GVT vs Gironda
What are your goals
Before we dive into the differences between German Volume Training and Gironda 8x8 let me ask you a couple of questions:
- Why do you compare GVT & Gironda?
- Why do you want to pack on muscle?
- Why do you want to change your body?
There is a reason why you are looking up information around different lifting programs. It will get you better results when you spent the time to dig deeper. This will uncover the real reasons why you train. There is an excellent TED talk by Simon Sinek debating this. Start with the why, move on to the how and then to the what. Most people do it the other way around.
The biggest motivators in fitness are:
If you are all about the looks the odds are stacked against you. What is currently being perceived as attractive is the product of a well-oiled marketing machine. The individuals you see on the Television and on front covers are superhumans. They have been vetted, selected and groomed to perfection. They usually have more time, are genetically superior and have a whole team of stylists and digital artists around them to make them look perfect. If you embark on this road prepare to be hungry, grumpy and tired. Your choices will not always be healthy or help performance on the pitch.
The second group is all about performance. If you belong to this group you want to win and break records. All your exercises will be picked to support performance in your chosen sport. Intensity is your partner in crime. Injuries regularly occur and you know how to deal with them. Your diet plays second fiddle to your regimen. Your choices will not always be pretty or healthy but they’ll make you win.
The last group is mainly interested in balance. The extremes are avoided. This results in little injuries and mental breakdowns. Stress levels are low. Diet is flexible. You can try a lot of different fitness programs as specific results do not matter that much. While you never will be a world champion or make the cover of a magazine, you can look at the madness passing by while enjoying your cup of tea.
As you are comparing GVT and Gironda you likely to fall under the looks or performance camp. Based on this comparison I would predict a slight bias towards looks. Just take the time to reflect and categorize your needs to get better training results. A lot depends on your motivation for lasting change.
German Volume training
German Volume Training has been made popular by Charles Poliquin. The program is one of the most well-known beginner muscle building templates out there. Based on its popularity there are many variations available. The basic idea is:
- 10 sets of
- 10 repetitions at
- 60% intensity with
- 30 seconds to 2 minutes rest
You can vary the intensity and rest depending on your needs. Same goes for the exercises. What stays strong are the 10x10 at the heart of this program. I used it to pack on 2.5kg of muscle in a month. The exercises I used were:
The biggest advantages of this program are its simplicity and effectiveness. There are many reports that especially beginners exploded with this template. Especially when you normally do sets of five or three this effect sets in. For this, you do not need to put a lot of thought in. Just bang out 100 reps of your favorite exercise per muscle group a week.
The biggest disadvantages of GVT are the time it takes and the fussy progression. When you do GVT and keep long rest times you already stand around for 20 - 40 minutes depending on the rest. The instruction is also not really clear on when to pack on extra load or extra repetitions.
Gironda 8x8 is James after a famous bodybuilder. The idea is to take a program like 10x10, make it a little easier but in return more of a cardio workout. The template is
- 8 repetitions for
- 8 sets at
- 60% intensity with
- 30 seconds rest between sets
The 30 seconds are fixed for this program. Gironda specifically designed for bodybuilders who are preparing for competition. You are not as strong anymore and need more cardio to get the water out of your system for definition.
Main advantages of Gironda are the lower volume and time savings compared to GVT based on the structure. You get a lot done in very little time.
The main disadvantages are the demands on endurance and focus. The program needs a lot of focus and technical prowess. While GVT is already challenging for beginners, Gironda is a kick in the balls.
Should you do GVT or Gironda?
It depends on your goals and fitness level. If you are relatively new to lifting and want to get into bodybuilding with barbells try GVT. Ease yourself into it and go for 5sets at the beginning and work up to a ten. If you are an experienced bodybuilder you already know how you can use both programs. Powerlifters might use 8x8 to have a switch from their program. 8 weeks to do something different.
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