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Tip of the week tip: Use German Volume Training to build muscle quickly

Tipps der Woche  Tipp: Verwende German Volume Training um schnell Muskeln aufzubauen

German Volume Training: 10 x 10

In Germany, the ten-set method aka German Volume Training was used off-season to help weightlifters build lean body mass. This program was so effective that exercisers could routinely move up a weight class within 12 weeks.

The program works because it targets a specific set of motor units and exposes them to a high volume of repetitive effort - specifically, 100 repetitions of a single exercise. The body adapts to this extraordinary stress with hypertrophy of the target muscle fibers. To say that this program builds muscle quickly would be an understatement. Gains of 10 pounds or more within 6 weeks are quite common.

How it is performed

The goal of German Volume Training is to perform 10 sets of 10 repetitions of an exercise with the same weight. You should start with a weight that, if you tried hard, you could do 20 reps with before reaching muscle failure. For most exercises, this is 60% of the 1RM weight (the maximum weight for one repetition). So if you can do one repetition with 100 kilos on the bench, you would use 60 kilos for this exercise. This may look easy at first glance, but you will be positively - or negatively - surprised.

For beginners, I recommend the following training split:

  • Day 1: Chest and back
  • Day 2: legs and abs
  • Day 3: No training
  • Day 4: Arms and shoulders
  • Day 5 workout-free

Perform one - and only one - exercise for each muscle group. When performing this program, you should keep a detailed record of sets/repetitions, weights and rest intervals. Only count the repetitions performed with strict form. Increase the weight if you can do 10 repetitions in all 10 sets.

You may notice as you perform this workout that even though the number of repetitions may decrease after the sixth or seventh set, it will increase again on the eighth or ninth set. The thing to remember is that you are not going crazy - this is just an interesting neurologically based phenomenon.

Tip: Do this to pull more weight off the floor

Here's an excellent assistance exercise that will really bring your deadlift weights up.

By Eric Bach


Not getting anywhere with the deadlift? One way to increase your strength is to strengthen the weak points of the movement. If your weak point is at the bottom of the movement and not just before the top, work on it with this exercise:

The Deadpull Exercise

This is a variation of the deadlift in which you end the movement when the bar is at the height of the middle of your shin, followed by a pause of 3 to 5 seconds at this height before placing the weight back on the floor. Pause for a few seconds between sets with the bar on the floor. As most exercisers lift the weight from the floor, this strengthens the perfect pulling position from the floor.

After your main exercise, perform 3 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions with 60 to 80% of your 1RM weight, pausing for about 120 seconds between sets. As a variation, you can pause at mid-shin height, directly below the knee or directly above the knee. Bonus: This exercise builds insane strength and muscle mass in the back extensors and quadriceps.

Tip: train like a strongman

You'll be surprised how top strongman competitors really train. And if you really want to get strong, then you should take a few notes.

By Bret Contreras


If your primary goal is to get strong, then it makes sense to take a look at what the strongest men in the world do. Believe it or not, they don't train with single reps at their max weight all the time. And they even do some cardio training.

A study was conducted to examine the training methods of strongman competitors. Until then, no such study existed. Winwood and colleagues studied 167 strongmen from 20 different countries on a selection of training topics. The results are quite fascinating.

The highlights of the study

  • 66% of strongmen reported that classic squats were the most commonly performed variation of squats. Front squats were also frequently performed.
  • 88% of the strongmen reported that conventional deadlifts were the most common variation of deadlifts. Partial repetitions of deadlifts were also popular.
  • 80% of strongmen periodized their training and 83% used a training log.
  • 74% of strongmen performed hypertrophy training (training for muscle mass), 97% of strongmen performed maximal strength training, 90% of strongmen performed power training and 90% of strongmen performed aerobic training / anaerobic conditioning training.
  • 60% of strongmen performed squats and deadlifts with dynamic effort (explosive repetitions with submaximal load), 56% used elastic bands and 38% used chains.
  • 88% of strongmen included Olympic weightlifting exercises in their arsenal, with 78% performing deadlifts. Snatches, thrusts and high pulls were also regularly used.
  • 54% of strongmen performed plyometric exercises for the lower body, 29% plyometric exercises for the upper body and 20% ballistic exercises (jump squats, bench press throws, etc.).
  • 55% of strongmen performed HIIT (high-intensity interval training) training and 53% performed low-intensity cardio training.
  • 54% of Strongmen competitors train once a week with Strongmen equipment and 24% use this equipment twice a week.

TIP: Does training with weights inhibit growth

Many "experts" say that children should avoid training with weights because it could stunt their growth. This is nonsense. Here is the explanation

By Mark Rippetoe


Children can exercise without worry with proper instruction and full range of motion exercises. This is no worse than letting them do gymnastics exercises at 4 to 5 years old. However, they need to be taught the correct exercises.

What about epiphyseal fractures?

That's a myth. Show me examples of such damage from barbell training done correctly. There are none. This is pediatric nonsense and goes back to people talking about things that are not part of their specialty.

Pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons are trained in the medical field and how to fix things that are already damaged. That doesn't mean they know how to train. Just because your car mechanic knows how to work on your car doesn't mean he knows how to get downtown in your car. You don't teach young children how to do these exercises incorrectly and then say that the problems that come from doing them incorrectly are the fault of barbell training.

In addition, kids aren't strong enough to use enough weight to hurt themselves, which is a really good argument against quarter reps on squats. You can move heavy weights in quarter squats. However, if you go all the way down and move the weight all the way up, then you won't be able to move heavy weights until you're really strong. This applies equally to adults and children.

Soccer vs. barbell training

I have a bar in my gym that weighs 5 kilos. I can increase the weight to 5.5 kilos. And then I can increase the weight to 6 kilos and 40 kilos and finally 120 kilos. I can scale my barbell to the abilities of an eight-year-old child.

But if you put that same 35 kilo eight-year-old kid on a soccer field and have him run headlong into another 35 kilo that scalable? I don't think so. "Hello you underdeveloped epiphyses, you still open epiphyses!" And then put cleated shoes on him, let him kick and get kicked in the knees.

And yet there aren't many orthopedic surgeons and pediatricians who advise against kids playing soccer, whereas there are many who advise against kids participating in barbell training. Does that make any sense? But that is the common opinion. The general opinion is that soccer, which is one of the most dangerous sports, is perfectly fine for children, while barbell training is supposed to stunt growth. Stop this nonsense.

Tip: Keep your oestrogen under control

Men need it, but if you have too much of it, your health risks will increase rapidly. And you'll get tubby. We'll show you how to keep your oestrogen under control.

By TC Luoma


It's a fact: high oestrogen levels increase the risk of degenerative diseases and early death.

However, it is becoming increasingly clear that a number of doctors are insular idiots. For this, one need only look at the large estrogen study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Scientists monitored the estrogen levels of a large group of men. They found that men with estradiol (a form of estrogen) in the normal range between 21.8 and 30.11 pg/mL had the lowest number of deaths during the three-year study period. Men with the highest levels (above 37.99 pg/mL) fared the worst, suffering 317% more deaths.

What the doctors got wrong

What some doctors took as a message from this study was that men need estrogen, so they don't want to give their patients anything that can lower estrogen levels. In other words, many doctors are ignoring the much bigger problem of high estrogen levels, as evidenced by the fact that they are so opposed to prescribing anti-estrogen drugs.

The problem is that once estrogen levels rise, so does the risk of degenerative disease. The risk of arteriosclerosis increases, as does the risk of stroke. The prostate grows. And the risk of death also increases. If you are a weightlifter or other athlete, high oestrogen levels also affect your ability to build strength or muscle and make it harder for you to get lean.

How to keep your estrogen levels under control

Consider using estrogen-lowering supplements. High doses of zinc could also be helpful. And if the problem is really serious, you should consult a progressive doctor who can prescribe a prescription estrogen-lowering medication.

Tip: A fun training session on the treadmill

Is it possible to lose fat without becoming a jogger? Yes. Perform Loaded Carries on the treadmill.

By Andrew Heffernan


Go for a walk with weights

How do you make the treadmill less dull? One easy way is to grab a weight, drive up the incline and do some Farmers Walk-style walking. You can use a dumbbell, weight plate or kettlebell. (Weight vests are also cool, but this method is more challenging and has more benefits).

Change your position

Hold the weight any way you can: On your shoulder, in front of your abs, in one hand at your side and change position whenever you get tired. You won't be using huge weights here - at the end of the day you're still running on the treadmill, but this is an easy way to incorporate Loaded Carries into your training program.

Walk uphill with 10 kilos

Use a steep incline, but keep the pace moderate. Walking with a 10 kilo weight plate in your hand is one thing - running with it is quite another. Two-minute intervals would be just right for this. If this is easy, first increase the weight and the incline before increasing the speed.

Tip: Increase your pull-up strength with this simple plan

This training strategy combines a high frequency with very low repetitions to get you doing pull-ups in double digits.

By Christian Thibaudeau


Mini sets for maximum gains

Are you bad at pull-ups? You need to train them regularly and often. Start each training session with a total of 20 pull-ups performed in the shortest possible time, performing mini sets at half your current maximum effort. Use a stopwatch to check how long it takes you and try to beat this time in your next training session.

The best strategy is not to reach muscle failure at the end of any of the mini sets, as this would require too long a pause during the sets and your 20 pull-ups would take longer.

The whole thing works as follows:

  1. Let's say your current max is 4 or 5 pull-ups. Start with mini sets of 2 repetitions, resting as short as possible between sets - about 20 seconds rest should be enough.
  2. If the second repetition becomes difficult to perform, extend the breaks to 30 seconds.
  3. If the second repetition becomes difficult again, even with longer rest intervals, then switch to sets with one repetition and 15 to 20 seconds rest until you have reached your daily goal (20 repetitions).

As you get stronger, you will be able to use more than 2 reps on your mini sets. However, you should only increase the number of repetitions gradually and carefully. Check the time it takes you to complete 20 repetitions to evaluate your strategy. As you increase the number of repetitions per set, your training time should continue to decrease.

Ideally, after 8 to 10 weeks, you should be able to perform 20 repetitions in the form of just two sets of 10 repetitions with 20 seconds rest. When this happens, you will probably be able to perform 15 good pull-ups in a row.

Progression method: 30 total repetitions and then use additional weights

Once you can perform 20 total reps in 2 mini sets with no more than 30 seconds rest between sets, increase the target reps to 30 and continue with the progression. If you can eventually perform 30 total reps in two sets with less than 20 seconds rest between sets, then go back to 20 total reps, but here's the killer...Hang 7.5 kilos of extra weight around your waist and start progression again.


By Charles Poliquin

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