For an effective and quick muscle-building program, try German Volume Training (GVT). It’s a high-volume workout that’ll overload your muscles.
- What’s German Volume Training?
- Body part splits
- Rest and tempo
- Choosing the exercises
- Warming up
- How to choose the right weight
- Example routines
- Frequently asked questions
What’s German Volume Training?
German Volume Training (GVT) is also known as the 10×10 workout. It’s a high-volume and high-intensity form of weight training that is known for increasing strength and muscle.
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A study by the University of New Mexico has shown the GVT, and modified versions lead to significant growth.
The program became well-known in Germany in the 1970s due to Rolf Feser, who was the National Coach of Weightlifting at the time. World-famous trainer, Charles Poliquin also played a major role in popularizing GVT.
Many bodybuilders and Olympic athletes have credited GVT as an effective way to build muscle mass.
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When you’re doing German Volume Training, understand that you’re muscles are being exposed to higher-than-usual volumes, so watch your form and do it with caution.
By incorporating GVT into your workout routine, you may see significant growth in a relatively short amount of time.
Body part splits
With the amount of volume and intensity, your muscles will need to recover between sessions. Therefore, you should allow 4 to 5 days of rest for the specific muscle that you trained. The following is a good routine to follow:
- Day 1: Chest and Back.
- Day 2: Legs and Abs.
- Day 3: Rest.
- Day 4: Arms and Shoulders.
- Day 5: Rest.
- Day 6: Rest.
- Day 7: Start from the beginning.
Rest and tempo
In German Volume Training, rest and tempo are two important techniques to understand. When you’re doing the main lift, such as a squat or bench press, you need to rest between 90 to 120 seconds before starting the next set.
It’s tempting to shorten your rest time because, in the beginning, it’ll feel easy. However, resting for the full amount of time will help you finish strong.
When it comes to tempo, the movements will be done with a 4-0-2-0 tempo. Let’s apply this to a squat. Once you take the bar off of the rack, you’ll go down for four seconds, and go up immediately for 2 seconds. For accessory exercises, you can do a 3-0-2-0 tempo.
Choosing the exercises
With each body part, do one main exercise and one accessory exercise. You’ll do a total of four exercises with each workout. The following are examples of exercises that you can do for each body part:
- Chest: Barbell or dumbbell bench press, dumbbell fly, incline press,
- Legs: Squat, leg press, leg curls, calf raises, and leg extensions.
- Back: Pull-ups, lat pulldown, bent-over barbell or dumbbell row, and face pull.
- Abs: Plank, leg raises, and sit-ups.
- Arms: Barbell or dumbbell curls, EZ-bar skull crusher,
- Shoulders: Lateral raise, reverse fly, barbell overhead press.
Skipping the warm-up and jumping into 10 sets of 10 reps isn’t a good idea because it can lead to an injury. Start with dynamic stretches, especially with the body parts that you’ll be focusing on that day.
You don’t have to spend a long time warming up, just take 5 to 10 minutes to prepare your body and mind for your intense workout. You can even do a lightweight set to warm up your muscles.
How to choose the right weight
The goal is to complete all ten sets with ten reps by using the same weight. As you begin, you’ll notice that it’s easier in the beginning and that’s normal. 60% of your 1-rep maximum is a good place to start.
For example, if you can squat 400 pounds for your 1-rep max, then you should use 240 pounds. Once you’re able to complete all ten sets of ten reps consistently, increase the weight by 4% to 5%.
The following is an example routine that you can follow:
Day 1: Chest and Back.
- Bench press and bent-over row. 10 reps with 90 seconds of rest in between for each and repeat 10 times.
- Dumbbell fly and lat pulldown. 10 to 12 reps with 60 seconds of rest in between for each and repeat 3 times.
Day 2: Legs and Abs.
- Squat and leg extensions. 10 reps with 90 seconds of rest in between for each and repeat 10 times.
- Leg raises and calf raises. 10 to 12 reps with 60 seconds of rest in between for each and repeat 3 times.
Day 3: Rest.
Day 4: Arms and shoulders.
- Overhead press and dips. 10 reps with 90 seconds of rest in between for each and repeat 10 times.
- Lateral raises and dumbbell curls. 10 to 12 reps with 60 seconds of rest in between for each and repeat 3 times.
Day 5 and 6: Rest.
Day 7: Start from the beginning.
Frequently asked questions
Is German Volume Training better than other training programs?
Almost any training program will give you results if you put in the effort and do it consistently. What makes German Volume Training stand out is that it’s extremely hard, and is effective for gaining muscle.
How long should I do German Volume Training?
GVT isn’t something you want to do for prolonged periods. 4 to 6 weeks is the perfect amount of time to follow the program.
Is GVT good for beginners?
Due to the intensity, GVT isn’t good for beginners. If you’re just starting, it’s better to gradually increase your intensity to avoid injuries.
German Volume Training is an effective way to build muscle mass and increase strength. Incorporate it into your routine, and you may see great results. Since it’s an intense workout program, work your way up gradually and take your rest seriously.
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.