• Understanding German Volume Training

      By Jeremy DuVall, CPT Men's Fitness

      Google the words Ďstrength training programí and youíll get over 30 million different results, each one promising to be the ultimate program to make you stronger, faster, and leaner than the next. With so many training protocols out there, itís hard to separate the strength-builders from the time-wasters. In this series, we break down some of the top programs and lay out the foundations of their success.

      Itís important to note that each program has its own specific benefit. One approach isnít perfect for everyone. Choose the one that most closely resembles your own needs and goals. However, each program does include one element Ė consistency. Program hopping (switch programs every week) is one of the biggest mistakes a lifter can make.

      No matter what program you choose, stick with it for at least a few months before ditching it in favor of a different regimen. This week, we'll take a look at "German Volume Training"

      Method: German Volume Training


      Lifters popularized the German Volume Training (GVT) method in the 1970ís. The pure focus is on gaining lean mass by exposing the muscle fibers to a tremendous amount of overload. The goal is to perform 10 sets of 10 repetitions for one exercise per body part during a workout, so each workout may consist of only 3-4 exercises depending on the day. Lifters should focus on one big exercise for each body part for the 10x10 approach and include some accessory lifts to wrap up the workout with 3 sets of 10 reps. The method works by providing a huge load on the muscle so tempo should be slow. Rest times should be short between sets (between 60 and 90 seconds). Because the volume is so high, lifters should start with a lighter weight than normal to combat fatigue on the later sets.

      A sample schedule would have lifters working out on the following schedule:

      Monday - Chest/Back
      Tuesday - Legs/Abs
      Thursday - Arms/Shoulders

      Due to the difficulty of the workouts, trainees will recover much slower so each body part is only hit once per week.


      Although it may seem simple in nature, the GVT method promises big gains in lean muscle. The intense amount of volume will spur muscle growth in both beginner and advanced lifters. Because the volume is so high, lifters should monitor their progress carefully and watch out for overtraining.

      Sample workout:

      1A) Incline Bench Press - 10 sets of 10 reps
      1B) Chin-up - 10 sets of 10 reps
      2A) Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 10 reps
      2B) Bicep Curls - 3 sets of 10 reps

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...olume-training
      Comments 7 Comments
      1. kisaj's Avatar
        kisaj -
        Sweet chest/back sample workout.
      1. willy316's Avatar
        willy316 -
        Don't know how Tricep extensions & Bicep Curls fit into a chest/back workout :)
      1. Davebuck's Avatar
        Davebuck -
        Originally Posted by willy316 View Post
        Don't know how Tricep extensions & Bicep Curls fit into a chest/back workout :)
        Because triceps are an assisting/secondary muscle group during a chest exercise with the pecs being primary. And biceps are the assisting/secondary muscle group for back exercises with lats and rhomboids being primary.
      1. kisaj's Avatar
        kisaj -
        You didn't really read the article, did you?
      1. willy316's Avatar
        willy316 -
        No disrespect mate but there is already an arms & shoulder day. Wouldn't it be better to add an extra chest & back workout like an incline DB press & a one arm DB row for 3 sets instead of the arms?
      1. kisaj's Avatar
        kisaj -
        Of course it would. This is a crap routine.
      1. Uplift's Avatar
        Uplift -
        German volume training was great, the humungous volume of drugs used by German athletes in the 70's worked wonders! Its just a coincidence that it burst on the scene around the time that German, in fact Eastern European drug use among athletes was rampant. Bottom line, drug reliance teaches zero about how to train, or eat, or supplement. Otherwise it, drug use, wouldn't be necessary. And sadly, to this day, drug reliance, which has been rife in bodybuilding, sports and athletics since the 1950's has shaped even the training of the average person. Anyone that trusts a drug addict is very naive, a bit like lending a gambling addict or alcoholic 50 bucks and expecting it back. How dare you... not our poor, innocent Lance!!! leave Arny alone, he's a good ol' honest legend and role model!
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