German Volume Training, though it sounds scary, is actually a fantastic way to shock your muscles. If you’ve hit a plateau, not seeing much muscle gain, or just need a change in routine, German Volume Training is definitely the way to shake things up. The workout goes as follows: One Exercise, 100 reps, and Rest/Pause.
Picking the Right Lifts
First, choose a compound lift that’s on the heavier side and that will target your major muscle groups (Back squat, Dead lift, Bench press, and so on). German Volume Training (GVT) is most effective when you choose bigger lifts, considering you will only be doing a limited number of exercises. Next is the fun part: 100 reps!
Not done in one set, GVT follows a 10×10 routine. Before starting the first set, you’ll only load the barbell with 60% of whatever your 1RM (one rep max) is. So for example, if you normally dead lift 315 pounds, you’ll only be lifting 189 pounds for GVT. It’s even better to start off with 50-60% of your 1RM, just to ensure you don’t exhaust too quickly. Test the waters your first time. The main goal here is to be able to complete the 100 reps in 10 sets. Once you’ve completed an entire 10×10, add 5 more pounds next time. The most crucial point of all is the rest period between the 10 sets.
Rest Time for GVT
As hard as it may be to force yourself to rest longer than 60 seconds, the rest pause is the most important aspect of GVT. You need to rest 60-90 seconds in order to ensure you keep the load. If you limit your rest to below 60 seconds, you’ll fatigue easier, faster, and will need to lessen the load just to finish. That’s not what we want. You’re already lifting about half of your 1RM- don’t decrease the load any further. Most exercises are completely fine with a 60-second rest. It’s when you get into the biggest lifts (again, Squat and Dead lift) that you’ll need to rest closer to the 90-second margin.
Following this routine about three days a week (you can do it everyday, for every muscle group if you so choose) will build mass and strength faster. It’s a great, healthy way to shed unwanted body fat and gain lean muscle. Working on one movement for ten whole sets improves form and muscular endurance over a shorter period of time, simply because you’re doubling up the amount of sets. Don’t attack the workout, though. Your eccentric movements should still be around the 4-second mark. After the point during GVT at which you begin to feel the stress, the fatigued muscle fibers drop out and new, unused muscle fibers come engage to compensate. But because volume is much higher, make sure to watch your progress to avoid over-training.