German Volume Training is an intense workout routine that can be very effective for building muscle, but it requires a high level of commitment. If you’re just getting started with weightlifting or are looking to bulk up, you may be wondering ‘is German Volume Training good for beginners?’. In this article, we’ll cover what German Volume Training is, how it works and whether you should use this routine as a beginner.
In short, what is German Volume Training? (GVT)
As you can probably guess from the name, GVT was developed in Germany. The idea behind it is to provide trainees with a system that allows them to make progress by lifting an increased amount of weight each session (10 sets of 10 reps). For this reason, GVT is also often referred to as “the 10×10 workout”.
The routine was popularized by strength coach Charles Poliquin and is based on the concept of “time under tension” (TUT). TUT states that a set should be performed using a weight you can lift for 12 reps to failure.
By doing more reps with a lighter weight than you would normally do, the TUT is increased. This stimulates muscle growth without increasing rest time between sets. “The German Volume Training program reverses the traditional approach of doing higher reps with lower weight and shorter rest periods,” writes Poliquin.
Is German Volume Training Dangerous for Beginners?
People who are beginners in bodybuilding really don’t need this level of intensity in order to see results. This is why this is a program normally targeted to those of an intermediate level.
Another thing worth noting is that some bodybuilders use steroids or ‘gear’ that your average beginner wouldn’t know about. And so the programs they have success and talk about having success from wouldn’t necessarily translate well to somebody who isn’t taking the same things they’re taking because their bodies are running on different substances. Steroids allow the user to train for longer and harder, something a beginner just wouldn’t be able to compete with.
So worst-case scenario, you could end up straining a muscle trying to weight train using the same techniques as somebody who takes steroids.
It can be argued that 10 sets of 10 reps of any exercise for a beginner is just overkill, and there are other programs out there that can work your muscles in a more effective way, with less risk of injury.
Best Alternatives to German Volume Training for Beginners
I don’t think it’s a good idea to do German Volume Training as your first workout routine. You should, at the very least, know the basics of weight lifting before doing it. There are better beginner workouts that can provide similar benefits without putting you at risk for injury.
The Three Day Split
A simple alternative is a three-day split where you workout your entire body in 3 days. Here’s an example:
Monday – Back, Biceps, Forearms
Tuesday – Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – Back, Biceps, Forearms
Friday – Chest, Shoulders Triceps
Saturday and Sunday – Rest
5×5 Stronglifts Program
Another alternative is the 5×5 StrongLifts Program for beginners. The 5×5 program is great for building strength also.
This program lets you slowly progress in small increments over time by focusing on compound exercise movements that work for more than one muscle group and it has a high success rate.
An example of the 5×5 program would be:
Day 1 – 5×5 Squat, Bench Press, Overhead Barbell Press
Day 2 – 5×5 Squat, Military Press, Rows
Day 3 – Off
Conclusion – Is German Volume Training Good For Beginners?
I’m not saying that this program doesn’t work at all, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. I think there are better ways to train your muscles without risking injury which is why you would want to start off with the basics and learn how your body reacts before trying this type of program.
If you go too hard at the start and have a bad experience, then it may put you off training altogether, and we don’t want that to happen
Look at some of the alternatives to get you started on your way.