Three months of GZCLP

I’ve been running GZCLP for the past semester, which is a linear progression for beginners like SL/SS but with more balance between each of the compound lifts and varying rep ranges. The way it works is that each day contains “T1” movement done for low reps high intensity and a “T2” movement done for high reps low intensity along with “T3” accessory work. T1s start off at 5x3 and then shift to 6x2, 10x1, and then deloading and restarting at 5x3 when you miss reps. The following table records the highest numbers I was able to reach attempting 10x1 before resetting the cycle, all in pounds.

Squat205 (Nov 30)235 (Apr 21)+30
Bench Press135 (Nov 22)150 (May 5)+15
Deadlift225 (Nov 28)265 (May 7)+40
Overhead Press95 (Nov 20)105 (Mar 30)+10

Technically, this isn’t the same as a true max. I haven’t bothered to test for an actual max, but if I had to guess, the difference would be small—maybe another 10 lbs for lower body lifts and 5 lbs for upper body lifts. I actually haven’t gotten to reset T1 deadlifts or bench press this semester, but I doubt I had very much further to go at all.

Given that I basically didn’t train for almost all of December and January because of winter break and UT’s decision to keep the first two weeks of spring 2022 online, these stats correspond roughly to an increase of 10 lbs/month for lower body and 5 lbs/month for upper body. Not prodigy-levels of progress but solid for me personally. Extrapolating this would give exactly 14 months or just before the last year of undergrad to get into the thousand pound club. This is most likely a pretty optimistic assumption but a worthwhile goal to work towards. We’re All Gonna Make It!™ :)

The weight room of UT Austin's Gregory gym

Can't think of a good image, so here's a random shot of Greg from UT RecSports. Too bad it's never this empty...

As for what I think of the program itself, I would highly recommend it to any beginner. The varying rep ranges and progression scheme as well as the fact that every other day is a rest day meant I never really got burnt out. It is slightly more complex than 3-day MWF programs like SL and SS but pays off by having a much more balanced squat to deadlift/bench ratio. I found the Clank app amazing for tracking weights and its built-in rest timer with notifications. Unfortunately it is only on iOS but I’m sure there are equally great alternatives on Android.

For now, though, I feel it is time to move on to nSuns or another 5/3/1 variant. I think there are still gains left in GZCLP but I’ve clearly exhausted the “linear progression” part. I no longer have any noob gains to exploit and would just like to switch things up.