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GZCL Programs: 16+ Spreadsheets Including General Gainz, Jacked and Tan 2.0 & More

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 22, 2023
OVERVIEW
Goal
Powerlifting
Experience Level
Intermediate and advanced. 
Periodization
Follows undulating periodization.
Reps
4-12 weeks
Positives
Customizable and flexible program
Highly popular for powerlifting
Negatives 
None

Bottom Line

GZCL is made from a well known Reddit user who goes by /u/gzcl.

He created this program as a method to improve powerlifting.

GZCL is more of a framework than a program. 

It's based on Jim Wendler's 5/3/1. It uses a training max (90%) with 4 week cycles and AMRAP sets.  

Most of the included spreadsheets will calcuate lifts for you. 

Make sure you make a copy of the spreadsheet. For how to save spreadsheet instructions, click here. 

If you want to improve your strength and numbers, then GZCL may be the right program for you. 

GZCL is a simple program that is based on the 4 big lifts, squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press.

It categorizes these exercises into three types (T1, T2, and T3), which you'll see and understand below. 

Welcome to the world of the GZCL Method.

A strength-building program that's been making waves in the fitness community.

Developed by powerlifter and strength coach Cody Lefever, this method is all about customization, progression, and most importantly, results.

But what exactly is the GZCL Method, and how can it help you reach your fitness goals?

Let's dive in.

GZCL Program and Method

The GZCL Method is a flexible powerlifting program focusing on volume, intensity, and frequency.

It's designed to help lifters of all levels build strength and muscle mass, with a structure that can be customized to individual needs and goals.

The Philosophy Behind the GZCL Method

At the heart of the GZCL Method is the principle of volume, intensity, and frequency.

This means that your workouts are structured around a certain number of exercises (volume), performed at a certain level of difficulty (intensity), and repeated a certain number of times (frequency).

The idea is to balance these three elements to maximize gains and minimize the risk of injury.

But the real beauty of the GZCL Method lies in its flexibility.

Unlike many other strength programs, the GZCL Method allows you to customize your workouts to suit your individual needs and goals.

Whether you're a beginner looking to build a solid strength base, or an experienced lifter aiming to smash your personal bests, the GZCL Method has got you covered.

The Structure of the GZCL Method

The GZCL Method is built around three tiers of exercises.

Tier 1 exercises are your main lifts, such as the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

These are the exercises that you'll be performing at the highest intensity, and they form the backbone of your training program.

Tier 2 exercises are supplementary lifts that support your main lifts.

These are performed at a lower intensity than your Tier 1 lifts, and they're designed to help you build strength and muscle mass in specific areas.

Finally, Tier 3 exercises are accessory lifts that target smaller muscle groups.

These are performed at the lowest intensity, and they're designed to help you balance out your physique and prevent imbalances that could lead to injury.

The GZCL Method also includes a progression scheme that guides you on increasing the weight and volume of your lifts over time.

This ensures that you're constantly challenging your muscles and progressing towards your goals.

The Flexibility of the GZCL Method

One of the standout features of the GZCL Method is its flexibility.

The program is designed to be adaptable, allowing you to tailor your workouts to your individual needs and goals.

This means that you can adjust the volume, intensity, and frequency of your workouts to suit your current fitness level and future aspirations.

Whether you're looking to build muscle, increase strength, improve endurance, or combine all three, the GZCL Method can be adjusted to help you achieve your goals.

In fact, there are several different variants of the GZCL Method, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits.

These include the GZCLP for beginners, Jacked and Tan 2.0 for those looking to build muscle and strength, and The Rippler for those looking to improve their powerlifting performance.

The Effectiveness of the GZCL Method

The GZCL Method is not just a theory ‚Äď it's a proven system for building strength and muscle mass.

Many lifters have reported significant improvements in their performance and physique after following the program.

The key to the GZCL Method's effectiveness lies in its focus on progressive overload and recovery.

Progressive overload is the principle of gradually increasing the stress placed on your body during exercise.

In the context of the GZCL Method, this means gradually increasing the weight you lift, the number of repetitions you perform, or the frequency of your workouts.

This constant challenge stimulates your muscles to grow stronger and larger.

But equally important is recovery.

The GZCL Method emphasizes the importance of rest and recovery to allow your muscles to repair and grow.

This balance between work and rest is crucial for achieving optimal results with the GZCL Method.

Spreadsheet Access 

NOTE: Please make a copy by clicking File > Make  (requesting edit access is incorrect). For how to save spreadsheet instructions, click here. 

(Read above first) Spreadsheet

Not Sure Where to Start? 

If you're new to the GZCL programs and want to start somewhere, then I recommend taking a look at the infographic below and using the GZCL Free Compendium spreadsheets:

Rather than  a strict program, GZCL is a method for a framework as it can be used in a training program that you're already using. 

Since it's a framework, you'll find many variations of the GZCL program in the spreadsheet below. 

Many more may come in the future as it's a popular framework to use. 

If you want to help Cody Lefever, the creator of GZCL, please consider donating to him. 

General Gainz

Read this post by /u/GZCL before going into any General Gainz spreadsheets. 

Cheat Sheet Infographic for GZCL General Gainz

This infographic was created by /u/kvtb to help understand how to run General Gainz.

General Gainz Wave Linear Progression

Before using this spreadsheet (created by /u/K-S-R), check out this post by /u/ctye85

General Gainz Wave Linear Progression

General Gainz + Jacked & Tan 2.0 Hybrid

Jacked and Tan 2.0

The GZCL Method Free Compendium contains Jacked and Tan 2.0. 

GZCL Method Free Compendium (November 2016 Update)

Made by GZCL and released in November 2016. 

It contains a few templates with both pounds and kilograms. 

  • Basic Template
  • The Rippler
  • Ultra High Frequency
  • 5 and 9 week programs (UHF)
  • Jacked and Tan 2.0
  • Extended Deadlift Wave Formulas
  • Volume Dependent Intensity Progression (VDIP

The November 2016 compendium and the July 2016 compendium have a few key differences, including the Extended Deadlift Wave Formulas and Volume Dependent Intensity Progression (VDIP) updates.

The Extended Deadlift Wave Formulas can help improve deadlifts by focusing on weak points like pulling the weight off the floor or at certain points of the lift. (See November 2016 release notes)

And the VPID update uses sets with high effort with different rep ranges to progress in a linear fashion. (See November 2016 notes)

If you're using GZCL for the first time, then this is a great way to start it off since it touches upon many GZCL methods.  (See July 2016 release notes)

GZCL UHF Method and Heavy Singles Spreadsheet Sept-2018 

You'll find the UHF program in the GZCL free compendium, which is similar, but this uses a heavy single in each workout and it's inspired by the RTS programming methods).

It's made to use heavy singles in training with different lift, percentage, rep schemes than the regular UHG program. 

And you only progress the heavy single weight if you were able to perform a clean rep the week before. 

Cody's guidelines…

For the Max Rep and AMRAP sets, leave 1-2 reps in the tank. 

If you feel drained then, for the rest of the week, leave 2-3 reps in the tank and deload the volume by reducing T3 work by one set.

And increase calorie intake by 250-500 calories for the next 2 days while increasing sleep by 30-60 minutes. 

GZCL UHF (5 Weeks)

GZCL Free Compendium Spreadsheet July 2016 Version

This is the July 2016 version:

GZCL Free Compendium Spreadsheet

GZCL Jacked & Tan 2.0 Spreadsheet

This is a popular spreadsheet made by /u/steve_dc.

Flexible J&T 2.0

GZCL Jacked and Flan

Made by /u/flannel_smoothie, the Jacked and Flan is a mix of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1.

This allows for more control over volume and contains progress tracking. 

Jacked and Flan v2.1 Spreadsheet

GZCLP 3 Day 12 Week Spreadsheet Feb 2019

This is a variation of the GZCLP, made by /u/blacknoir:

GZCLP 3 Day 12 Week by Blacknoir 

GZCL Jacked And Tan Josip Version

This one is a variation of the original Jacked and Tan program, made by Reddit user /u/JosphusBroz:

GZCL Jacked and Tan Spreadsheet by Josip

GZCL Max Reps Sets (MRS) Beta Version from Cody

GZCL Max Reps by Cody:

GZRL Max Reps Sets Beta 

GZCL Jacked and Tactical (Bench + Squat Only)

This one focuses on upper body hypertrophy. Squats are 3x per week, and bench press 2x per week. No deadlifts.

Jacked and Tacticle 3x Week (Metric)

Jacked and Tactical 3x Week (Imperial)

GZCL Max Reps Sets (MRS)

Made by redit user /u/anonymouscrayon, this one uses MRS scheme where you try to get X reps in Y sets then add weight if successful, and it's calculated for all tiers. 

GZCL MRS Spreadsheet

 

GZCL Method 3 Week Cycle

After the 3rd week, check what lifts have improved and adjust training max for next cycle.

Made by reddit user /u/gluteusofaluminum:

GZCL 3 Week Cycle

GZCL Method Multi Day Cycles

If you want to do two to 6 day per week cycles, then this one is worth checking out: 

GZCL Method Cycles Spreadsheet

 

GZCLP Big on The Basics Version

Redditor /u/theAesir made this with GZCL principles and used tweaks that helped this lifter.

Uses templates for GZCL linear progression program and 3 week GZCL style program.  This one us made for novice to intermediate level users.

GZCLP 3 Week Big On Basics

GZCL Basic Template Circa 2012

Straightforward to original GZCL methods made by reddit user /u/durable and edited by /u/point3edu and approved by GZCL

GZCL Basic Template Circa 2012

GZCLP LP or Linear Progression Program

GZCL Method 5 Day Template

Source is unknown but if you know then please contact me. 

GZL 5 Day Template

Key GZCL Concepts And Program Differences

Check out this summary from Reddit user /u/Tommy92db.

About The GZCL Program

Inspired by Jim Wendler's 5/3/1, GZCL is a method of programming using training max (90% of 1 rep max) with 4-week cycles and AMRAP sets to test progress. GZCL uses many variations to it's methods, like Ripper, GZCLP, Jacked & Tan 2.0 and more. 

Choosing the Right GZCL Variant for You

The beauty of the GZCL Method lies in its adaptability.

With several variants to choose from, you can select the one that best aligns with your fitness level and goals.

Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular GZCL variants.

GZCLP

GZCLP is the beginner-friendly variant of the GZCL Method.

It's designed to introduce new lifters to the principles of volume, intensity, and frequency, while also teaching them the fundamentals of the main lifts.

GZCLP follows a linear progression scheme, meaning you'll aim to add weight to your lifts every workout.

This makes it a great choice for beginners looking to build strength and muscle mass quickly.

Jacked and Tan 2.0

Jacked and Tan 2.0 is a variant of the GZCL Method designed for those looking to build muscle and strength.

It follows a block periodization scheme, with different phases focusing on different aspects of fitness.

This variant is a great choice for intermediate to advanced lifters looking to break through plateaus and achieve new personal bests.

The Rippler

The Rippler is a GZCL variant designed to improve powerlifting performance.

It focuses on the main powerlifting lifts ‚Äď the squat, bench press, and deadlift ‚Äď and follows an undulating periodization scheme.

This makes it a great choice for powerlifters looking to improve their competition lifts.

Implementing the GZCL Method

Once you've chosen the right GZCL variant for you, it's time to put it into action.

Remember, the key to success with the GZCL Method is consistency and progression.

Stick to your program, strive to improve every workout, and don't forget to prioritize recovery.

What's different between GZCL vs GZCLP?

Similar to GZCL, GZCLP is a program that uses the same principles but with linear progression.

It's great for novice lifters since it progresses faster. 

What Are T1, T2, T3 lifts?

The lifts are categorized into 3 T categories. 

Starting with T1 lifts, these are primary exercise movements like squats, bench press, deadlifts, or overhead press. they are the priority of the training session.

The T2 lifts are a variation of the T1 lifts, like front squats, deficit deadlifts, incline bench press, exercises that bodybuilders would perform. 

T3 lifts are accessory exercises that are done in high rep ranges.

What's GZCL stand for? 

The creator behind GZCL, Cody Lefever used his Reddit username to brand it as GZCL. The last two letters are his initials but the first two probably don't have any meaning. 

What's Training Max? 

Training max is 90% of your 1 rep max for a particular lift.

If you can bench press 200lbs then your training max would be 180lbs (or if your one rep max was 90kg then it's training max is about 80kg).

FAQ

Sure, here are some frequently asked questions about the GZCL Method:

1. What does GZCL stand for?

GZCL stands for the initials of its creator, Cody "GZCL" Lefever.

2. What is the difference between GZCL and GZCLP?

GZCL is the original method developed by Cody Lefever, while GZCLP is a variant of the method designed specifically for beginners.

3. What are T1, T2, and T3 lifts in the GZCL Method?

T1, T2, and T3 refer to the three tiers of exercises in the GZCL Method. T1 lifts are your main lifts, T2 lifts are supplementary lifts, and T3 lifts are accessory lifts.

4. How does the GZCL Method help in building strength and muscle mass?

The GZCL Method helps in building strength and muscle mass by focusing on volume, intensity, and frequency. It also emphasizes the importance of progressive overload and recovery.

5. Can I customize the GZCL Method to suit my needs?

Yes, one of the key features of the GZCL Method is its flexibility. You can adjust the volume, intensity, and frequency of your workouts to suit your individual needs and goals.

6. How often should I work out with the GZCL Method?

The frequency of your workouts will depend on the specific GZCL variant you're following. Most variants recommend working out 3-5 times per week.

7. How do I choose the right GZCL variant for me?

Choosing the right GZCL variant depends on your fitness level and goals. GZCLP is best for beginners, Jacked and Tan 2.0 is great for those looking to build muscle and strength, and The Rippler is ideal for powerlifters.

8. What is the progression scheme in the GZCL Method?

The GZCL Method includes a progression scheme that guides you on how to increase the weight and volume of your lifts over time. This ensures that you're constantly challenging your muscles and making progress towards your goals.

9. What is the philosophy behind the GZCL Method?

At the heart of the GZCL Method is the principle of volume, intensity, and frequency. This means that your workouts are structured around a certain number of exercises (volume), performed at a certain level of difficulty (intensity), and repeated a certain number of times (frequency).

10. Is the GZCL Method suitable for beginners?

Yes, the GZCL Method is suitable for beginners. The GZCLP variant is specifically designed for beginners and provides a structured plan to guide new lifters on what to do on a particular workout session along with the weight to choose.

Bottom Line: GCZL Is Made For Strength Gains

The GZCL Method is a versatile and effective strength-building program that can be tailored to individual needs and goals.

By focusing on volume, intensity, and frequency, and emphasizing the importance of progressive overload and recovery, the GZCL Method helps lifters of all levels build strength and muscle mass.

Whether you're a beginner looking to build a solid strength base, or an experienced lifter aiming to smash your personal bests, the GZCL Method could be the key to unlocking your full potential.

Remember, the key to success with the GZCL Method is consistency and progression.

Stick to your program, strive to improve every workout, and don't forget to prioritize recovery.

With the right approach, the GZCL Method can help you achieve your strength and fitness goals.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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