German Volume Training: a new way to avoid muscle stagnation

0

The German Volume Training (GVT), also known as the 10 sets method, originated in Germany in the 70’s and was popularized by Rolf Feser, National Weightlifting coach at that time. This method was used during the off-season to help powerlifters with their muscle mass gains, and it was so efficient that the athletes would change to a higher weight category in just 12 weeks.

The GVT is a type of eccentric workout that ensures efficient results, in case you hit muscle stagnation and you need new stimuli, or in case you want to increase your muscle mass.

READ ALSO: How to manage insulin levels to maximize fat loss or muscle gains?

The goal of this method is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps using the same weight for each exercise. If you want to, you can start by using a load with which you could do 20 reps until you hit muscle failure. For most people, in most exercises, that would represent 60% of their Single Repetition Maximum (1MR). Therefore, if you can do leg press with 130kg for each rep, use 81kg for this exercise.

We recommend using this method in case you’re a beginner:

Day 1: Chest and Back
Day 2: Legs and Abs
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Arms and Shoulders
Day 5: Rest

To ensure your evolution will be successful, take a look at the following tips:

 

Rest Breaks
When athletes start this plan, they wonder about its efficacy, because they get the feeling that the weight they are using is not enough. However, the resting period between sets is minimum, which will certainly cause muscle fatigue.
You should time your breaks between sets, so that they’re always constant. This detail matters, because there’s a tendency to extend the resting breaks throughout the workout.

Number of exercises
Perform only one exercise per muscle group. Pick exercises that recruit a bigger amount of muscle mass.

Workout Frequency
The GVT is an intense program that will also require a recovery period. A workout session every 4-5 days per body part is enough.

Overload Mechanism
After being able to perform 10 sets of 10 reps, you can increase you load in the bar from 4 to 5% on the following workout. Try to avoid forced or negative reps.

Stage 1 of the German Volume Training: Beginner / Intermediate

This plan is based on a 5 day cycle. After having used this method for 6 workouts per muscle group, you can move on to a more intense program.

Day 1: Chest and Back

Exercise    Sets     Reps    Time     Rest
 A – 1 Decline Dumbbell Presses      10       10       4 0 2 0        90seg.
 A – 2 Chin-Ups      10       10       4 0 2 0        90seg.
 B – 1 Incline Dumbbell Flyes       3       10-12       3 0 2 0        60seg.
 B – 2 One-Arm Dubbell Row       3       10-12       3 0 2 0        60seg.

Note: Accordingly to the type of exercise, follow the appropriate rhythm, for example, 4-0-2-0, that is, the eccentric part of the exercise lasts 4 seconds and the concentric lasts 2 seconds.

Take a 90 second break between each “A” exercise and each superset.
Take a 60 second break between each “B” exercise and each superset.

The “B” exercises are complementary; performing 10 sets could cause overtraining.

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Exercise    Sets     Reps    Time     Rest
 A – 1 Barbell Squat      10       10       4 0 2 0        90seg.
 A – 2 Lying Leg Curls      10       10       4 0 2 0        90seg.
 B – 1 Leg Pull-in       3       15-20       2 0 2 0        60seg.
 B – 2 Seated Calf Raise       3       15-20       2 0 2 0        60seg.

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Arms and Shoulders

Exercise    Sets     Reps    Time     Rest
 A – 1 Parallel Bar Dips      10       10       4 0 2 0        90seg.
 A – 2 Incline Hammer Curls      10       10       4 0 2 0        90seg.
 B – 1 Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raise*       3       10-12       2 0 x 0        60seg.
 B – 2 Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises       3       12-12       2 0 x 0        60seg.

*Lay down on the bench.

Note 2: An “X” in “Time” means you have to perform the movement as quickly as you can, keeping the weight you’re using under control.

Day 5: Rest

Stage 2 of the German Volume Training: Beginner / Intermediate

As soon as you complete these 5 days cycles, move on to the 3 week stage, where you’ll have to perform 6-8 reps per set and only 4-6 reps per body part throughout a 5-day cycle, or you can just follow any other program that adapts to your recovery method. After this three-week cycle, you can go back to the GVT method, following a 10 sets-6 reps plan. For the 10 reps’ exercises, use a load with which you would normally complete 12 reps. The goal during this stage is to perform 10 sets of 6 on that load.

Example of a 10 sets – 6 reps plan:

Day 1: Chest and Back

Exercise    Sets     Reps    Time     Rest
 A – 1 Incline Dumbbell Press      10       6       5 0 1 0        90seg.
 A – 2 Wide-Grip Rear Pull-Up      10       6       5 0 1 0        90seg.
 B – 1 Dumbbell Flyes       3       6       3 0 1 0        60seg.
 B – 2 Bent Over Barbell Row       3       6       3 0 1 0        60seg.

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Exercise    Sets     Reps    Time     Rest
 A – 1 Barbell Deadlift      10       6       5 0 1 0        90seg.
 A – 2 Seated Leg Curl      10       6       5 0 1 0        90seg.
 B – 1 Twisting Crunches       3       12-15       3 0 3 0        60seg.
 B – 2 Standing Calf Raises       3       10-15       3 0 3 0        60seg.

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Arms and Shoulders

Exercise    Sets     Reps    Time     Rest
 A – 1 Parallel Bar Dips      10       6       5 0 1 0        90seg.
 A – 2 ncline Hammer Curls      10       6       4 0 1 0        90seg.
 B – 1 Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raise*       3       10-12       2 0 x 0        60seg.
 B – 2 Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises       3       10-12       2 0 x 0        60seg.

*Lay down on the bench

Day 5: Rest

After completing this program, you’ll certainly be surprised. Do you accept the challenge?

READ ALSO:

What are the best supplements to increase muscle mass?
Resting and Overtraining: Should I take a break from the gym?
What to eat to build muscle mass?

References:

N/d, German Volume Training: A new Look At An Old Way To Build Mass & Strength, n/d, translation and adaptation of the original version
Charles Poliquin, German Volume Training!, November 2002, translation and adaptation of the original version

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here