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 10×10 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:

 

Phase 1 (4 weeks)

 

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 40×0 90
A2 Leg curls 10 10 40×0 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 40×0 90
A2 Preacher Curls 10 10 40×0 90
B1 Lateral Raise 3 10-12 2011 75
B2 Reverse Curl 3 10-12 40×0 75

 

Day 5: Off/Rest

 

Day 6: Repeat

 

Phase 2 (3 weeks)

 

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

 

Phase 3 (4 weeks)

 

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 31×0 120
A2 Leg curls 10 6 30×0 120
B1 Back Extensions 3 8-10 2012 75
B2 Standing Calf Raises 3 8-10 22×0 75

 

Day 3: Off/Rest

 

Day 4

Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest
A1 Dips 10 6 31×0 100
A2 Hammer Curls 10 6 30×0 100
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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