The fitness industry has become massive in the recent decade, and a lot of research is being done to find better and effective ways to train the human body. Be it fat loss or muscle gain, there are countless ways to go about it.
From various exercise plans to countless diet regimes, you can find many ways to go in order to achieve your dream body and fitness level. It is said that fitness and bodybuilding take a lot of persistence and patience. That being said, there are certain training programs which are better than others.
One form of training is German Volume Training or GVT. It has proven to be highly effective in both fat loss and bulking. If you are looking to shed a few pounds of fat or gain muscle, you are at the right place because this is one of the most effective ways to do so.
What is German Volume Training
GVT is also known as the 10×10 approach. It essentially means that the muscle being trained is put under a massive load in order to achieve maximum growth. This is done by doing 10 sets of 10 reps per muscle, hence the name “10×10 approach”.
The volume of the exercise is high but it usually involves lesser weight and slower reps in order to get the most out of the workout. Since it is such an exhausting workout, it is recommended that you only train two muscle groups per day. A single muscle should only be trained once in seven days in order to give it sufficient time to heal properly.
History of GVT
The origins and history of GVT vary depending on who you ask, but you can find its roots in Germany where it originated during the 1970s. It was made popular and brought to the masses by, Rolf Feser, who was a weightlifting coach at a national level.
People have been using GVT for almost 50 years now and the very first pioneers were German Bodybuilders, hence the name.
Charles R. Poliquin, who was a Canadian strength building coach, said that “In Germany, the ten-sets method was used in the general preparator phase to help weightlifters gain lean body mass. It was so efficient that lifters routinely moved up a full weight class within 12 weeks.”
The German Bodybuilders in the 1970s clearly outperformed their counterparts from other countries, which gave rise to the popularity and effectiveness of GVT. Since then, GVT has been an integral part of many athletes’ routines.
Because of its immense success, many famous athletes and bodybuilders have been known to incorporate GVT into their lives. Jacques Demers was a power lifter from Canada who became famous for it, and Bev Francis was a bodybuilder from Australia who won at a National level thanks to GVT.
How does German Volume Training Work?
GVT is a trusted method that has proven to be highly effective in various types of fitness regimes. It is a high-volume training that involves ten sets of ten repetitions in order to bring a muscle to failure.
It has done wonders in improving the strength of the muscles as it puts the muscle under intense pressure and fatigue, making them stronger every time they recover. Rest periods for muscle recovery are a vital part of GVT.
GVT works by putting a lot of pressure on a single muscle at a time. It is recommended not to train more than two muscles a day with GVT. After that, that muscle needs to rest for five days to an entire week to recover fully from the stress it has received. If proper rest is given, the recovered muscle would be stronger than ever.
Since GVT is such a high-volume exercise program, you should use a slightly lower weight for exercises than normal. A weight that you can take to 20 repetitions is recommended as 10 sets of 10 repetitions would be performed during GVT. When you start, you would consider moving to a heavier weight, but the initial reps are easy. Due to short intervals, it would get harder and harder to repeat the 10 repetitions in the finals sets.
As muscles get stronger, more weight can be gradually added to the routine. GVT involves smaller rest periods between sets to get the maximum out of a muscle without forming fatigue. Generally, a 60 to 90 second rest interval is taken between every set at most.
If you are a beginner and find it impossible to complete the ten repetitions, it is recommended to move towards lighter weights. The interval can also be increased to 90 seconds between sets.
A sample workout routine can be the following for German Volume Training: Depending on preference, the muscle groups can be interchanged but generally, it is recommended to train the back and chest muscles on the same day. Similarly, abs and legs can be worked on in one day. Biceps, triceps, traps and shoulders can be part of a single day training as well.
Muscles only get stronger when they are given rest. Therefore, it is very important to take a day off from GVT after every two or three days, and one muscle should only be trained once a week. GVT is an intense training program and if you are a beginner, you should not follow this protocol for more than 4-6 weeks, in order to give your body ample rest and time to recover.
People introducing themselves to the world of GVT should carefully monitor their weight and training levels since it is a very difficult program. It should also be noted that as a result of the hard nature of GVT, muscles also take longer to heal as compared to other exercise programs.
Is GVT Good for Fat Loss, Building Muscle & Strength?
Ever since GVT was introduced to the masses, countless research has been conducted to find out how it affects the body. It has been seen through both research and physical results that GVT can be used as an effective tool in both losing fat and gaining lean mass.
GVT is primarily used to quickly gain muscle mass, but there are various reasons why it is also highly useful in burning fat. Since GVT is an intense program, it gets the heart rate really high. People have reported as high as 170 to 200 bpm during extreme workouts.
This high heart rate simulates the same effects on the body as a fast-paced cardio. Cardio is considered the best way to burn fat and GVT induces the same effects. Another reason is that GVT works the core of the body. A strengthened core means a flatter stomach and lower fat levels overall.
Since GVT uses higher volume and reps, and lesser weight, your body ends up burning more calories than normal hypertrophy exercises. This also results in increased fat burn. Therefore, GVT is the perfect balance between gaining muscle mass and burning fat simultaneously.
Another benefit of GVT is that it increases the endurance of the body. This increase in strength also causes the metabolic rate to speed up. A faster metabolism means that the body burns more calories and fat, even at rest.
GVT also involves compound exercises that incorporate multiple muscles in a single exercise. This causes the body to boost testosterone levels, which in turn speeds up metabolism and fat burning.
Most bulking and gaining schedules span around a month to six weeks in order to gain most muscle without looking bloated. Therefore, the GVT program is ideal for gaining muscle mass in six weeks and then going at it again after six months.
Fat burn is only one of the benefits of GVT. It is known even more so for being the perfect training program for gaining lean mass and building muscle strength. There are various reasons why GVT is so effective for building muscles.
The compound exercises that are a part of GVT not only help lose fat, but also play a major role in building muscle fast. Using multiple muscles at once enables the body to lift more weight and do a higher number of sets and reps than usual. All these factors combined result in increased muscular strength and mass.
Due to the extreme volume of exercise and the massive stress muscles endure during GVT, there is a lot more hypertrophy in this program than any other. Lower weight with increased number of repetitions and sets ensure that every last bit of energy is taken from the muscle. After reaching failure, the muscles recover to be bigger and stronger than ever.
German Volume Training Program for Beginners
Beginners can use the following guidelines to incorporate GVT into their fitness programs:
Day 1 can be spent working the back and chest, day 2 for legs and abs muscles, and day 4 for the upper body as well as arms and shoulders. Days 3 and 5 need to be reserved for resting in order to give the muscles ample time to heal. There are various combinations of exercises that you can use to target the specific muscle groups.
Bench press, dumbbell press, chin-ups, inclined dumbbell flies, dumbbell rows, bent-over rows and deadlifts are recommended exercises for Day 1. Try to do 10 sets of 10 reps each. Dumbbell flies and rows are supplementary exercises which can be done with 3 sets of 10 repetitions as well.
For Day 2, the most recommended exercises are back squats, calf raises, weighted sit ups and dumbbell lunges. All of these need to follow the 10×10 principle. Seated calf raises and low-cable pull-ins can be performed as supplementary exercises for 3 sets each.
After resting on Day 3 and returning on Day 4, the focus should be on doing 10 sets with 10 reps of bicep curls, triceps pull downs, military presses and upright rows. Lateral dumbbell raises in both seated and bent-over positions can serve as supplementary exercises with 3 sets each.
German Volume Training has proven itself to be one of the most effective ways of reducing fat while bulking up. If done properly, it can yield amazing results. It is an extreme volume program that trains muscles to failure.
Make sure water and protein intake is at a maximum while doing GVT and take plenty of sleep as well to help the muscles recover quickly. It is definitely not easy, but it is definitely worth it.