German Volume Training

Are you ready to pack on muscle with lightning speed using one of the world’s most proven protocols?

That’s a rhetorical question or else you wouldn’t be here. Today we’re going to deep dive into German Volume Training — or GVT, to pack on mass on your frame. This approach is a simple, proven and effective training model.

(And did we mention, fun?)

Whether you’re new to the game and looking to develop muscle or are a more experienced lifter and want to shatter plateaus, GVT is the ticket to get you there….fast.

In this article, you’re going to discover what German Volume Training is all about, its undeniable benefits, and why it can be your secret weapon in the training room.

Let’s get rocking!

What Is It?

German Volume Training is like it sounds — a protocol developed by a German weightlifting coach in the 1970’s.

The protocol was so uncommonly effective, experienced lifters would jump an entire weight class in only 12 weeks. Yes, you read that right.

German Volume Training works by recruiting an enormous number of motor units with 10 sets of one single exercise. Popularized in the early 2000’s, it’s one of the most successful protocols being used by people worldwide to produce dramatic results.

How It Works

Simple: you’re going to choose one exercise and perform 10 sets of 10 reps with the same weight across all sets.

To start, you’re going to choose a weight that you could lift for 20 reps — usually 60% of your 1RM. If you’re bench press max is 275, you’d start with 135.

Easy, right? Wrong.

Because you’re only going to have 60-90 seconds to recover between sets, your muscle recovery and mental fortitude will be tested. Remember, a 10×10 using this protocol at 135 pounds is an accumulated training volume of 13,500 pounds.

(Yeah, that’s quite a load for one day — don’t say we didn’t warn you)

The high amount of accumulated time under tension leads to increases in strength and hormones to help you gain size and lose fat [1].

Let’s deep dive into the three major benefits of incorporating German Volume Training in your routine, and what to expect.

Benefit #1: Pack On Muscle Mass Quick

Let’s not kid ourselves: German Volume Training is an unbelievable way to pack on muscle to your frame no matter who you are.

This brutal protocol has been proven to add slabs of lean muscle due to the hyper-targeted intensity, compound movements and short recovery. The high rep range and volume increase both absolute strength and muscle size [2].

An increase in 5 pounds of muscle within three weeks not only isn’t rare, but quite common even for intermediate or advanced lifters. For beginners, you can expect to achieve massive results in and out of the training room floor every week.

Benefit #2: Torch Fat While Keeping Your Muscle

This program was specifically designed to increase lean muscle mass, and reduce body fat in the process. It’s truly the best of both worlds.
Combine the short rest period, high volume and multi-joint movements and you’ve got an increased production of lactate. Lactate is accumulated in the muscle when energy demand is high [3-4].
High levels of lactate lead to increases in growth hormone and testosterone output, resulting in a powerful one-two punch for fat loss during your training [5].

Benefit #3: Improve Muscle Conditioning and Endurance

Athletes may be wondering about their conditioning with German Volume Training need not worry.

Due to the high oxygen demands, and high volume in a compressed timeframe — muscular conditioning and endurance will increase, not decrease [6].

If you’re concerned about performance in regards to your conditioning, you’ve come to the right place.

Benefit #4: Training Is Simple…And Fast!

Spend less time in the gym and achieve more results? That’s the name of the game with German Volume Training.

Using this protocol, your training sessions are easily cut in half. The simplicity of the program allows you to focus on the work, and be in and out of the gym quickly.

Long training sessions have been known to increase the stress related hormone cortisol — having a catabolic (muscle reducing) effect and lowering the immune system [7].

No, thanks. You can easily be in an out of the training floor in 30-40 minutes with this effective protocol.

Not For The Faint Of Heart

So, what’s not to like about packing on muscle, improving body composition and performance?

A fair warning— while German Volume Training is incredibly effective, it’s not easy.

Even experienced lifters find the protocol grueling and can find themselves begging for a break after the first few sets.

This protocol must be used wisely with a well-designed program allowing for maximum recovery during your German Volume Training cycle to ensure maximum benefits in and out of the gym.

After all this talk, it’s time to go lift and start using GVT today to smash through plateaus!


  1. Nicholas A Burd,1 Richard J Andrews,1 Daniel WD West,1 Jonathan P Little,1 Andrew JR Cochran,1 Amy J Hector,1 Joshua GA Cashaback,2 Martin J Gibala,1 James R Potvin,2 Steven K Baker,3 and Stuart M Phillips1. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men.
  2. Holm L, et al, Changes in muscle size and MHC composition in response to resistance exercise with heavy and light loading intensity, Journal of Applied Physiology, Nov 2008, 105:1454-1461
  3. Kraemer WJ1, Ratamess NA. Sports Med. 2005;35(4):339-61.
    Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training.
  4. Sahlin K.Acta Physiol Scand Suppl. 1986;556:83-91. Muscle fatigue and lactic acid accumulation.
  5. Godfrey RJ1, Madgwick Z, Whyte GP. Sports Med. 2003;33(8):599-613.
    The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes.
  6.  Aagaard P1, Andersen JL. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Oct;20 Suppl 2:39-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01197.x. Effects of strength training on endurance capacity in top-level endurance athletes.
  7. The Physiology of Stress: Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. Posted by Michael Randall ’12