German Volume Training – Workout Routine


German Volume Training involves doing 10 sets of the same exercise, with the goal being to do 10 reps per set, so a total of 100 reps for the workout. Of course, the goal is more or less notional, because if you can actually do ten full sets of ten, you’re not using a heavy enough weight.

The first thing to mention here is that this is more of an advanced routine which you should use after around 6 months of consistent weight training as it’s important that you have good form to maximise the results you can achieve. You will have to drop the weights you’re used to pushing. Usually a good start point would be 60% of what you normally use. When I did this program it can feel a little disheartening at first if you’re like me and you really enjoy increasing your strength, but stick with the program and you’ll see some really good results, and for the first week this routine will give you some serious DOMS [Delayed onset muscle soreness] so be prepared and make sure you’re diet and supplementation is in check.

The supplements I use are protein, creatine, amino acids, a multivitamin and cod liver oil. Those are all you need, don’t get swept up in the marketing hype of the supplement companies and stick with supplements that actually have scientific test backing them up.

The program uses simple exercises that you are probably familiar with. If you’re new, then Google EXRX. That site is brilliant for finding out how to perform exercises and stretches and it’s definitely worth having a browse through at some point.

Now, for the GVT program here are some basics:

1) The weight you use for the first 9 sets stays the same.
2) When you can actually do 10 sets of 10, it’s time to increase the weight
3) Rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets
4) Enforce this tempo:
a) 4-0-2 for chest, back, and leg movements
b) 3-0-2 for shoulder, bicep, and triceps movement.
These simply mean 4 or 3 seconds for the concentric movement, 0 second pause and 2 seconds for the concentric movement

So, for chest press or bench you should take 4 seconds to go down, 0 second pause, 2 seconds to push the weight up

Or for Squats, 4 seconds to go down, 0 second pause, 2 seconds up

Day One: Chest and Triceps
Day Two: Quads
Day Three: Off
Day Four: Hamstrings and Shoulders
Day Five: Back and Biceps
Day Six: Off
Day Seven: Off

Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 10
Decline Bench Press: 3 sets of 10
Bench Press: 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Flies: 1 set of 10

Wide Grip Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10
Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10
Narrow Grip, Semi-Supinated [so your palms will be facing each other, usually the grip-prong is a cylinder] Pull-ups: 3 sets of 10
Barbell Rows: 1 set of 10

Front Squats: 3 sets of 10
Back Squat, Narrow Stance, 1 and 1/3 Squats (bar high on back): 3 sets of 10
Back Squat, Medium Stance Squats: 3 sets of 10
Leg Extensions: 1 set of 10

Good Mornings: 3 sets of 10
Straight Leg Deadlifts off box: 3 sets of 10
Straight Leg Deadlifts (from floor): 3 sets of 10
Leg Curls: 1 set of 10

Medium Grip Dumbell Presses (in front of neck): 3 sets of 10
Medium Grip Dumbell Presses (behind the neck): 3 sets of 10
Very Wide Grip Dumbell Presses (in front of neck): 3 sets of 10
Lateral Raises (using dumbbells): 1 set of 10

Biceps (using dumbbells)
Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 10
Incline Curls: 3 sets of 10
Standing Curls: 3 sets of 10
Reverse Curls: 1 set of 10

Dips [weighted would be ideal]: 3 sets of 10
Rope pushdowns: 3 sets of 10
Overhead Extensions using EZ curl bar: 3 sets of 10
Reverse Grip Pushdowns (use a flat bar on cables and with your palms facing you, pull the bar down to your thighs and remember to focus on contracting your triceps): 1 set of 10

At first it doesn’t actually look like it’s that much volume since its only 4 exercises, but stick to the correct tempo and you will really feel it.

As for how long you should run the routine, I would recommend you run it for 8-12 weeks. It’s always a good idea to change things up so your body has to adapt to a new routine and I feel 12 weeks is a decent amount of time to see results and not have your body get accustomed to the routine.

After finishing GVT I try to incorporate some of the tempo into workouts here and there just to mix things up as it definitely provides a good stretch to the muscle.

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