GVT or German volume training is a system that’s commonly used by bodybuilders, Olympic lifters, and powerlifters across the world to get more power out of their muscles.
The goal of this workout program is to help athletes to push through various muscle plateaus and improve the strength and endurance of their muscles. Aside from building muscle mass and strength, it is also one of the best programs for developing an aesthetic body.
German volume training is a successful method for just about any type of weight lifting or fitness goal when it comes to increasing performance. In fact, I use GVT every off-season to help me add a few extra pounds of muscle when I have the time.
As a professional basketball player, I don’t have nearly the same amount of time as many people do for “mass-building.” When I do have time to build lean muscle mass, I legitimately prefer GVT to all other forms of training. Nothing compares!
I first learned about the principles of this training routine while I was in college, and it has stuck with me ever since.
Want to know more about this fail-proof workout plan?
Keep reading below!
What is German Volume Training?
Although popularized some years ago in Europe, this system was created in the year 1996 by a man named Charles Poliquin.
It’s also commonly known as the 10 sets of 10 method. There have been versions of this system that have been used since the 1940s, and the goal of this is to set up 10 sets of compound lift doing 10 reps for each set and a total of 100 reps.
Although there are many different adaptions, the original plan works as well as any other training plan ever invented!
How to Do German Volume Training
By setting up to do German Volume Training, the goal is to do all 10 sets of 10 using the exact same weight. If you want to get the most out of this training program, you need to use compound exercises such as:
- Overhead Press
- Bench Press
- Lat Pull-Down
- Bent-Over Row
- Leg Press
You want to use compound exercises, but don’t use exercises where your form can wear down rapidly.
Participants can only take a 60 to 90-second break between each set, and keeping this rest time is crucial to its success!
To get started, I advise that you choose an amount of weight that you can lift for approximately 20 reps. This amount of weight will make your 10 sets of 10 reps challenging, but doable.
As you increase the weight, this will become much more difficult!
Some bodybuilders also like to take 60% of their one-rep max.
The GVT workout is very simple, and it will probably take you less time than your other training sessions. Load up the weight and begin the 10 sets of the exercise. If you can accomplish your goal, come back 3-4 days later and increase the weight by 5 lbs.
If you are unable to do all 100 reps, continue with the same weight in 3-4 days and check if you improve!
Remember, the rest between sets should never exceed 1 minute and 30 seconds, with 1 minute being the optimal amount of time.
Along with this, GVT should generally be used with all compound movements.
Exercises such as the bench press, overhead press, back squat, and Romanian deadlift provide huge benefits, while isolation movements will not give you as much bang for your buck!
Although isolation exercises are still effective for the body part you are working on, using compound movements sacrifices some tremendous advantages of the system!
Benefits of German Volume Training
According to a study published in the NSCA’s Performance Training Journal,
“The GVT workout entails the performance of 10 sets of 10 reps at about 60% 1RM (or 20 RM) in 1 – 2 key exercises. This concentrated training dose appears fairly difficult for some athletes to perform. However, this type of workout is time effective, may be very stimulating or challenging for advanced athletes, and apart from the expected muscle fatigue / super-compensatory growth considerations, there appears to be a moderate cardiovascular training effect.”
There are many reasons that you should consider using volume training, regardless of your goal with weight training.
Believe it or not, GVT is useful for both burning fat and building muscle.
The large amount of sets and reps per exercise will result in an enormous work capacity being built, which is why I consider it to be especially effective for athletes as well as bodybuilders.
GVT can improve your aerobic work capacity, which is necessary for many different athletic competitions.
Along with this, the increase in muscle mass and increased volume of training will surely help you lose any stubborn fat on your body over time! Chugging away at cardio is only one of the many ways that you can burn body fat, and building muscle is generally a more enjoyable option!
This is a type of training that really pushes your body to its limit, and forces it to consistently improve. It’s a proven system that has worked for decades and helped world-class athletes to generate huge performance results.
Assistance Exercises to Use with German Volume Training
Although many people suggest a traditional list of isolation exercises to pair with GVT, I am going to suggest that you spend your extra time of stretching and yoga. A proper GVT routine will work more than enough muscles per day, and isolation exercises are not necessary in my opinion.
If you are going to use “isolation exercises,” they should only be used to help cure weak-links in your body.
If you have previous injuries or an over-dominant muscle group in one area of your body, focus on that specific area only.
The reason that I highly suggest you pair GVT with yoga is that yoga will improve many of the imbalances throughout your body, help you strengthen your core strength, and improve your mobility over time. GVT will take care of the muscle building and fat burning, so pairing this with additional range of motion work is your best option for a “complete” training routine!
Best Supplements to Use With German Volume Training
If I were going to suggest any one supplement to use with German volume training, my obvious reaction would be to use Citrulline Malate. Citrulline malate has been scientifically proven to increase muscle endurance over time, and help you obtain a better “pump.”
There are many supplements that include citrulline malate, but you can also purchase pure citrulline malate from Amazon!
Using a good pre-workout product with a large amount of citrulline malate is an easy way to increase the effectiveness of your training routine!
If you are looking for help with muscle recovery during your training period, I suggest you look to CBD Oil products. CBD Oil products are a legal cannabis compound, and they have many incredible benefits.
One of the benefits is that they reduce pain and inflammation throughout the body. You are likely to experience some of this when you are doing GVT.
One of my favorite brands is Muscle MX, and I highly suggest you check out their CBD products!
Learn More: Best Supplements for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
Concluding Thoughts – Is German Volume Training Effective?
I have done GVT in the past and I can confidently say it is one of the most effective workout programs for improving your body composition. I love to do GVT in the offseason, and I will regularly dedicate 4-6 weeks of time each summer to GVT only workouts.
If you are considering whether or not to try German Volume Training, I suggest you give it a go and let me know what you think of the results!