A Personal Trainer’s View On The German Volume Training (GVT)

By Lewis A Bailey

German Volume Training (GVT) has long been recognised as an effective method to dramatically increase muscle mass. As a personal trainer I often use these techniques to deliver some fantastic results and this is why:

GVT as you would have guessed has its roots in German speaking countries; this training system was made popular by Rolf Feser and originated in Germany in the mid 1970’s; who was then the National Weightlifting Coach. GVT has its roots in the highest pedigree of weightlifting, so if you have found you’re stuck in a plateau and find it difficult to increase your muscle mass, then you need a dramatic and effective method of shocking muscles; this is the one!

GVT or German Volume Training is also known as “10 sets method”, it is known like this for a reason. Ten sets of a single exercise are performed on any of the large muscle groups, these have far greater potential to gain size through hypertrophy, it’s common to avoid the smaller isolated muscle groups such as biceps, triceps and calves since these muscles can be used as recovery resources for the larger muscle groups.; hypertrophy is an increase in a cross sectional area of a muscle thus why it is important to anyone trying to gain muscle to target hypertrophy. Often, after 10 sets have been performed on a certain muscle group, between each set of 10 there will be a break of 60 seconds this incurs cumulative fatigue, because of the importance of the rest intervals, you should use a stopwatch to keep the rest intervals constant. This is very important, as it becomes tempting to lengthen the rest time as you fatigue. Then a secondary isolation exercise will be performed e.g. bench press for chest then followed by dumbbell fly’s, again they require a 60 seconds interval. These isolation exercises can work as post fatigue exercise; this permits greater fatigue of the larger targeted muscle group. Complete one session of GVT on each major muscle group once every four to five days, this allows plenty of recovery after putting the muscles through so much stress.

GVT works because it targets large groups of motor units and exposes them to a huge amount of volume. These stresses will lead to the body reacting by hypertrophying the targeted fibres and building muscle in the process.

The benefits of GVT are evident to anybody who has trained in it, to say it adds muscle quickly would be an understatement; gains of 10 pounds or more in six weeks are not uncommon. The results are guaranteed, but they don’t come without hard work. GVT is a perfect training system for anyone who has a tight schedule; you can often have a session done in as little as 45 minutes, very convenient for something that is so effective.

GVT is not generally seen as a workout for the average person. Mainly used by weightlifters or body-builders in their off season to build lean muscle, or by athletes looking for a quick gain in muscle size.. This doesn’t discount your average gym member from training in GVT, it just won’t be that commonly found. For the athlete GVT has obvious benefits; increased weight, increased lean muscle which in turn can lead to improved strength and power.

For the average gym member the functional benefits of GVT are not quite as obvious, their benefits usually lie in the form of improved aesthetics. The most common reason people go to gyms is to improve how they look, for men in particular, GVT is a fantastic way of doing this. It builds lean muscle which develops an athletic look; perfect for that person who is trying to improve how they look and feel. Although, GVT for the average person doesn’t have any functional benefits, it increases muscle mass not strength thus realistically being unnecessary for everyday life.

German Volume Training is a fantastic programme for the weightlifter, body-builder or any gym member looking to gain muscle mass efficiently. This training method is also a preferred method of choice for personal trainers who are looking for quick results with clients wishing to gain muscle within a tight deadline. Its roots have always been in weightlifting and that will never change. Its functional benefits for the everyday person are virtually non-existent although the same principles can be applied to slightly more functional exercises such as dead lifting and squats. The great feature of this training method is the impact on the body to provide quick and effective results, improving aesthetics which, after all, is what the majority of people are after in the first place.

Lewis Bailey is a highly experienced and qualified personal trainer helping many individuals with numerous health problems and fitness goals. Regardless of the individuals circumstances he can help every person he sees through utilising a holistic approach to training clients. For more information visit www.elitefitnessconsultants.co.uk

A Personal Trainers View On The German Volume Training (GVT)