German Volume Training…Oh the love…

A pile of sports equipment on the floor

German Volume Training at Nine Months! Sure, ok!

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning here in Portland and I am excited about a lot of things happening in life right now. Obviously, adding a new addition to our family is amazing and has been on the fore front of my mind for the last few weeks. My kiddos are enjoying a lazy Saturday in pajamas and my handsome husband will be home from training his clients soon to enjoy the rest of the day with us. It’s a great day.

As I am working on my Mac this morning in my office, I am thinking about my blog post for the day. I have a lot of ideas but none of them are truly slapping me in the face with, “Yep Kels, great topic! Do that!” So I open up some work projects I want to get done and start cracking. As I am working and crossing things off my to-do list (oh so satisfying), I am drinking my massive bottle of water because duh, I want to be hydrated and healthy. Let’s talk about how many bathroom visits you have to take when you are properly hydrated….at least a million, right? Let’s add the fact that my uterus in over 1000 times the size it normally is and therefore, bladder space is minimal. I think we could safely double that number to 2 million.

When is she going to talk about German Volume training? Yeah yeah yeah, hang on….

First bathroom trip, here’s what happens… I stand up, then sit right back down! HOLY CRAP! My legs are sore! I mean, I knew they were getting sore from a workout two days ago, but sitting for the last couple hours in front of my computer really did me in. So let’s talk about the cause…German Volume Training? Yep, you guessed it! Two days ago, Amy and I decided we needed to test out one last leg workout for our 21 Day Total Body Transformation Challenge. We decided to hit squats using this method. We always love mixing up our nutrition and fitness routines for better results, and it had been at least a week since our last German extravaganza. So we got after it!

What is German Volume Training?

Also known as the 10 Sets Method, it is exactly that! You are doing 10 sets of one exercise at 10 reps per set! You did the math in your head, right? That’s 100 freakin reps! This style of training was popularized by Rolf Feser back in the 70’s to help weightlifters put on muscle fast during the off-season to move up in weight class within a 12 week period of time. If you don’t know, that’s extremely ACCELERATED results.

The idea is to recruit the higher threshold muscle fibers to overcome strength plateaus. You’re goal is to load your body with about 60% of your 1RM (1 rep max, how much weight you can push around just one time). Once you have this load, you perform ONE exercise for 10 reps then rest for 60-120 seconds depending on the rest of your program. Then you repeat for 10 total sets.

We chose to hit this Super Set…

  • 10 Weighted Squats on Smith Machine 
  • 10 Reverse Lunge Jumps (each side) for Amy, 10 Dumbbell Static Lunge (each side) for this girl (me), ready to pop at any moment.

REPEAT for 10 total sets!

You may read this and think, she is freaking crazy! Ok, that’s fair. However, let me explain…60% of your 1RM is hard, yes. However, completely possible. We are exhausting one muscle group with high volume in order to create some big changes. You will be expending a lot of effort but may even get bored before you get too tired. Ha!

My favorite part of this story was when I woke up the next day and walked into the bathroom after my hubby gets out of the shower. I dropped my hair band and went to pick it up (no small feet when your stomach is massive) and let out that “Ohhhhhhh my legs are sore” exclamation. He smiles and says, “Well what did you do?” At this point, I know I might be in a bit of trouble. He really wants me to take it easy and try to relax during my workouts. Completely fair! In the beginning of my pregnancy, I was having some pain and cramping during exercise that forced me to tone it down and make modifications. He is a concerned daddy and hubby. Knowing this, I take a big inhale and smile back mischiveioulsy thinking I could maybe, just maybe make it sound less scary by saying, “We did squats yesterday, 10 reps.” He ducks his head slightly looking at me with raised eyebrows, “You did 10 reps? And then what?” MAYDAY MAYDAY! I’m going down and the chute is malfunctioning! I’m toast and I cannot tell a lie so I reply meekly, “10 set of 10…with lunging super sets.” He pauses for what felt like 9 more months of pregnancy. So let me get this straight… “You’re 9 months pregnant and you are doing GERMAN VOLUME TRAINING?!” He cracks a big ol’ adorable smile and adds, “I don’t feel bad for you at all then! HAHA!” 

Okay, so SOMETIMES I overdo it a tiny bit! But listen, my legs look great today and match the belly I’m sporting in the front! Woot woot!

If you are ready for a Challenge and want to learn more about what we do and how we do it, check out our 21 Day Total Body Transformation Challenge that starts on Monday. You’ll see some German Volume Training featured here and I promise, you’ll get through it!




Leave a Reply