German Volume Training for fat loss – 5 Reasons why It works

german volume training for fat loss


There aren’t many techniques that are being loved by modern elite trainers and old-school powerlifters as well. Every fitness enthusiast who has followed GVT seems to love the benefits it offers in muscle development.

German volume training has been one of my personal favorite training protocols to accelerate strength building and fat loss. I have tested it on hundreds of clients and they all got phenomenal results.

Although German volume training has been considered a perfect training protocol for mass development, it has been proven efficient in trimming down fat as well.

In general, german volume training helps in fat loss by incorporating high volume compound movements with a short rest period. GVT assists in boosting testosterone levels, improving metabolic rate (for fat loss), strength, and endurance all at the same time.

Before we further discuss the effectiveness of GVT on fat loss, let’s get through some of the basics of german style volume training first.

What is German Volume Training (GVT)?

German volume training came into existence back in the 1970s when the coach of the German national weightlifting team came up with a new training protocol that was intended to bulk up his lifters. This new protocol was focused on an increase in the total volume of training for a limited duration of time. This training protocol was distinguished for its high volume, rigid work, and rest structures.

The most unique characteristic about german volume training is its rep range and number of sets. Increasing the number of repetitions to achieve high volume could negatively affect muscle hypertrophy, whereas, increasing the number of sets is the most sensible way to increase the volume.

But what should be the optimum weight to train while GVT? Weight should be 60% of your one-rep max. A simple thumb rule is, last 8 to 10 sets should be very very difficult to complete, if you can complete the 10th rep of the 10th set without a supporter then you need to increase the weight.

Reasons German Volume Training Is Good For Fat Loss

GVT has been considered a training protocol for mass gain, but does it affect fat loss as well? Definitly yes.

Let’s go through the practical reasons that support the fat-burning benefits of German Volume Training.

1# Greater volume

High volume training with a limited rest period (60-90 seconds) plays an important role in accelerated fat burning. German volume training presents a perfect sweet spot to develop strength while burning tons of calories.

German volume training concentrates on the total volume while still challenging the muscle to stimulate growth.

However, increasing the volume of training doesn’t always result in improved fat burning. 5 sets of 20 repetitions are not equal to 10 sets of 10 reps. Achieving 20 reps will force you to go with a much lower weight which surely affects the hypertrophy and strength gains.

2# Increased strength and endurance

German volume training has been tested by thousands of pro athletes to produce improved strength and endurance.

Well, the improvement in strength assists in obtaining new PR and better muscle mass. Improved endurance improves your body’s ability to take your training to another level.

Superior strength and endurance are related to muscle development which also increases your metabolism, helping you burn more calories around the clock — even at rest (1, 2).

3# Reduced CNS Fatigue 

CNS (Central nervous system) fatigue is a decrease in voluntary muscle activation. Feeling tired and weak after heavy lifts are common in bodybuilding.

CNS fatigue decreases the quality of workouts by limiting the overall performance. German Volume Training intensity is low enough to protect lifter from experiencing CNS fatigue but high enough to experience some impressive strength and muscle gains.

Avoiding CNS fatigue is directly proportionate to higher performance and far better fat loss.

4# Use of compound movements

What is the first weight loss advice the majority of trainers give to their clients? It’s the involvement in compound movements.

Compound movements are multi-joint movements that involve multiple muscles or muscle groups at one time. Involving multiple muscles increases the metabolic rate and testosterone levels that help in accelerated fat loss.

German volume training is highly focused on high volume compound lifts (bench press, squats, barbell rows, chin-ups, dips, etc). These compound lifts are proven highly effective in muscle development and weight loss (3).

5# Improved metabolism

Exercising on a regular basis is proven to improve metabolism, we all know that.

But the combination of high-volume training and compound lifts, makes German Volume Training highly effective in skyrocketing metabolic stress.

Additionally, GVT has been scientifically proven (4, ) to increase testosterone levels which boosts up the body’s fat-burning capability.

German volume training routine

A simple german volume training contains a handful of compound movements that need to be done for 10 sets of 10 reps each. here is some example of GVT.

Chest and back

A1. Incline dumbbell press10*1090 Sec
A2. Chin-up 10*10 90 Sec
B1. Flat dumbbell press3* 1275 sec
B2. Bentover barbell rowing 3* 12 75 sec


A1. Barbell squats10*1090 Sec
A2. Leg Curl 10*10 90 Sec
B1. Stiff leg deadlift3* 1275 sec
B2. Standing calve raise 3* 12 75 sec

There is no strict rule of including any particular workouts only.

You are free to select your favorite compound movements to be included in the routine. German volume training doesn’t go really well with the machine workouts, make sure that you use free weights.

GVT precautions

German Volume Training can be really exhausting and some precautions should be taken care of while following this training protocol.

  • It’s not a beginners training protocol, make sure your muscles have sufficient strength to withstand this type of workout.
  • Don’t do german volume training without a spotter, since it can be really hard in the last few sets.
  • GVT should not be followed for Olympic lifts (ex- clean and jerk), those moments are too challenging to be trained with GVT protocol.
  • Make sure you follow the optimum recovery routine after training.
  • If you are doing it for the first time then you should not be following this training protocol for more than 4-6 weeks.

Thanks for reading. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always.

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