What is German Volume Training good for?
German Volume Training is mainly good for muscle gains and training discipline. The muscle gains because of its hypertrophy nature, the discipline because 10 sets of tens suck to complete.
What else to consider for German Volume training
What are your goals
Before we go into the details of the 5x5 workout, let me ask you a couple of questions:
Why do you want to work out?
Why do you want to change your physique?
What happens when you do?
What happens if you don’t?
These questions will make all the difference between your success and failure. Research shows that people who write down and reflect on their goals are more likely to achieve them. So what are you doing reading this blog? Sit down, plan your goals with purpose and execute. Many people go about their lives like this:
What do I want
How do I get it
Why do I want it
This is a good way to lose track and get confused. What you want changes hundreds of times a day depending on who you are with, where you are and what you do. If you make this the center point of your life you will in a hundred directions and arrive nowhere. Your resources will be spread thin and your time scattered between too many activities. Something interesting happens when you flip the running order of these questions:
Why do you want something
How do you get it
What needs to be done
This way your innermost desires will be in focus. Your life will get more purpose and your thinking will become more cohesive. Your thoughts and actions will become more connected and success will be the result. If you want to know more about how this works on a psychological level read Daniel Kahneman's thinking fast and slow. Simon Sinek's TED talk on the golden circle will change your life.
A good place to start is to keep a journal and structure your goals and days. I found that the self journal is the best to accomplish this. Since I use it my salary has increased by 30% and have managed to create a happier life with my wife. Took us two years but it worked.
What is German Volume Training
German Volume Training is a program which allegedly has been designed in Eastern Germany during the Cold War period. It is usually done with a barbell on the big three lifts. These are the barbell squat, deadlift and bench press. At the heart of the program is the structure of doing 10 repetitions for ten sets at an intensity of 40% to 60% of your one-repetition maximum. Rest between sets is usually 30 seconds to a minute.
Based on its nature German Volume Training is categorized as a hypertrophy program. This means that it is good for muscle growth. Hypertrophy programs usually work in the 8-12 repetition range for 3 to 5 sets.
Sets of tens can be found in many other professional programs in the hypertrophy phase. This usually comes at the beginning of a three to six months training cycle.
Pros of German Volume Training
German Volume Training will make you feel the burn and make your muscles grow, given you eat enough. You will also practice and ingrain the mechanics of the lifts without putting your bones and lower back under too much risk of injury. You will have many opportunities to form the muscle memory for the right bar path and grow in the process. German Volume Training also tends to make you sweat more than other strength programs.
Cons of German Volume Training
German Volume Training takes more time as other programs as you do twice the amount of sets. If your technique is poor these little fault lines will become a habit quicker. If you are into strength sports there is also not enough volume in the high ranges to prepare you for a one-repetition maximum attempt. Lesser muscle groups which are harder to train might fatigue before the bigger muscle groups and leave you imbalanced.
Alternatives to German Volume Training
Alternatives to German Volume Training are
Gironda 8x8 takes the same idea as German Volume Training but mellows it out a little by cutting out 36 repetitions. This makes it still a great Hypertrophy program, but not as extreme as German Volume Training. You can also challenge yourself to higher weights being used due to the lower count of repetitions in total.
Stronglifts 5x5 is a great middle of the road approach between strength and muscle gain for beginners. Sets of 5 have been the backbone of many strength programs for years and will never get old. The Stronglifts program is also easy to follow which makes it even more appealing for beginners.
Wendler 531 is a Great program for athletes with a jam-packed schedule who also want to fit in strength training. It usually only takes half an hour for three days a week. In addition, it also works with auto-regulation which means you will always train at the optimum for the day. Highly recommended when you are already very fit and want to get into lifting.
Juggernaut Training Systems have an AI system which individualizes a rock-solid program to your specific needs as a lifter. It is the only one out if this line up which costs money, but it is the only if them which kept me injury free while progressing for more than a year.
What is German Volume Training good for
German Volume Training is good for building mass and bigger muscles, given that your diet also runs in tandem to support this goal. It can be used as a bridge program between two strength cycles or when an athlete decides to go up a weight class.