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German Volume Training

Build Strength and Muscle Mass

Whether your goal is to lose weight, stay active or get bigger, it is essential to build strong muscles. This can be accomplished in many different ways and today we will be talking about one specific method.

German Volume Training (GVT) is a very effective training program that has been popularized by the popular strength coach Charles Poliquin aka "Strength Sensei". In this article we will explain how you can integrate GVT in your workout routine.

What is German Volume Training?

German Volume Training (GVT) goes as follows:

  • Take 1-2 compound exercises (squat, pull up, deadlift, bench press...)
  • Perform 10 sets x 10 reps per exercise
  • Aim for 60% of your 1RM (One Rep Max)
  • 60-90 seconds of rest periods

You should aim for 10 sets of 10 reps with proper form. It's common to feel comfortable at the beginning of the workout, but don't try to add more weights. You will feel muscle fatigue toward the last few sets. You should not able to do the last rep of the last set. If it was too light, increase the weight next time you perform GVT.

German Volume Training Workout

This program focuses on three workouts per week:

  • Day 1 (Monday): Chest & Back
  • Day 2 (Tuesday): Rest
  • Day 3 (Wednesday): Legs & Abs
  • Day 4 (Thursday): Rest
  • Day 5 (Friday): Arms & Shoulders
  • Day 6 (Saturday): Rest
  • Day 7 (Sunday): Rest

Day 1 (Monday) - Chest & Back:

  • Bench Press: 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Row: 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Fly: 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Lat Pulldown: 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Day 2 (Wednesday) - Legs & Abs:

  • Barbell Squat: 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Lying Leg Curl: 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Cable Crunch: 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Day 3 (Friday) - Shoulders & Arms:

  • Overhead Press: 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Curl: 10 sets x 10 reps
  • Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral Rear Raise: 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Hammer Curl: 3 sets x 12-15 reps

There are many variations of the GVT and you don't have to follow this exact workout routine. What you can do is integrate some of its principles to your workout routine.

For example, if you have a muscle imbalance and you want to build bigger legs. It could be interesting to experiment with the German Volume Training when you're training your lower body.

You can try this program for about 2-6 weeks, then you don't try again for a couple months.

Why is the German Volume Training So Effective?

GVT is very efficient for four main reasons:

  • High Training Volume: we know that training volume (number of sets x weight x number of reps) needs to be increased if you want build muscle. GVT allows you to increase training volume using compound exercises, which will help you progress faster.
  • Compound exercises: this program focuses on compound exercises, which target multiple muscle groups. They help you build more muscle, build a strong core and burn more calories than isolation exercises.
  • Improve stamina: performing 10 sets with 10 reps using compound exercises will also help you improve your cardiovascular system.
  • Recovery: since GVT makes you work out three times a week, it allows your CNS (Central Nervous System) and muscles to rest between each workout.

German Volume Training is very effective because it helps you increase training volume using compound exercises and allows you to recover properly.

German Volume Training's Cons

Even though this training plan is powerful, it's not for everyone.

Here are some cons of the german volume training:

  • Can be repetitive: doing 10 sets of 10 reps can feel boring if you prefer workouts that includes more exercise variations.
  • Only training three times a week: resting between each workout has its benefits, but some people like myself enjoy exercising on a daily basis, even if it's a light active recovery workout.

German Volume Training training has cons if you keep the rigid structure, so doesn't hesitate to adjust it according to your schedule and preferences.

Who Uses German Volume Training?

This workout routine is used by intermediate and more advanced athletes.

If you're just starting out, you should probably avoid it because it causes high levels of stress in your muscles, which can have a negative effect on your form if you're not used to this type of intensity.

GVT is a great way to build strength and muscle if you know how to perform compound movements with good form.

Should You Try German Volume Training?

I recommend you to try this training style if you're hitting a plateau or simply want to switch things up.

Try using a 10 sets x 10 reps using a compound exercise at the beginning of a workout.

German Volume Training will guarantee strength and muscle gain.

In Summary

  • German Volume Training uses 10 sets of 10 reps with good form for 1-2 compound exercises during a workout.
  • GVT focuses on three workouts per week to help you recover properly.
  • You can apply certain German Volume Training principles to your workout routine.
  • GVT helps you build strength and muscle by increasing training volume.
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