Blow Up with German Volume Training


Jay Cutler said it best, and I’m paraphrasing this. To grow muscle, it’s boils down to sets and reps. It’s really that simple. You need time under tension, which equates to volume. And German Volume Traimimg is all about volume.

One of methods used for building bigger muscles in a short amount of time is called German Volume Training. This is also known as ’10×10′ – 10 sets of 10 reps. I don’t know the entire history behind this philosophy other than it’s said to have been developed in Germany in the 1970’s. And it’s been used by a plethora of bodybuilders and strength trainers to add size.

Bent Over Rows side shot Jason Stallworth

10 Sets x 10 Reps

There’s two ways to describe German Volume Training. Many pick a weight they can perform about 20 reps with. Others go by 60% of their max. Whichever you chose, you perform 10 sets of 10 reps with this weight.

You’ll read different philosophies on rest between sets. The most common is about a minute. I tend to rest less than 45 seconds for the first several sets and gradually increase that rest time throughout the remaining sets. I never go over a minute.

Exercises & Frequency for 10×10

A frequent I get is ‘How many exercises should I do for German Volume Training?’ I’ve read a lot of theories on this as well. Some say just one exercises for a particular muscle. But I’ve used 10×10 for several exercises (up to three) for one body part.

I’m personally all over the place in regards to frequency. Sometimes I’ll use 10×10 for everything for two weeks or more in a row. But more than often I implement German Volume Training in my workout by instinct. If I feel I need more volume, I may end with 10 sets of 10 reps. Or I may perform the first exercise using 10×10 and just do three or four sets for the remaining exercises.

German Volume Training Workout

Below is an example of a German Volume Training workout. Notice I’m also using 10×10 for compound muscles. Secondary muscles (such as arms) are done with just three sets.


Workout 1

Bench Press: 10 x 10
Barbell Rows 10 x 10


Workout 2

Squats: 10 x 10
Leg Extensions: 3 x 12
Leg Curls: 3 x 12


Workout 3

Seated Barbell Press: 10 x 10
Lateral Raises: 3 x 12
Barbell Shrugs: 3 x 12


Workout 4

Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 12
Preacher Curls: 3 x 12
Skull Crushers: 3 x 12
Rope Extensions: 3 x 12


10×10 = Bigger Muscles

There’s no refuting that using the German Volume Training method results in bigger muscles. Like I stated in the beginning, it all comes down to sets and reps. You have to pump blood into the muscle and force it to expand.

10 sets of 10 reps gives you the volume needed to build bigger muscles. You may also notice your workouts are a little faster. You’re only on one exercise and not having change weights between sets.

When to Use 10 x 10

From personal experience I’ve seen my body change very quickly, within about two weeks, using 10×10. The downfall is if you use it too long, you may find yourself struggling when you go back to heavier weights. This is why I feel it’s best to do one of two things: 1) Only use 10×10 for a week or two, 2) Use 10×10 sporadically with your normal workouts.

However you decide to use the 10×10 German Volume Training, it’s a great method to switch things up. It’s also a sure way to add volume and expand your muscles. It’s something I integrate often in my workouts.

Train with Passion,