German Volume Training – With a Twist

It was inevitable, but luckily, I always had a back-up plan.

Without fail, after a certain amount of time my training would stall on a new program I tried back when I was younger. My back-up plan was a good one, though: German Volume Training.

Like BMW and Mercedes, the Germans got this one right with GVT training, which is an all-out thrashing on your body. Basically, you perform 10 sets of 10 reps on core movements like squat, bench press, rows and military press.

If you aren't drenched in sweat after doing a GVT workout, well, you are doing something wrong. That's why this was always the program I kept in the chamber. Whenever something was stalling, it was back to GVT training and muscle growth and ridiculous pumps followed. Of course, this training wasn't easy and you had to be in the right frame of mind. But with a dedicated approach – along with proper nutrition and rest – this program works wonders.

The creators of GVT wouldn't throw an entire country under the bus now would they? So, yes, it works.

When I was getting ready for bodybuilding shows or photo shoots, I was always looking for the best way to show up shredded and in unreal condition.

To do this, as said before I went back to old faithful: German Volume Training.

Only now, I decided to up the ante and added a little twist.

I applied the GVT principles – 10 sets of 10 reps on my movements – only I dramatically cut the rest periods.

Needless to say, I found a new form of torture.

I went immediately to the crazy stuff, walked up to the squat rack and just used 135 pounds.
 I did 10 quick reps, racked the weight and watched the clock. Ten quick seconds flew by and I punched out 10 more reps. By the eighth set, my legs were cramping like crazy – with 135, no less. On the bright side, the pump was mind-blowing – if only I could feel my legs.

Next up? More torture as I moved onto leg extensions.

I'm not sure what I was thinking—maybe the squats shut off the common sense part of my brain. I did 10 sets of 10 reps with 10 seconds of rest between sets and, honestly, it felt like my quads were exploding. I crawled to the leg curl machine and wreaked havoc on my hamstrings, using the same method.

Not content with the tormenting, I finished up with leg press and then needed someone to carry me home. But there was plenty of good news.

In addition to the pump, the improvements to my quad sweep were quite remarkable and it helped me get in incredible condition. If you're interested in self-torture and losing your lunch, this is for you.

On a serious note, this method can add some serious growth and take your training to entirely new levels.

Don't use this method—four exercises of 10 sets of 10 reps with 10 seconds rest—for more than two weeks. But keep within this timeframe and you'll really transform your body.

Should that inevitable rut in your training appear, GVT With a Twist might be the solution you've been searching for.

German Volume Training – With a Twist

Perform 10 sets of 10 reps, but rest only 10 seconds between each set

Select 4 movements per body part

Sample Leg Workout

  • Squat
  • Leg Curl
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Press

(Perform 10 sets of 10 reps with only 10 seconds of rest between each set)

Sample Chest Workout

  • Incline Bench Press
  • Flat Bench Press
  • Pec Deck (or fly)
  • Hammer Machine (or other machine press)

(Perform 10 sets of 10 reps with only 10 seconds of rest between each set)

Sample Back Workout

  • Dumbbell Pullovers
  • Reverse-Grip Pulldowns
  • Seated Rows
  • T-Bar Rows

(Perform 10 sets of 10 reps with only 10 seconds of rest between each set)

Sample Arm Workout

  • Barbell Curl
  • Preacher Curls
  • Skullcrushers
  • Tricep Pushdowns

(Perform 10 sets of 10 reps with only 10 seconds of rest between each set)

Sample Shoulder Workout

  • Standing Barbell Military Press
  • Lateral Raise
  • Rear Delt Fly
  • Face Pulls

(Perform 10 sets of 10 reps with only 10 seconds of rest between each set)