german volume trainingYou have probably heard someone mention German Volume Training or “GVT” at some point within your fitness journey. This type of training was popularized by German national weight lifting coach Rolf Feser (but not necessarily created in Germany!). It is used widely across a variety of sports especially bodybuilding and powerlifting to increase muscle mass and strength.

GVT targets groups of motor units, exposing them to huge amount of volume with repeated efforts, more specifically 10 sets and 10 reps of a single exercise. Your body naturally deals with this massive amount of stress on the body by hypertrophying (increasing muscle mass and strength) to the targeted area and fibres. This ensures the body increases must quickly and people have been known to gain 10lbs or more in just six weeks!

The idea of GVT as mentioned above is to perform 10 sets of 10 reps at the same weight for each exercise. Usually you would aim to complete these sets using a weight that represents 60% of your one rep max (1RM). Therefore if you squat 100kg, you would load 60kg and start the training without increasing or decreasing the weight.

Rest periods, proper technique and tempo are also very important when training GVT. Anyone can smash out 10×10 with quick half reps and large rest periods, therefore you must follow a programme that is designed to put the muscles under enough stress to grow.

Rest Period

When you complete your first few sets the weight will not feel heavy, so you may want to try shorten the rest periods, but be warned, the weight will soon take its toll on your muscles! A usual rest if performing a single set should be around 60 seconds, although if done as a superset it should be between 90-120 seconds. This being said, once your body starts to adapt to the stress (short-term neural adaptation) you should feel stronger again around the 8th set.


Squats, dips, pull ups and other exercises which require longer range movements, a 40X0 tempo should be used. This means the eccentric (negative) phase of the rep should take 4 seconds to complete, no pause at the bottom, the concentric phase up as quick as possible and then straight back down again. For smaller movements similar to bicep curls, tricep extensions etc, a 3020 tempo should be used.

I have used GVT a few times when training myself and clients and always had great speedy results. I would highly recommend this type of training to any gym user looking to increase size and also to try something new.

Unsure how to create a GVT programme? Book in a consultation now and I can personally create you an amazing programme which is guaranteed to increase your size and strengths in just 6 weeks!