What is German Volume Training?
German Volume Training
Sie wollen über die deutsche Volontraining wissen? Gut. Oh … sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Haha, gotcha! You thought this whole article was going to be written in German, didn’t ya?
Well, if you thought that first sentence was hard to get through, wait until you try to get through one day of German Volume Training.
Let’s dig in.
The name German Volume Training was coined by strength coach Charles Poliquin in the 90’s. He was familiar with the ‘ten set method’ and its German origins…so, smartly, he named it “German Volume Training.” This training style purportedly expedites the building of lean muscle. It is solely focused on muscle building.
Ok, now that we have the introduction out of the way. Was ist es? That’s German for “what is it?“ Didn’t know you were getting two lessons, did ya?
Let’s find out was ist es.
German Volume Training = 10 Sets of 10 Reps
Besides brutal, as the name suggests, German Volume Training, or the ten-set method, is 10 sets of 10 reps with the same amount of weight.
Well, in reality, you try to do 10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight. If you can’t make the 100 total reps, you stay at that weight every week until you can. Then you move up to the next weight bracket. We’ll get to that in a sec.
German Volume Training Weight Calculation is 60% of Your Max Weight
First, don’t go all John Cena on your weight selection. Trust us, you’ll be fighting your inner voice to quit after set 5. Per Poliquin, you should select 60% of your max weight for a given exercise to begin. So, say you can squat 200. Start with 120.
Hey—did you just eye-roll this blog? Ha! Based on pro feedback, it’s guaranteed you’ll have a hard time getting through 10 sets of 10 reps of 60% your max weight. It’s just not natürlich (that’s German for natural.)
German Volume Training Reps and Sets Progression
German Volume Training uses the same weight for each set with rest between 60 to 90 seconds for each set. If you reach a total of 100 reps for a given exercise, you add 4-5% of weight on the next day you train that same group of muscles
In other words, if you made it through 100 reps with the same weight, your reward is adding 4-5% weight to your next workout day for that muscle group you worked. Go you!
German Volume Training Tempo Explained
Poliquin recommends a tempo, or a number of seconds spent to lower the weight, and number of seconds spent to raise the weight back up.
So if you see a tempo of 4020 this means lower the weight for 4 seconds and immediately lift it back up within 2 seconds.
You’ll find for long range movements like squats, presses and dips to use 4020 or 5020. For exercises like curls, cables, rows and extensions to use a 2020. Overall, tempo can vary between 2 to 5.
Why a tempo?
Focusing on tempo and putting mind to muscle will really help you drive attention to contractions and improve strength. Thus, that tempo setting is a great way to keep yourself from becoming a sprinkler-head lifter….. just going through the motions.
German Volume Training Schedule
Poliquin himself recommends a 5-day split of three days on, 2 days off. If you try this, you’ll see why you need that recovery time. After a full 6 weeks, he recommends a regular training program or reduced set program for 3 weeks to allow for recovery. Recovery is the operative word here.
Here is a sample schedule, but know that there are many out there. The fundamental splits are what you can use as your blueprint.
Poliquin’s recommended schedule:
- Day 1 Chest & Back
- Day 2 Legs & Core
- Day 3 Try to walk.
- Day 4 Arms & Shoulders
- Day 5 Rest
- Day 6 (Repeat Day 1)
This style of training has been used by power lifters and professional bodybuilders to reach and exceed goals.
That’s it? Well, not completely, but mostly. But don’t be fooled. The intensity alone can have a grown human crying through sets 6 through 10—if he–or she makes it. In fact, most don’t. They tap out after 1-2 weeks it’s so brutal.
But Does German Volume Training Work?
Well, there are studies that support and debunk it.
However; one has to really look deeply into the program to understand how it can be successful.
Recovery is a Big Part of German Volume Training
Go ahead and Google people’s personal experiences with German Volume training. You’ll find many were simply taxed both physically and mentally.
Most couldn’t complete the program.
Additionally, training subjects used in studies that support and debunk German Volume Training don’t account for supplementation.
Why does that matter? It actually matters the most.
To understand why, you have to understand the Körper. If you guessed that it’s the German for body, you’re so smart your neck must get sore from holding up that swole brain of yours.
German Volume Training Depletes Your Body of Nutrients More Quickly
When you’re completing 100 reps with little rest, your body is using more fuel than during ‘regular’ sets and reps. Its like gunning your engine on the highway.
Come on, remember when your parents told you speeding wastes gas? It does, because it requires more fuel to increase speed more quickly over a shortened period of time.
It works the same for your body. You have more intense workouts, you use more ‘gas.’ You have a German level of intensity….you’re consuming fuel at unparalleled speeds.
Quickly, let’s go over how your body responds to training…
How Your Body Responds to Training
Let’s keep this simple. First, and foremost: carbs. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in your muscles for when you need it (fuel). When you exercise, glycogen is broken down into energy. Diminished levels of glycogen is like running on fumes. You can’t ‘gun’ it anymore.
Amino acids play a key role in the transport and the storage of nutrients, build protein and repair tissues, and are necessary for nearly every metabolic process carried out in the body. Think about all these amino acids being used during training. They are being burned up, converted and consumed by your body while you train. What happens when you use them up? You run out of gas.
Creatine is affected, too. This gem is proven to help build lean mass, improve strength, endurance and improve recovery during and after high intensity training in short bouts. But, it declines during bouts of heavy or prolonged exercise. In turn, you lose all the benefits it offers as it is reduced through training.
Read that again. If you don’t supplement you’re losing out on all the added benefits these nutrients offer.
Think about working out longer.
Think about having more power.
Think about building more lean mass.
Think about extending energy.
Why does this science stuff matter? Because think about it…..If these German Volume Training test subjects were reviewed after supplementing, the results may have been much more remarkable. They may have shown how much more effective it can be when used with supplements.
Supplementing Refuels Your Body so You Can Go All German on Your Training
The definition of supplement is ‘something that completes or enhances something else.’ It’s not magic–it’s fuel.
When you supplement, you’re adding fuel to your tank.
Taking pre-workout before becoming a relentless German can be your nitro. Taking intra-workout during and/or after training can replenish everything your body scarfed up during these intense sessions.
Maybe so many people wouldn’t have given up on GVT so soon if they didn’t let their body down by not replenishing all the lost nutrients.
Don’t be that guy. You know, the tired German Volume Trainer who quits after two weeks and avoids eye contact in the mirror because he’s too ashamed he quit. You don’t look like a quitter to us. No you don’t.
Supplement with pure BCAAs and amino acids. Replenish your nutrients before and after and see for yourself whether you can become a true German Volume Trainer. Challenge accepted? Game on.
Was ist Ihre Ziellinie? (What’s Your Finish Line?)
Guten tag, my friend.