A lot of people ask me, "If HST is the best way to train, why do guys claim they made gains using other routines?" I tell them that any routine that incorporates some principle(s) that is known to be necessary for hypertrophy is going to produce some level of change to their muscle. This is common sense. The same goes for a routine that I hear mentioned now and again called German Volume Training (GVT).
GVT is a high-volume light-weight training system that focuses mainly on "strength-endurance" or fatigue. GVT, though specific to increasing short-term endurance, can produce some hypertrophy in as much as it adheres to any of the known principles of hypertrophy.
Let's go over some hypertrophy-specific principles and see how GVT stacks up.
For simplicity, I am going to quote Charles Poliquin. He did not invent GVT, so I don't want to give the impression that I am in any way critiquing Charles. I'm only critiquing the method. I'm just quoting Charles because he did a good job summarizing the method. His comments will appear in quoutes (" ").
The Goal Of GVT
As to people's question about whether GVT is hypertrophy-specific, we must take a look at the goal of GVT. The clearly stated goal of GVT is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps without reducing the weight.
So right from the beginning we see that the goal of anyone using GVT is not hypertrophy, but endurance of strength in the 10 rep range.
The Principle Of Specificity
IF GVT adheres to the principle of "Specificity", GVT will have to stick with high volume and significantly light weights in order to condition your body to be able to perform 10 sets of 10 reps without reducing the weight load. And this is in fact what GVT does. "You want to begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to. For most people, on most exercises, that would represent 60% of their 1RM load."
You can calculate YOUR exact weight by using the form and clicking on "Calculate".