How to Use Drop Sets and German Volume Training for Spectacular Muscle Growth

To get really awesome results from our training, we need to throw things around a little from time to time, and expose our muscles to different methods that really put them under immense stress – forcing them to adapt by become bigger and more capable. Two of my favorite methods for doing just that are German Volume Training and Drop Sets. They are very, very different from one another, but both can lead to fantastic muscle growth if used correctly. Let me give you a brief overview of each, and a strong suggestion to start incorporating them into your training.

German Volume Training

As the name implies, this method of weight training has its origin in the old republic of DDR, got much use there during the seventies, and only achieved a degree of popularity in the West in the nineties, when it was introduced by legendary strength trainer Charles Poliquin to the readers of Bill Phillips’ (of Body for Life fame) publication Muscle Media 2000, which no longer exists. The concept of German Volume training is very simple: pick one exercise, pick a weight that’s roughly 60% of your 1RM, and then perform ten sets of ten repetitions with that weight. Rest periods between sets should be no longer than 60 seconds.

This is very hard training, and while that may not occur to you during your first few sets, it will definitely become very evident as you get into set 8, 9 and 10. Do only one exercise per muscle group, and make it a compound exercise. For smaller muscle groups like the arms you can do three regular sets – no need to blast a small muscle like the biceps with 100 reps when you’re already working that muscle pretty hard in your back training. Do German Volume Training for no more than a couple of months at a time, or injury will be likely. You can learn more about this method of training here.

Drop Sets

You know which repetitions of any particular set are the most productive ones, right? It’s the last few reps, those where you really struggle to get the weight up. Drop Sets is a way to get three times as many of those super-productive reps in a set. Here’s how: pick a weight you can do ten repetitions with. Perform the ten reps, and immediately switch to a slightly lower weight that allows you do get three or four more done. When you’ve done these, remove even a little more weight – just enough to do three to four more reps – and then do these and rack the weight. You should be experiencing a great pump. Drop Sets is a technique you’ll use here and there, and never for weeks at a time, and never on all sets for any particular muscle group. I like to do it on my last set or two of an exercise, just to really blast the muscle tissue I’m working.

Use these training methods responsibly, and make sure you always consult a doctor before making significant changes to any training program with the aim of exercising at a much higher intensity – this is of course of particularly high importance if you have any kind of health problem.

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