Blast your muscles into new growth with brutal German Volume Training (GVT) that works very effectively.
Need a change of pace in your workout routine? Ready to be seriously challenged? Try three or four months of German Volume Training to shake things up in the gym. Careful, though. This routine will test you physically and mentally. it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.
BEAUTY IN SIMPLICITY
Bodybuilding can be a confusing endeavour. Three sets of this. Two sets of that. Incline the bench. Twist the dumbbells. Look at the ceiling. Arch your back. Count 40 seconds between sets. Sip your water through your nostrils. Okay, I may have made that last one up, but I’m sure you get my point. With all the information and routines out there on the net, it can be difficult to find and stick to a program.
German Volume Training is a deceptively simple but highly effective way to pack on pounds of muscle. It was popularized in modern times by training guru Charles Poliquin, but the original program probably originated somewhere in a dimly lite German weight-lifting dungeon back in the swinging 1970’s. Fitness legend Vince Gironda also advocated a similar high volume routine decades ago.
This is a high volume routine that will knock you on your butt. Make sure you have your diet and supplementation in perfect order before you attempt it. Get eight hours of sleep at night, and make sure to consume plenty of protein and adequate carbohydrates. You’re going to need the energy. This is a great program for bulking, but because of the high volume, don’t be surprised if you notice significant fat loss as well.
After three months or so, you may want to take a week off from training and then switch to another program. Enough with the warnings. Let’s check out the program.
THE GERMAN VOLUME TRAINING ROUTINE
You’ll be performing 10 sets of 10 reps per bodypart. One exercise per bodypart. That’s it. Easy, huh? Well it’s not. You’ll be using lighter weights than you’re probably used to, but somewhere around the fourth set, you’ll start to feel the pain. At the seventh set, you’ll be begging to stop. Press on. By the tenth and final set, you’ll be in a Zen-like state of bodybuilding pain and bliss.
So how light should you go? You’ll have to do a bit of experimentation to find the ideal weight, but a good starting point is to select a weight of which you can perform 20 reps to failure, or about 60% of your one-rep max. So if you max out with 250 on the bench press, try starting with 150 pounds.
Rest about 60 seconds between sets, or 90 seconds to two minutes for really taxing exercises like squats. You’ll have to watch the clock or bring a stopwatch to time yourself because of the huge temptation to over-rest. Don’t give in. The whole idea of German Volume Training is to pump a huge amount of blood into the targeted muscle for a long period of time.
You may not be able to complete all 10 reps on all 10 sets, but this should be your goal. When you complete the 10 sets successfully, increase the weight on your next workout.
Since you’re only performing one exercise per bodypart, pick large, compound movements. Workout only three days a week with a day off between each workout. Do some low-impact, steady-state cardio on your off days, and throw in some ab exercises at your convenience. You’ll be using a three-day split, and the original German Volume Training program calls for Chest/Back, Legs, and Shoulders/Arms, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on.
We’re also going to slightly modify the original program to add a tiny bit of variety and some bodybuilding movements. The original program doesn’t require any direct arm or hamstring work, and doesn’t alternate exercises like the program below. If you truly want to go old-school, go ahead and try German Volume Training the original way. Otherwise, follow the routine below and be prepared to suffer and see some tremendous gains!
Sample Volume Training Routine Week 1
Monday – Chest/Back
Chest – Bench Press 10 sets of 10
Back – Barbell Rows 10 sets of 10
Wednesday – Legs
Squats – 10 sets of 10 (rest 90 seconds between sets of squats)
Lying Leg curl – 5 sets of 10
Seated Calf Raises – 5 sets of 10
Friday – Shoulders and Arms
Standing Military Barbell Press – 10 sets of 10
For arms, perform barbell curls and tricep pushdowns in a superset. That is, one set of curls, followed immediately by a set of tricep pushdowns. Go back and forth until you reach five sets of 10 for both exercises.
Sample Volume Training Routine Week 2
Monday – Chest and Back
Dips (lean forward to focus on the pecs) – 10 sets of 10
Pull-ups – 10 sets of 10
Wednesday – Legs
Leg Press – 10 sets of 10
Stiff-Leg Deadlift – 5 sets of 10
Standing Calf Raises – 5 sets of 10
Friday – Shoulders and Arms
Seated Dumbbell Military Press – 10 sets of 10
For arms, perform alternating dumbbell curls and lying tricep extensions in a superset. Go back and forth for 5 sets of 10 reps each
That’s it. Now go back to week one and repeat. Try to increase the weight a little bit every week if you can, but always strive to reach 10 sets of 10 on the big exercises, never going over 60 seconds rest.
After pumping your muscles full of blood, make sure to stretch them out. It feels good, flexibility helps prevent injury, it may save you from being unbearably sore the next day, and some fitness trainers believe that intense stretching of the fascia will allow for further increases in muscle size.
Stretch the muscle directly after your volume training. For instance, after your 10 sets of bench press, intensely stretch your pectoral muscles. After squats, stretch your quads. And so on.
Eat plenty of food, get plenty of rest, and watch yourself grow. This routine really enforces the “No pain, no gain” idiom, but it’s worth it.