What is German Volume Training?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 January 2020
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Popularized in the 1970s in Germany, the German volume training program is a weight training program in which the athlete performs ten repetitions within ten sets of a particular exercise. The German volume training program is a fast and effective way to add muscle mass quickly, and many athletes see noticeable results in about six weeks when combined with a healthy diet. The workout is an intense one, however, and it is best to see a professional trainer before delving into German volume training.

The German volume training workout should be done about three times a week with sufficient rest in between workout days. The most efficient way to do so is to target specific muscle groups for one day's workout, then move on to another muscle group on another day. On day one, for example, an athlete may choose to work the back muscles in combination with the chest muscles. The next workout day, the athlete may target the legs and core muscles such as the abs. On the third workout day, the athlete will target the arms, shoulders, and neck. In between the workout days, the athlete should take a rest day to allow the muscles to recover properly.


Heavy weight lifting is not the goal of German volume training; the athlete will instead lift about half of his maximum lifting capacity. If an athlete can bench press a maximum of three hundred pounds (136 kilograms), for example, that athlete will choose a weight that is about half the max weight, or around 150 pounds (68 kilograms). This will allow the athlete to successfully complete the ten reps necessary for the German volume training model.

A typical workout day will start with one exercise. The athlete will perform ten repetitions of the exercise, then rest for a short period of time. He will then do another set of ten repetitions and rest again. The athlete will repeat this process ten total times with the same exercise before moving onto the next exercise. A training day usually only consists of four to five total exercises, each one including ten repetitions in each of the ten sets. Many athletes who do this workout feel as though they are not accomplishing much at first because the weight feels too light. The German volume training session has a cumulative effect, however, and by the end of the workout, the muscles will have been fatigued enough that the athlete will notice results.


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