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All Things GVT

Training discussion on All Things GVT, within the Bodybuilding Forum; I'm bored so I decided to put together a decent explanation of GVT, along with some different points of view ...


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Old 12-03-2005, 05:54 AM   #1
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Default All Things GVT

I'm bored so I decided to put together a decent explanation of GVT, along with some different points of view on this kind of training. I see Dr. X is guinea pigging it, so I hope he can add his own experience with it. Most people I talked to say that after your body adapts in a few weeks, no more results. So I'd do the 10x10 for a few weeks, then 10x6..All the way through AGVT.

This first part is regarding an exerpt from a Poliquin seminar. Holds some great info about Poliquin's recommended supplements and some technical jargon: Click here.


Quote:
For example, the popular German Volume Training (GVT) method was the first topic of discussion during the mass seminar. GVT is a 10-set training method that exposes the targeted muscle fibers to repeated stress to elicit significant size gains. Poliquin says he has seen trainees gain 8-15 pounds of lean mass in a 6-8 week period using GVT. To set up a GVT workout two main exercises are chosen per workout for the 10-set protocol. These exercises should be compound, and target large muscle groups - i.e., bench presses, squats, rows, etc. Selecting the correct load for this system is very important. Use 60% of your 1 rep maximum, which usually translates to a load you can lift for 20 reps. It is imperative that you successfully complete 10 sets with the same load, so do not be afraid to guess low. Do your best to hit 10 reps for every set, but some deviation is allowed. Sets 6,7 and 8 will be the hardest while sets 9 and 10 may be the easiest, due to a neurological response called post-tetanic facilitation. :eek:

Poliquin suggests making each set last between 40-70 seconds for maximum hypertrophy results. Set-duration can be manipulated by slowing the concentric, eccentric or isometric phases of the exercise. The first two exercises in your workout should be used for the 10x10. Two additional exercises can be performed for three sets in the 10-12 rep range, following the volume sets. Charles also gave us the skinny on an advanced version of the GVT.

He recommends using GVT for 6-8 weeks, split into two different phases. The first phase should last 3-4 weeks, and consist of the described rep ranges. A second phase lasting an equal amount of time will use 70% of 1RM for 6 reps and 10 sets. Alternating exercises will cut down recovery time in between sets, and allow the trainee to perform a large volume of work within a shorter time frame. The large number of sets performed builds a solid base for future training. In addition, a beneficial hormonal response takes place when a lower volume is performed in later training programs.

Along with his training advice, Poliquin also has some unique supplement recommendation. One would be his use of BCAA supplements. The coach recommends a liquid branched chain amino acid mix be consumed during the workout for maximal muscle-mass gains. The amount recommended is .44 grams per pound of body weight. For example, a 200-pound man would need 40 grams of BCAAs. :eek: Poliquin specifically recommended the company Advanced Genetics, which manufacturers a powdered BCAA/glutamine stack called Gluta Cene. He warned against mixing the solution in advance, because it will not remain stable. Those interested in this type of BCAA supplement can visit Advanced Genetics at www.AdvancedGenetics.com or can call 1-888-629-6277 for more information.
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Last edited by Darkhorse; 05-07-2006 at 04:39 AM..

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Old 12-03-2005, 06:21 AM   #2
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Why does this work for some people, but not for (from what I read) most others?

Poliquin believes that some of the blame can be attributed to fiber types. That being said, as I recall, Poliquin advocates finding your 1 repetition maximum (1RM) on a given exercise. Then, rest ten minutes and perform as many reps as possible at 85%of your 1RM of that same exercise. For most, this will amount to 5 reps. If you perform fewer than 5 reps, you are likely fast-twitch (FT) dominant for the involved muscle(s). For 5-8 reps, you are mixed fiber type. For more than 8 reps, you are slow twitch dominant. Note that exercise patterns can affect one's fiber type. I'm not a scientist so I don't know how this holds up in a court of law.

For a superb article on the relation of fiber types and training click here! Article written by Ian King.

A few problems arise with GVT. The first is overuse issues concerning joints. Obviously, even with the light weight, 100 total reps with one exercise is a lot! Another issue is the high level of boredom. According to Christian Thibaudeau, muscle imbalances can also occur, which makes sense. This brings me to the next point...GVT program tweeks:

The first one is OVT: Optimized Volume Training by C.T. Using chest for an example. Instead of bench pressing 10x10 with X amount of weight, this program has you do 5x5 flat press (supersetted) with flat flyes, also 5x5. The flyes have a tempo of 6-0-2 to increase TUT [time under tension]. After the 5x5 is done, you move on to another angle such as inclines and do the same thing: 5x5 presses (superset) with 5x5 flyes. Consequently, both the GVT and OVT both equal a grand total of 100 reps!

Another one found Here called GVT: 2000 follows the original program more closely. It's written by TC Luoma. Here is an exerpt of that article:

Quote:
Unfortunately, I've found that the original program had a couple of problems. Given my job position as editor-in-chief of a strength-training/bodybuilding mag, I'm able to either work with, or get feedback from, thousands of athletes world wide, many of which've tried the GVT program. As such, I started to see where the program had some shortcomings.

First of all, doing 10 sets of 10 of the same exercise caused people to overuse/overstress certain joint angles. Furthermore, the volume, considering that you were advised to add on a couple of other sets for the same body part using more traditional rep schemes, was just too great for most people, unless they had the advantage of training with a pharmaceutical warehouse in their gym bags.

Thirdly, the program, because of its dependence on doing essentially one exercise per body part wasn't that much of a bodybuilding program. Furthermore, doing one exercise for each body part isn't that great an idea. Say, for instance, your goal is to do 10 sets of leg curls for 10 reps each. Well, the hamstrings don't just flex the lower leg; they also act as hip extensors, and the way you target those muscles is through good mornings and straight-leg deadlifts. Just doing the leg curls completely ignores the other function of the hamstrings.

And lastly, the original German Volume Training program was boring as hell.
Basic Program description:

Quote:
So, I experimented. I talked to people like Ian King. I hunkered down in my bodybuilding lab, put together pieces of dead tissue, invoked lightning to strike, and created life out of what was for me and many others, a dead program.

In essence, I kept the purity of the program intact. It still has the theoretical goal of doing 10 sets of 10, but with some major differences.

The program still requires you to use the same weight for all the sets, but instead of doing just one exercise for 10 sets, we're going to be doing 4 different exercises so that we use slightly different joint angles and work the muscle, hopefully, in as many ways as possible.

Here's an example of a chest workout:

Incline Bench Press? 3 sets of 10
Decline Bench Press? 3 sets of 10
Bench Press? 3 sets of 10
Dumbbell Flies? 1 set of 10

What I've done is put the "weakest" position first, and the strongest position third. Then, since pressing movements aren't, by the strictest definition, pure chest movements, I've thrown in another movement that works the chest in a way that duplicates one of the physiological functions of the chest, which is to adduct the arms (the dumbbell flies). True, it's by no means a completely balanced program ? affording equal "work" to all muscle groups ? but it at least comes close, and it's certainly more balanced than the original program.

The Poliquin version of the original program stressed a certain tempo, and I'd like to preserve those tempos. Trouble is, almost no one I ever see train pays attention to these tempos, which is a pity because it's the difference between a moderately successful program and an incredibly successful program.

I urge you to use a 402 *tempo on the movements for the larger muscles (legs, chest, back) and a 302 tempo on the movements for the smaller muscles (shoulders, biceps, triceps).

I also urge a rest period of between 60 and 90 seconds, and I urge a frequency of no more than one training session per body part every five or six days.

Here's a brief synopsis of the more important points of the GVT 2000 program:

- Ten sets of ten, albeit using 4 exercises that stress the muscles from different angles

- The weight you use for the first 9 sets stays the same.

- When you can actually do 10 sets of 10, it's time to add more weight.

- Rest 60 to 90 seconds between sets.

- Pay strict attention to tempo, using 402 for chest, back, and leg movements; and 302 for shoulder, bicep, and tricep movement.

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Old 12-03-2005, 06:54 AM   #3
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Is German Volume Training Hypertrophy-Specific? Full article by Bryan Haycock found by clicking here!

Quote:
GVT is a high-volume light-weight training system that focuses mainly on "strength-endurance" or fatigue. GVT, though specific to increasing short-term endurance, can produce some hypertrophy in as much as it adheres to any of the known principles of hypertrophy.

The Goal of GVT
As to people's question about whether GVT is hypertrophy-specific, we must take a look at the goal of GVT. The clearly stated goal of GVT is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps without reducing the weight. So right from the beginning we see that the goal of anyone using GVT is not hypertrophy, but endurance of strength in the 10 rep range.

The Principle of Specificity
IF GVT adheres to the principle of "Specificity", GVT will have to stick with high volume and significantly light weights in order to condition your body to be able to perform 10 sets of 10 reps without reducing the weight load. So rather than using "load" or "muscle tension" which is a principle specific to hypertrophy, GVT uses fatigue to increase the "difficulty" of lifting a light weight, thereby making it "feel" heavy. Inducing fatigue is a principle specific to endurance.
I can see GVT giving a trainee plenty of Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy (increase muscle size by filling the muscle with mainly water and glycogen), but I've read that once you stop the high volume training, this will consequently disappear. Another point to make is that Charles Poliquin makes tens of thousands of dollars personal training elite weightlifters and olympic hopefulls. So when he says most of his trainees grow 10-15 lbs. bigger after GVT, it makes me wonder about the genetically average as well as trainees who refuse to take AAS.

According to the SAID Principle (The acronym for "Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands."), your 10 RM should increase with GVT unless you're overtraining or cannot handle the extreme volume. That being said, I could definately see myself in the future doing something like this on the short term. Maybe not the 10x10, but maybe to 10x6 which is the second phase of GVT. I've done the AGVT (Advanced German Volume Training) and had pretty decent success with it. I, as you all know, used a spreadsheet for the program that can be found Here! I hosted it to Clutchfitness.com for everyone to use. Everything is calculated in, just input what weight you use on the first day of 10x5 and it'll automatically program the rest of the weights for the remaining 50 days.

Last edited by Darkhorse; 12-03-2005 at 07:27 AM..
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0311
Another point to make is that Charles Poliquin makes tens of thousands of dollars personal training elite weightlifters and olympic hopefulls. So when he says most of his trainees grow 10-15 lbs. bigger after GVT
Charles Poliquin is reknowned for training tons of strength athletes, professional sports teams, etc. He has written numerous books, "The Poliquin Principles", "Winning the Arms Race", and "Modern Trends in Strength Training".

His formal education includes a B.Sc. Kinesiology and a M.Sc. Exercise Physiology. Poliquin has coached Olympic medallists in twelve different sports including the US female track and field for the Olympics 2000. He has coached the Canadian short-track speed-skating team, and many professional athletic teams; such as the Detroit Red Wings, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Some of Poliquin's professional athletes include: Al MacInnis of St Louis Blues hockey team, who won the Norris Trophy for the strongest slap-shot in the NHL, Nanceen Perry who has held the world record four times for the 200m, Michelle Freeman, the number one hurdler in the world, Chris Pronger, winner of the Norris and Hart Trophy, who plays with the St. Louis Blues hockey team, Dan Weinstein, who is the world champion medallist for short track speed skating, and Joe Nieuwendyk from the Dallas Stars Hockey team who won the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup trophies. Charles Poliquin has also produced world championship medallists in bobsleigh, kayak, judo, powerlifting, biathlon, luge, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, swimming, speed skating short track, figure skating, and speed skating long track.

Visit his website by clicking here!
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Old 12-03-2005, 07:25 AM   #5
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More on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy since it plays a major role in GVT.

Quote:
Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (common in bodybuilding) involves the growth of the sarcoplasm (fluid like substance) and non contractile proteins that do not directly contribute to muscular force production. Filament area density decreases while cross-sectional area increases, without a significant increase in strength. Myofibrillar hypertrophy occurs due to an increase in myosin-actin filaments. Contractile proteins are synthesized and filament density increases (Zatsiorsky 1995). This type of hypertrophy leads to increased strength production. Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy Muscle fibers adapt to high volume training by increasing the number of mitochondria ( organelles in the cell that are involved in ATP production) in the cell. This type of training also leads to the elevation of enzymes that are involved in glycolytic and oxidative pathways. The volume of sarcoplasmic fluid inside the cell and between the cells are increased with high volume training. This type of training contributes little to maximal strength while it does increase strength endurance due to mitochondria hypertrophy. Growth of connective tissue is also present with sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.

References:
The weight trainer(2001)
Muscle Growth part 1811: Why, And How Does A Muscle Grow and Get stronger?
Zatsiorsky,V.(1995) Science and Practice of Strength Training. Human Kinetics. Copyright 2001 Jamie Hale
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Old 12-03-2005, 08:08 AM   #6
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For exercise selection, most recommend sticking with dumbbells, with the exception of legs. Obviously, it will allow you to have a greater ROM (range of motion) as well as the safety aspect of dropping them down once failure is reached.

Poliquin says to adapt to the limitations of your gym. Me personally, my gym is way to large to do squatting supersetted with leg curls. Plus, they are on opposite ends of the gym. These factors will force you to make a decision. Either find different, yet similiar exercises, or just do each 10x10 exercise straight through while allowing less rest between sets.

Example:

-I'd choose to do chest/back in a day for GVT. Reason being, the antagonistic supersetting will allow your work capacity to increase. This means that by supersetting bench with rows, you're more able to push out more reps. I cannot speak for most gyms, but at my gym (L.A. Fitness), the cable rows are on the opposite end as the benches are. So, my choices are either just doing presses w/out supersetting with 60 seconds rest between sets, or (what I'd do) bringing the dumbbells you'll use across the gym and use the cable row bench for the presses.

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Old 12-03-2005, 09:46 AM   #7
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awesome info 0311, I might have to give this a short run after my waterbury method ends. Should be a nice change of pace.
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Old 12-03-2005, 10:10 AM   #8
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Maybe in the future I'd do something like this:

2 Weeks- GVT 2000 (I like that setup better than GVT)
3 Weeks- GVT (second phase- 10x6) Using original GVT setup.
4 Weeks- AGVT (which rotates 10x5, 10x4, 10x3 every 10 days)

I think the German Volume Training would be the only training that could get away with the low frequency that it does. The DOMS I hear is unreal, but more importantly, it'll take much much longer to supercompensate since the volume is so high. I will do something like what I outlined above after everything already planned as a break from the heavy ass stuff I'll have going. Anything longer than 3 weeks on any volume program like that would definately result in diminishing returns...(IMO)

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Old 12-04-2005, 11:25 AM   #9
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Recovery Techniques:

This thread wouldn't be complete without a list of recovery techniques needed to survive.

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulphate. Our first restorative technique consists of bathing for 10 to 20 minutes in a warm/hot bath to which 200-400 grams of Epsom salt is added. This is a very simple and effective way to relax your muscles and decrease inflammation. Itís also a good way to increase blood magnesium levels and prevent bloating due to excessive water retention.

Restorative Pulse Electromyostimulation

Sub-tetanic (non-maximal) EMS utilized in a low-intensity pulsating manner can act much like a sports massage. It can stimulate blood flow to the muscles by creating a pumping effect. It can also induce a state of relaxation in the muscles and help breakdown adhesions between muscle fibers.

A discharge frequency of 1 to 9Hz is recommended for this purpose and the duration of the treatment should be 15 to 20 minutes. Intensity (current amperage) should be kept low. Yet another benefit of this type of EMS is an analgesic effect or a diminution of pain. This is best accomplished at a frequency of 5Hz.

One recovery method I find to be particularly effective is to drink a protein and carbohydrate shake and have an EMS recovery session 15 minutes after. This will bring a lot of amino acids and glucose to the muscle, speeding up its reconstruction and supercompensation.

Cryotherapy

This technique refers to ice massage. Put some baby oil on your muscle (to prevent shock) and put ice in the middle of your muscle belly. Start to gently massage the muscle in a circular motion with the ice. Gradually increase the diameter of the circles. Perform this action for five to ten minutes. This strategy is very effective at decreasing pain and excessive inflammation and can thus help prevent overuse injuries.

Contrast Baths and Showers

Alternate between 30 seconds of cold water and two minutes of hot water. Perform this cycle three or four times. This technique is very effective at increasing peripheral blood flow, thus facilitating recovery. Again, donít use this method if you're suffering from an overuse injury or excessive inflammation.

Glycogen/Protein Resynthesis Drinks

An ideal post-workout formula would include fast-absorbing proteins, high glycemic carbs, and some additional BCAAs (which have been shown to drastically increase protein synthesis and decrease protein breakdown on their own).

Neural Restorative Drinks

Emphasis on supplementation for increased neural efficiency has just begun to take its place in the sun. For a while it was something that only innovative coaches who were "in the know" utilized. Now it's really catching on.

At first, supplementing with nootropic supplements was used to potentiate a workout: basically you'd drink it 30 minutes or so before a session to maximize performance. And itís very effective at that. However, I recently began using it after a workout. Why? Because I found that using it this way can actually increase CNS recovery!

Massage

Contrary to what most people believe, massage therapy doesnít actually increase blood flow to the muscles (Shoemaker et al. 1997), so this isn't the mechanism of action for this particular restorative technique. However, massage still provides several benefits.

The duration of the massage treatment will vary depending on the size of the athlete and whether itís a localized or whole-body massage. Kurz, quoting Geselevich (1976), gives the following recommendations:

Bodyweight of 132lbs or less: whole body = 40 minutes, localized = 20 minutes

Bodyweight 133-165lbs: whole body = 50 minutes, localized = 25 minutes

Bodyweight 166-220lbs: whole body = 60 minutes, localized = 30 minutes

Bodyweight +220lbs: whole body = more than 60 minutes, localized = 35 minutes

-Localized massage can be performed as a self-massage (except for the back muscles, unless you're Cirque du Soleil material), while whole body massage requires hiring a therapist. Whole body massage is best used once or twice per week. Most athletes shouldn't have more than two whole body massages per week, unless they're in an overtraining state.

-Remember that progress is dependent on the amount of stimulation placed on your body and on the capacity of your body to deal with and recover from that stimulation. By using restoration techniques, you're actually working on both factors: by recovering faster and more completely, you're able to train more often and more intensely and your body can overcome the training stress more easily.

To read the full article Click here!
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Old 12-04-2005, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0311
Maybe in the future I'd do something like this:

2 Weeks- GVT 2000 (I like that setup better than GVT)
3 Weeks- GVT (second phase- 10x6) Using original GVT setup.
4 Weeks- AGVT (which rotates 10x5, 10x4, 10x3 every 10 days)

I think the German Volume Training would be the only training that could get away with the low frequency that it does. The DOMS I hear is unreal, but more importantly, it'll take much much longer to supercompensate since the volume is so high. I will do something like what I outlined above after everything already planned as a break from the heavy ass stuff I'll have going. Anything longer than 3 weeks on any volume program like that would definately result in diminishing returns...(IMO)

1 month upper/lower split (as per my journal)
2 months Bill Starr's 5x5 (upcoming in journal)
GVT through the rest of winter
1 more full cycle of 5x5 to further increase my strength before a very sharp cut. :cool:
I think I might do this in the near future.. I'm trying to come up with a 6 month log and I need ideas on how to work this out.
good info. btw

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