 80kg, 1 x 90kg, 1 x 95kg, rep out 100kg.


Rest interval

    • Tier 1: 3-5 Minutes.
    • Tier 2: 2-3 Minutes.
    • Tier 3: 60-90 seconds.

* Supersets T3 to save time, if required.

Sets and reps

    • T1: 5 sets x 3 reps+  (Last Set’s Reps Max 10 Reps)
    • T2: 3 sets x 10 reps
    • T3: 3 sets x 15 reps+ (Last Set’s Reps Max  25 Reps)

+ refers to As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) in the last set, leaving 1-2 reps remaining in the tank.

Linear Progression Guideline

    • T1: 5×3+ → 6×2+ → 10×1+ → Reset and repeat
      (T1 Lifts: Reset 5×3 at 80% of your last T1 10×1 weight.)

    • T2: 3×10 → 3×8 → 3×6 → Reset and repeat
      (T2 Lifts: Reset 3×10 at 60% of your last T1 10×1 weight.)

    • T3: Maintain weight, able to perform > 25 Reps to increase weight (min weight increase)

  • Tip:  (Clank or Personal Training Coach) app or Spreadsheet by Blacknoir to track your weight progression.

It is recommended that no more than 5/2.5 to 10/4.5 (LB/KG) be added workout to workout for novices and early intermediates.

Transition from Novice (GZCLP)  to Intermediate on GZCL

After a couple of cycles of GZCLP;

      • Start increasing the volume of the T3, by adding a second movement (T3b) for a single set of 8-10 reps.
      • Progress by adding an extra set till Max base volume total of 30 reps. (T3b)
      • Adding a third movement (T3c) for a single set of 8-10 reps.
    •  If manageable,
      • Progress by adding extra reps & sets to your T3b and/or T3c movements.
      • Do not add more than three movements (T3a, T3b, T3c).
      • Stop adding reps when each movement (T3b, T3c) has a base volume of 30.
  • Additional single movement per tier can then be added per workout, but keep the volume at base levels for each tier. (T1: 10/ T2: 20/ T3: 30) (i.e., add second T2 movement upon maxed T3s if desired)


  • Building from the bottom-up build muscular endurance and work capacity, which will sustainably progress all tiers.
  • Avoid increasing volume from top to bottom tiers, and adding volume to each tier simultaneously, will likely result in performance decline.

Best Compound Exercises

    • Barbell / Dumbell Bent Over Rows
    • Barbell / Dumbell Chest Presses
    • Barbell / Dumbell Shoulder Presses
    • Squat
    • Pullup
    • Deadlift
    • Power Clean

Avoid or Minimise these Exercises

    • Leg Press Machine / Extension / Curl
    • Chest Flies
    • Behind the Neck or Shoulder’s presses and Lat pulldown
    • Good Morning
    • Upright Rows
    • Abs Machine
    • Smith Machine
    • Hip Abduction/adduction machine
    • Back Hyper Extension machine
    • Front Raise

Intermediate on GZCL – General Gainz

Why Choose General Gainz
General Gainz explanation, terms, and concepts
General Gainz Wave Linear Progression Program
Sample General Gainz Program A
Sample General Gainz Program B

GG Simplified


Four Actions: Find, Hold, Extend, Push.

These are the ‘four common actions’ lifters use in General Gainz to make progress.

They mean using a weight for a few workouts (hold),
doing more sets this time over last with that weight (extend),
achieving a higher rep max this time over last with the same weight (push),
and adding weight to a rep max (find); hopefully then a personal record.

The ‘Find’ action helps us realize the progression of strength, at least in traditional terms, meaning more weight used for an RM. Whereas Hold, Extend and Push build us to that point of realization. 


Singles – 1 Rep, Doubles – 2 Reps, Triples – 3 Reps

T1: 3RM – 6RM  (Heavy Rep Max)

Followup Sets:

  • Singles matching RM’s count.                                        (i.e, 4RM + 4 sets x 1 rep)
  • Depending on how you feel upon last reps if it’s easy.
    • Option to ‘extend’ + 3 additional Singles.        (i.e, 4RM + 4×1 + 3×1)


    • Hold the weight at current RM, 
    • Extend 3 additional Singles, or
    • Push to higher RM on the next workout, progress up to 6RM. Find a new weight.

T2: 6RM – 10RM (Light Rep Max)

Followup Sets & Reps:

  • 3 – 4 sets (Depending on how you feel)
  • Reps = RM / 2                                                              (i.e, 8RM + 4×4)
  • Depending on how you feel upon last rep, if it’s easy.
    • Option to ‘extend’ + 2 additional Sets. (Max 6 sets) (i.e, 8RM + 4×4 + 2×4)


    • Achieve only one followup set: to hold or lower weight.
    • Achieve 3 – 4 followup sets:
      • Hold the weight, attempt to extend by 2 additional sets (6 sets), or
      • Push the weight to a higher RM.
      • Progress up to 10RM before adding weight, find new RM.

T3: 2 – 3 Max Reps Sets (MRS)

    • 2 – 3 MRS, 10-12 Reps or 12-15 Reps. (Depending on your exercises & how you feel)
      (i.e, 3MRS + 10 Reps)



  • T1:  3 – 5mins for RM set, 2 – 3 mins between singles.
  • T2: 2 – 4mins for RM set, 1 – 2 mins between half-sets.
  • T3: 30 – 90 seconds between T3 sets.


Read here, for a detailed explanation of General Gainz.


How to deal with Lifting Injuries

The main take-aways are:

Calm down. It’s going to be okay. You didn’t lose all your progress

Don’t sit and rest 24 hrs a day and expect it to get better.

You have to keep moving, stretching (within reason), and going up against the pain, but not pushing past it

Take 1-3 days off, and then go back to the gym, and deadlift very lightly, even with an empty bar for hypertrophy just to get used to the range of motion.

This has happened to me as well and I did this:

Took about 2 days off, constantly stretching every couple hours, doing air squats, etc

Went back to the gym and did my normal workout but with an empty barbell

A week after that, I started my normal workout, but with 50% of what I normally handle.

Increased the weight by 10% each week till I was back where I was (and stronger) in about 5-6 weeks.

That’s personally what worked for me when I pulled something bad when front squatting (mid-back).reddit