With the right plan and the right discipline, you can get seriously shredded in just 28 days.Read article
Sometimes, our fans can teach us a thing or two, which is why each week Muscle & Fitness will be selecting a Bad-Ass Workout of the Week, submitted by one of our highly knowledgeable readers. Then our training experts will explain why we chose the workout, how how to make it even more bad-ass; and what training style it works for.
This week, Dan Trink, Director of Training at Peak Performance, assesses this routine from our Facebook fan Mehmet Edip. Let us know what you think, and show off your own workout at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we think it's worthy, we'll post it on the Muscle & Fitness website.
Due to its intensity, this workout should not be exceeded for more than four weeks. Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday are rest days.
Quads: Front squats: 10 X 10 reps
Leg extension: 3 x 10 reps (optional)
Hamstrings: Stiff leg deadlift: 10 x 10 reps
Lying leg curl: 3 x 10 reps (optional)
Upper abs: Weighted cable crunch: 10 x 10 reps
Chest: DB flat bench press: 10 x 10 reps
DB flyes: 3 x 10 reps (optional)
Biceps: EZ bar curl: 10 x 10 reps
Lower abs: Weighted knee raises: 10 x 10 reps
Back: Single arm DB row: 10 x 10 reps
Weighted pull-ups: 3 x 10 reps (optional)
Triceps: Lying down EZ bar French press: 10 x 10 reps
Shoulders: Clean and press: 10 x 10 reps
Calves: Seated calf raises: 10 x 10 reps
Donkey calf raises: 10 x 10 reps (optional)
Oblique’s: Weighted oblique crunch (with a plate or cables): 10 x 10 reps
Do I want to get jacked and increase strength at the same time? That’s like asking me if I want someone to hand me a suitcase with a million dollars in it while I’m in the middle of a date with a lingerie model. The answer, of course, is “hell yeah”. And you’re right, Mehmet, German Volume Training is a great way to develop hypertrophy while maintaining or even gaining strength. And we all know anything named after an Eastern Block country is bad ass (Turkish Get-Ups, Bulgarian Split Squats or Russian Twists, anyone?).
You have all the major muscle groups covered and they are all getting hit with major volume. In fact, there are so many ‘majors’ going on here, we’re going to have to salute you every time you walk in the room. GVT is just a tried and true protocol that has been working for nearly 40 years, and if something’s still being talked about and used for that long, it must be bad ass.
The key to GVT training being effective is it’s ability to create a specific time under tension for each set. So include a 4 second lowering (eccentric) phase on each rep of the 10×10 sets. Believe me, there is a huge difference between banging out 100 squats (which, of course will have you walking funny) and banging out 100 squats with a 4-second eccentric (which will have you in bed for three days and ringing a bell so someone can bring you soup). The two 10×10 movements should also be paired as super-sets, not done individually.
An example of this would be alternating between back squats and lying hamstring curls for 10 sets of 10 reps. Once those are complete you can perform the optional assistance movements. And GVT should be reserved for more major bi-lateral hypertrophy movements and not things like oblique crunches or single arm rows. Finally, clean and press is a movement that relies on technique and explosiveness and should never be done for high rep sets. Looks like your weekend plan’s are about to change.
If you are looking for an extremely effective hypertrophy protocol, love all things from Eastern Europe (and, yes, that must include David Hasselhoff) and prefer to crawl out of the gym looking like you’ve just been tortured, GVT has your name written all over it. If you are more of a reading-the-latest-gossip-magazine, I’ll-just-stretch, I-don’t-want-to-get-too-swole type of guy (and I use the term ‘guy’ rather loosely here), then maybe you better try “Icelandic Body Sculpt” and leave the German Volume Training to those of us actually looking to get big.
Dan Trink, CSCS, is a strength coach, personal trainer, fitness writer and nutritional consultant. He is also the Director of Training at Peak Performance in NYC. You can find out more about Dan at www.trinkfitness.com or on Facebook at www.faceboook/trinkfitness.