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German Volume Training – How to Best Add Muscle Size and Strength

How do you use the German Volume Training workout program for adding size and strength? German Volume Training is a challenging approach to weightlifting with a long history of adding lean muscle mass to many new lifters. There are many workout programs for beginners and advanced lifters. The goal of German Volume Training is to complete ten sets of ten reps with the same weight for each exercise. This high volume of 100 repetitions shocks your system and causes muscle tissue to react by building new muscle fast.

There are reports of new lifters adding 10lbs of lean muscle mass in as few as six weeks by following the German Volume Training program!

A short history of German Volume Training

The training system is believed to have originated in Germany in the early 1970s. It was used extensively by Rolf Feser, the German National Olympic Weightlifting Coach. A very similar 8 X 8 program was promoted by professional bodybuilder and trainer ‘Iron Guru’ Vince Gironda in California. Finally, the program became more popular when used by professional strength coach Charles Poliquin. Also, it was Charles Poliquin who referred to German Volume Training as the “10×10 workout.

How to get started using German Volume Training

As mentioned above, your goal is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight for each exercise. You must perform ONE exercise per muscle group. Most lifters begin this program with a weight equal to 60% of their one-rep max (1RM) for each exercise. For example, if you bench press 200 pounds for one rep, 60% would equal 120 pounds. One twenty pounds is the weight you would use for 10 sets of 10 reps—rest 60 seconds (and only 60 seconds) between each set.

Beginner level trainees should consider the following simple split:

Monday:  Chest and back (bench press and rows).

Tuesday:  Legs (squats).

Wednesday:  Rest day.

Thursday:  Shoulders and arms (presses, curls, and triceps).

Friday:  Rest day, then repeat.

Use simple, basic exercises, but remember, only one exercise for each muscle group!

Why German Volume Training Works

If this approach to training is new to you, you may underestimate its difficulty and effectiveness. You may think that the weight is too light and that the program is too simple and lacks variety and intensity. Once you reach the eighth or ninth set of ten reps, you will change your mind.

The effectiveness of the program lies in the volume of the work you perform. Also, consider the total weight lifted using the bench press weights discussed earlier. If your one-rep max bench press is 200 pounds and you usually train with 150 pounds for 3 sets of 8 reps, your volume (total weight lifted) equals 3600 pounds.

Using 60% of your 1RM (120 pounds) for 10 sets of 10 reps, your total weight lifted grows to an amazing 12,000 pounds!

In this example, German Volume Training increased your total weight lifted by 300% while also dramatically increasing your muscles’ time under tension, which recruits more muscle fibers and may increase your body’s beneficial hormone response.

Finally, the substantial increase in the total number of reps performed combined with shorter rest intervals will burn more calories while training and boost your metabolism to burn more calories and body fat after your workout. Also, as a bonus, you will spend less time in the gym as you will complete your workouts more quickly and with better results!

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