T Nation

First Day of German Volume Training

Wow… I have never trained with this type of intensity before. My first day I decided to go with the hardest exercise (the squat), figuring if I can power though this workout the following will be a walk in a park. My rest periods were between 60 and 90 seconds averaging about 70.

I started with my 60% 1RM (a conservative 165lbs) and learned that my strength endurance is pathetic. I quickly realized 165 was too much and dropped to 155.Still, given my results I have no idea if this is the correct weight. They are below:

Set | Weight | Reps
1 165 10
2 155 10
3 155 10
4 155 10
5 155 10
6 155 05 * what the hell happened here???
7 155 06
8 155 07 * this is consistent with what I read
9 155 05
10 155 05

Also, I had no spotter and would only perform the rep if I knew I could maintain strict form.

I was also pleasantly surprised that my back did not bother me at all. Normally they bother me slightly but I think using the lower weight was a good safe alternative.

I did one other workout, farmers walks, 4 sets with 85lbs in each hand for about a 100 foot loop around the gym. I was so tired I had to go with 85s instead of my normal 105 per hand.

So, did I perform the GVT correctly? Any tips or advice for someone starting the program. I read a fuck ton of articles so I would rather hear from personal experience.

Hey man I did some GVT last year and my first week reps were very similar to yours. By the end of the 6 weeks I was doing 10 reps on all of my sets. Just keep hammering it out and try to beat your reps every week. I personally responded very well to it.

There is a HUGE mental block with the later sets and you will sometimes find you’ll hit more reps on say “Set 9” than you did on “Set 6.” A crazy phenomenon that I experienced on it, especially on bench. Squats were the only movement I was able to add weight on. I did it for squats, bench, BB row, and OH presses. Good luck on it!

drop it to 95lbs and do the full 10x10

which is what GVT is

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
My rest periods were between 60 and 90 seconds averaging about 70.[/quote]
Be more consistent with the rest times. Especially with this many sets, it really adds up. Your instinct will be to keep it lower for the first few sets, but play the long game so you’re lasting through the entire session.

Pretty much, yep. If you’re not used to doing one exercise for that many sets, it’s a big challenge to the system, so it’s normal to taper out like that towards the end. Stick with it, make sure to keep a training notebook so you know which sets you’re getting more reps on, and you should adapt just fine over the next month or two.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
drop it to 95lbs and do the full 10x10

which is what GVT is[/quote]
Charles Poliquin would disagree with you on that.

Jervan, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you read even one article you would know that achieving 10x10 is a signal that you need to INCREASE the weight. Do you always provide people ignorant and blatantly wrong advice?

Rather than post another thread, Ill just add to this one:

I performed bench press for GVT and I found that my elbows and well as shoulders are bothering me a little. I have had minor shoulder pain in the past from benching in the ~200lb weight zone, but never elbow pain. I was thinking of switching to dumbbells instead because of this issue, and because I wont have to worry about needing a spotter (I almost always workout alone). How would using DBs affect my BB performance?

Oh and for what it’s worth, here is my workout for the next 6 weeks (at least), everything is GVT unless noted.

Day 1:
Squat
Farmers Walks - hell no this isnt 10x10, I do 100-something foot laps around the gym with 85lbs in each hand for 4 sets. Going to reduce the rest time each workout.

Day 2:
Overhead Press
Lat Pulldown

Day 3:
Bench Press
Barbell Row

I get elbow pain when benching some/most of the time. When I first start to notice it, I do about 30+ overhead extensions with a 5lb plate and it pretty much goes away.

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Jervan, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you read even one article you would know that achieving 10x10 is a signal that you need to INCREASE the weight. Do you always provide people ignorant and blatantly wrong advice?

Rather than post another thread, Ill just add to this one:

I performed bench press for GVT and I found that my elbows and well as shoulders are bothering me a little. I have had minor shoulder pain in the past from benching in the ~200lb weight zone, but never elbow pain. I was thinking of switching to dumbbells instead because of this issue, and because I wont have to worry about needing a spotter (I almost always workout alone). How would using DBs affect my BB performance?

Oh and for what it’s worth, here is my workout for the next 6 weeks (at least), everything is GVT unless noted.

Day 1:
Squat
Farmers Walks - hell no this isnt 10x10, I do 100-something foot laps around the gym with 85lbs in each hand for 4 sets. Going to reduce the rest time each workout.

Day 2:
Overhead Press
Lat Pulldown

Day 3:
Bench Press
Barbell Row

[/quote]

Pressing on two out of three workouts is probably be whats pissing off your elbows. I would try doing all your pressing on one day so that you’re basically doing push/pull/legs.

Also throwing in some rear delt work for something like 3x 15-20 is something to consider to keep your shoulders healthy

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Jervan, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you read even one article you would know that achieving 10x10 is a signal that you need to INCREASE the weight. Do you always provide people ignorant and blatantly wrong advice?

Rather than post another thread, Ill just add to this one:

I performed bench press for GVT and I found that my elbows and well as shoulders are bothering me a little. I have had minor shoulder pain in the past from benching in the ~200lb weight zone, but never elbow pain. I was thinking of switching to dumbbells instead because of this issue, and because I wont have to worry about needing a spotter (I almost always workout alone). How would using DBs affect my BB performance?

Oh and for what it’s worth, here is my workout for the next 6 weeks (at least), everything is GVT unless noted.

Day 1:
Squat
Farmers Walks - hell no this isnt 10x10, I do 100-something foot laps around the gym with 85lbs in each hand for 4 sets. Going to reduce the rest time each workout.

Day 2:
Overhead Press
Lat Pulldown

Day 3:
Bench Press
Barbell Row

[/quote]

Yeah, your split isn’t great.

Pair a leg curl movement with squats. You’ll get in more quality work and may even recover faster for each set of squats.

I would do the Farmers on a different session.

Do bench press or OHP for GVT. Not both in the same rotation. What you’re doing won’t make your shoulders happy. Even dips, as in the original GVT, can be a pain when benching in the same rotation (most do DB press and Dips).

That said, you could bench and do DB OHP.

Not a fan of BB rows for 10 x 10. Your erectors will fatigue first. Do DB rows or chest supported.

I actually prefer pulldowns for GVT vs chin-ups.

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Jervan, you have no idea what you are talking about. If you read even one article you would know that achieving 10x10 is a signal that you need to INCREASE the weight. Do you always provide people ignorant and blatantly wrong advice?

Rather than post another thread, Ill just add to this one:

I performed bench press for GVT and I found that my elbows and well as shoulders are bothering me a little. I have had minor shoulder pain in the past from benching in the ~200lb weight zone, but never elbow pain. I was thinking of switching to dumbbells instead because of this issue, and because I wont have to worry about needing a spotter (I almost always workout alone). How would using DBs affect my BB performance?

Oh and for what it’s worth, here is my workout for the next 6 weeks (at least), everything is GVT unless noted.

Day 1:
Squat
Farmers Walks - hell no this isnt 10x10, I do 100-something foot laps around the gym with 85lbs in each hand for 4 sets. Going to reduce the rest time each workout.

Day 2:
Overhead Press
Lat Pulldown

Day 3:
Bench Press
Barbell Row

[/quote]

If you are getting shoulder and elbow pain from bench pressing you probably shouldn’t have the audacity to speak like that

btw, 100 reps of 95lbs isn’t a walk in the park for everyone like yourself. so chill out there buddy

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
If you are getting shoulder and elbow pain from bench pressing you probably shouldn’t have the audacity to speak like that[/quote]
And you probably shouldn’t have the audacity to say things like “which is what GVT is”, when what you’ve actually said is literally not what GVT is.

100 reps of an exercise can be a killer workout, but in this particular case, if the dude used 95 pounds, the first 4 or 5 sets would be a total waste/extended warm-up unless he rested like 10 seconds between them. So, while the deep, deep underlying principle you were getting at might have had a bit of merit, you whiffed the ball on this one. No harm done, but ditch the attitude.

touche

Being that we’re in the beginner forum, I first and foremost don’t think novices should be using extraneous amount of weight for such high volume work. It negates the importance of what I think beginners should emphasize. Injury prevention. Or rather, technique.

100 shitty squats doesn’t compare to 1 excellent squat, wouldn’t you agree?

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
Being that we’re in the beginner forum, I first and foremost don’t think novices should be using extraneous amount of weight for such high volume work. It negates the importance of what I think beginners should emphasize. Injury prevention. Or rather, technique.

100 shitty squats doesn’t compare to 1 excellent squat, wouldn’t you agree?[/quote]

I’d put it the other way around - if you can’t do a certain amount of volume with proper form AND a heavy enough weight, that amount of volume is not for you. 10x10 with 95 on the bar won’t do anything for you (soreness does not count).

Great program to build a base and add some size. I agree with fixing the split though. I don’t know about the other poster’s, but you want to brake the body down into planes, horizontal push pull and vertical push pull, you should be around a 1 to 1 ratio on these unless you are aware of muscle imbalances. Always train your backside well is what I’m hinting at! I tried TC’s modified version of gvt found it great I’m too much of a puss pot to do 10 actual sets I have add for that type of stuff. Good work.

For a supplementary hamstring workout would cable pull-throughs suffice? Also, Last week I did gvt with squats when I had a chest cold…BAD idea. I almost threw up and fainted then passed out on a bench drenched in sweat for 5 minutes. I was supposed to do them today but I was so startled from last week I needed to take a mental preparedness day off. Still, week 2 was better than week 1. My physique has changed already (I think). I’m 5’9" at 230lbs.

Yeah, I could lose some weight but my chest and thighs are very large (genetics I presume I don’t ever do special workouts for them) with my shoulders and arms growing. Famers walks have been a big help for my traps and upper back too.To be honest I don’t care much about my body fat as long as girls want to have sex with me…IDC!!! And from what I see when I go out to bars, women don’t care much about physical presentation. No this wasn’t just over the course of two weeks obviously but my Dad and I have noticed a change.

And FYI, I would consider myself an intermediate given my estimated maxes of 315, 350 and 225 for the squat dead lift and bench.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
Being that we’re in the beginner forum, I first and foremost don’t think novices should be using extraneous amount of weight for such high volume work. It negates the importance of what I think beginners should emphasize. Injury prevention. Or rather, technique.

100 shitty squats doesn’t compare to 1 excellent squat, wouldn’t you agree?[/quote]

I’d put it the other way around - if you can’t do a certain amount of volume with proper form AND a heavy enough weight, that amount of volume is not for you. 10x10 with 95 on the bar won’t do anything for you (soreness does not count).[/quote]

the volume of 10x10 with 95 lbs is equivalent to 3x15 with 211 lbs.

or 5x5 with 380 lbs.

Sure, it’s wise to use a decent amount of weight according to your ability, but to say 100 reps with 95 lbs wont do anything…

/Offtopic - something I need to say.

Please, do your research before you post Jarvan.

You’re misleading people who arent willing to put in the extra time to research or havent thought to look elsewhere before posting…or looked hear first…or are naive and just starting out. You remind me of an jerkoff football coach I had in highschool who INSISTED I continue to deadlift when I clearly had terrible form and was at serious risk of injury. “Keep going my-lastname!!” he yelled. Being new to weightlifting with no other mentor a the age of 17, I listened to him. To this day my lower back still bothers me from those damn deadlifts 6ish years ago and weightlifting misinformation had held me back for years. I dont think it’s an exaggeration to state that people like you, who proport misinformation, are dangerous to newbies and are a deterrent to the sport of weight lifting. Think about what you’re saying and who it affects. I really wish looking back I had someone or some reliable source that gave me solid tips like “record workouts”, “good form over numbers”, “progressive overloading”, etc. The problem with the internet is that too much WRONG information is readily available with the good.

/Ontopic
Very good progress with the squats today. Made it to the 6ths set completing all ten reps and got 7 on the 7th. Back fatigue kicked in before my legs. I really feel like this method is very safe and effective so far.

Perhaps you should re-read my post, because what I was saying is that a beginner shouldn’t aimlessly push heavier weights… and starting off with a lighter weight is no cop out.

To the subject at hand, I would do a higher intensity program like Starting Strength (5x5) until the neural adaptation phase is exhausted. That way a more significant load can be used with GVT. Using GVT right out of the gate is a bit of a waste.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
the volume of 10x10 with 95 lbs is equivalent to 3x15 with 211 lbs.

or 5x5 with 380 lbs.

[/quote]

So I can just do 500 bodyweight squats and since it’s the same total weight lifted, it’s just as good? /sarcasm

There is a reason many coaches call GVT an intermediate to advanced program - if you don’t have the work capacity to do it with, say, at least your own body weight on the bar, you’re simply not ready for it.
What others have said before about not having to get all 10x10 also applies. Seriously, have you DONE GVT or are you just repeating what someone wrote somewhere?