German Volume Training for Extreme Muscle

If you’re looking for a serious program to pack on muscle mass as quickly as possible, this might be the plan for you.  Originating in Germany during the 1970’s GVT was originally used as a general prep phase for weightlifters.  It uses extreme volume to cause rapid muscle hypertrophy.  In short, you’ll get big muscles fast.

The idea is to complete 10 sets of 10, for one exercise per muscle group on each training day.  You may add in one or two accessory exercises for specific body parts (3 sets of 10), like biceps curls; but don’t go crazy.  There’s plenty of volume built into these training sessions already.  A typical day might look something like this:


A1- Back- Bent-over Rows- 10 x 10

A2- Chest- Incline Bench Press- 10 x 10

B1- Unrolling Fly- 3 x 10

B2- Cable 90* External Rotation- 3 x 10

Then, you would complete your week by training Legs on Day 2, and Arms/Shoulders on Day 3.

I recommend completing each day of training once every 5 to 7 days.  Any sooner, and your body won’t have time to recover from the extreme volume you’re pounding it with.

For your “main” lifts each day, select a weight that you will be able to use to successfully complete all 10 sets of 10, without hitting failure.  For most people, that’s a weight that they can complete a set of 20 with, when fresh; or about 60% or your 1RM.  It might feel easy for the first few sets, but if you keep your rest periods short, that weight will catch up with you fast!

You should be resting for 60 seconds before repeating an exercise if you’re completing a movement on its own, or 90-120 seconds if you’re super setting.

Use a slow, controlled tempo for each movement, but no need to go super slow or use pauses here.  Lift hard, but avoid lifting to failure or forced reps.  Just go nice and steady.  The volume will do the rest!

Give it a try and let me know how GVT works for you.  Don’t be surprised if you pack on 10 lbs. of muscle in the process.