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Opinion on German Volume Training?

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  • Opinion on German Volume Training?

    I'm not sure what kind of empirical research has been done on GVT, but the anecdotes I've heard about it say it's great for training hypertrophy as well as mental toughness.

    I'm aware that Jordan and Austin aren't generally a fan of GVT, but they're also more focused on strength than just straight hypertrophy. GVT is definitely NOT optimal for a strength-focused trainee, or a novice trainee, but might it have some benefit for an intermediate/advanced lifter who wants to pack on some muscle very quickly, and then train that new muscle for strength later on? Or, are there more optimal ways of training that grant similar levels of hypertrophy along with strength gains simultaneously?

  • #2
    Spartan,

    Thanks for the post and I hope you're well. A few things about GVT:

    1) It was just made up by Poliquin (likely) and is not some historical German Weightlifting program that was used to good effect. Rather, it was created on the internet- like Smolov.
    2) GVT is 10 sets of 10 reps @ 60% of a 1RM (typically compound lifts are used) with ~90 seconds of rest between sets. This is a lot of volume for compound lifts, likely more than an individual is prepared for. This both decreases hypertrophy outcomes by outstripping the body's resources to tolerate the training and predisposes to increased risk of injury.
    3) Additionally, the sets likely don't approach muscular failure until the end- though this is less likely to be a peripheral fatigue thing as much as it is a central fatigue thing, mostly because you're out of breath. It would be better- from a hypertrophy standpoint- to do sets near muscular failure with longer rest periods.
    4) It's not good for strength- even for 10's, as it's pretty light and again, not really close to muscular failure.
    5) There's no reason to limit your training to this setup, as it's not good for strength gain, muscle gain, or cardiorespiratory fitness.

    I don't really see the point to be honest.

    -Jordan
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Periā„¢ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
      Spartan,

      Thanks for the post and I hope you're well. A few things about GVT:

      1) It was just made up by Poliquin (likely) and is not some historical German Weightlifting program that was used to good effect. Rather, it was created on the internet- like Smolov.
      2) GVT is 10 sets of 10 reps @ 60% of a 1RM (typically compound lifts are used) with ~90 seconds of rest between sets. This is a lot of volume for compound lifts, likely more than an individual is prepared for. This both decreases hypertrophy outcomes by outstripping the body's resources to tolerate the training and predisposes to increased risk of injury.
      3) Additionally, the sets likely don't approach muscular failure until the end- though this is less likely to be a peripheral fatigue thing as much as it is a central fatigue thing, mostly because you're out of breath. It would be better- from a hypertrophy standpoint- to do sets near muscular failure with longer rest periods.
      4) It's not good for strength- even for 10's, as it's pretty light and again, not really close to muscular failure.
      5) There's no reason to limit your training to this setup, as it's not good for strength gain, muscle gain, or cardiorespiratory fitness.

      I don't really see the point to be honest.

      -Jordan
      Doing well, no corona so far. My immune system seems to be pretty robust in general, thank goodness. And my military base gym is, miraculously, still open.

      What you say makes sense and I was kind of skeptical about GVT to begin with, I just wondered if there was any benefit to it at all as a training modality.

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