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Exploring the Power of German Volume Training: A Complete Guide to the 7x7 and 10x10 Workouts

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German Volume Training (GVT) stands as a beacon for those immersed in the world of bodybuilding, strength training, and lifting, signaling a path to power and hypertrophy 1. Known for its rigorous 10 sets of 10 repetitions, tackling various muscle groups through meticulously selected exercises, GVT pushes the boundaries of conventional fitness regimes 12. Tailored for individuals beyond the novice stage, this cycling workout underscores the importance of tempo and workout structure, utilizing weights at 60% of the lifter's 1RM and emphasizing short rest intervals for maximum efficacy 24.

Diving into the realms of German Volume Training, this article will unfold the peculiarities of the 7x7 and 10x10 workout plans, showcasing their profound impact on muscle strength and growth 3. As we engage in this exploration, the narrative will shed light on the optimum nutrition and rest that go hand in hand with these formidable exercises, guiding you towards achieving your bodybuilding and powerlifting goals with precision and power 4.

History of Volume Training

German Volume Training (GVT), a method that has significantly shaped the landscape of strength training and bodybuilding, boasts a rich history rooted in the pursuit of hypertrophy and strength. Originating in Germany during the 1970s, GVT was developed and popularized by notable figures in the world of weightlifting, each contributing to the refinement and dissemination of this high-volume training approach. Below is a detailed exploration of its evolution:

  1. The Genesis of GVT:

    • Origin: GVT emerged in Germany in the 1970s, conceived by Rolf Feser, a renowned German weightlifting coach 56.
    • Popularity: Initially focused on building muscle mass during the off-season, the regimen gained traction for its effective hypertrophy results, with Coach Poliquin playing a pivotal role in its popularization beyond German borders 58.
  2. Key Components of Traditional GVT:

    • Workout Structure: The classic GVT format involves performing 10 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise, utilizing weights at 60% of the lifter's one-rep max (1RM), with rest intervals of 60-120 seconds between sets 79.
    • Training Split: Poliquin's adaptation includes a split of Chest and Back, Quads and Hamstrings, Biceps and Triceps, and Shoulders and Rear Delts, with each muscle group being trained once a week 7.
    • Tempo and Rest: A unique addition by Coach Poliquin, the implementation of specific tempos (e.g., 3020 or 4010) for each set, alongside the prescribed rest intervals, underscores the program's emphasis on fatigue accumulation for growth stimulation 7.
  3. Evolution and Impact:

    • Growth and Adaptation: Over the years, GVT has evolved, with variations such as the 7x7 format being introduced to cater to different training goals and levels of fitness 11.
    • Legacy and Influence: As a testament to its enduring relevance, GVT remains a cornerstone in the training regimens of athletes and bodybuilders aiming for muscle hypertrophy, strength, and endurance improvement, albeit with modifications to accommodate modern training principles 11.

This exploration into the history of German Volume Training highlights its foundational principles, key contributors, and the evolutionary strides it has made in the fitness and bodybuilding sphere. The method's enduring legacy is a testament to its effectiveness in muscle building and strength enhancement, making it a staple in the training arsenals of many dedicated athletes and bodybuilders worldwide.

Understanding the Exercise Theory Behind Volume Training

Understanding the exercise theory behind German Volume Training (GVT) reveals why this high-intensity method is celebrated for its remarkable efficacy in muscle hypertrophy and strength development. Here's a deeper dive into the principles that make GVT a standout training strategy:

  • High Volume and Intensity: At its core, GVT involves performing 10 sets of 10 reps for a single exercise, using a weight that's about 60% of one's one-rep max (1RM) 12. This high volume, coupled with relatively short rest periods between sets (60-90 seconds), ensures that each muscle group is pushed to its limit, facilitating muscle growth and strength enhancement 12.

  • Compound Exercises and Progressive Overload:

    • Compound Focus: GVT emphasizes compound exercises targeting large muscle groups, such as squats, bench presses, deadlifts, and rows 4. These movements involve multiple joints and muscle groups, maximizing the efficiency of the workout.
    • Progressive Overload: Progression in GVT is achieved by gradually increasing the weight used while maintaining the same set and rep scheme 4. This principle of progressive overload is crucial for continuous improvement in strength and muscle size.
  • Recovery and Overtraining Considerations:

    • Recovery: Proper recovery, including adequate sleep, nutrition, and rest days between workouts, is vital for those following a GVT program 4. The demanding nature of GVT makes recovery even more critical to prevent overtraining and ensure muscle repair and growth.
    • Risk of Overtraining: GVT can lead to overtraining if not managed properly, particularly due to its high volume and intensity 13. It's recommended to use GVT for short periods and ensure that a deload phase is implemented after about six weeks of training 17.

In summary, the exercise theory behind German Volume Training hinges on its structured approach to high-volume, high-intensity workouts, strategic emphasis on compound exercises, and the principle of progressive overload. These components, combined with a strong focus on recovery, make GVT an effective training method for those looking to significantly enhance muscle strength and hypertrophy. However, due to its demanding nature, GVT is best suited for intermediate to advanced lifters and requires careful management to avoid the pitfalls of overtraining 1213417.

7x7 Workout Plan Explained

The 7x7 Workout Plan, a unique blend of German Volume Training (GVT) and the traditional 5x5 approach, is designed to maximize muscle recruitment through its focus on compound/multi-joint lifts 18. Unlike the traditional 10x10 GVT which focuses on a single exercise format, the 7x7 plan introduces a more varied and intense regimen, incorporating a broader range of exercises and rep ranges 18. This hybrid model results in a total of 49 reps per exercise, pushing the boundaries of conventional training programs 18.

Weekly Workout Schedule:

  • Monday:
    • Hang Clean and Press
    • Deadlifts
    • Jump Squats
  • Tuesday:
    • Incline Bench Press
    • Weighted Pull-Ups
    • Weighted Dips
    • Reverse-Grip Barbell Rows
    • Straight Barbell Curls
    • Tricep Ez-Bar Extension
    • Pushups
  • Thursday:
    • Back Squat
    • Good Morning
    • Goblet Squats
  • Saturday:
    • Front Squat
    • Box Jump

Each session is meticulously crafted, focusing on specific muscle groups with 7 sets of 7 repetitions, ensuring a comprehensive coverage of the body's major muscle groups throughout the week 18. This structure not only enhances muscle strength and hypertrophy but also introduces an element of cardiovascular challenge, making the 7x7 workout a multifaceted training regimen 18.

The philosophy behind the 7x7 workout plan—"man is 5, the devil is 6, and God is 7"—aims to imbue practitioners with the strength to "move the oceans," signifying the program's intent to empower individuals beyond their perceived limits 18. However, due to its high training volume and the inclusion of many supersets, the 7x7 workout plan is recognized as a challenging routine, necessitating a high level of dedication and resilience from its practitioners 518. This program is tailored for those looking to push their limits, ensuring that each session contributes towards significant muscle growth and strength gains, making it a formidable component of an athlete's training arsenal.

Benefits and Challenges of 7x7 Workouts

Embarking on the 7x7 workout plan, one is met with a blend of rewards and hurdles, each contributing to the journey towards enhanced muscle strength and physique. The distinctive characteristics of this regimen necessitate a closer examination to fully appreciate its impact:


  • Intense Muscle Engagement: The 7x7 workout plan, with its focus on compound lifts, ensures that multiple muscle groups are engaged simultaneously. This holistic approach not only fosters muscle growth but also enhances overall body strength.
  • Variety and Adaptability: Unlike its 10x10 counterpart, the 7x7 format introduces a wider range of exercises and rep ranges. This variety keeps the workout interesting and can be adapted to suit different fitness levels and goals.
  • Cardiovascular Challenge: The incorporation of supersets and a high number of repetitions introduces a cardiovascular element to the workout. This dual focus on strength and endurance can lead to improved heart health and stamina.


  • Demanding Recovery Needs: The high volume and intensity of the 7x7 workout plan place significant demands on the body's recovery processes. Adequate rest, nutrition, and hydration are imperative to prevent overtraining and ensure muscle repair and growth 5.
  • Not Suitable for Long-Term Training: Due to its rigorous nature, the 7x7 plan is not recommended as a long-term training strategy. It's best utilized in short cycles to avoid the risks associated with overtraining, such as injury and burnout 5.
  • Requires a Moderate Approach for Fat Loss: Post the intensive 7x7 cycle, transitioning to a more moderate workout approach is advised, especially for individuals targeting fat loss. This shift helps in managing the body's energy expenditure and supports sustainable fat loss strategies 5.

In summary, the 7x7 workout plan presents a unique blend of opportunities and considerations for those seeking to elevate their fitness journey. While it offers a pathway to significant strength and muscle gains, it also underscores the importance of balanced training, recovery, and program variation to achieve long-term success and well-being.

10x10 Workout Plan Unveiled

The 10x10 Workout Plan, a cornerstone of German Volume Training (GVT), is designed to challenge and build muscle mass and strength through high intensity and volume. This plan is particularly effective due to its structured approach, focusing on compound lifts and strict rest periods. Here’s a detailed look at the plan:

Weekly Workout Structure:

  1. Day 1: Chest and Back

    • Bench Press: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Bent Over Rows: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Supplemental: Incline Dumbbell Press 3 sets x 8-10 reps 20
  2. Day 2: Legs

    • Squats: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Leg Curls: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Supplemental: Calf Raises 3 sets x 8-10 reps 20
  3. Day 3: Rest

  4. Day 4: Shoulders and Arms

    • Military Press: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Barbell Curls: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Tricep Dips: 10 sets x 10 reps 19
    • Supplemental: Lateral Raises 3 sets x 8-10 reps 20
  5. Day 5: Rest

  6. Day 6: Repeat Cycle

Key Training Principles:

  • Rest Periods: Strictly 60-90 seconds between sets to maximize effectiveness and maintain intensity 19 20.
  • Intensity and Progression: Start with weights at 60% of your 1RM, increasing by approximately 5% when you can consistently complete all sets and reps 22.
  • Volume: The high volume of 10 sets for each exercise is crucial for triggering muscle hypertrophy 1.
  • Exercise Selection: Focus on multijoint movements like squats and bench presses for comprehensive muscle engagement 20.
  • Recovery: Emphasize recovery with ample calories and a 3:1 carb-to-protein ratio post-workout to support muscle growth and repair 22.

Incorporating the 10x10 Workout Plan into your training regimen offers a rigorous yet rewarding path to significant muscle and strength gains. However, it's essential to listen to your body and ensure proper recovery to prevent overtraining. With dedication and resilience, the 10x10 GVT method can be a transformative component of your fitness journey.

Comparing 7x7 and 10x10 Workouts

When delving into the realms of German Volume Training (GVT), specifically comparing the 7x7 and 10x10 workout plans, it's crucial to understand their distinct methodologies and the outcomes they yield. Drawing on various studies and expert opinions, let's explore the nuances that differentiate these two approaches:

1. Volume and Intensity:

  • 10x10 Workouts: Characterized by 10 sets of 10 repetitions, this method is renowned for its high volume, designed to push muscle groups to their limit. A study in 2018 found that, when comparing 10x10 to a 5x10 training regimen, there was no significant difference in muscle growth and strength outcomes 16. This suggests that while the 10x10 method is intense, it may not always lead to superior gains.
  • 7x7 Workouts: A slightly less intense variant, the 7x7 workout plan still adheres to the principles of high volume but reduces the total number of sets and repetitions. This could potentially allow for more sustainable growth and less risk of overtraining, especially considering the 10x10's noted decrease in leg mass from 6-12 weeks, indicating possible overtraining if the program exceeds six weeks 16.

2. Potential for Overtraining and Muscle Burnout:

  • 10x10 Workouts: The high demand of 10x10 workouts can lead to muscle burnout and overtraining, especially if not carefully managed. The author of webpage 50 expressed reluctance to use the 10x10 training again due to its similar results to 5x10 training but with a higher risk of overtraining 16. Additionally, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recommends 4-6 sets for muscle hypertrophy, suggesting that the extra volume in 10x10 may not yield additional muscle growth 19.
  • 7x7 Workouts: While still challenging, the 7x7 workout plan may offer a more balanced approach to volume training, potentially mitigating the risk of overtraining. The reduced volume compared to the 10x10 plan aligns more closely with NSCA's recommendations for hypertrophy, possibly offering a more sustainable path to muscle growth without the heightened risk of burnout 19.

3. Comparative Effectiveness:

  • A study comparing GVT against traditional hypertrophy training found that traditional hypertrophy training outperformed GVT in terms of muscle growth and strength gains 19. This finding challenges the notion that higher volume always equates to better results, emphasizing the importance of tailoring workout plans to individual needs and capacities.
  • The variability in individual abilities and energy levels means that while some may thrive on the intense 10x10 regimen, others might find greater success with a slightly less demanding 7x7 workout or even traditional hypertrophy training 24.

In summary, both the 7x7 and 10x10 workout plans offer unique approaches to volume training, each with its own set of benefits and challenges. The choice between them should be informed by an individual's fitness level, goals, and capacity for recovery, ensuring that the chosen method aligns with their long-term health and fitness aspirations.

Nutrition and Recovery for Volume Training

Optimizing nutrition and recovery is pivotal for maximizing the benefits of German Volume Training (GVT), ensuring muscle growth, and preventing overtraining. Here's a breakdown of the key components:

Nutrition: Fueling for GVT

  • Protein Intake: Consume at least 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, scaling up to 3.5 grams if necessary to support muscle repair and growth 12526. Ideal sources include lean meats, chicken, fish, Greek yogurt, beans, eggs, and plant-based options 3.
  • Carbohydrates: Eat 5 to 10 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight to provide the necessary energy for intense workouts. Prioritize complex carbohydrates for sustained energy and muscle building 125263.
  • Healthy Fats and Calories: While minimizing fat intake to avoid unnecessary weight gain, ensure the diet includes healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and fish oil. A high-calorie diet is essential to support muscle growth and recovery during a GVT regime 1252617.
  • Hydration and Supplements: Stay well-hydrated and consider supplements like BCAAs for muscle recovery, especially immediately before and after workouts 3.

Recovery: Ensuring Muscle Growth and Avoidance of Overtraining

  • Adequate Sleep: Ensure 7-9 hours of quality sleep nightly, as it aids in muscle recovery and growth 12526.
  • Rest Days: Incorporate rest days between workouts to allow muscles to repair and grow. GVT's intensity necessitates careful attention to recovery to prevent rhabdomyolysis and other overtraining symptoms 14.
  • Active Recovery Techniques: Employ stretching, foam rolling, and light activity on rest days to promote circulation and aid in the recovery process 27.

Managing Training Intensity:

  • Gradual Progression: Increase the weight only if you can complete all 10 sets of 10 reps, ensuring exercises are performed with proper form and control 12526.
  • Tempo and Technique: Maintain the specified tempo for each exercise to maximize muscle engagement and growth while minimizing the risk of injury 12526.

Adhering to these nutrition and recovery guidelines alongside a well-structured GVT program will empower individuals to achieve their muscle strength and hypertrophy goals effectively. It's also recommended to consult with a fitness professional to tailor the workout and nutrition plan to individual needs, ensuring a healthy, realistic, and enjoyable fitness journey 327.

Real-life Success Stories

In the realm of fitness transformations, real-life success stories provide the most tangible evidence of a program's effectiveness. One such compelling narrative revolves around the application of German Volume Training (GVT) by Mike McGurn, a renowned fitness expert. McGurn embarked on an experimental journey with this high-intensity volume training program, focusing on a group of long-term injured (LTI) athletes. The results were nothing short of remarkable:

  • Duration of Experiment: 8 Weeks
  • Participants: Long-Term Injured Athletes
  • Program: German Volume Training (GVT)
  • Results Achieved:
    • Lean Muscle Mass Gain: Between 4 to 6 Kg
    • Training Method: Primarily focused on high volume and intensity, adhering to the core principles of GVT.

This exploration into GVT's application showcases not only the program's adaptability to different fitness levels but also its profound impact on muscle growth and recovery. McGurn's experiment serves as a testament to GVT's potential to transcend traditional training limitations, offering a beacon of hope for those seeking substantial physical transformations, especially in the face of previous injuries 6.

The success of these athletes under McGurn's guidance highlights the importance of structured, high-volume training in overcoming plateaus and achieving significant muscle gains. It underscores the principle that with the right approach, even those recovering from long-term injuries can achieve remarkable fitness milestones, making GVT a versatile and powerful tool in the arsenal of fitness methodologies 6.


Throughout the exploration of German Volume Training, including its rigorous 10x10 and 7x7 workout plans, we've delved deep into the methodology that makes this approach so effective for strength and muscle hypertrophy. Emphasizing the importance of structured workouts, proper nutrition, and ample recovery, this guide has equipped readers with the knowledge to embark on or enhance their journey in bodybuilding and strength training. By now, it's evident that, whether you're an intermediate lifter looking to break through plateaus or an advanced athlete aiming for significant gains, GVT offers a pathway marked by intensity, discipline, and the promise of transformation.

The comparison between the 7x7 and 10x10 workout plans, alongside real-life success stories, underscores the versatility of GVT to cater to various fitness levels and goals, always with an eye towards pushing the boundaries of personal performance. As we conclude, remember that the choice of GVT routine – be it the original 10x10 setup or the adjusted 7x7 variant – should align with your individual needs, capabilities, and aspirations. Engaging with these proven training schemas not only confronts you with the physical demands of high-volume training but also with the rewarding journey towards achieving unprecedented strength and muscle growth.


What exactly is the 10x10 approach in German Volume Training? The 10x10 method within German Volume Training (GVT) involves completing 10 sets of 10 repetitions across various exercises, totaling 10 different exercises. This high-volume workout is designed to maximize muscle engagement, promoting the development of strength and muscle mass. The specific exercises can be rotated on different days to target various muscle groups.

Is German Volume Training effective for muscle and strength development? Yes, German Volume Training is recognized for its effectiveness in enhancing muscle growth, endurance, and strength, particularly among athletes and bodybuilders. However, it does have its limitations, especially for advanced lifters in terms of the maximum weight that can be used and the duration of the workouts, as it is not a quick routine.

How quickly can one expect to see results from German Volume Training? Results from German Volume Training can typically be observed within 4 to 6 weeks, assuming the program is followed diligently with adequate nutrition and rest. To maintain progress and continue gaining muscle and strength, it's crucial to progressively increase the weights being lifted.

Are there any drawbacks to German Volume Training? While some individuals may find success with German Volume Training, it is often criticized for being suboptimal for both hypertrophy and strength gains. The training volume is considered excessively high, leading to workouts that are challenging to sustain over time, and the lack of variation can cause the routine to become monotonous quickly. Despite its simplicity and potential effectiveness for some, it may not be the best choice for everyone.


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