My Journey: Different Training Styles

Over the past month or so I have been experimenting with different techniques and training styles. I have done so in order to avoid plateaus, and to keep my body from adapting to certain routines and exercises to keep it guessing and growing.

I can’t take all the credit for most of these training ideas as the majority have been passed along to me from JC, usually by me bothering him by asking for a better workout or looking simply to terrorize a particular muscle group. I’ll cover some of the training styles I’ve been using and their effectiveness, at least for me personally, so that you can maybe add them to your repertoire if you get to that sticking point, or your routine just becomes stale. Over the next couple of articles I will take you through some particularly grueling, yet effective workouts that have been a great help to me on my journey.

GVT, or German Volume Training, is something I had heard about here and there on websites and in forums, but never really understood how to incorporate it into a routine. Basically, it’s 10 sets of 10 for any exercise (typically a compound movement, ie bench press, military press, squat) and is typically done with a weight that is 60 percent of your 1RM. So if you bench 255 like me, your GVT weight is around 150. It may take a couple workouts to find the weight that is right for you to complete all ten sets, but it’s worth it.

Now, this may not seem like a contentlot of work on paper, 10 sets of 10? Bench press? With 150? No problem some of you might say! Well perhaps, but try it. It works out to 100 reps. Oh, and did I mention that you only rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets?

I was sadly mistaken the first time I tried GVT and assumed it would be a walk in the park. Sadly, and sorely, mistaken! By set seven I was ready to give in! Set eight my chest was on fire! The burning sensation was intense and I still had two more sets! By the time I finished I could barely lift my arms over my head, and I still had triceps to train!

Needless to say I skipped the close grip bench and dips and did mostly isolation exercises for triceps. I don’t think I could have done a push-up from my knees for four days after my first experience with a GVT chest workout! Shoulders was the same way!

Now you don’t have to do all flat bench or machine press either. It’s 10 sets of 10, anyway you like! So you can do 4 sets of incline db press, 3 sets of flat db and 3 of db flye, as long as you total 10 sets, 10 reps. That is German Volume Training!

After about four weeks I switched up my workout to mostly barbells, (flat bench, incline, smith) after using mostly dumbbells for the majority of my first workouts. I am ready and quite eager to get back to GVT in a couple more weeks. The sheer volume alone brings a sensation unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my muscles, and it I’m sure it will leave you enjoying GVT and wanting more of it too!

I hope you will give this a try. If you do please let me know what you think of it and if you plan on introducing it as a regular part of your routine. I can’t wait to hear!

Happy Lifting!

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9 comments for “My Journey: Different Training Styles

  1. Trevor Halbrook
    January 20, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I tried this with chest and tris tonight. Brutal but so amazing! Definitely going to make this a part of my regular routine

    • Luke Aubin
      January 20, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      I’m planning on returning to it in another week or two, been focusing on flat and incline bench lately, mixing it up! Glad you enojyed it! What did you go with?

  2. January 19, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve been hearing a lot about GVT lately, think I’m going to start giving it a try here soon on the days I’m lifting alone. Good stuff Luke!

    • January 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Wow I tried this today with deadlifts. Talk about love / hate! It was absolutely brutal, but I loved it! So the one thing I was trying to decide on what was better. Doing it first when you have full energy since it’s so tough but then you are pretty spent for the rest of your lifts (this is what I did today) OR doing it last so you have more energy for everything else but then you won’t have as much for for the most difficult exercise of your routine. Any thoughts on the matter?

      • Luke Aubin
        January 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        Either way I think is fine? There’s so much volume in there that whether you’re using big weight at the start, or lower weight at the end you’re going to have so much blood and fatigue in that muscle that its ready to come off the bone haha

        I don’t want to speculate too much on this, as its as new to me as it is to anyone, my preference is to do it first so I can be fresh and move more weight?

        • January 20, 2013 at 9:20 pm

          Thanks Luke yeah that’s my thought as well. I’m sure it’s good to do it either way and mix it up too. Thanks for the advice though, it was amazing!

  3. January 19, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I love this style of training…in fact, I think in my next program I’ll return to it! It is brutal but oh so good!

  4. January 19, 2013 at 5:54 am

    I’ve never heard anyone make German Volume Training sound enjoyable, but you did Luke! Who else enjoys this type of training? It definitely is effective though. Keep up the great work Luke!

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