One of the most popular workouts to pack on muscle mass quickly is the German Volume Training (GVT) program. Here are answers to the most common questions we’ve received about this amazing mass builder.
Q: How does German Volume Training work?
A: The German Volume Training program has you perform 10 sets of 10 reps for a single exercise each workout. GVT is generally best done with body part splits, such as one day for chest and back, a second for legs and abs, and a third for arms and shoulders.
Q: When do you increase the weight in a GVT Program?
A: You increase the weight once all ten sets are completed with the pre-determined starting weight. The load used is submaximal. You do not try to reach failure on all sets; only the last three sets should be hard. You get the training effect from the law of repeated efforts. Once you are able to complete 10 sets of 10 reps, you would increase the weight by 2 1/2 to 5 percent.
Q: Can you perform GVT year-round?
A: No, it is designed to be used once a year.
Q: What is the training frequency for each body part in GVT?
A: Work each body part every 5 days.
Q: How many exercises per bodypart should be performed per workout?
A: One exercise per body part.
Q: What type of exercises should be trained?
A: Choose exercises that recruit a lot of muscle mass. Triceps kickbacks and leg extensions are out -- squats and bench presses are in.
Q: What kind of muscle mass gains can be expected with GVT?
A: GVT builds muscle fast: In males, gains of 5 pounds of muscle in three weeks is not uncommon.
Q: Can GVT be used in an intensification phase of training?
A: GVT is associated with increasing muscle mass by performing a high volume of work, so it belongs in an accumulation phase.
Q: Can you use the Olympic lifts with GVT?
A: No. First, it would be difficult to maintain proper form in these complex exercises using such high repetitions. Second, the time under tension for the Olympic lifts and their assistance exercises is too short to create maximal gains in hypertrophy.
Q: Can GVT be considered a form of functional hypertrophy?
A: Functional hypertrophy grows your muscles in a way that will improve physical performance. GVT can improve sports performance in sports where a high level of muscle mass is a factor, such as the case with a football lineman, but its loading parameters are such that it should not be considered functional hypertrophy training.
Q: Can machine exercises be used for GVT?
A: Machine exercises should be avoided because they do not have the same effects from a total body training perspective due to their increased stability. Performing 10 x 10 of leg presses is certainly difficult, but nowhere near as difficult as squats.
Q: What is the difference between German Body Comp training and GVT?
A: GVT is associated with increasing muscle mass and German Body Comp (GBC) with fat loss. The GBC program is characterized by short rest intervals and moderate volume to generate maximum growth-hormone production. Higher growth hormone levels increase fat loss. GBC will produce some increase in muscle mass, but not to the same degree as GVT.
Q: Is GVT appropriate for women who want to lose body fat?
A: Yes. Often women find that for every pound of lean tissue they gain, they will lose an equal amount of fat weight. When you also consider that behind every feminine curve is a muscle, it’s a win-win deal.
Q: Are there other benefits for women using GVT?
A: Many beginning-level bodybuilding programs contain a lot of isolation-type exercises, such as triceps pressdowns and barbell biceps curls. Many beginning-level women trainees do not like the “pump” that is associated with such exercises. Multi-joint exercises such as squats and deadlifts are certainly difficult, but generally will not result in the same level of discomfort (from a pump) because the effort is spread among different muscles.
If you have not achieved great results in the GVT program, hopefully these answers will help you get back on track. The German Volume Training program is one of the most difficult workout programs you will ever perform, but the results are worth it.