What is German Volume Training?

German Volume Training (GVT) is an advanced training principle. Training has evolved and advanced principles are now commonplace in bodybuilding.

GVT is one of the best ways to pack on serious muscle in a short period of time. This technique works on novice and advanced lifters.

GVT dates back to Germany in the 1970s. It was later popularized by Charles Poliquin, a strength-training guru. Vince Gironda also used a similar approach. Read Gironda’s 8×8 workout here.

Also known as the 10 Sets Method, GVT is simple.

Pick two compound exercises that work opposing muscle groups. A good starting place is bench press and barbell rows.

Perform 10 sets of 10 reps of each exercise. This isn’t a superset.

Perform 10 reps of exercise one.

Rest for 60 seconds.

Perform 10 reps of exercise 2.

Rest for 60 seconds.

Repeat for 10 total rounds.

GVT works best on compound exercises. Think bench press, squat, rows, and deadlifts.

The goal is to complete all 10 sets and 10 reps with the same weight. Start with around 60% of your 1-rep-max. The weight should be comfortable enough that you could do around 20 reps on your first set.

Go light to start with as it’s much harder than you think. Only once you have completed all 10 sets and 10 reps can you increase the weight next workout.

The idea behind GVT is to place the muscle under immense stress and break through any plateaus. Charles Poliquin recommends running GVT for 4 weeks and training 3 out of 5 days.

Example Training Split:

Monday: Legs & Abs

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: Chest & Back

Thursday – Off

Friday: Shoulder & Arms

GVT places a large amount of stress on your body and your central nervous system. The extra rest is essential. Ensure you only perform one exercise per muscle part. You should be reaching absolute failure at the end.

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