German Volume Training has been around since the 60′s and has proven to be very effective for gaining muscle mass. The goal of GVT is time under tension. Time under tension is exactly what it says, how long the muscle groups being worked are under tension. I wrote about the different types of muscle growth a while back and GVT would definitely stimulate sacroplasmic hypertrophy. A typical GVT workout for a bodypart would be 10×10 with a 402 tempo. Meaning, 4 second negative, no pause and 2 second concentric phase. A set would last you 1 minute and then you take a one minute rest. This is effective to say the least, however, it should not be done for more than a few weeks at a time and it can get mentally boring. For hypetrophy, we want the set to last longer than 20 seconds and it can last for up to 70 seconds. I find that for sport, using timed sets is a great way to go. The repeated effort method from the conjugated system I normally use can be used here. See how many reps you get in say 40 seconds, take your rest period and then go again. There are different ways to achieve growth, but realize that tempo and time under tension should be taken into the equation. -K
One of the most overlooked factors in training is the cadence or speed of the bar. One of my specialties is the training of basketball players as I have been at it with myself for 12 years now, working out before school during my senior year so games and practices wouldn’t be impacted. As the basketball season comes to an end, the first thing I will do with my players is give them a few weeks off. After that time, I will take at least four weeks to really focus on putting some size back on the players and finding some new size. Charles Poliquin, one of the top strength coaches in the world, has worked with over 600 professional and Olympic athletes says the key is time under tension. Now, I do not advocate isometric holds, which could be considered time under tension, but rather a dynamic and constant movement. The longer a muscle is stressed under a load, the more hypertrophy we will get. I am not saying that all sets and reps should be slow, but it must be taken into consideration. For hypertrophy, we generally will train in the 6-12 RM range. We will focus on explosive strength (power) and absolute strength as we move into a conjugated system, but even then, we will still focus on getting bigger. This is the beauty of the conjugate system. But that is a different topic. If you are trying to get bigger, vary your reps from week to week in the 6-12 range and vary the tempo as well. I would recommend keeping the sets between 20-70 seconds. There will be more to come on this topic. Stay tuned!