GZCL: UHF (Ultra High Frequency) 9 Weeks Program Explained

GZCL: UHF (Ultra High Frequency) is a weightlifting program based on the GZCL principle, created by Cody Lefever. The GZCL name comes from his Reddit username - u/gzcl. It's a program that combines GZCL principles and the Daily Undulated Periodization (DUP) principle. It's somewhat similar to GZCL: The Rippler , but The Rippler used week to week undulating while UFH sticks closer to the DUP principle and changes volume and intensity daily.

Another difference is that The Rippler sticks to Upper/Lower days, while in UHF every day is pretty much full body (if T1 is Upper, T2 is Lower, and vice versa).

The volume is also significantly higher, which makes it more of an advanced program.

GZCL principle

Before diving in, here's some basic terminology:

  • Rep Max: This refers to the maximum weight you can lift for a given number of reps. For instance, if you can do 5 reps (and no more) with 100 kg, then your 5 rep max is 100 kg. When measuring this, you should not go to full failure, but stop when you can't maintain good form for another rep.

Now, let's talk about exercises. Exercises in GZCL programs are split into 3 tiers:

  • T1: These are main compound exercises (e.g., Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Overhead Press ). These exercises involve the highest intensity (i.e., the largest weights, about 85-100% of your 2-3 rep max), but with lower volume (fewer reps and sets). Typically, you will perform 10-15 total reps, usually within 1-3 reps per set.
  • T2: These are secondary compound exercises (e.g., Front Squat, Romanian Deadlift, Incline Bench Press, etc). These exercises have lower intensity (lower weights), but higher volume (more reps and sets). You should pick exercises that will assist with your T1 exercises. For example, if you want to improve your Squat, you could do Front Squats as a T2 exercise. These exercises are performed with 65-85% of your 2-3 rep max, usually within 5-8 reps per set.
  • T3: These are isolation exercises (e.g., Leg Press, Leg Curl, Triceps Extension, Lateral Raise). These exercises have the lowest intensity (lightest weights), but highest volume (most reps and sets). The goal is to choose exercises that will assist with your T1 and T2 exercises. These are performed with less than 65% of your 2-3 rep max, usually with 8 or more reps per set.

A useful rule of thumb is the 1:2:3 rule - for every rep you perform in T1, do 2 reps in T2, and 3 in T3.

This is a very short description of the GZCL principle. For more information, and more details, I REALLY recommend to read Cody's blogpost.

Application of the GZCL Principle to the UHF program

T1 Exercise

In the UHF program, we use the 2 rep max (2RM) weight as Training Max (TM). This is a 9-week program, and each week we use different 2RM% weight and reps for various T1 exercises. E.g. for week 1, we use 85% of 2RM weight for Squat, 75% for Deadlift, 90% for Sling Shot Bench Press, etc.

As in any Linear Periodization program, the weight generally goes up, while volume goes down. The weight goes up non-linearly though, but in the wave form, where each wave is 3 weeks.

Squat
Barbell
Week 1
2x4
107.5
4+
107.5
Week 2
3x3
115
3+
115
Week 3
4x2
120
2+
120
Week 4
3
110
2
115
4x1
117.5
1+
117.5
Week 5
3
115
2
117.5
3x1
120
1+
120
Week 6
3
117.5
2
120
2x1
125
1+
125
Week 7
2x3
115
3+
115
Week 8
4x1
117.5
1+
117.5
Week 9
3
120
2
125
1
127.5

T2 Exercise

Same as T1, we use a 2RM weight for the TM and various T1 exercises. But unlike T1, we use a linear increase in weight (non-wavy) and a somewhat wavy decrease in volume. The peaks of the waves are mostly due to AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) sets.

For T2, we use the 'opposite' side for exercise selection - if T1 is Upper, T2 is Lower, and vice versa. This sort of makes the UHF program technically a full-body program.

Week 9 is a deload week, so skip the T2 exercise completely.

Incline Bench Press
Barbell
Week 1
3x10
65
10+
65
Week 2
4x8
70
Week 3
4x6
75
Week 4
4x5
80
5+
80
Week 5
5x4
85
Week 6
5x3
85
Week 7
9x2
87.5
2+
87.5
Week 8
10x1
92.5

T3 Exercise

For T3, the first set is a Rep Max set, where you work up to your Rep Max. For the first week, it's a 15RM, for the second week, it's a 12RM, and so on. To work up to your 15RM, you need to estimate your approximate 15RM weight and then perform 'warm-up' sets (3-4 of them) that are not fatiguing, gradually increasing the weight. For example, let's say you estimated your 15RM for EZBar Bicep Curl is 50lb. So, you would do:

  • 5 reps with an empty bar
  • 5 reps with 30lb
  • 3 reps with 40lb
  • and 15 reps with 50lb.

If you missed and chose a weight that is too heavy, let's say you could only do 8 reps, or if it was too light and you did 12 reps, that's okay! You'll improve over time, so just record the weight and reps, and move on to the Max Rep Sets.

For the Max Rep Sets, simply try to do as many reps as possible with the same weight as the first set (50lb in our case). For the second, third, and so on, Max Reps Sets, you will likely be able to do fewer and fewer reps, but that's okay and expected as you accumulate fatigue.

Bicep Curl
Dumbbell
Week 1
12-15
10+
4x1+
10
Week 2
12-15
10+
4x1+
10
Week 3
10-12
12.5+
3x1+
12.5
Week 4
10-12
12.5+
3x1+
12.5
Week 5
8-10
12.5+
2x1+
12.5
Week 6
8-10
12.5+
2x1+
12.5
Week 7
6-8
15+
1
15
Week 8
6-8
15+
1
15
Week 9
12-15
10+
4x1+
10

Again, this is just a short description, and for full information and details, please read the original post with the GZCL applications.

Check the interactive playground below to see how the program works, and what the weights/sets/reps look like for each week. You can edit the 2RM, 5RM, etc weights for each exercise, and see how the weight changes.

You can run the GZCL: UHF 9 weeks program in the Liftosaur app.

Muscle Balance

Muscles used, relatively to each other
Back
100%
Glutes
95%
Hamstrings
72%
Chest
67%
Shoulders
57%
Quadriceps
56%
Triceps
24%
Calves
24%
Biceps
22%
Abs
21%
Forearms
20%

Try it out in interactive playground!

Tap on squares to finish sets. Tap multiple times to reduce completed reps. Finish workout and see what the next time the workout would look like (with possibly updated weights, reps and sets).

For convenience, you can finish all the sets of an exercise by clicking on the icon. And you can adjust the exercise variables (weight, reps, TM, RIR, etc) by clicking on the icon.

Week 1 - Day 1

Squat
Barbell

T1. Before starting the sets, set your 1RM - by clicking "Edit" icon at the exercise.

Incline Bench Press
Barbell

T2. Same - set your 1RM before starting the sets

Seated Row
Cable

T3. Work up to the RM for the first set, then use the same weight for the rest of the sets

Bicep Curl
Dumbbell

T3. Same

Seated Leg Curl
Leverage Machine

T3. Same

Week 1 - Day 2

Bench Press
Barbell

T1

Squat
Barbell

T2. Pause Squat.

Shoulder Press
Dumbbell

T3

Lateral Raise
Dumbbell

T3

Pec Deck
Leverage Machine

T3

Week 1 - Day 3

Deadlift
Barbell

T1. 3" Deficit Deadlift

Legs Up Bench Press
Barbell

T2

Pull Up
Bodyweight

T3

Reverse Hyperextension
Band

T3

Reverse Fly
Dumbbell

T3

Week 1 - Day 4

Sling Shot Bench Press
Barbell

T1

Deadlift
Barbell

T2

Incline Bench Press Wide Grip
Barbell

T3

Chest Dip
Bodyweight

T3

Triceps Extension
Dumbbell

T3

Week 1 - Day 5

Safety Squat Bar Squat
Barbell

T1

Bench Press Close Grip
Barbell

T2

Stiff Leg Deadlift
Barbell

T3

Lunge
Barbell

T3

Lat Pulldown
Cable

T3

You can use this program on Liftosaur - a weightlifting tracker app!
  • Log your workouts there, and have a history of all your workouts on your phone
  • It will automatically update weights, reps and sets for you from workout to workout - according to the program logic
  • And you can customize the programs in any way, change exercises, the exercise logic, sets/reps/weights, etc.
Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play