German Volume Training, also commonly referred to as GVT, is a training system that is often used by Olympic lifters, power lifters bodybuilders and even figure competitors to reach new training levels, break plateaus and pack muscle.
Regardless of the reason that a trainer has in mind, the program is a simple but a brutal method for people who want to be successful in the world of weightlifting. Basically this training approach is not for the faint hearted as it involves strenuous workouts that are aimed at shocking your muscles into new growth.
The Birth of GVT
GVT was popularized by Charles Poliquin in 1996 in the ″Muscle Media″ magazine; however this training regime dates back years ago. There is evidence of an early version of this training approach having existed in some places as far back as the 1940s. Pretty rad, right?
In 1970s the method was taken up by Olympic lifting coaches who discovered that ten was the magic number to breakthrough exercise plateaus. The idea is to lift ten sets of 10 reps with 90 seconds pause sessions between each set.
Why It Works So Well
During periods of steady progress improvements in physical appearance, strength and size provide the motivation to push harder consistently. When a trainer who has been making good progress hits the plateau they often become discouraged and get mentally defeated since they wonder why they should keep up with training when they are not getting any results.
People reach plateaus or periods of stagnation when their muscles adapts to their training levels. When you hit a training plateau your progress stops, this can occur for a number of reasons such as performing the same exercises in the same order in each session, not fully working out the muscles or inadequate nutrition.
Other reasons for hitting a plateau includes using the same amount of resistance or weight in each session and not allowing your body enough time to recover.
Why Using This Method Can Help You
German Volume Training uses shock techniques to break through the frustrating plateau. By constantly changing your training techniques your muscles do not have the opportunity to get used to any level of training. This will result in a constant challenge for your muscles which keeps getting stimulated for new growth.
GVT involves performing 10 sets of ten reps using the same weight for each set. Rest between the set is strictly limited to 60-90 seconds. When selecting a weight for this regime you should use about 60 percent of your 1 rep maximum. Alternatively you can select one you could use to achieve failure at 20 reps.
The Process – Set By Set
For the first 3 sets, 10 reps should be attained easily. As you proceed to 4-7 sets you should achieve a voluminous pump as the set gets more challenging. By the time you get to 8-10, completing 10 reps should be challenging enough and you are likely to experience searing pain in the muscles on each rep.
Rest-pause sessions should be approximately 60-90 seconds between the sets. You should always resist the urge to shorten the rest sessions to below 60 seconds as this will force you to decrease your load. Since you are already working with weights above half of your IRM, it does no good to use lighter weights than this. For most of the workouts, 60 seconds is the ideal rest period, however you can increase that to 90 seconds for heavier exercises.
How To Progress GVT
When you are able to perform 10 sets of ten reps with constant rest intervals you can increase the weight bar by 4-5 percent and repeat the process. You should avoid using forced reps, burns or negatives. As you workout the volume of the work will take care of hypertrophy.
Expect to experience deep muscle soreness without resorting to set prolonging techniques. Generally most people who perform quads and hams with this method are likely to limp around for several days.
Basically the German Volume Training programs works effectively by targeting groups of motor units exposing them to an extensive volume of consistent efforts such as the 10 sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to the extraordinary challenge by hypertrophying the targeted fibers which results in growth of new muscle.
Shut Up And Start Growing
Now that you have some insight on what GVT is, how to use it, and what you can expect from it, give it a shot in your next workout.
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Brock the Rock
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