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Summer Shred

In the last blog (the 7 principles), I hinted the Summer Shred programming involved Germany.  Our Summer Shred hypertrophy series is based on German Volume Training (GVT). GVT is a simple concept, but it’s not easy. You know if it has a European country in the name you are in for quite a treat! GVT is 10 sets of 10 reps per exercise, yes that’s 100 reps per exercise, volume is in the name. GVT has been utilized for decades and is well-known due to its effectiveness. There is nothing fancy or sexy about GVT, the sheer amount of volume will force your body to grow muscle, so long as your nutrition and recovery are dialed in.

The goal is to perform 10 sets of 10 reps using compound movements at a predetermined tempo. We will also incorporate supersets and short rest intervals. The muscles will be subjected to high volume and time under tension which will create an environment for hypertrophy. The result? Bigger muscles, improved work capacity, and increased strength.


Structure of the Program – The program is six weeks in length and is divided into two 3-week training blocks. Each workout has four exercises using supersets, A and B.  Both “A” exercises are performed with 10 sets with 90 seconds rest after the superset.  Perform A-1, perform A-2, rest 90 seconds, repeat ten times.  Once you compete part A, move on to part B in a similar fashion.  Each workout will contain an Accessory / Abdominal element, Part C, that will be completed after part B.

The class will meet on Saturdays and require 3 training days in total.  Day 1: Chest and Back, Day 2: Legs and Glutes, and Day 3: Arms and Shoulders.  Participants will need to come in on their own for the other two days.  There will also be a Facebook Group page that house demo videos and be a forum for discussion.

Weight Selection – For each exercise, the prescribed weight is going to be 65% of your 1-rep max.  If we are performing dumbbell movements, pick a weight that you will be able to complete 15 reps. This may sound light, but the first few sets will serve as a warm up and combined with the tempo will ultimately fatigue the muscles.

Rep Counts – The goal is to perform 10 reps on every set.  The early sets are going to feel easy, but do not perform more reps or increase the weight. Remember, GVT is about volume and not maxing out, meaning you shouldn’t be failing on your 10th rep early on. A good rule of thumb would be at 10 reps you should be 2-3 reps from failure. However, if you are on set 8 or 9 and are unable to hit 10 reps, you can use the rest-pause method (more on this in class) to finish the sets. If you are failing to complete set 5, you may have gone too heavy.  If you did 10 sets no problem, you didn’t go heavy enough.

GVT and CrossFit – The question will come up regarding if you can take Summer Shred and still go to CF classes. The short answer is maybe. GVT is intense and many recommend that you do this no more than once or twice per year. I would highly suggest limiting CrossFit classes 1 to 2 times per week. The best class to attend would be General Physical Preparedness (GPP) or Train days, as to not interfere with the GVT training and aid in recovery.  It’s probably not the best idea to perform a 10×10 leg day followed by a “CFTC leg day”.  Listen to your body, if you are feeling beat up, you probably are. I would pull back the CF classes.  Don’t worry they will still be there after 6 weeks.

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