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Brutally hard, but an effective way to pack on muscles and if you guessed it to be German Volume Training, then you definitely know the methods of bodybuilding.

Also known as ’10 sets method’, GVT was popularised in the mid 70’s by the then German Coach; Rolf Feser. It helps weightlifters in gaining lean body mass and shed unnecessary body fat. Targeting specific muscle groups and motor units to build massive muscles, this is a very intense workout with repetitions that pushes the body to adapt to the extraordinary, and of course, painful stress through accelerated muscle fiber hypertrophy.

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The theory of GVT is to complete 10 sets of 10 repetitions  with the same weight for each exercise. When you select a weight level that is about 60-70 per cent of the maximum weight that you lift in your regular schedule, but do 10 sets of it with 10 reps, then you surely are following, the German way of exercising.

Core principles of GVT

Single exercise – As you will be performing a limited number of workouts every week, it is advisable to select workouts that recruit a lot of muscle mass and concentrate on that. Stick to heavier, compound-style lifts that can push the major muscle groups hard. Triceps and leg extensions can take a back-seat with bench-press and squats given more emphasis.

Tempo – For workouts like squats, dips and chins, use a 4-0-2 tempo; this means that you lower the weight in four seconds, immediately change direction and lift for two seconds. For movements such as curls and triceps extensions, opt for 3-0-2 tempo.

Rest intervals – Some might question the value of GVT in the initial sets, when you don’t feel the weight to be that heavy. However, with minimal rest period of about 45-60 seconds, the fatigue part will definitely come in, thus, resulting in the need of extra efforts and pushing it hard. The interesting part is, that you might feel stronger again by the 8th and the 9th set because of short neural adaptation and get back in the groove of it. Key is to keep an eye on the watch when you take rest, as you want to keep the process constant and not lengthen it any time during your workout.

Frequency of training – The first two words from the first line of this post i.e brutally hard, shall give you enough of indications for this. Because of the intensity of German Volume Training, the muscles take longer than usual to recover and need proper rest to recuperate. Therefore, one training session per body, every four to five days is plenty.

Stepping it up – Once your body gets used to the schedule of 10 sets with 10 reps and you find it easy to do, increase the weight on the bars by 5-7 per cent and repeat the process for improvement in results.

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