-Old training method – repeating many sets with the same weight
-It’s actually a 10x10 method (10 sets of 10 reps)
-Reintroduced to USA in 1996
The German Volume Training is a fancy name under which Coach Charles Poliquin re-introduced this rather archaic training method to modern bodybuilding.
GVT is based on repeating many sets (ideally 10) with the same weight, while aiming for 10 reps in every set. Repeating 10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight is sometimes referred to as “10x10 Sets Across”.
We have to realize that this approach is not exactly based on some sophisticated research – it is rather what early bodybuilders (or whatever they called themselves) did, hoping for the best.
Repeating many sets with the same weight was done out of necessity: strongman of yesteryear, especially in Europe, had often to do with only one (or very few at best) type of kettlebells so any sort of pyramiding was out of question.
I still remember European guys using this method back in early 1980’s. Then, as the American bodybuilding magazines became available in Europe, most people left the GVT for more modern methods.
The “pure” GVT requires the trainee to repeat 10x10 of the same exercise. Few people are ready to kill their muscle in such a cruel way. And if the muscle (usually really just one isolated muscle) suffers, the joints suffer even more.
A new variation to the orthodox GVT suggests keeping the 10x10 plan while changing the exercise with every 3-4 sets. It will put less strain on the isolated muscle (or rather part of the muscle) and – at least in theory – cause less damage to the joints involved.
Another problem with the 10x10 plan is that very few trainees can actually do it. While most people experience a rebound during the last sets, 5th to 7th sets are practically impossible to do as required by the plan. You will therefore probably choose the easiest exercise for those sets.
An important part of GVT is the tempo and for some reason, many trainees ignore it. You should follow the tempo as described here for best results – it really IS important.
Now, the bottom line: does it work? Well, for most people it does provided they also rest enough. Your muscle will need longer-than-usual recovery period, that’s for sure. And of course – as with every mass-building plan – you have to eat. No proteins = no muscle growth, it’s really that simple.
Please notice: this 6-day plan is not suitable for calves and abs (most long plans aren’t). These muscle groups require a different training.
Day 1: Back & Biceps
Wide Grip Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
Narrow Grip Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
Medium Grip Pull-ups: 2 sets of 10 reps
Rows: 2 sets of 10 reps
Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
Standing Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
Incline Curls: 2 sets of 10 reps
Reverse Curls: 2 sets of 10 reps
Day 2: Shoulders & Hamstrings
Medium Grip Presses (in front of neck): 3 sets of 10 reps
Wide Grip Presses (in front of neck): 3 sets of 10 reps
Lateral Raises: 2 sets of 10 reps
Medium Grip Presses (behind the neck): 2 sets of 10 reps
Good Mornings: 3 sets of 10 reps
Straight leg deadlifts (from floor): 3 sets of 10 reps
Straight leg deadlifts (off box): 2 sets of 10 reps
Leg Curls: 2 sets of 10 reps
Day 3: rest
Day 4: Quads
Front Squats: 3 sets of 10 reps
High Bar, Medium Stance Squats: 3 sets of 10 reps
Leg Extensions: 2 sets of 10 reps
High Bar, Narrow Stance Squats: 2 sets of 10 reps
Day 5: Triceps & Chest
Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
Bench Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
Decline Bench Press: 2 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Flies: 2 sets of 10 reps
Lying Extensions (to the top of the head): 3 sets of 10 reps
Seated Overhead Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps
Reverse Grip Pushdowns: 2 sets of 10 reps
Lying Extensions (to the chin): 2 sets of 10 reps
Day 6: rest
Don’t forget the warm-up sets!