German Volume Training – Free Training Program

German Volume Training is a minimalistic training program popularized by Charles Poliquin. The primary aim of the program is to build muscle, but you can expect to gain strength as well.

The basic outline of the program is this:

  • Three workouts per week. With at least one rest day in between. Train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, for example.
  • Supersets. Every workout contains two supersets with two exercises each. The supersets will keep the total workout time down while still allowing for high volume.
  • Big compound lifts. Bench press, squats, rows – German Volume Training is based on big exercises to pump up all your largest muscle groups.

Let’s take a closer look at the program and its exercises.

German Volume Training: The Training Program

You are recommended to follow this training program for about 4–6 weeks before deloading or switching up your routine.

As previously mentioned: you will train three times per week, each workout consisting of four exercises, split into two supersets x two exercises.

Here’s how the first week of the program looks, assuming you train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:

Day 1 (Monday): Chest & Back

First superset:

  1. Bench Press: 10 sets x 10 reps x 60% of 1RM
  2. Barbell Row: 10 sets x 10 reps x 60% of 1RM

Second superset:

  1. Standing Cable Chest Fly: 3 sets x 10 reps
  2. Lat Pulldown: 3 sets x 10 reps

Day 2 (Wednesday): Legs & Abs

First superset:

  1. Squat: 10 sets x 10 reps x 60% of 1RM
  2. Lying Leg Curl: 10 sets x 10 reps x 60% of 1RM

Second superset:

  1. Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets x 10 reps
  2. Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets x 10 reps

Day 3 (Friday): Arms & Shoulders

First superset:

  1. Close-Grip Bench Press: 10 sets x 6 reps
  2. Barbell Curl: 10 sets x 6 reps

Second superset:

  1. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 sets x 6 reps
  2. Reverse Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets x 6 reps

German Volume Training: Calculator

Enter your 1RM’s in the fields below, and we’ll calculate your training weights for the first week!

German Volume Training Calc

Training weights, week 1

x 10 sets x 10 reps

x 10 sets x 10 reps

x 10 sets x 10 reps

x 10 sets x 10 reps

Training weights, week 1

x 10 sets x 10 reps

x 10 sets x 10 reps

x 10 sets x 10 reps

x 10 sets x 10 reps

For the next 4–6 weeks, increase the load by ~2% per week.

If you download our app StrengthLog (free) and follow the program, we will do this for you:

Free german volume training app 1
Step 1: Download StrengthLog (free) and find the German Volume Training program in our section of free training programs.
Free german volume training app 2
Step 2: Click “Follow program” and start the first workout. Here’s how the preview looks.
Free german volume training app 3
Step 3: When you start the first workout, you will get to enter your 1RM’s in the %-based exercises, then we’ll calculate the weights for you. (Works for both kg and lbs!)

Besides holding a bunch of free training programs for you to use indefinitely, the app also works as an orderly and awesome workout log to track your training.

Best of all:

It is 100% free.

Download with the buttons below.

The German Volume Training Plan

All right, let’s take a closer look at the German Volume Training routine itself.

  • Workout 1 and 2 begins with 10 set x 10 reps at 60% of 1RM in two exercises each, and they comprise the core of the program.
  • We recommend that you increase these lifts by 2% for every week you run the program (62% in week two, 64% in week three, etc.). This is the progression we use in the app.
  • The third workout deviates from this style, with slightly lower repetitions per exercise.

In exercises that don’t have a weight specified, you will have to choose a weight for yourself. Pick a weight that you can lift with good technique for the specified number of repetitions and try to increase the weight each week.

Supersets to Supersize You!

Every pair of exercises in this program should be supersetted.

A superset is when you move back and forth between two exercises. In the case of workout 1, the first superset consists of bench press and barbell rows. After every set of bench press, you do one set of barbell rows. Then one more set of bench press followed by one set of barbell rows, and so on until you have completed ten sets of each.

The second and last superset of workout 1 consists of three sets each of standing cable chest flyes and lat pulldowns. Move back and forth between these until you have completed three sets of each.

Rest Between Sets

Rest for as long as necessary between sets to be able to perform all lifts at the desired weight and with good technique.

You don’t have to move without rest between the exercises in the supersets, rather rest at least 60–90 seconds between sets to keep your performance up.

In the last weeks of the program, when the weights have increased several times, you might need to extend this rest between sets even further.

Read more: How Long Should You Rest Between Sets?

This Routine Is Not for the Beginner

Doing 10 set x 10 reps of one and the same exercise is a lot of work, and this training program is therefore not appropriate for the beginner.

If you’re not used to such a large training volume, you might want to go through our beginner barbell program first.

What Results Can You Expect From The German Volume Training Program?

The German Volume Training program is a high-volume training program based on compound lifts, and it will therefore be effective both for building muscle and strength.

The program might only consist of three workouts per week, but these workouts are pretty intense with their high number of sets performed in a supersetted fashion. Because of this, you might also expect your work capacity and cardiovascular endurance to improve.

How Long Should You Do German Volume Training?

We recommend that you follow this training program for about 4–6 weeks, increasing the weight each week. At that point, you might either deload for a week or two before doing another cycle of GVT, or you might switch to some of our other training programs.

We have plenty of free training programs for you to choose from in our workout app, and even more premium training programs if you want to take things to the next level.


German Volume Training is a tough program, but give it your best shot for 4–6 weeks combined with plenty of food and rest, and you’re set to pump up your muscles and gain a ton of strength.

Download our app StrengthLog to follow this program and keep track of your lifts.

It’s 100% free.

Download the app with the buttons below:

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