German Volume Training Everything You Need To Know


German Volume Training

How much do you really know about German volume training? Rest easy. This is no test. If it were, you’d pass. How do we know? Simple. We give you all the info you need to know right here.

It’s true: There are tons of effective methods in weightlifting that allow you to build muscle, increase strength and enhance your endurance as long as you give it your all and add some intensity to your training. German volume training is yet another effective way to break some muscle and get you looking pumped up, stacked, ripped and all those other fancy words we use to describe someone who has big and awesome muscles.

If you’ve never tried this method, just know that you don’t have to be some sort of expert, contender or elite weightlifting champion. With that said, because of the intensity of the program, it’s really not for beginners.

Not sure what it is?

Don’t worry. We’re going to give you all the ins and outs, ups and downs and sides to sides (now that’s a lot of direction). We’ll also include a training plan for you to follow to make sure you get the most out of your German volume training routine.


What Exactly Is German Volume Training?

German volume training originated in, you guessed it, Germany. The time was the 1970s. Its original purpose was to help off-season weightlifting competitors quickly gain a lot of muscle and lose fat that they had accumulated.

With German volume training, you are basically forcing your body to change by means of doing the maximum sets and reps you can possibly handle. When you rev up your routine in such a way, the body responds in a positive manner. In other words, you could expect to see an increase in muscle size and some fat loss, which will give you that nice cut look.

Each exercise consists of 10 sets and 10 reps of large muscle compound movements. A compound move means that you are working multiple muscles and joints at the same time, as opposed to isolation exercises such as the basic biceps curl. Of course, those will be included as well as kind of a side deal. I’ll expand on that later. By working in such a large volume and keeping your muscles under tension that much longer, you’ll create an enormous amount of stimulation for muscle growth.


How To Do German Volume Training

There are a few basics for you to learn. But, once you have that, you’ll catch on and it will be easy as can be from there.

The exercise you choose for each body part should be intense. Try and skip the machines and go for more intense exercises that are sure to take a toll on your muscles and give you the best bang for your buck!

Choose one exercise per muscle group and stick with it. You will be doing one exercise per muscle group that is 10 sets of 10 reps, so be sure you choose a good one.

Ever heard of a-la-carte muscles?

Some people call these your accessory muscles, but whatever you want to call them, you’re going to train them as you normally would with three sets of 10 to 12 reps. Those would be your isolation exercises such as bicep curls, triceps dips, calf raises, etc.

Don’t forget the rest periods. The rest time between your main sets should be no more and no less than 90 seconds. If you are doing a targeted exercise such as biceps curls, then the rest time should only be 60 seconds.

Use your antagonistic muscle groups.

What does this mean?

You should be doing exercises that incorporate your biceps and triceps, your chest and back, your quads and hamstrings.

The amount of weight you’ll be using is more than likely going to be less than you’re normally used to lifting. Don’t stress.


This will allow for you to do 10 perfect sets of 10 perfect reps, and you’re not lifting to failure each time. Find your sweet spot.

Frequency of training is one of the biggest keys of all. You need to train each of your muscle groups every four or five days.

The tempo of your lifts is another key factor. Prior recommendations are to keep the longer-range movements at a four second negative and the shorter-range movements at three seconds. Whether or not you focus on your tempo, you’re still going to make some sick gains, so try not to think on this part too hard.

You Need Hardcore Eating When You Are Hardcore Training

Don’t tell me you’re going to be doing all of this insanely intense work and not bother changing your diet?

No, no, no!

That’s not the way to get the results you want, especially with this type of training.

Though you don’t have to follow the stereotypical German eating habits and eat loads of sauerkraut and bratwurst, you will have to make a few tweaks in your diet.

Like what?

For starters, you are going to need to boost your caloric intake by about 1,000 calories. You can easily do this by adding a few bananas, an extra scoop of protein powder in your shaker bottle a couple times per day, three or four protein bars and enough apples to juggle with.

This program is taxing and takes a lot of energy, so you can even eat bananas and oranges during your workout (just don’t throw the peel on the floor because you or someone else in they gym might slip on it later) for some instant energy.

You don’t want to load up on junk food that lacks nutritional value just to meet your caloric requirements. You need to make this extra food count towards your goal. It’s there to provide you with energy and help you to build those beautiful muscles. Choose wisely.

Be sure you are eating a good pre-workout meal, yes meal, not a shake or power bar. That should come about 30 minutes prior to your workout. The meal should be eaten about 90 minutes to two hours prior to your workout. It should consist of plenty of protein and a source of complex carbohydrates to provide you with long lasting energy.

Keep hydrated before, during and after your workout.


The simple fact is that water does a lot more than wetting your whistle. It’s desperately needed in the muscle building process. Drink early. Drink often. Just don’t forget to drink up!

Does Sleep Affect Muscle Growth-

You Might Want To Increase Your Sleep Too!

With any good workout routine, sleep is much needed for proper recovery time. Since German volume training is such an intense form of exercise, your body is going to need more sleep.

Everything you do to your body during the day gets fixed while you sleep. As a result, if you’re lacking in sleep, you may not get the results you are hoping for. You will need to get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night with this type of training to allow enough time for your muscles to recover.

Though sleep can be a time of healing, muscle wasting can also occur during this fasting period.


I know. I just told you to sleep because it makes your muscles grow, but hear me out: If you go to bed without something in your belly such as a good amount of protein, you can lose a bit of muscle due to normal processes that go on during sleep that require energy. But, as mentioned, eating before bed will most definitely reverse that process and it’ll increase protein synthesis. So eat, then sleep.

Another reason to get a good amount of sleep is to improve your focus. Without enough sleep we can get what some might refer to as brain fog. I’m sure you’ve experienced it at one time or another. This can really take a toll on your workout the next day, as you may not be able to perform as well. It can even lead to injuries.

During the REM sleep cycle, men will secrete as much as 70% of their daily HGH (human growth hormone) and lack of sleep or a poor quality of sleep will impact your HGH levels in a bad way.

If you have trouble falling asleep at night, there are a few things you can try to get you on your way to a deep and restful sleep. They include:

  • Take a hot shower or bath: The hot water opens up your pores, releases toxins and relaxes your muscles. If you decide on a bath, try adding Epsom salt to the water. Why? It contains magnesium, which is a natural muscle relaxer and can also help you out if you’re sore from the previous day’s workout.
  • Follow it with an easy stretching session: You can either do a simple bedtime yoga routine or make up your own stretches to relax yourself. Your muscles will respond better after a bath or shower has warmed them up. Never stretch cold muscles.
  • Unplug, turn off and shut down: Put away the tech. Turn off the TV. Log off and pick up a good old-fashioned book. Why read? Reading is very relaxing and it will help you get to sleep in no time at all. Just make sure you’re not reading something too exciting (like a print out of these articles) or you may not want to put it down.


German Volume Training Routine

Though you can mix up your routine and work whichever body parts you would like on whichever days you want, this is a good guideline to follow. It includes exercising the accessory muscles. You should rest on the third day of training and for three days before you start over on the next week.

First Phase Should Be Done For Four Weeks, Then Move On To Phase 2

Day 1 Phase 1 Chest and Back

Exercise Sets Reps Rest

Bench Press 10  10  90 sec

Chin Up (palms towards face)  10  10  90 sec

Pec Dec or Incline Flye  3  10-12  60 sec

One Arm Dumbbell Row  3  10-12  60 sec


Day 2 Legs and Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest

Squat  10  10  90 sec

Leg Curl  10  10  90 sec

Weighted Sit-Up  3  15-20  60 sec

Calf Raise  3  15-20  60 sec


Day 4  Arms and Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps Rest

Dip  10  10  90 sec

Dumbbell Curl  10  10  90 sec

Dumbbell Lateral Raise  3  10-12  60 sec

Bent Over Reverse Lateral  3  10-12  60 sec


Phase 2 Should Be Done For Two To Four Weeks

Day 1 Phase 2 Chest and Back

Exercise Sets Reps Rest

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press  10  6  90 sec

Wide Grip Pull-Up  10  6  90 sec

Dumbbell Flye  3  6  60 sec

Cable Row or Barbell Row  3  6  60 sec


Day 2 Legs and Abs

Exercise Sets Reps Rest

Deadlift  10  6  90 sec

Leg Curl  10  6  90 sec

Cable Crunch  3  12-15  60 sec

Standing Calf Raise  3  12-15  60 sec


Day 4 Shoulders and Arms

Exercise Sets Reps Rest

Close Grip Bench Press  10  6  90 sec

EZ Bar Curl  10  6  90 sec

Dumbbell Lateral Raise  3  12-15  60 sec

Bent Over Reverse Lateral  3  12-15  60 sec


It’s best to take a break from German volume training after the second phase. Switch off for a while and give your body a break. At this time, you can, of course, do your own training sessions as you normally would.

Flex Banner


German volume training works. With that said, you need to be sure you are eating enough, sleeping enough and performing each rep with power and persistence. Give this routine a try and watch the changes appear right before your eyes

By Heather Neff, CPT

Follow Me


Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
Follow Me



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here