I did a post about intensity and volume which is similar to what I am going to talk about on this blog post. That post can be found here.
I ran into an article on Yahoo Health that talks about getting big fast using German Volume Training or GVT. I will give my opinion on this training method in this blog post but if you want to read it beforehand, you can find it here.
It is basically a variation of 4X training. The logic is to increase volume of work by combining lower weights for sets of 10 reps with one minute rests between sets.
The weight being used for 10 reps works on the muscle size of the cells known as myofibrillar while the one minute rests works on the sarcoplasmic hypertrophy of the muscle cells causing that swollen look. Myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy both involve increasing the size of the cells but in a different way.
So when doing an exercise using the GVT method (10 sets, same weight, 60 second rest between sets), it should take about 15 minutes total since it shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to perform each set.
Now I have been doing 4X training for over a year now on just about every body part. So I am accustomed to performing heavy 10 rep sets with only a 30 second rest. So when I tried GVT while training chest, the key was to pick the right weight. The right weight is considered 60-70% of a one rep maximum in the exercise being performed.
I chose the bench press on a Hammer Strength machine. I picked a weight which was just under what I do for 4X training thinking that I was going to go for ten sets rather than four sets so I didn’t want to use the same amount of weight I normally use for 4X.
While the last three sets were somewhat difficult, I didn’t find it as taxing as 4X. It could be that I didn’t go heavy enough but it could also be that 60 seconds, is way too much rest. After all, I am used to resting 30 seconds.
The next day I did feel sore but not much different than 4X training.
This doesn’t make GVT a bad thing however. I think it is just another method to train the muscles to maximize the myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy properties of muscle cells.
In my next workout I will try more weight but you don’t have to be rigid in resting 60 seconds. The same results can be done by resting 45 seconds and going for ten sets. The key is to blast the muscles with high volume using lower intensity weights which are safer for older lifters.
So whether it is 4X or GVT or any other combination you want to come up with to train, the key is to always change it up and be…Fit Forlife!