German Volume Training

What Is German Volume Training & Who Would Benefit From This Technique? Who Would Not Benefit?

What is German Volume TrainingGerman Volume Training (GVT) is also known as the “Ten sets method” because it employs ten sets of ten reps of one exercise for each muscle group. The “German” comes from the fact that it has origins in the countries of Eastern Europe.

First popularized by weightlifting coach Rolf Feser, it did not become a real training phenomenon until Vince Gironda began promoting it in the United States.

In the 1990’s it became even more popular thanks to Charles Poliquin and his use of this method of training with Olympic athletes. As far as its actual invention, it is not known exactly who first came up with this method of training.

Most German Volume Training programs involve training each muscle group once every five days. This frequency, however, is not a general rule carved in stone, and you can adjust this program to give yourself more recovery time if needed or desired.

Many people prefer to train each muscle group once every seven days while following a German Volume Training program. With this kind of volume, it is always best to make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time to recover.

German Volume Training works well for most people who use it because it provides a large amount of volume of repeated work to a single muscle group with one solitary exercise. Adaptation by the body to this tremendous amount of stress results in hypertrophy of the muscle fibers.

For even experienced trainers, this program provides a good shock to the muscles and often leads to impressive gains. To really benefit from German Volume Training, you should pay careful attention to diet and nutrition. If you are not getting enough of the nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats that you need for optimal recovery, then you will not get the maximum benefits from this kind of high volume training.

If you find yourself subject to overtraining then you may wish to avoid german volume training. It incorporates a high amount of volume and greater frequency than many training plans. If you easily over train despite paying careful attention to diet, nutrition, and supplementation, then you would probably be better off with a program that uses less volume and frequency of training.

German Volume Training Routine

What Is The Best German Volume Training Routine?

What is German Volume TrainingThe best German Volume Training (GVT) routine is commonly referred to as Optimized Volume Training. (OVT) This variation of traditional german volume training involves a redistribution of the 100 reps you use. Rather than working each muscle group with ten sets of ten reps of the same exercise, you split the reps up by employing two exercises that effectively become one superset.

Your first exercise in the superset should be a compound movement such as the squat, bench press, deadlift, barbell row, etc. that will be performed for five reps. For the second exercise of the superset, you use an isolation movement for that muscle group.

A few examples would be flyes for chest, concentration curls for biceps, and leg extensions for quadriceps. Like the compound movement, the isolation movement will also be performed for five reps. The tempo, however, should be slowed down.

There are two options, both very effective, that can be used with OVT. First, you can do ten supersets of two exercises for one muscle group. You can also opt to perform ten supersets incorporating four different exercises.

To do this you should pick a compound movement and an isolation movement and do five supersets with five reps on the compound movement immediately followed by five reps on the isolation movement. Each ten rep combination constitutes one superset. Instead of doing five more of the same sets, you can pick another compound movement and another isolation movement.

There have been many ideas about rest intervals with german volume training. Vince Gironda advocated resting less and less with progression, going from two-minute rest intervals all the way down to just 15 seconds. You will find a variety of opinions about how much rest should be taken between sets ranging 15 seconds all the way up to 2-3 minutes.

I have found that 60 seconds works best for me. In addition, you will likely find that a short period of rest does not adversely affect your ability to maintain strength and endurance throughout the workout. You reach a rebound a little over halfway into the workout where you are able to perform as many or more reps than you did at the beginning or middle of the workout. You may even find that you can increase the weight a little bit and still fulfill the goal of reaching 100 reps.

There are a variety of ways you can devise a workout split, but ultimately you want to spread the muscle groups out over 4-to-5 days due to the high volume. The following workout split is one which I frequently use and have benefited from. You can certainly change up exercises, muscle group pairings, tempo, rest intervals, and rest days as you see fit.

German Volume Training Day One: Chest & Back:

Exercise Sets Reps Tempo Rest Intervals
A1. Bench Press 5 5 201 0
A2. DB Flyes 5 5 602 60 seconds
B1. Incline Bench Press 5 5 201 0
B2. Incline DB Flyes 5 5 602 60 seconds
C1. Cable Lats Pulldown 5 5 201 0
C2. DB Rows 5 5 602 60 seconds
D1. Barbell Rows 5 5 201 0
D2. Pullovers 5 5 602 60 seconds