German Volume Training- What is it?

German Volume Training- What is it?

Everyone has heard of German chocolate cake. And German beer is one of my favorite things in the world. But there’s one more German export that any red blooded gym rat should know. GVT (German Volume Training) is a training program that you either love or hate.

This program is geared toward hypertrophy and uses “only” 60% of your 1RM to start. I put only in quotations because it comes with a twist. You have to perform 10 sets of 10 reps with that weight. This might seem like a walk in the park on paper, but when the rubber meets the road, the weight you’ve chosen will crush your ego. And that’s when you know you’re doing it right.

GVT workouts are also short and simple. So if you’re looking to get in and out of the gym fast, you might want to keep reading. Each workout is 4 exercises done in pairs (supersets). The program is broken up into three phases. Phase 1 is the 10x10 phase, phase 2 is a transition phase and phase three is a higher intensity phase.

The main reason that this workout is effective (some trainees have reported 5lbs of muscle growth in 1 month) is that it increases your time under tension and lets you handle more volume at a lower intensity. And we all know that volume and TUT are major keys to muscle growth.

This program isn’t for the faint of heart. Don’t be fooled by the “light weight”. Once you get through about half of your sets, you’ll be wanting to tap out. But stick with it, because that’s when the magic happens. Because of the rep range and the amount of volume, you’ll be hitting multiple types of muscle fibers and recruiting more than you would using a “conventional” method.



So how do you program it? The basic outline looks something like this:

Day 1




Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest


A1
Bench Press
10
10
4020
90


A2
Pull ups/downs
10
10
4020
90


B1
DB Flyes
3
10–12
2020
75


B2
Face Pulls
3
10–12
2020
75





Day 2




Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest


A1
Squats
10
10
40x0
90


A2
Leg curls
10
10
40x0
90


B1
Pull throughs
3
10–12
2020
75


B2
Calf raise
3
10–12
2020
75





Day 3: Off/Rest



Day 4




Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest


A1
Close Grip Bench
10
10
40x0
90


A2
Preacher Curls
10
10
40x0
90


B1
Lateral Raise
3
10–12
2011
75


B2
Reverse Curl
3
10–12
40x0
75





Day 5: Off/Rest



Day 6: Repeat

Use the program above and modify the 10x10 exercises to 6 to 8 reps for 4–6 sets. Use a weight you can safely handle in this rep range.

Day 1




Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest


A1
Incline Bench Press
10
6
5010
120


A2
Pull ups/downs
10
6
5010
120


B1
DB Flyes
3
8–10
2020
75


B2
Face Pulls
3
8–10
2020
75





Day 2




Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest


A1
Front Squat
10
6
31x0
120


A2
Leg curls
10
6
30x0
120


B1
Back Extensions
3
8–10
2012
75


B2
Standing Calf Raises
3
8–10
22x0
75





Day 3: Off/Rest



Day 4




Exercise
Sets
Reps
Tempo
Rest


A1
Dips
10
6
31x0
100


A2
Hammer Curls
10
6
30x0
100


B1
Bent Over Lateral Raise
3
8–10
2012
75


B2
Wrist Curls
3
10–12
2020
75





Day 5: Off/Rest



Day 6: Repeat



This program isn’t easy. It’s made for someone who is serious about lifting and wants to get the job done when they go to the gym. If you’re looking for a shortcut, this isn’t the program for you. Like all programs, the power is in its simplicity. Just do what the program says and you’ll reap the rewards.

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