The Ultimate Guide to German Volume Training: Workouts and Benefits

Do you love those thighs on Jacques Demers and Bev Francis? Want to know the secret behind their massive muscle hypertrophy? It’s easy!

The German Volume Training!

Countless athletes with massive muscle build leverage the routine to build their tissue mass in a short time. And if you want to get with the program, there’s ample benefits in store for sure!

The move was first discovered in the 1970s by Rolf Feser, a one-time National Coach of Weightlifting in Germany. Charles Poliquin and Vince Gironda then developed on the routine. But right now, just about anyone is engaging the German routine. 

In some circles, lifters have been known to ascend to another weight class in just three months! 

Are you getting sold out on the muscle building movement now? If not, there’s so much in this guide that’ll make you want to try it out. 

We’ll be closely looking at everything about the German Volume Training Method in this guide. If you need a complete set of facts to guide your choosing this method, this post has top info!

Make the most of what this post provides, and get tougher, bigger muscles without hassle!

German Volume Training (GVT) Method: A Great Way to Build Muscle

The German Volume Training routine, sometimes called the 10 x 10 workout is a combo of muscle-building exercises. It’s called 10 x 10 based on its 10 x 10, 10 x 5, and 10 x 3 sets program. 

The routine involves massive volume training, moments of rest, and little time to complete each movement. Intensity is one focus of this program, and several lifters could find lifting 60% of their rep max a challenge.

When you feel you can’t continue, it’s nothing to be bothered about. It’s a sign you’re getting used to the technique when you try it out the next time and can lift more weight. 

What is the Timeline for Trying Out (And Staying Away From) the German Volume Training?

Most German Volume Training routines last for twenty-one days (three weeks). After this time, you’re not expected to try this move again until six months has passed. 

The movement demands so much from lifters that trying it out too frequently could be damaging.

Tempo Madness in the GVT

As if lifting several weights in supersets and tri-sets isn’t enough, you’ll have to perform these moves with a tempo.  Some lifts with a wider range of motion like squats and kettlebell throws need faster tempos. 

You could know the tempo routine by another name – the rest pause method. 

Challenging routines with shorter range of motion usually follow the 4020 tempo, meaning:

  • 4 – four seconds downward to the bottom position
  • 0 – zero seconds pause at the bottom level
  • 2 – two seconds to return to top position
  • 0 – zero seconds pause at the top

Other lighter routines, like squats make use of 3020 tempo for completion and better results

How Many Exercises Per Workout Should I Try in the GVT?

Try no more than two exercises in one workout targeting a different muscle part. Altogether, you can’t do more than four different exercises per day when engaging the GVT.

You can decide to work your muscles through engaging 10 x 10 of three sets for eight to ten reps apiece. 

Also, you can’t train one body part more than once every four or five days. If you try that, you could end up miserable and abandon the routine altogether. 

How to Perform the German Volume Training Movement

Day 1: Chest and Back

Focus of Day 1: Chest and back muscles; overall upper body development

A (1) Incline Bench Press

Range of motion: Short

Sets and Reps: 10 sets of 10 reps 

Rest time: Ten seconds rest between sets

The incline bench press adds a different work potential to your muscle loading effort. In this move, your front shoulders get worked more than the regular bench press. During this bench press, you’ll discover you can’t lift as much as weight you could lift with a regular movement. 

It’s nothing to worry about, as we’ve already seen what this means. 


  • Lie on a 45-degree inclined bench with a bar held above your chest. 
  • Your arms should be a bit wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Lower the handheld bar until it touches your chest
  • Press the bar up once more for a complete rep
  • Perform ten sets of ten reps with ten seconds rest between sets

Note: if you can’t get to the tenth set, don’t despair. The challenge this routine poses could make you fall up to three sets short. But if you can manage handling the weight through ten sets intervals, increase the weight by five percent next times.

A (2) Bent-Over Row

Range of motion: Short

Sets and Reps: 10 sets of 10 reps 

Rest time: 90 seconds – 120 seconds rest between sets

The row movement works muscles missed by incline bench press reps. It helps in giving you stronger back muscles, targeting your potential to life heavier weights. Also, it reduces your chances of getting injured from lifting such weights. 


  • Place bar in a shoulder-width grip hold at your lower thigh level
  • Bend your knees slightly while lowering the bar 
  • Pull bar up when your torso is at a forty-five degree angle
  • Bar should touch your sternum signifying one complete rep
  • Complete required sets and start the next routine after a short rest

B (1) Incline Dumbbell Fly

Range of motion: Short 

Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 8 reps 

Rest time: 60 seconds – 90 seconds rest between sets

The motion targets muscles along your chest and shoulders. It also targets back muscles. 


  • Holding a dumbbell in one hand, rest on an inclined bench sitting at a forty-five degree angle
  • Press dumbbells from shoulder to overhead level, making sure your palms face up when closing one rep
  • Your elbows should be bent slightly when you’re slowly engaging your arm spread apart
  • Bring both dumbbells to chest level. Start from the open arm position for another rep

B (2) One-arm row

Range of motion: Short

Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 8 reps 

Rest time: 60 seconds – 90 seconds rest between sets

The focal point of this move is to allow lifters move more weight over time. Also, it works on one side at a time, making it easier to equate both sides of your body without hassle. 


  • Set one knee on a bench with your other foot planted on the ground
  • Lean forward until your torso almost gets to a horizontal position (with one dumbbell in hand)
  • Row dumbbell upward until it reaches your shoulders
  • Lower dumbbell to complete one rep, and repeat required moves in each set

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Focus of Day 2: Legs and abs muscles development

A (1) Front squat

Range of motion: Long

Sets and Reps: 10 sets of 10 repetitions 

Rest time: 20 seconds 

The squat allows your lower body develop muscles from repetitions using a barbell as a guide weight. The movement is most common for lifters looking to get bigger thighs over a short time. 

It works the quads and both front and back areas of your thighs. Also, lifters targeting a move up one weight class will gain loads from this movement. 


  • Un-rack bar, placing it on your shoulder blades, about your deltoid muscle region
  • Hold the bar as wide as you can 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blade region when you’re engaging the descent
  • Wedge yourself with the bar as it rests on your trapezius muscle region
  • Plant both feet on the floor, setting them at shoulder width away from each other
  • Lower your body down by bending your knees 
  • Extend knees and hip region to return to initial position 

A (2) Romanian deadlift

Range of motion: Short 

Sets and Reps: 10 sets of 10 repetitions 

Rest time: 60 seconds – 90 seconds rest intervals

Repetitions in this move target your gluteus and hamstring muscles. Strengthening these areas help you build stronger muscles in record time as you gain more resistance and force. 


  • Un-rack bar and rest in front of your lower thigh region with your palms facing inward
  • Squat with the weights heading below your knee, stopping at your shin level 
  • Drive weight up to original position to complete one rep
  • Finish sets and rest intervals as indicated (if you can)

B (1) Bulgarian split squat

Range of motion: Long 

Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 16 repetitions (8 repetitions on each leg) 

Rest time: 60 seconds – 75 seconds rest intervals

Leg stability is the major focus of Bulgarian split squat reps. It targets the quad muscles and helps achieve better leg strength on both sides. 


  • Take a dumbbell in one hand
  • Rest one of your feet on a bench with the other one planted on your floor area
  • Bend at the knee with your planted foot, maintaining an upright torso
  • Maintain the right position without allowing your knee travel in front of your mid-foot area
  • Engage required repetitions in each set to complete move

B (2) Kettlebell swing

Range of motion: Long 

Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 10 repetitions 

Rest time: 60 seconds – 75 seconds between sets

Posterior chain development is the focal point of this move. It also helps in building explosive potential needed for several athletic activities. 


  • Hold the kettlebell with both hands
  • Swing the kettlebell when you have it underneath your legs
  • Pop it upward, driving it to your head region
  • Let the swing continue from your rest level to complete each rep

Day 3: Rest

Let your worked muscles heal during this period

Day 4: Arms and Shoulders 

Focus of Day 4 (Third workout day): arms and shoulder muscles for improved strength training 

A (1) Overhead press

Range of motion: Short 

Sets and Reps: 10 sets of 10 repetitions 

Rest time: 90 seconds – 120 seconds between sets

Performers of the overhead press movement can leverage its focus on shoulder, core, and abdominal muscles


  • Un-rack your barbell
  • Take the bar while standing at shoulder width apart 
  • Hold bar above your torso region, just below your neck
  • Lift the weight to ascend to your overhead position
  • Return to your upper torso-lower neck position to complete one rep

A (2) Biceps Curl

Range of motion: Short 

Sets and Reps: 10 sets of 10 repetitions

Rest time: 10 seconds – 30 seconds between sets


  • Hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand at a lateral position
  • Stand with your feet closed in, almost at the same level with your shoulders
  • Curl dumbbells from its ascent with your elbows tucked in
  • Lower bar to start to complete one rep

B (1) Lateral Raise

Range of motion: Short 

Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Rest time: 60 seconds – 75 seconds between sets

The lateral raise targets shoulder blades, back, and chest muscles


  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand
  • Stand with your feet at a shoulder-width apart range
  • Raise your arms outward in a lateral position, lowering back down

B (2) Reverse Fly (Chest-Supported)

Range of motion: Short 

Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 12 repetitions

Rest time: 60 seconds – 75 seconds between sets

The reverse fly variation targets shoulder, chest, and back muscles


  • Hold a dumbbell and get on an inclined bench with forty-five degree angle
  • Keep your arms straight and raise them outward to a ninety-degree angle
  • Pull shoulder blades in during your lift and lower weight to complete one rep

Day 5: Rest

Let your worked muscles heal during this period

Day 6: Start all Over Again

What to Take/Avoid to Help Your GVT Routine

What to Take to Help Your GVT Routine

The major way to aid your muscle development routine is to adhere to a strict nutritional regime. With a healthy eating regime, you can get more fat burnt and build more muscle. The muscle plan you need to select must have much calories and offer healthy vitamins and fiber. 

Wholly-natural fats like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and more aid your exercise for greater muscle mass. Also, consider adding an ample collection of fruits and vegetables to your eating plan. 

Consider adding nutritional supplements to your diet after consulting your dietician and fitness trainer. 

One thing is sure – you need to increase your protein intake.  

Consuming more protein pre and post-workout helps a lot. You can leverage muscle growth without hassle and gain more nutrients to help your volume training program. And if you’re keen on targeting more than one muscle group, protein is crucial.

Healthy protein sources like chicken, lean meat, fish, Greek yoghurt, eggs, and beans are ideal candidates. You can also leverage Superfoods like chia, pea proteins, and pumpkin seeds too. 

And since you’re looking to build more muscle, carbohydrates are indispensable for energy boosts. You can leverage complex carbs present in quinoa, oatmeal, and whole grains. 

What to Avoid to Help Your GVT Routine

It’s best to avoid refined food and baked goods. Such foods impede your muscle growth potential through unwanted fat build-up. 

Also, avoid sugary meals, and anything that has saturated fats in it. 


How long should I do German volume training?

Three to four weeks every six months is an excellent timeline for performing the German Volume Training. During this time, performers need to complete reps within 10seconds – 90seconds based on the movement. 

What is German Volume Training Good For?

The German Volume Training is good for:

  • Increasing muscle mass
  • Strength build training
  • Developing lean bodies
  • Improving muscle size
  • Stopping strength plateaus

Is German volume training good for bulking?

The German Volume Training is an ideal routine for enhanced bulking potential. It helps in increasing rep fatigue through your muscles, which translates to develop other fibers. 

What this simply means is that unused muscle fibers get worked with the German Volume Training method.

How do I start German volume training?

Where did Charles Poliquin Get the German Volume Training Routine?

Charles Poliquin is regarded as the inventor of the now-popular German Volume Training routine. He got inspiration for the routine from Germany when he visited a gym for professional powerlifters. 

Bottom Line 

In strength coaching circles, it will be odd to not hear about the GVT movement. Several strength coaching circles rely on what this move offers to keep their training workouts functional. 

The German Volume Training, as its name already implies, is an efficient muscle volume builder. Consider adding it to your routine if you’re gunning for significant muscle changes in a short while. 

So many challenges could pop up when you’re in the midst of this routine. But if you apply the volume training program right, benefits await you. And when you do it right, Rolf Feser, Poliquin, and everyone that invented this routine will be proud for sure!

Also, you’ll have bigger and stronger muscles, sturdier legs and abs and improved tissue growth potential.

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