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GVT is German volume training where 10 sets of 10 of a compound movement is done. I am in doubt because such high rep is more like endurance work as I have learnt from various sources.

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Yes, it will. GVT is extremely high volume, not high rep. 100 reps of any exercise in a single set would generally be considered endurance training, however breaking them down into sets with rest in between allows much heavier weights to be used, which is why when discussing rep numbers as a measure of intensity, we only count the number of reps in a single set.

E.g. Take a lifter with a 1RM squat of 140kg. They might be able to do 25 reps at 80kg. They might also be able to 5 sets of 5 at 110kg. Both the 25-rep (1x25@80kg) and the 5-rep (5x5@110kg) workouts have the same volume, but the 5-rep workout has much higher intensity and tonnage. (Tonnage is volume multiplied by intensity.) So the 25-rep workout could be considered endurance work, whereas the 5-rep workout is definitely strength work, despite them having the same volume.

A 2017 study into the effectiveness of GVT found that it does produce increases in strength and muscle mass, though it was actually less effective than only doing 5 sets of 10 reps. Unfortunately the study abstract doesn't indicate what level of training the test subjects had been exposed to prior to the study, which is problematic, as untrained subjects will gain strength and size when exposed to literally any training program.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27941492

This blog post also does a decent job of explaining the results of the above study.

  • Thanks for clearing it out,but if 5*10 sets was more effective and efficient then why go for so much volume in the GVT ?If lower set training is already giving hypertrophy with strength gains what's the point in going for 5+ extra sets? I am just trying to find the justification in doing GVT before trying it out. Am a beginner-intermediate level lifer btw. – sagnik das Jun 19 '18 at 3:56
  • I'd just say that GVT was invented under the assumption that more volume must be better, but 40 years later it turned out that that assumption probably wasn't correct. You're exactly right that GVT very likely isn't worth doing compared with a lower volume program. – David Scarlett Jun 19 '18 at 4:18
  • Okay,one last question is what is is difference between say doing 50 total reps of 5*10 and something like drop rep sets with increasing weight like 10,8,7,6,5,5,3,3,3 of say squat. Wouldn't the latter approach results in a more general strength gains then the straight set with same weight?(as you have said in case of 5*5 vs 1*25) – sagnik das Jun 19 '18 at 4:28
  • Okay,one last question is what is is difference between say doing 50 total reps of 5*10 and something like drop rep sets with increasing weight like 10,8,7,6,5,5,3,3,3 of say squat. Wouldn't the latter approach results in a more general strength gains then the straight set with same weight?(as you have said in case of 5*5 vs 1*25) – sagnik das Jun 19 '18 at 4:30
  • I think any answer to that question would be guesswork, as AFAIK no one has actually run a study comparing the two. However I'll add that decreasing intensity sets are much more common than increasing intensity (so that you don't have to perform your heaviest sets while already fatigued), and that it's much more common (and much easier to track) to have different levels of intensity in different workouts rather than trying to cover a range of intensities in a single workout, and then repeating that same workout. – David Scarlett Jun 19 '18 at 7:54
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From what i understood from Barbell Medicine seminar, there are two considerations: 1. Volume is primary driver of hypertrophy when you lift in 60-80% range. 2. You need to balance your workout with recovery. That is you might get so fatigued from 10x10 that you won’t be able to do next workout. In such case it would be prescribed to do two days, 5x10 each

You need to consider that single workout at post-novice stage doesn’t change much. You will progress from week to week or even from month to month. Thus, it is essential to train consistently.

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