We’re starting off 2022 with a classic strength program German Volume Training (GVT).

What is German Volume Training?
German Volume Training (GVT) is simply 10 sets of 10 reps using big compound movements. The primary movements that we will be using are:

  1. Bench Press
  2. Barbell Zercher Squats
  3. Deadlifts (your preference of Conventional or Sumo)

German Volume Training yields incredible results. You get an incredible hormonal response and extremely high levels of hypertrophy.

What is Hypertrophy?
Hypertrophy means increasing the size of the muscle cell. GVT also makes you incredibly lean due to its high volume.

Increasing workload in a given period of time is known as density. With GVT, we’re seriously increasing our workload in the same amount of time.

What is density and why is it so important? (DISCLAIMER, THIS GETS SCIENCE-Y)
Lactic acid is the byproduct of anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise is exercise that does not directly use oxygen to replenish ATP; ATP is the muscle cell’s primary energy substrate. The accumulation of lactic acid at the local muscular level is one of density’s major byproducts.

Since oxygen is not present, muscular acidity begins to accumulate in order to protect the muscle from overexertion and signals other sources of energy in the body to breakdown and assist. If the muscle contractions keep going and going, you will burn through all of your energy substrates and lead to muscular failure.

As you accrue more lactate, you become more acidic at the local muscular level. This is from increased concentration of hydrogen ions in the system. This signals greater need for protein synthesis through the mTOR pathways.

Greater need for protein synthesis means demand for more lean muscle development.
When you utilize GVT, your body equips itself for the next time this stressor comes. It wants to be better prepared. This result is one benefit of progressive overload.

Progressive Overload systematically increasing weight over the course of training. This style of program design is a constant in all our strength blocks.

As a response to training, the body better equips itself for the next exposure to stress by increasing the size of the muscle cell. That way it has greater force generating potential. And our body has to exert less overall energy to the same stimulus; which, is also another benefit of progressive overload.

What about the exercises we are utilizing?
The use of closed chain, compound multi-joint exercises like squat, hinge, pull and pull elicit more hormonal response than isolation or machines.

This is especially true with greater overall loads and tonnage.

Tonnage is the aggregate of volume and intensity in a training session. It quantifies overall load used during a period of time.

Compound, multi-joint exercises create a greater response from the central nervous system (CNS). Which means:

  1. Increased nerve firing
  2. Increased motor unit activation
  3. Increased muscle fiber recruitment
  4. Increased energy expenditure

German Volume Training makes you leaner. How so?
The main reason is lactic acid initiates protein synthesis. Protein synthesis leads to:

  1. Glycolysis (the breakdown of glucose)
  2. Glycogenolysis (the breakdown of glycogen)
  3. Gluconeogenesis (the breakdown of other energy substrates, specifically fat)

Gluconeogenesis is the impost important part.
You have depleted more ATP and you need to find it from other sources. Like adipose tissue or fat. Plus, with increased muscle mass, you store more glycogen in the muscle cell and do not store energy in your adipose tissue.

If this style of training gets such great results, why don’t we just train like this all the time?
German Volume Training (GVT) is lactic-focus training. Lactic-focus training is really hard on the body. It’s not sustainable from a motivational standpoint. Four weeks is plenty. The honeymoon wears off and you will begin to plateau in terms of adaptation. As you plateau, you are forced to find alternative ways to progress. For example, altering technique, position, range of motion. As you alter technique, you’re potentially setting yourself up for injury.

​This Lactic-focused training is metabolically and nervous system destructive over time.

This Lactic-focused training is more commonly known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This type of training year round is wrong, here’s a scientific explanation why:

Lactic acid is great in small bouts but not as a long-term fitness solution.

In Conclusion:
​We have a small window to hit this style of high volume training and we need to maximize it with the correct exercise selection, full ROMs (Range of motion, the right amount of frequency, and an appropriate workout rest to work ratio.

To get the most out of your training, you’ll need the rest, hydration, nutrition and work/life balance. Take care of your body during this block because if you don’t you will definitely feel it.

Though GVT leads to impressive results over time, it is just too demanding on the body to run for long periods of time. A 4-week block is the perfect duration, and as you’ll see, it will transition right into February’s training block – stay tuned for the next blog post. 

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