German volume training has been around for years and is one of the best programs to do if you want to add blocks of muscle to your build. I have used German volume training twice in my training and it only leads to great results. There are many reasons for this that we will talk about in a second, but the most popular man for bringing German volume training to the masses is Mr. Charles Poliquin. This man is an idol to me and a God in the field of strength and conditioning. He has worked with more Olympians and professional athletes than anyone I have ever heard of and his results speak for themselves. He is an absolute genius and has forgotten more about the training that I hope to learn and understand.
The foundation of German volume training originated in Germany in the 1970s and was adopted by Olympic weightlifting athletes to accumulate pounds of muscle mass in a short period of time. Now there are many reasons why this program works so well and the main one that many people talk about is because of its simplicity and its orientation to a specific group of motor units.
Research has clearly shown that if your primary goal is hypertrophy (gaining muscle), then you should work in a rep range of 8-12 reps. Now obviously you can build muscle blocks with different rep ranges and this depends on how you structure your training program, but this is the beginning and beginning of all “which rep range is best for building muscle”. Now, with German volume training, you will do two main movements per workout with 60% of your 1 rep max for 10 sets of 10 reps alternating back and forth. Now it seems easy to do on paper, but it is difficult. Every time I did the show, I experienced new growth due to its brutality. But it is not so much the 10 repetitions that develop the muscles; is the total volume and overload in that specific group of motor units that innervate those specific muscle fibers. Due to the tremendous volume and the same movement pattern, your body essentially goes into super adaptation mode. The body is an adaptation machine. He hates NOT being in homeostasis and he always wants to stay at that level. To make a change, you must unbalance it. But when you do too much exercise and you are always changing your training parameters, it is much more difficult for your body to adapt to something to its full potential. The real beauty of German volume training is that you are only doing 2 main movements per day with the same movement pattern for 10 sets of 10 reps.
Regarding the exercises that you choose, make sure to choose only the ones that will give you the most for your money and will reach your greatest weaknesses. For example, with the chest, if your upper pecs are lagging, then you would choose some type of incline movement to really target this area for 10 sets of 10. You don’t want to waste time doing dumbbell chest flies for 10 sets of 10. That is a pure waste of time. And the same goes for the back exercise. If you want to focus on widening, then I would go for some type of pull-ups, chin-ups, or pull-down movements.
German volume training routine
The German volume training routine is quite simple and straightforward. You are going to lift weights 3 days a week preferably on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or you can also do a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday split, it doesn’t really matter and it is totally adaptable to your lifestyle. By Monday, you will hit your chest and back, on Wednesday you will target your quads and hamstrings, and by Friday you will hit your biceps and triceps.
Here is a sample training template that you can use:
Monday: chest and back (rest 60-90 seconds between each series and alternate)
A1) Inclined Bench Presses with 10×10 Bar
A2) 10×10 wide grip pull ups
B1) Decline 3×15 Dumbbell Presses
B2) 3×15 Dumbbell Row
Wednesday: Quads and Hamstrings (rest 60-90 seconds between each set and alternating)
A1) Back Squats 10×01
B1) Seated Leg Curl 10×10
C1) 3×15 back extensions
C2) Standing Calf Raise 3×12
Friday – Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders (rest 60-90 seconds between each set and alternate)
A1) 10 x 10 sauces
A2) 10×10 Preacher Barbell Curl
B1) 3×12 Dumbbell Lateral Raises
B2) Incline Dumbbell Lateral Raises 3×12
Believe me, if you do the above program, it will be difficult enough and will definitely cause new growth in your body. Just be sure to eat a lot while on this program. You’re breaking down a lot of muscle tissue, so your body is going to need those extra calories to recover again. This program is one of the most powerful and simple to produce maximum gains, but if your nutrition is not up to the mark, your results will be, at best, suboptimal.