How to build muscle FAST!!! and how to recover even FASTER!!!

German volume training for MASS!!!!

Before I get into the telling you how awesome GVT or German volume training is for adding muscle mass I need to tell you what inspired me to write this blog post.

I won't go into specifics due to client confidentiality but we can go over the basics. My client was a typical gym goer, he wanted to lose weight, gain muscle , and is interested in the body building world. Now we had done some great work together, 12 weeks in he had reached his goal body fat percentage, he had completely changed his body shape, did everything I asked of him in the gym. So the 12 weeks were over and it was time to reassess his goals, he told me he wanted to add more muscle to his frame.

He had done the 4x10, 4x8 routines before, he needed something new, something that I knew would guarantee results. I have used GVT myself and knew how effective it is at adding mass if done correctly. So I told him the plan, GVT for his muscle mass.

What is German volume training?

German Volume training was created during the mid-70s in Germany and was popularized by the National coach of weightlifting Rolf Feser. This method, also known as the “10 sets method”, was used by off-season weightlifters to gain lean body mass and shed unnecessary body-fat. Weightlifters would commonly move up an entire weight class in twelve weeks due to the shear effectiveness of this program.

There are quite a few variations of GVT out there but the principle is the same ,10 reps for 10 sets, focussing on the tempo of the rep. I like to use Charles Poliquin's method and use a 4 second negative on a longer range of motion exercise like the squat and a 3 second negative and a 2 second concentric on a shorter range of motion exercise like a bicep curl.

Squat lowering the weight - 4 seconds down

Bottom of the squat – 0 seconds so no resting in the hole

Pushing the weight back up - 0 seconds

German volume training targets a specific group of motor units exposing them to intensive amounts volume, i.e. ten sets of a single exercise. The body adapts to the mass amounts of stress by building more muscle to cope with the work load. Although this program is geared more towards hypertrophy than strength it still has a substantial positive impact on performance for any weightlifter.

Practising a lift for ten sets every five days is going to drastically improve your form and muscular endurance. When you do a high amount of sets for a single exercise fatigued muscle fibres will begin to drop out and new unused fibres will join in to compensate. At the end of ten sets you will have literally used parts of your muscles that you have never used before.

How to perform German volume training.

With GVT I would recommend a 3 day split over 5 days:

Day 1 - Chest and Back

Day 2 - Legs and abs

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Shoulders and arms

Day 5 - Off

Then repeat the cycle again.

Exercises are done in a superset fashion, so a bench press followed by a chin up or a lat pull down.

A1 – Chest press 10 reps

A2 – Chin up 10 reps

Rest 60-90 seconds – Repeat for 10 sets

Followed by accessory work

B1 – Incline dumbbell fly's 10-12 reps

B2 – Barbell row/Dumbbell row 10-12 reps

Rest 60-90 seconds repeat for 3 set


How do you recover?

To recover quickly and to get you back in the gym the next day, you need to consume protein. I would suggest consuming 25g of whey protein directly after you finish working. Ideally you should consume 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight atleast each day.

Protein contains amino acids, which is what our bodies use to repair and build muscle

Overview of Whey Protein’s Benefits:

  • Is a complete protein source, with a particularly high L-leucine content for positively regulating the mTOR pathway
  • Is rapidly absorbed/digested
  • Is easy/convenient to add to one’s diet
  • Increases anabolic response to resistance training
  • Helps maintain muscle mass and prevent age-related muscular atrophy
  • Can provide anti-catabolic properties during prolonged aerobic activities
  • Boosts insulin sensitivity and may boost metabolism/enhance fat loss
  • Enhances immune system functioning, especially in those who are physically active

The video  gives you a good idea of what supplements will help you to recover and build muscle, but not all the suggested supplements are needed to build success.

Personally i do use Optimum Nutrition's Gold standard whey,it can be a bit pricey but you get what you pay for. The product tastes good and mixes well, which is always a bonus when it comes to whey protein supps.

Perform this for 4-6 weeks and watch yourself grow. My client gained a good 2 pounds of muscle using this method and he was very pleased with his results. The only down side to using this programme is that it can be quite time consuming, but if you are prepared to stick with it, you will be rewarded greatly.

References/image credit -,, steve cook