I'm about ready to change up my routines and was thinking that I would deload this week. Then next week I would do one week of GVT and then I would start my new routine. GVT is 10 reps / 10 sets with one minute of rest between sets?? I assume I would only do one major compound exercise per training session?? This seem like a good plan??
I did extra work after the 10x10, because I was significantly weaker than I am now... I suggest a FULL month on 10x10, you'll love it!
You need to do it for a month, not 1 week.
I have done it as a volume shock for 1-2 weeks, but it is better when applied for at least 4 weeks as the others suggested.
The protocol is 10 reps, 10 sets, 1 minute rest and you use the same weight for all sets. You generally want to pick something that you can do for 12-15 reps depending on the exercise. It is OK to miss your reps on some of the later sets as long as you are not too far off (at least 6-7 reps is OK). The next week you would want to slightly lower the load though to try to hit at least 8 on all of your sets.
You can do some accessory work along with GVT but I would not do more than 5 sets and would keep it relatively low intensity. This program is meant to be high volume/high intensity and too much extra work could easily lead to overtraining.
It is a great program; when I was first starting out I made some of my best size / strength gains with GVT for certain body parts (I was using it only for arm training).
One thing that I noticed with GVT is that I would fatigue once I reached the 5th set and start missing reps, but then in the later sets 8th-10th I would bounce back and start hitting additional reps on each set. It is an interesting response.
50% of 1RM is a good guideline for choosing your weight for working sets.
I'm guessing that the lifter's strength will have a lot to do with the effectiveness of this type of volume training. A newer lifter might be using 80 lbs for the Bench Press while an advanced lifter might be using over 200 lbs. Is the advanced lifter going to get more out of this or is he going to burn out quicker?
Last edited by joey54; 10-12-2009 at 04:43 PM.
Tom actually wrote a a good simple post explaining GVT a while back. You could probably search for it.
That thread should really be stickied, either on its own or within one of the more general stickies. It would be quite useful then if people could be easily directed towards it.
Yeah that's the one. OK its not strict GVT, but it shows a way of incorporating it into a routine. I've never used volume training but I like the way this 1-month program is written out.
Tom could we get your GVT article placed as a sticky? I like going back and forth from strength to hypertrophy and I am sure others do as well. I think it would serve a lot of people well if the article was easy to find.
Thanks for the input guys, maybe I will try it for a month
I will dissect the two training methodologies a bit to explain why.
Let's first take a look at how a bodybuilder trains. A competitive bodybuilder will likely follow a periodized routine or push/pull/legs split where they will perform 3-5 sets on at least 1-2 compound movements per workout. A total workout will consist of 4-6 exercises and at least 10 total sets, with 5-8+ working sets.
Here are some example workouts using 5/3/1 as our PL template:
Bodybuilder Chest Workout
Incline Bench Press / 235 lbs x 8, 245 lbs x 8, 255 lbs x 5, 275 lbs x 5, 205 lbs x 10
Dumbell Press / 100's x 8, 110's x 6, 95's x 10, 80's x 15
Hammer Strength Decline / 2 plates per side x 15 x 2 sets
Cable Crossover / 60 lbs x 12 x 3 sets
Total Workout: 14 sets, 9 working sets.
Strength / Powerlifting Pressing Workout
Barbell Bench Press / 255 lbs x 5, 270 lbs x 5, 285 lbs x 5
Weighted Dips / 2 sets of 10
Incline Dumbell Press / 2 sets of 10
Total Sets: 7 sets, 3 working sets (5 sets direct Chest work)
It makes sense to utilize lower volume and high intensity if strength is your goal, which is why these routines are popular and effective. There has become some confusion recently between bodybuilding and strength training. Bodybuilding's intensity measure is volume of working sets, and power training's intensity measure is the percentage of your 1RM that you are lifting. High volume work on compound movements will build the most muscle while high intensity will build the most strength.
Because of the heavy loads in a powerlifting routine it is hard to increase overall volume without risking overtraining or hindering progress (injuries, etc.). It would be foolish for a powerlifter to do more than 5 working sets if their primary goal is strength, just as it would be ineffective for a bodybuilder to only do 3 working sets per session.
Any type of weight training will build muscle assuming that you train to failure and allow for recovery. This is what has created some of that confusion between programs.
You may hear someone say that they have adapated the 5/3/1 to bodybuilding, but you will probably never see a high level bodybuilder following a protocol like that. Many people choose to follow a balanced program like Starting Strength that has a mix of high intensity and high volume, which can build both strength and size. The area where that program falls short is specialization, because some muscle groups do not get the same amount of attention that others do.
This information is not meant to direct you to some kind of crazy workouts in FLEX magazine or anything like that, but it is important to make sure that your program matches with your goals.
Nice post Tom and very informative. I'll have to mull that over for a bit since I come from the school that says you have to get stronger in order to get bigger...meaning low volume strength routines.
For instance if I were to switch over to a full hypertrophy program I could still build strength, but not as much strength as a low volume routine. The same holds true with only focusing on low volume routines as they apply to hypertrophy. One solution that I use is complexes since it allows you to do high intensity work with seemingly low volume (maybe 3-4 sets per workout) but a high number of working sets (hypertrophy). DC training is another methodology that I like, it is almost like "power building". I may actually write my own "Hybrid Muscle" program at some point, it seems like that has become a popular one amongst trainers and writers recently. Clusters are another good principal that can help you to work toward dual-objectives.
This discussion brings about another very important topic; what is most beneficial for a new trainee? To try to first build strength or to focus on hypertrophy right away?
Most recent programs lean toward strength building and I tend to agree, although I have yet to see a program that has progression into a hypertrophy phase or perhaps a high volume week worked into the rotation. I think that a lot of guys who are "bulking" could probably build more muscle if they increased the volume and lowered the weights a bit. Some people define bulking as training in the 1-3 rep range and eating like a maniac; which will definitely boost your numbers in the gym and on the scale - but the end result may not be what that individual was looking for.