Over the past month or so I have been experimenting with different techniques and training styles. I have done so in order to avoid plateaus, and to keep my body from adapting to certain routines and exercises to keep it guessing and growing.
I can’t take all the credit for most of these training ideas as the majority have been passed along to me from JC, usually by me bothering him by asking for a better workout or looking simply to terrorize a particular muscle group. I’ll cover some of the training styles I’ve been using and their effectiveness, at least for me personally, so that you can maybe add them to your repertoire if you get to that sticking point, or your routine just becomes stale. Over the next couple of articles I will take you through some particularly grueling, yet effective workouts that have been a great help to me on my journey.
GVT, or German Volume Training, is something I had heard about here and there on websites and in forums, but never really understood how to incorporate it into a routine. Basically, it’s 10 sets of 10 for any exercise (typically a compound movement, ie bench press, military press, squat) and is typically done with a weight that is 60 percent of your 1RM. So if you bench 255 like me, your GVT weight is around 150. It may take a couple workouts to find the weight that is right for you to complete all ten sets, but it’s worth it.
Now, this may not seem like a lot of work on paper, 10 sets of 10? Bench press? With 150? No problem some of you might say! Well perhaps, but try it. It works out to 100 reps. Oh, and did I mention that you only rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets?
I was sadly mistaken the first time I tried GVT and assumed it would be a walk in the park. Sadly, and sorely, mistaken! By set seven I was ready to give in! Set eight my chest was on fire! The burning sensation was intense and I still had two more sets! By the time I finished I could barely lift my arms over my head, and I still had triceps to train!
Needless to say I skipped the close grip bench and dips and did mostly isolation exercises for triceps. I don’t think I could have done a push-up from my knees for four days after my first experience with a GVT chest workout! Shoulders was the same way!
Now you don’t have to do all flat bench or machine press either. It’s 10 sets of 10, anyway you like! So you can do 4 sets of incline db press, 3 sets of flat db and 3 of db flye, as long as you total 10 sets, 10 reps. That is German Volume Training!
After about four weeks I switched up my workout to mostly barbells, (flat bench, incline, smith) after using mostly dumbbells for the majority of my first workouts. I am ready and quite eager to get back to GVT in a couple more weeks. The sheer volume alone brings a sensation unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my muscles, and it I’m sure it will leave you enjoying GVT and wanting more of it too!
I hope you will give this a try. If you do please let me know what you think of it and if you plan on introducing it as a regular part of your routine. I can’t wait to hear!