Sort by tags

Barbell Club – May 2019

Posted 28th April 2019 by Jenna Fisher

Barbell club


May is the fourth month of the first 5-month cycle of 2019.

It is also the first month of what you have been working towards over the last three months – German Volume Training (10 sets of 10).



The full training programme can be downloaded here. Everyone should read this.

(Note that the warm-ups are on sheet 3, a brief explanation of the 5-month overview on sheet 4, and the allocated sessions days on sheet 5)

Barbell Club Programme – May 2019


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

Personal Weights Log – 2019


This month, a further document is being provided in response to the gym survey feedback. The majority of the feedback was very positive and it was so lovely to hear how much people have progressed and achieved.

Additionally, some people requested more variety in the programming and others requested more focus on just the main lifts. This spreadsheet provides an easy view comparison of all the exercises and rep ranges that have been programmed over this cycle so that you can look back and see the journey you have been on from much variety in the beginning through to less later on.

BBC – 5-Month Cycle Easy View Exercise Comparison – 2019

As you can see, the first few months contained a lot of variety and higher rep ranges. People with little training experience needed this in order to build muscle endurance, build strength in tendons and stabilising muscles, improve positions and movement patterns, and to address any imbalances with lots of unilateral work (DBs instead of BBs, and/or single leg or arm exercises, for example). More experienced people can also benefit from this by stepping back from heavy loads and improving their foundation too. This foundation, built by both old and new, seeks to provide a base from which to achieve your very best in the main ‘juice’ to come.

The last couple of months (June will be added to this document next month) reduces the variety and focuses on the compound lifts. This is to give the more experienced people the chance to get some big results with more repetition of the main lifts with heavier weights. Agreed, this lack of variety may be boring for some but sometimes you just have to suck it up. This is training for results not for entertainment (check out some influencers for free on Instagram if you just want the latter).

Further explanation of the variety and reasoning is provided in the ‘5-month Overview’ below. 

Also, remember, the programme is just a framework. With 300-400 members at any given time, one programme can be only this. The coach will then adapt this framework to be appropriate for the individuals that are in their class.

The gym provides many different types of classes with the aim of achieving the different goals that people have. Barbell Club for strength and hypertrophy, Metcon for fitness, Weightlifting for the snatch and clean and jerk, Gymnastics for bodyweight strength/calisthenics, Mobility for stretching and flexibility, Rowing for, well, rowing, and CrossFit for those who like to put it all together to test their skills. Having targeted classes allows people with a particular goal to achieve it faster than if we were trying to entertain with wide-ranging amounts of variety in every single class. This would ultimately become just exercise (which you could get anywhere) rather than training (which is the results that you are paying for).

I hope this helps to provide some understanding of why the programming sometimes needs to be varied but at other times needs to just simply be repetition – build the foundation and then achieve a particular result. Of course, it can be far more complex than this, however, I only have so many words on this blog post. Another will be posted by Josh in the future with more explanation.

If you still have any questions, do feel free to come and ask me 🙂


The 5-month Overview

February – general prep, a wide range of exercises but predominantly upper body, with a focus on accessory and isolation exercises 

March – general prep, a wide range of exercises but predominantly lower body, again focussing on accessory and isolation exercises

April – targeted prep, a fairly even upper and lower split, focussing on endurance in compound exercises in a couplet/superset, increasing the volume using Gironda’s 8×8 with short rest periods and light-medium load, starting at 50%

May – GVT 10×10, focusing on hypertrophy in compound exercises with a single main lift per session (squat, bench, chin up/lat pulldown), longer rest, heavier load starting at 70%. Deadlifts with bands for 5×5 focussing on concentric speed – fast, powerful drive

June – GVT 10×10, focusing on hypertrophy in compound exercises with a single main lift per session (deadlift, overhead press), longer rest, heavier load starting at 70%. Bench press with bands and squats with chains for 5×5 focusing on concentric speed – fast, powerful drive

The next five months will progress the muscle endurance and size that you have built to focus on strength.


Notes for the May Programme

Much information on GVT can be found online if you want to read up on the benefits. This is your chance to capitalise on all the prep you have put in to achieve some great hypertrophy results.

Challenge yourselves, focus, and squeeze hard.

For the newer people who will be lifting light loads, and will, therefore, be taking less rest on the 10×10, there might be some time left at the end of the class. You can add in some exercises from any of the sessions 4s over the last four months. Your coach can advise on what is appropriate.

For the advanced people who will be lifting heavy loads, if you do not have the time/energy to complete the exercises programmed after the 10×10 that is absolutely fine. Focus your energy on the GVT.

Finally, Murat’s banded chest flyes have made it to the programme by popular demand! Murat is a member who attends the Tuesday 8am BBC class. (The guy with the big beard and big guns). Do try and meet the man behind the method by getting yourself to that class at some point this month. He swears by it and it’ll give you a good pump.

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