By: Gerrick King
Thought German Volume Training was hard?
There is an advanced version called Advanced German Volume Training. And it is way more advanced than regular German Volume Training!
A typical session is roughly 20-30 sets. How we distribute those sets amongst the exercises determines the impact those exercises have. Greater total volume and overall load will have a greater overall impact. Said differently, allocate more sets to an exercise if you want that exercise to have a greater impact. Greater allocation of sets means there is a greater potential for advancement from those exercises.
Have you heard of Pareto's Principle?
Pareto's Principle (aka 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
We are able to leverage Pareto's principle. So it is about determining the greatest ROI generating exercises and setting up sets and reps to maximize benefit from training.
Advanced German Volume Training vs Traditional German Volume Training
What's the Difference?
Let us recap the most important points regarding German Volume Training:
Improvements for Advanced German Volume Training
The advanced component comes from lowering the reps and increasing the corresponding load. So we have more intensity and greater impact on the nervous system. This makes it more advanced.
GUIDELINES FOR ADVANCED GERMAN VOLUME TRAINING:
Training Frequency: Because this is such a demanding program, it will take you longer to
recover. It is recommend working each body part every 5 days, BUT ONLY DOING THE
SAME EXERCISE EVERY 10 DAYS. The routine outlined in the end will make things
clearer. The exercises done in the two different workouts for the same body part should
be similar, yet different enough to tap into a different motor unit pool.
Reps: For the advanced trainee, doing more than 5 reps is a waste of time, as the average
intensity will be too low. The reps should vary for each one of the six workouts (German
Volume Training, like any other training, is only effective for so long). Reps are the
loading parameter to which one adapts the quickest.
Rest Intervals: When trainees start with this method, they often question its value during
the first several sets simply because the weight will not feel heavy. However, there is
minimal rest between sets (about 90 seconds when performed in sequence and 90-120
seconds when performed as a superset), which gives you a process of accumulative
fatigue. Because of the importance of the rest intervals, you should use a stopwatch or a
watch equipped with one to keep the rest intervals constant. This is very important, as it
becomes tempting to lengthen the rest time as you fatigue.
Tempo: For long range movements such as squats, dips, and chins, use a 40X0 tempo;
this means you would lower the weight in four seconds and immediately change direction
and lift explosively for the concentric portion. For movements such as curls and triceps
extensions, use a 30X0 tempo. Advanced trainees, because of their enhanced neurological efficiency, should only use explosive concentric tempos.
Number of Exercises: One, and only one, exercise per body part should be performed.
Therefore, select exercises that recruit a lot of muscle mass. Triceps kickbacks and leg
extensions are definitely out—squats and bench presses are definitely in. For
supplementary work for individual body parts (like triceps and biceps), you can do 3 sets
of 6-8 reps.
Overload Mechanism: Once you are able to do 10 sets of x reps with constant rest
intervals, increase the weight on the bar by the percentage outlined in the article and
repeat the process. Refrain from using forced reps, negatives, or burns, as the volume of
the work will take care of the hypertrophy. Expect to have some deep muscle soreness
without having to resort to set prolongation techniques. In fact, after doing a quad and
hams session with this method, it takes the average bodybuilder about five days to stop
Therefore, for an advanced trainee, one should apply a 6-9% increase in load with each
successive rep reduction as outlined in the example below. In other words, each week,
you’ll do fewer reps per set, but increase the weight. And to create a bigger effect on the nervous system, we use Fat Grip, Tempo, and more exercises that require more balance and coordination.
The goal of the Advanced German Volume Training method is to complete 10 sets of 5
reps with the same weight for each exercise. You want to begin with a weight you could
lift for 10 reps to failure (10RM), if you had to push it. For most people, on most
exercises, that would represent 75% of their 1 R.M. load. Therefore, if you can bench
press 300 pounds for one rep, you would use 225 pounds for this exercise.
So your workout may look like this:
Set 1: 225 x 5
Set 2: 225 x 5
Set 3: 225 x 5
Set 4: 225 x 5
Set 5: 225 x 5
Set 6: 225 x 5
Set 7: 225 x 4
Set 8: 225 x 4
Set 9: 225 x 3
Set 10: 225 x 3
NOTE: When using Advanced German Volume Training, or for that matter, any program - you should keep a detailed journal of the exact sets/reps, load, and rest intervals performed, and only count the repetitions completed in strict form.
Increase the weight by 6-7% and strive to do 10 sets of 4 reps with that weight. So
workout 2 would look like this:
Set 1: 235 x 4
Set 2: 235 x 4
Set 3: 235 x 4
Set 4: 235 x 4
Set 5: 235 x 4
Set 6: 235 x 4
Set 7: 235 x 4
Set 8: 235 x 4
Set 9: 235 x 4
Set 10: 235 x 4
NOTE: It is not uncommon on the second workout to be able to complete all sets of 4, as
your work capacity will have improved from the first GVT workout.
Increase weight of Workout 1 by 8-9% and strive to do 10 sets of 3 reps with that weight.
Yes, you are reading it correctly—8-9%, not 6-7%.
So Workout 3 might look like this:
Set 1 255 x 3
Set 2 255 x 3
Set 3 255 x 3
Set 4 255 x 3
Set 5 255 x 3
Set 6 255 x 3
Set 7 255 x 3
Set 8 255 x 3
Set 9 255 x 3
Set 10 255 x 3
NOTE: During sets 6-7-8, you will think your spleen wants to come out of your right eye,
but stick with it as sets 9 and 10 will be the easiest.
Use the weights you used in Workout 2 and go for 10 sets of 5, which you should do
Use the weights in workout 3 and go for 10 sets of 4, which again you should do easily.
By now you should be able to do 10 sets of 3 at 275 pounds with no problem.
Let’s continue to work in 2021 by crushing our nervous system, listening to some Wutang, and getting strong AF.