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Barbell Club – February 2019

Posted 30th January 2019 by Jenna Fisher

Month 1 of 5-Month Cycle

Barbell club

February is the first month of the first 5-month cycle of 2019. 

This blog post explains the context to help you to plan your approach. 

The link to the programme spreadsheet is provided at the end. 

Journey from 2018 – 2019  

Last year, each of the two 5-month blocks progressed from endurance to hypertrophy to intensification, building towards an increase in strength by the end of each block. 

This year, the goal of the first 5-month block is one of the ultimate bodybuilding workouts: German Volume Training (GVT) 10×10. 

The second 5-month block will capitalise on the gains from this workout and build towards the annual strength rep max tests at the end of November. 

(December and January will remain as maintenance of body composition, since many people are away on holidays and not attending consistently)

The 5-month Overview 

To prepare for the demand of GVT the coming months will follow this format: 

February – general prep, a mix but predominantly upper body, focus on accessory exercises

March – general prep, a mix but predominantly lower body, focus on accessory exercises

April – building volume with Gironda’s 8×8, upper and lower mix, focus on the main lifts, short rest, light-medium load

May – GVT 10×10, focus on a single main lift per session, longer rest, heavier load

June – 5×5 with chains or bands, focus on speed – this is not a maximal 5 rep load

To avoid overload, you will not be completing 10×10 for every main lift in May. This will be split between May and June as follows: 


10×10 will be performed in the back squat, the overhead press, and the chin up / lat pulldown. Each of these lifts will be programmed on a different day. 

5×5 with bands/chains will be performed in the deadlift and bench press and will be programmed as accessories. 


10×10 will be performed in the deadlift and bench press. Each of these lifts will be programmed on a different day. 

5×5 with bands/chains will be performed in the back squat, the overhead press, and the chin up / eccentric chin up. These will be programmed as accessories. 

German Volume Training 

You last completed GVT in March 2017. Since this was BBC’s first experience of GVT it was programmed as a superset of upper and lower so that each muscle group could receive more rest between each set. The weight was kept relatively low due to the cardio effect of the upper and lower mix. 

This year each muscle group will experience the full effect of GVT. It will be performed as prescribed, with one lift per session, and much more weight will be added to the bar. 

Session Days 

In addition to the usual sessions 1, 2 and 3, a session 4 has been added to separate the remedial exercises from the other days so that you get a denser workout in those sessions. Furthermore, it adds some mono-structural conditioning to the week for those who need to do (more of) it. 

Note: If you attend CrossFit classes you will perform remedial exercises and conditioning as part of this programming and you will therefore most likely not need to complete all or any of session 4. That said, cable external rotations and leg extensions (for example) are not programmed into the main classes due to the large number of attendees, and session 4 will therefore give an opportunity to do these in a smaller setting.

If you do not attend CrossFit, you will need to include session 4’s remedial exercises in your week. They might not be the most exciting juice but they are essential, especially in preparation for the demands of 10×10. That said, you do not necessarily need to do all of them – this is a flexible session that should be adapted to the individual. 

The conditioning formats have been provided for those people who do not attend CrossFit or Metcon, or who would like to do some extra conditioning without the intense demand of these classes on too any days of the week. 

Notes on set up 

Every class will be directed by an experienced coach who can scale the movements up or down depending on your individual experience.  That said, since many people complete the BBC programme in open gym, I have filmed this additional short video (featuring Josh) to show you how to set up your stations for the B exercises in session 3. (Note: not all the reps/tempos are performed since this just a visual on how to set up your station and the different options you can use).


The full training programme (sheets 1 and 2), warm-ups (sheet 3), 5-month overview (sheet 4), and session/class days (sheet 5) can be downloaded here. Everyone should read this.

Barbell Club Programme – February 2019

For those people who like to record weights in an excel spreadsheet rather than a paper notebook, you can download a summarised document here. This does not contain the full programme detail but does provide a succinct electronic mechanism for keeping a log. 

Barbell Club Weights Log – February 2019

Good luck. Enjoy. And do come and see me if you have any questions x