It’s well known that Germany is one of the top (if not the top) country for engineering. And with companies like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi I think that it’s pretty safe to assume. However it’s not just cars that Germany engineer very well… You can also learn to engineer your body, the German way.
In Comes German Volume Training (GVT)
GVT is said to have originated in Germany in the mid ’70s and was popularized by Rolf Feser, who was then the national coach of weightlifting. GVT was also utilized by Canadian weightlifter Jacques Demers when he won the silver medal in the summer Olympics in 1984 and the female bodybuilder Bev Francis.
GVT has been written about extensively by highly esteemed Canadian strength coach Charles Poliquin. The Olympic weight lifting coach Pierre Roy also used GVT to increase the muscle mass of his weight lifting team.
What is GVT?
As you may know I’m a big fan of strength training especially for beginners particularly the 5×5 rep range. I found this range to be great for strength and muscle. It can also be used to burn fat when in tune with a good diet plan.
However, I also believe that the body needs change to be able to carry on growing and I found that after developing a good amount of strength and muscle, a hypertrophy specific routine can be a great way to add mass. And GVT does just that!
GVT is a weight lifting system that utilizes a hefty 10×10 regime for a single body part. By performing 10 sets of 10 reps, the group of motor units targeted are exposed to an extensive volume of repeated effort. This causes the body to adapt to the extraordinary stress by hypertrophying the targeted fibres. In short, GVT adds a great amount of muscle mass FAST.
How it’s Done:
- The GVT method is used by performing 10×10 with one exercise per a muscle group only. Anymore than that will be too much for your body to cope with and can lead to over training or injury.
- Due to the extraordinary amount of stress put on a muscle group with GVT, the body part should be trained only once every 4-5 days. As GVT is only used for one exercise per a body part it is important to utilize an exercise that recruits the most amounts of muscle fibers.
- Supplementary exercises can be added to the routine in a standard 3×10 rep range if wanted although it is not necessary. This may lead to over-training for a beginner so be aware of doing too much.
- A strict 90 second rest should be taken in between sets.
What Weight Should I Use?
GVT is brutally hard hence the reason for the extreme muscle gains. Once you have finished your 10×10 GVT exercise you will most likely slump in a corner half dazed like you’ve had one too many vodka shots. Taking 4-5days to recover from limping around after a GVT leg session is not uncommon.
That’s why it is very important to start light. A good way to figure out what weight to start on is to use a weight that you can lift for 20 reps straight.
Once you are able to complete 10×10 with that weight add 1.25 kg/2.75 lbs to each side next session.
GVT Workout Routine
Chest and Back
GVT- Bench Press- 10×10
GVT- Barbell Row- 10×10
(Supplementary)- Incline Dumbbell Flyes- 3×10
(Supplementary)- One arm Dumbbell Back Row- 3×10
Legs and Abs
GVT- Squats- 10×10
(Supplementary) Seated Leg Extensions- 3×10
Leg Raises Hanging or laying down- 3x 10-20 reps
Plank- 30 seconds- 1 min
Shoulders and Arms
GVT- Standing Over Head Press- 10×10
GVT- Barbell Bicep Curl- 10×10
GVT- Dips- 10×10
Things to Remember
1) GVT is not a fat burning routine or a strength training routine (there are better routines for those goals), it is a mass building routine. You must eat like a horse when on this regime. This is very important as your body will need it for recovery and muscle building.
2) Take a workout log to the gym with you to track your progress and make sure you can see the time as you will need to take a strict 90 second rest in between sets.
3) GVT is not easy and will take a lot of will power and effort to persevere, but the results will be well worth it.
4) Be prepared for muscle soreness and limping around like a 3 legged dog.
5) Make sure that you stretch your muscles on days off or after training; ideally you should combine static stretching with using a foam roller. This will also help with post muscle soreness.
6) If fat loss or strength is a goal for you, then GVT will not be the best program for your goals. However if you are strictly a mass junkie then this could be the holy grail you have been searching for!
Have you tried GVT? Let me know your thought in the comments. Don’t forget to share this with someone you know who can benefit from it. Thanks!