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GVT: When to Increase the Weight?


I just started doing German volume training for the first time. After reading TC's article a few weeks ago on it, it seemed like a nice change to what i've been doing lately.

To start with the bench and squat weights I selected were too low, and i was able to get the full 10 sets of 10 reps. So in week 2 i upped the weight, but still managed 10 of 10 on the squats, so the weight will go up again next week. But on the bench I did not get 10 of 10, but i only missed 10 totall reps, got 7 on my last 2 sets and 8 on the 2 before that.

So my question is, how close to actually getting 10 of 10 before you should bump up the weight? What is the appropriate total rep range? For instance between 65 - 85 reps, if you're getting more you should up the weight, and if less then should lower the weight?



Bump up the weight when you change to a routine that isn't retarded, and start ramping up to top sets of 6-10.

Good luck!


If you can successfully complete each rep of each set under perfect form and tempo then the weight is too light.

Look up CP's original article. I believe he states a range somewhere.

Basically around the last 3-4 sets you should be failing. Sometimes you may get stronger around the 8th set so it may look something like this:

10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 9, 7, 8, 8, 7

If you're failing on just the last two sets then that is fine as well. Keep the weight until you can do all 10 sets of 10 then go up 5-10%. Keep on tempo though, 401. That's a big difference maker...:slight_smile:


GVT isn't retarded. Every program has a time and place. Gironda did 10x10 and some German strength athletes before him.

There is never one right way to do things. There is however an optimal way and a nonoptimal way of doing things depending on where you are at in your training.

If the OP has been doing GVT and other high volume programs for months on end I'd say it's time to switch it up. It's like the bencher who can't get stronger even though he's been doing the same damn thing since he was in diapers.



Or maybe instead of believing progress lies in a program, they should actually rely on their own ability to generate new strength and intensity, and overcome weaknesses by listening to their body.

Novel concept.


Thanks for the advise above

My most recent program was the training in the v-diet, but before that i've pretty much been doing either 5x5 or 8x3 for bench, squat, deadlift. So a few weeks of switching to higher volume seemed called for.


What are your numbers like?


not sure exactly what numbers you mean, but i'll admit they're not all that impressive. I've only been doing the weight training thing for 2 years, and my focus has been more fat loss than muscle gain (down 45lbs, to 185lbs).

Bench 5x5 225lbs
Bench GVT 125lbs Week1, 145lbs week2 (100 reps W1, 90 total reps week2)

Squat 5x5 325lbs
Squat GVT 155lbs week1, 175lbs week2 (all 100 reps both weeks)

Chin up 5x5 BW+45lbs
Chin up GVT BW week1 (75-80 reps complete, training log not currently accessiblt) week2 is tomorrow

Deadlift 5x5 280lbs (grip is gives out, haven't done 5x5 with DL's since buying straps)
Deadlift GVT 160lbs Week1(100 reps), 180lbs Week2 (later today)


A program is just words on a piece of paper.

"Ramp Up!" is just as much of a program as anything else.

A program is NOT a means to an end. Anyone can write a program, it's the effort that matters and the connection you have with your muscles. One person's 10 rep set can be vastly different than another person's 10 rep set.

I could not have a clue what I'm doing that day, walk into a gym and be like "I'm doing x today". Walking into the gym on a day to day basis and training based on how your body feels is still a program. I know tons of lifters who do that.

It's a matter of knowing when and how to adapt a program based on your needs and abilities.

The OP is asking a specific question. Instead of hazing him because he's not "Ramping Up! (tm)" how about we give him an answer based on the information at hand? CP has produced hundreds of Olympic Athletes I'd say his "programs" are just fine.

Nah....I say fuck it, give him some deca and call it a day.


Ah, fat-loss... In that case, why don't you follow CP's German(?) Fat loss routine thing instead? (unless you want to get bigger now, in which case I'd go with mr. popular's advice or 5*5 or so..)


how much muscle have people gained with gvt? im actually interested, has anyone gotten jacked off of it?


Like with any high volume program you gotta pound the calories and pre/post workout nutrition.

I gained 2 lbs of lean mass and dropped 2% bodyfat from 10 to 8% in a month in the middle of 6 weeks of GVT. Also, like any training program is depends on what you've BEEN doing. Training you did last week, last month, even last year will affect the effectiveness of a program you are doing TODAY. I then went into a 5x5 program and put 20 pounds on my bench in 6 weeks, now doing a lot of supersets and the scale is going back up. Of course I'm a relative noob to these dudes who have been lifting since preschool.


You should increase the weight when you are able to get most of the reps completed - say 97 or 98 out of the 100; although there's nothing wrong with waiting to get all 100 but it may slow your progress.

When I did GVT the first time I started heavier and found what was appropriate by dropping the weight. While this isn't what some coaches recommend, it is, in my opinion, the fastest way to find what you can do for sets 6-10 which are basically the sets that give people the most trouble. It's all work so it doesn't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things since the goal is to life.


I gained about ~ 10 lbs of lean mass in about 3 months.

However, it was after cycling season and I dramatically boosted my caloric intake while eliminating all but 1 hour of riding per week.


I love this comment!

GVT isn't that much different from how most people train.

Assuming that someone is doing 3 movements for a body part and ramping up to a 1 or 2 sets with the max weight they can move for 6-10 reps, they are doing about 3 to 5 top sets.

With GVT, the first 5-6 sets are "ramping" sets with the same weight and the final 4-5 sets are top sets (using the max weight they can move for up to 10 reps). The main difference is that they are doing it with one movement vs. 3 movements.

The end result is the same things - 3-4 sets of max reps for a particular weight.


Ramping is a strength-based approach and has you lifting significantly heavier on your top-set... GVT isn't exactly great for strength gain for most.

So no, this is absolutely not how the majority of people train. Unless, of course, you mean the majority of people on here or the people who read the muscle-mags and copy the routines without knowing that the pro's don't do straight sets...


I was speaking about the majority of people on here.


Just out of curiousity, what was your experinece with GVT like?

Did you not find that you made good strength gains with 10 sets of 5, or 4, or 3?


10 sets of 3 provided strength gains, but in all honestly, that just about kills my joints and takes way too long to finish for only one exercise...

A regular ramped approach or one DC RP set has my strength increasing at easily the same speed (ramping) or way faster (RP+ rotation) without bothering my joints at all...

10 sets of 10 (i.e. original GVT) on the other hand is a complete waste of time for me. Too light, too many sets for continuous strength gain..
And you can do a thousand sets with 225 on the bench, unless you get it up to 375-405 (for heavy natties or "mid-sized" gear users) or even 495 (for assisted guys in the superheavies etc) for 5-10 or so (talking about guys of average to above average height), you're not going to have a massive and massively-filled-out chest by bodybuilding standards...
And no, those numbers aren't set in stone, but you get the idea.

I'm not at all interested in methods that you need to change every 3-12 weeks to keep progressing (mostly because they use so much volume that you'd stall if you didn't change them)... I can just do standard BB or DC for 5-10 years on end and those took two me from 120 lbs at arms below 12 to 292 with arms way above 20 inches at 5'10... I just don't see the need for the fancy stuff at all.

Some PL systems are also cool.. Wendler 5/3/1, older periodized stuff for raw lifters, modified westside... But yeah. All of them are long-term routines.


I can no difficulty believing this. You reach a point where you're wondering why the hell your doing it (boring) and because of the pain the next day.

This is interesting because 1) I agree with you and 2) because you have 8 years of experience to build the kind of strength needed to make a few sets count. I've often wondered how long GVT will work for someone before their training age catches up and renders it useless. I think that's why I grabbed onto Mr. P's post - his advice applies to well trained and experienced lifters and not so much for new to intermediate ones - ramping to a 135 lbs squat isn't exactly the best approach to stimulate growth in my opinion.

I think that's the beauty and downfall to training - at some point you run out of things that work because you achieve the high level of proficiency that negates the usefulness of most of the different programs.