I completed my previously mentioned German Volume Training recently and gained a decent amount of muscle while losing considerable weight, here's a reminder quote of what I originally wrote about it and then my full review below that.
If you just want the number results I've highlighted that bit in bold below the quote.
Also I didn't write much about cardio either initially or during the review, but it's worth noting that I was doing probably 3-5 hours cardio a week as well as the GVT. So my fat burning was not merely down to lifting weights a ridiculous amount of times (though it surely helped a lot), but also cardio.
Rudiger wrote: ↑
5 months ago
Doing German Volume Training for 6 weeks, focusing on weight loss and strength but idgaf I'll put on some muscle anyway, I am also hoping that it increases my endurance with compound exercises. Right now I'm just feeling out what weight to use this week in preparing for starting Monday.
So GVT is 4 exercises a day, 10 sets and 10 reps, at about 60% of your 1RM (but can be considerably lower). There's 90 second rest for the larger compound movements but only 60 seconds for isolated exercises.
This may seem like a huge amount of volume, however doing 40 sets of GVT is not the same as doing 40 sets of a normal split workout (which would leave you dead for a few days), it's designed so that the first 5-6 sets are very comfortable, but by 8 you are suddenly really feeling it, and the last 2 sets you might not even make 10 reps. This does depend on getting the weight right for each exercise and it can be hard to gauge.
In terms of progressive overload, with compound movements once you complete 10 sets of 10 reps with good form, you may move up the next week. With isolation exercises, simple focus on explosive power and very slow eccentric movements. It is also designed with 3 muscle groups per day (Day A- Chest, Biceps, Shoulders, Day B- Back, Legs, Triceps) but each day one of those muscle groups will have 3 exercises, if I feel I'm over training I will drop one of these. But I've done it before, generally I recover quite fast even if my diet isn't on point, as mentioned anyway, most of the way through each exercise is like an moderately intense warm up, so you aren't constantly putting too much stress on your nervous system.
And yes, I'm going nuts on bench press, it was increasing so well until a year ago when I neglected it, and for me it's the most satisfying exercise to get right with increasing that weight but also keeping perfect form (along with maybe deadlift). A gymbro advised at least twice a week instead of once, and to my surprise, encouraged even 3 times as my suggestion, which I don't hear often from advanced lifters, but that guy's a fucking strong manlet with 140kg for reps, and he's not even huge. Anyhow-
All 10 Sets and 10 Reps:
Bench press 5 sets (normal Bench, only exercise not GVT)
Decline DB bicep curls
Dip cable barbell push down
Cable bicep pull
Tricep push down
Reverse delt fly
Well this was absolute hell, but completely worth it, for the most part actually enjoyed it (after each session at least) but I have to admit the last week or more I was just dying for it to end. Even the "easier" days like Wednesday or Friday were still such a siege, and by only the start of week 3 it would fill my mind beforehand what level of torture I was in for and how to approach it.
For example Tuesday was probably the worst, Deadlift followed by Leg Press wasn't awful at first, but once I got used to 10 sets/reps and the weight started progressing, those 2 exercises alone were taking nearly an hour to complete. The nightmare was always trying to decide if I'm going overboard on my rest time between sets, but balancing being too strict on my rest times and not being able to get as much volume. Leg press in particular, as my legs could just seize up at any time, even if I was feeling comfortable in only the 6th set, and because I took too short of a rest I had to seriously drop the weight. The single worst exercise was either normal squats or front squats, with these the rest between sets also an issue, but also not going overboard with rest between those final repetitions as well, but it just gets so hard sometimes when you're trying to move up in weight, you're nearly completing 10x10, but you can't get the air in and need an extra 5-10 seconds between reps to stand there. At the same time it felt like cheating, and each week I'd try cut down on that rest time between the final reps.
Basically you learn a lot about yourself doing something like this, your capability, your mentality, as an experience it was worth it alone, but results?
Really good, so good that during the assessment scan the trainer at the gym asked if I was hungover or drank a lot of coffee, and asked if I minded coming back in to test the machine after I've had a meal later. Which I did, and the results were very similar but reflected I hadn't fasted at least 4 hours as normal (this machine seems very accurate and was part inspiration for me doing a proper routine again, so it could track me accurately and you get a very detailed print out).
- just over 2kg of muscle added, which is good by any standards, but more importantly with that in mind- nearly 6kg of body weight lighter (92kg down to 86kg). That meant my body fat percentage went down over 5%, now at around 19%.
So very happy with this and not just on a personal level/body change, but I have the results in detail, to show everyone around me who insists it's impossible to gain muscle while losing weight if you've been training a few years, or even gaining muscle without high carbs (is that a thing that's universal? Or is it just a retarded Irish gym bro myth).
To sum up with some other aspects-
Definition/body composition- lats probably the biggest improvement, traps/arms more defined, chest most importantly is larger but leaner, not the gyno look I've always been worried about getting. This is so important to me because apart from flat bench press I always focus on lower chest workouts to stop moob look (which I don't have but I'm just paranoid about developing, as I naturally have a large chest), now I'm thinking, I can just do chest exercises like a normal person. Core/abs obviously a lot better but still too high in body fat to have real definition, though I do have obliques stretching across to the lats though. I guess the most obvious definition for a randomer stranger looking at me would be across the shoulders/top of chest/neck, and the separation of muscle there.
Strength- I'm only returning to the gym today with normal training so its hard to tell just yet but I don't understand how doing high volume would improve strength, it runs contrary to everything I've known about training, but GVT advocates insist it increases strength (though most GVT advocates are juiced to the eyeballs). My deadlift and squat got back up to a respectable weight for example, considering I was doing 100 reps that's got to mean something for strength. However while my bench moved up a bit, it didn't get near to a normal working weight, I'd be really surprised if my strength has improved on it. For smaller muscles, biceps, triceps, shoulders and traps, weight went up and tolerance to the volume, again unsure if this will equal more strength when it comes to normal training. So for example I'm not sure if I'll be able to ez bar curl significantly more weight now, but I did manage to get up to a fairly normal curl weight of 28kg for the 10 sets, before I was doing 33-38kg for 3 sets (though 12 reps instead of 10) so will I be able to push up to over 40kg or so? (Weird numbers as my gyms EZ bar is 8kg)
Endurance- well, part of strength in a way and what I just touched on, but for example I remember when I first hit a peak with my bench, and it started to go down from lack of consistent training/diet, it didn't matter if I was pressing 80kg or 50kg, if I was a few sets in then I was struggling by rep 6 or 7. Although my ability to lift heavier for 3-5 reps had hit it's height, my nervous system was fucked when it came to true strength, and within that endurance plays a major part. Without some form of endurance at lower weight, you will always get to a sticking point and simply, the weight will not go up forever by just sticking to 3 reps of pressing heavy. I am sure my general endurance has improved significantly, and I'll be so disappointed if not. Bench press I'm not at all certain the last 6 weeks will have improved it in the long term, I'll always have to look after that.
Form- incredibly good for form, unsurprisingly, but not noted as importantly for doing high volume. When you do the same movement 100 times, you get to know it pretty damn well, for practically every exercise I learned new ways to contract and engage my muscles. With the big compound movements, I've never truly felt my lats and calves/quads while doing a bench press, it's there now, as well as scapula retraction is so much more consistent throughout the movement. I'm hoping this will make a serious difference in the long run. But even something like a dumbbell kickback, I always felt I had this down for getting maximum contraction, but I was wrong, and it literally changes each time, even very subtly.
My overall "score" before the assessment (this is body composition, body fat, muscle, etc) was 76/100, and went up to 84, I know this could mean anything to everyone and I'm not even sure exactly what it means (a very muscular large ripped guy with low body fat can get over 100 for example, but I'm not sure how far over)
But more in perspective- before GVT it did say my ideal target body weight was 81kg, so I needed to lose 11kg, while maintaining muscle, to have a nicely defined slim body (hardly fitness model but still I'm guessing the type of body that over 90% of people would take) and now because my muscle went up, my ideal target is up to 83kg to have good body composition, with my overall weight at 86kg as mentioned.
So that's gone from needing to lose 11kg to only 3kg, and basically if I gain more muscle and don't gain much fat, I'll be at a weight and shape to play with the idea of getting lean and ripped. It may not be a Facebook ad 6 week "transformation" but I couldn't really ask for more.
Anyway, as mentioned I took a break after GVT and just returned to training today, thinking that after this experience, returning to normal 3 set exercises would be mentally easy, but I'm just exhausted. I don't think it's because of GVT permanently affecting me though, it's just always hard returning. I did chest, biceps and triceps but I need to write up an actual program again, and get back to normality.
Everyone should try GVT in some form though, even just for compound exercises, or certain other exercises, but I haven't known anyone to try full workouts 6 days a week doing it, and I'd just like to hear someone else's experience of it, as well as results.
As bad as it was at times, I'll do it again further down the road, and I think I can do it even better.
JLBB wrote: ↑
5 months ago
in my opinion an approach this extreme isn't useful until you're approaching olympic athlete or professional body building levels.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmdlnV ... qm_QE-UlJw
This guy is an absolute monster and advocates full body work outs twice to three times a week which is what I've been doing for the past 9 months or so. I used to have a program like yours and quite frankly there's virtually no difference in output and I'm spending 10x less time at the gym, also less sore muscles all the time.
Well quite frankly stop being a phagg.
No but like I went through, there's a bunch of reasons to devote yourself to something like this for 6 weeks, even if the numbers at the end aren't crazy or anything. I'm definitely pleased with how it went number wise, but with things like form especially, very glad I committed to this a lot harder than the last times I did GVT.
And the output definitely has been better but even if it wasn't there's other reasons to do this. For example when it comes to muscle soreness that was another thing I learned how to deal with so much better in various ways, eg leg muscle pain? Hold very cold water shower head over your legs for 5mins on each one, worked for me every time (maybe only for 3 or 4 hours sometimes but usually a permanent fix). Various other things that I had to learn, otherwise I probably would have been sore a lot, but I really wasn't for nearly the entire time.
I'm wondering if this has boosted my often inconsistent motivation in future, I guess I'll know in the next month. Usually my diet can easily go to shit, and I can randomly skip the gym for many days, I wonder if this strict regime will eradicate that sort of shit more.