Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
Scott Dorn
SMDMN

How To Transform Your Physique With German Volume Training!

German Volume Training (GVT) is a system that has been used by powerlifters, bodybuilders and Olympic lifters to break plateaus and gain mass.

Transform with german volume training

German Volume Training or simply known as GVT in most weight training circles is a training system that has been used by powerlifters, bodybuilders and Olympic lifters from all walks of life to reach new training goals, pack on muscle, break plateaus, or simply challenge themselves to see if they can do it.

Regardless of the goal that the lifter has in mind, GVT has been and continues to be proven successful even today. Anyone that wants to be successful in the world of weightlifting, whether it is powerlifting, Olympic or bodybuilding, needs to be aware and learn of this training technique.

GVT Has Been And Continues To Be Proven Successful Even Today

What Is GVT & Where Did It Come From?

GVT came into prominence in 1996 by Charles Poliquin in the now defunct "Muscle Media 2000" magazine. Its origins date back earlier than that though. Versions of this have been used as far back as the 1940's. GVT or 10 sets of 10 is basically 10 sets of a compound lift where you shoot for doing 10 repetitions each set or 100 reps total.

You also want to use the same weight for each set. If you get to where you can do all 10 sets of 10 with the same weight, you move up in weight. You are only to do this with one exercise, and it should be a compound exercise, such as bench press, squat, barbell row, or overhead press.

Let's say you want to get your squat up. You determine a weight that you can do for 20 reps. You can also figure out 60% of your squat one rep max. You load the weight on the bar and do your first set of 10 reps.

Calculate Your One-Rep Max (1RM)

Weight Lifted
Reps Done

= One-Rep Max

 95% 1 RM
 90% 1 RM
 85% 1 RM
 80% 1 RM
 75% 1 RM
 70% 1 RM
 65% 1 RM
 60% 1 RM
 55% 1 RM
 50% 1 RM

You rest anywhere from 60-90 seconds and then do a second set. You rest and do a third and so on until either you get to where you can't do 10 reps anymore or you get all 10 reps on each of the 10 sets. If you do that, you add weight and do it again next time. If not, complete the 10 sets to failure and try again with the same weight next time.

Let's look at this in a training log. This lifter can do 185 pounds on squat for 20 repetitions. Therefore, he will use 185 pounds on all 10 sets.

Barbell Squat

  • Set 1: 185 for 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 2: 185 for 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 3: 185 for 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 4: 185 for 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 5: 185 for 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 6: 185 for 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 7: 185 for 9 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 8: 185 for 9 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 9: 185 for 7 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
  • Set 10: 185 for 6 reps. Rest 90 seconds.

OK, he didn't get all 10 sets for 10 reps. So next time, he would do this, which should be no less than 5 days from today, with 185 pounds again. Had he succeeded, he would go up to 190 pounds.

How Can I Do A Program Like This & For How Long?

You would take a compound lift for the muscle group that day and make that your GVT exercise. Let's take Day 1. Chest and Back. For chest, flat barbell bench press is a great one.

For back, bent over barbell row is excellent. After your rows, you can pick an isolation exercise for chest and do 3 sets of 10 reps. Then you do the same for back. Let's look at a typical training week in a log.

Day 1: Chest And Back
Day 2: Legs And Abs
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Arms And Shoulders
Day 5: Off

This routine would last about six weeks.

What Do I Do After This Is Over?

After six weeks, you would lower the intensity a little bit. You pick different exercises and do 10 sets of 6 reps. Here is how that would look.

Day 1: Chest And Back
Day 2: Legs And Abs
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Arms And Shoulders
Day 5: Off

You would do this for about three weeks and then move on to another GVT cycle or should you do another program, you can after this.

GVT For The Advanced Lifter

This system is called the four percent method. You increase the load 4-to-5 percent every workout for two workouts in a row, and you reduce the target rep by one rep for every weight increase.

Then you reduce the weight four to five percent and increase the rep bracket to its original starting point. Since this is mathematical, let's look at an example that will clearly illustrate this point.

Let's say you can barbell curl 100 pounds for 12 strict reps, and you haven't been able to increase the amount of reps or weight on this exercise. Here's a sample routine that would increase your curling strength:

  • Workout 1: 10 sets of 6 reps at 110 lbs
  • Workout 2: 10 sets of 5 reps at 115 lbs
  • Workout 3: 10 sets of 4 reps at 120 lbs
  • Workout 4: 10 sets of 6 reps at 115 lbs
  • Workout 5: 10 sets of 5 reps at 120 lbs
  • Workout 6: 10 sets of 4 reps at 125 lbs
  • Workout 7: Test Day

Workout 7 is test day. By this point, you should be able to curl 120 pounds for 12 strict reps. Over a course of six workouts, you gained almost 10% strength on your curl. Of course, this can also be used on bench press, squat or any other compound lift you have in mind.

Clarifying one last time, do the beginning programs for six weeks, lower the intensity for three weeks, then if you want to push yourself to the limit, give the Advanced GVT program a shot.

Conclusion

This is a hard routine, especially if you are not used to doing so much volume in your normal workouts. Therefore, make sure you are eating plenty of protein, taking in good, healthy carbs, drinking no less than a gallon of water a day and taking a quality multivitamin.

If you need that plateau busted, or you must break through that glass ceiling and ascend to new levels of strength that you never fathomed you could reach, give German Volume Training a try and see if this doesn't do the trick for you. Mr. Poliquin certainly helped many lifters with this program and I am sure you will find success too.



Bookmark and Share

Related Articles

About The Author

Bodybuilding is the reason I am who I am today. I am more confident in myself, actually looking for the next challenge, and inspiring others.

RATE THIS ARTICLE
POOR
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
EXCELLENT
OVERALL RATING
8.6

Out of 10
Excellent
120 Ratings

17

Comments

Showing 1 - 17 of 17 Comments

(5 characters minimum)

      • notify me when users reply to my comment
samarchopra

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
samarchopra

Good summary and a start on showing your how to try it out. Good Article

Article Rated:
Jan 4, 2012 3:29am | report
 
atticuswolf

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
atticuswolf

Does any one have a copy of the original workout in Muscle Media 2000? It had a break down of the multiple phases and and set tempos. I loved this work out and would really want to do the whole routine again.

Apr 22, 2012 3:34pm | report
atticuswolf

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
atticuswolf

Does any one have a copy of the original workout in Muscle Media 2000? It had a break down of the multiple phases and and set tempos. I loved this work out and would really want to do the whole routine again.

Apr 22, 2012 3:36pm | report
 
feryache

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
feryache

Stared this one today and we'll see the results soon I hope...

May 9, 2012 1:23am | report
 
Matt8pack

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Matt8pack

Going to try this right after i finish Dorian Yates:Blood & Guts.

Article Rated:
Aug 15, 2012 12:39pm | report
 
Nkdms

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Nkdms

There are many articles about GVT and I am extremely confused because some involve super sets etc....

So my question is: FOR INSTANCE the day that article suggests Chest & Back means "superseting" Bench press and barbell row or not?

Sep 25, 2012 5:19am | report
 
jpstanton

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
jpstanton

My understanding is you're supposed to alternate, not really a true super set. So for instance, one set of bench, rest, one set of barbell row, rest, then back to bench.

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/441/German_Volume_Training.aspx

Dec 19, 2012 12:41pm | report
M3T4LLIC4

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
M3T4LLIC4

can someone please tell me what i do on day 6 and day 7 do i have those days off aswell or am i going back to day 1 on the 6th day?

Nov 7, 2012 2:45am | report
 
jpstanton

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
jpstanton

You go back to day 1

Dec 19, 2012 12:40pm | report
tommyc1980

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
tommyc1980

I just started this programme today and was pretty exhausted by the end of it, although i'm limited for time so i super-set the two main exercises (so bent over row and flat bench press today)
I am suprised there is no overhead shoulder pressing in it though - which is an area where I struggle so I might try and do some on a rest day or at the same time as doing legs and abs.

Jan 7, 2013 8:47am | report
 
tchad28

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
tchad28

Just started this workout tday what a workout felt exausted when i was done went home and wanted to sleep ima do this whole program and i know i will prosper

Jan 20, 2013 1:22pm | report
 
rolanddebique

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
rolanddebique

Like this concept, going to start this program from today, give a feed back in 6 weeks

Mar 12, 2013 11:05am | report
 
massive310

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
massive310

Im on it starting today will let you know how it turns out.....
will post pictures.......and will add cardio to the program ......

May 5, 2013 6:27pm | report
 
Faustusius

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Faustusius

I had never seen it before it'll be nice to try

Jun 28, 2013 3:47pm | report
 
Philip141293

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Philip141293

Hey Guys. On day 4 it says 6 reps in every exercise but in the printable log it says 10 reps. Which one should i go for?

Aug 4, 2013 1:43am | report
 
Renda38

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
Renda38

10 sets of 10 reps for squats seems like an injury waiting to happen...

Apr 11, 2014 12:05pm | report
 
shepherdman

Rep Power: 0

  • rep this user
shepherdman

Is it alright to do a German Volume Training workout even if I'm only 15? Will the heavy weight hurt me somehow?

Article Rated:
Jun 10, 2014 10:34pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 17 of 17 Comments

Featured Product

Give Us Feedback:
Report A Problem
Site Feedback
Follow Us:
Twitter
Facebook
RSS Feeds
Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

Receive exciting features,
news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com