German Volume Training

German Volume Training

German Volume Training or GVT is what its name suggests, a very high volume intense workout. It is commonly known as 10×10 training and is pretty intense workout technique. It is known to add strength and muscle to the frame quite fast and safely.

Introduction to German Volume Training

German Volume Training first came from, what name suggests, Germany. It came in 70’s and was popularized by Rolf Feser who was the then National weightlifting coach. Similar protocol was also brought into light by Vince Gironda in U.S. But no matter who brought it forward, it is a blessing to the weightlifting and resistance training system as a whole.

The ten set method was used by all those bodybuilders in the offseason to quickly get back to the competition condition. It helps to pack on lean mass in very short period of time. Many athletes has this particular workout technique as their base.

This workout technique is ideal because it targets all those major muscle group that work in unison to function properly. Keeping those muscles in intense tension throughout the single exercise. Due to this phenomena, the body adapts to the extraordinary stress quickly resulting in the hypertrophy. In simple words, the muscle is added quiet fast.

Guidelines for GVT

Please note that it is very intense training technique and needs proper warming of the muscles prior to the workout. It is highly recommended that you perform the 10 set method for only one exercise per body part.

The goal of the GVT is to pack on as much muscles as possible in short interval of time. It requires longer recovery time. You should know what you are about to do before the workout. It is pretty intense and can be done every 2 weeks or so.

German Volume Training

GVT Overview

There are some guidelines that you should know for GVT.

  • Only one exercise per body part: It is strictly advised that you do only one exercise per body part as it is intense and doing more than one exercise might cause some injury. You can perform 10 sets of 10 reps for bigger muscle groups, while for smaller parts, like biceps and triceps, do 10 sets of 6-8 reps.
  • Rest Interval: A 90 secs rest between the set is ideal to catch breathe and stabilize the heartbeat. You can have longer or shorter rest period depending on your body condition. But the most important thing is let your heartbeat to stabilize. You might struggle in the middle sets but by the end, you will feel stronger.
  • Tempo: Tempo is how slow or fast you do every reps. For the longer ranged movements, like squats, do 3-0-2 meaning 3 sec descend and immediate 2 sec ascend. For shorter range like curls, you can do 2-0-2.
  • Training Frequency: It is intense program. You will need longer rest interval. It will take longer time to recover.  You can perform this workout every 2 weeks or so, to check where you stand on the scale. You will immediately feel both fatigued and relaxed after the workout.
  • Overloading: The weight you need to pick is 50-60 % of your 1 rep max. 1 rep max is the weight that you can lift for just 1 rep and no more than that. If you bench 315 lbs for 1 rep, your weight will be 155 to 190 lbs. Once you get used to that weight or fell lighter by the 8-9th set, up the weight by 5%. In this way, you can perform the overloading of the muscle.

German Volume Training Plan

The workout split can be different as per your needs and taste. Perform the compound movements of each body part to gain most out of the exercise. Isolation movements with this workout technique doesn’t work quiet well. It might be welcoming injury isolating intensely a muscle group.

You can GVT workout with following exercise for following muscle group:

Muscle GroupExerciseSets and Reps
Chest Flat bench press10 x 10
BackDeadlift10 x 10
ShouldersSmith Machine Press10 x 6-8

Close grip Bench Press

Barbell curl

10 x 6-8

10 x 8

LegsSquat10 x 10

Also Read: Shoulder Workout Routine

German Volume Training Variations

Above exercise is just a general overview of what and how you can do. For more variations, below is the exercises you can switch to.

Muscle Group Exercise
Chest Incline Bench(with dumbbells or barbells) or push ups
BackBent Over Rows, pull ups and chin ups

Shoulder press with dumbbells or

Military press


Triceps Push-down or triceps diamond push ups

Incline Dumbbell Curl


Leg Press

Lying Leg Curls

Walking Lunges

For very advanced lifters, you can overload your weights in every workout. Start off with you  60% of 1 rep max and take it all the way to your whole new PR. You will surely see a significant increase in strength just after few sessions.


Be note that GVT workout is not an everyday go to exercise split. It takes proper rest and recovery period before you can attempt to do another session. Warm up is very important before so intense workout session. Be sure to do proper 10-15 minutes warm up before you can take on the working sets.

This workout technique has always helped the advanced and trained athletes to achieve their goal, we will be benefited by them for sure. Keep you diet and rest period in check and you will see growth in no time.

Author: Abhinit

I am who I am inside-out. Though being a computer engineer, I have interest in fitness, blogging and writing my heart out. I like providing the most needing one with most amount of help I can provide from my side.

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