What Is German Volume Training?

German Volume TrainingAre you trying to build muscle, but have a short window of time in which to achieve results? If so, German Volume Training or GVT could be the answer. Many people have gained as much as ten pounds of muscle in six weeks, making it ideal for those who wish to notice benefits quickly.

What Is German Volume Training?

German Volume Training is a bodybuilding method that was developed in the 1940s, but first gained widespread attention in Germany during the 1970s.  Rolf Fraser, a former National Coach of Weightlifting, is credited with bringing GVT to the forefront.  Sometimes referred to as the “ten sets method”, it involves performing ten sets of ten repetitions of a given exercise using the same weight. Once you are able to complete ten sets of ten with a given weight, you may then move up to a heavier one. This is done with only one exercise, which should be a compound exercise that works more than one muscle group.

Beginning the Program

Start with a light weight that you can easily complete 20 reps with. For most people, this is 60% of their one-rep max. Perform your first ten repetitions, and then rest for 90 seconds before completing a second set. Continue doing this until you are unable to complete any more sets. If you are able to finish all ten sets, add more weight to your bar the next time. If you do not complete all ten sets, perform the routine with the same weight during your next workout, and continue using that same one until you meet your goal.

Developing a Routine

The ideal German Volume Training workout will include one exercise per body part for the 10×10 portion. After completing the primary exercise, strength training coach Charles Poliquin recommends adding one or two supplemental exercises, completing three sets of 10-20 repetitions. It is important to note that this type of workout will require a longer recovery time, meaning you should train each body part only once during a four or five-day period. A typical GVT schedule might look something like this:

  • Day 1: Back and Chest
  • Day 2: Lower Body and Abdominals
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Day 4: Shoulders and Arms
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: Repeat the sequence

Considerations

Keep these things in mind to enjoy the best possible benefits from GVT:

  • Do not force reps or push yourself to muscle failure, as gains will only come when you use the correct form.
  • Only around 60 seconds of rest is needed between sets of supplemental exercises.
  • Once you have completed six of the above five-day cycles, it is then time for a three-week recovery phase.

GVT is effective because it targets specific muscle groups, exposing them to extensive volume. This naturally results in hypertrophy as the body adapts to stress. Some bodybuilders have effectively moved up to a different weight class in as little as 12 weeks with this program, but you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy great benefits. German Volume Training can help even those who have little muscle mass get in great shape fast.