German Volume Training Clinic 2017

‘New Year, New You’ and all that schisse!

If you are expecting a post full of optimism, mindfulness and inspiration then obviously you don’t know me or our facility well enough. No three word slogan (with the exception of ‘live, laugh, love’ – how can your heart not skip a beat out of pure positivity when you say that out loud?) is going to make you a better person this year.

Suffice to say, same shit, different year; with the turn of the page onto 1 January comes new gimmicks, promises and ultimately, let downs and failures. Like seagulls on a chip, the Instagram experts, pyramid scheme entrepreneurs and franchise gyms swoop from their predatory overhead patrol and push new deals, wondrous cleanses and detoxes or super supplements. Personally as a gym owner I hate this time of year, as too many in this industry cash in on the vulnerable people who finally decide that the new slate that comes with the turn of the calendar page provides an opportunity to attend a facility and a genuine attempt at self-improvement.

Rant #1 for 2017 – Detoxes and quick fixes.

FirstSprings and foremost, I need to address the cleanse/detox crazes that appear every year, regular as clockwork. It took me less than 2 weeks to get worked up by something (which is slow for internet outrage, I know) but these frauds need to be hit harder than Rhonda Rousey’s chin in UFC 207.

As a matter of pure science, the only things that can effectively detox your body are the very things you already possess – those amazing chemical warehouses known as the liver and kidneys! Over the thousands of years of human evolution, everything on this planet has tried to kill each other and as such animals, plants and even single cell organisms have developed mechanisms in order to survive and procreate, ranging from poisons and toxins to camouflage. Concurrently, predators adapted their physiology and digestive systems to handle these defensive mechanisms and survive even the most hostile of conditions.

Therefore, our bodies are very efficient in expelling foreign materials that are of no benefit to us and they do so very quickly. If the body retained the toxins spoken about by these pseudo experts, we would be six feet under in a matter of days.

Unfortunately like anything worth having, it takes time and consistency. In an age of information immediacy, too many of us are searching for the quick fix, the magic pill or the superfood/juice. We seem to have developed more and more gadgets, gimmicks and methods to save time and yet, we feel busier than ever.  This fallacy of immediate gratification that we have been so eager to adopt has meant that the reality, namely hard work and consistency of approach, is not music to our ears.

Nothing has spread the notion of a quick-fix more rapidly than social media; it feeds an inherent yearning for motivation and inspiration for what will be, or already is, an arduous journey; too many people post vacuous quotes and videos, fuelling unrealistic aspirations and reinforcing the desire for the quick fix. Quite simply, the truth is that it would be nigh on impossible to identify an occasion where a person who is lacking motivation (perhaps even suffering from a psychological condition like depression) have read or seen one of these messages and thought ‘You know what? I’m cured after this! Bring on the Hawaiian Ironman!’

I have written about this before and I loathe repeating myself but the only reality worth facing is that we have to be patient and earn the right to feel happy about ourselves. We need to put in the hard work, the sacrifice, the commitment and consistency to create a positive result; namely, we need to experience ‘progression’.

So, what’s the solution? A slow, hardworking, disciplined approach with a program and plan that has us frequently testing and measuring. I know right? It’s not exactly what you wanted to hear but deep down, you know I’m right.

The segue you knew was coming – German Volume Training

At tDumbbellhe start of every year, I evaluate the first 6 months of training phases for our clients; I assess what worked last year, what didn’t and what can we do different to take us to the next level. I do this in order to convert that 6 month platform into a 12 month outlook and while I may tinker here and there based on circumstances, I always approach our training programs with that longer perspective in mind.

In order to cater for this long-term perspective, we need to develop capacities; this involves developing our bodies to be as strong, fit and with as much lean muscle mass as possible in order to be able to train as often as possible.  Training as often as possible without injury equals consistency and with consistency comes progression. If you’ve been paying attention, consistency and progression are the antithesis of the quick-fix and the only way you are able to achieve genuine self-improvement.

In order to develop these capacities at the start of the year, we employ the German Volume Training (GVT) method, a methodology made popular by Rolf Feser. This method of resistance training involves performing 10 sets of 10 repetitions, on a 60-90 second turnaround, at roughly 50-65% of a participant’s 1 repetition maximum (which equates to roughly a 5 or 6/10 in terms of intensity).

Feser implemented GVT on his Olympic lifting athletes to dramatically increase muscle mass in order to have lifters advance to the next weight division. Coincidentally he had outstanding results with some athletes adding upwards of 10 pounds of muscle mass within 6 weeks.

Science time

ScienceThe increase in muscle mass, or hypertrophy, stems from the release of anabolic hormones in response to a huge muscle stimulus. By training large muscle groups (think legs, chest) with compound movements, our body releases anabolic (muscle building) hormones like Testosterone, Insulin-like growth factor 1 and Growth Hormone; performing those compound movements with short rest periods encourages a high lactic acid response which also correlates with high testosterone release. Combining such high mechanical stress over a huge muscular cross-section with minimal recovery times creates the perfect environment for muscle growth. No wonder Feser’s athletes got great results.

Now, before any of you come to me saying ‘I don’t want to get bulky I just want to get leaner’, just calm your farm. We aren’t on the same playing field as Fesers’ athletes; elite athletes are usually referred to as ‘responders’ and any stimulus they endure will affect them rapidly and profoundly. That’s not to say we won’t achieve good (verging on great) muscular gains, but it’s going to take more than 4 weeks to look like the Austrian Oak himself (a.k.a Arnold Schwarzenegger, for those of you who don’t know).

Having more muscle mass increases our resting metabolic rate and nothing burns more calories than our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). A person’s RMR is the amount of energy required for the body to perform the essentials of survival. By way of example, every day I need 3000 calories to live: to keep my heart pumping, my lungs filling and my brain ticking over. However, after performing a program like GVT for a month, my RMR will perhaps rise to 3200 or higher, as the increase in muscle mass requires an increase in caloric consumption. Increasing your RMR in combination with consistent exercise will transform your body into a more efficient calorie (i.e. fat) burning system.

Now, it may seem contrary to our views against the quick fix to market a six week program; while GVT is the closest thing we have to a weight loss challenge, short-term weight loss is not the reason for its implementation. GVT is performed in order to provide a base or a ‘general preparatory phase’ for our next 6 month training plan. This foresight and planning allows for better results in the longer term and lessens the potential for ‘falling off the cliff’, which is so often seen when participating in short-term ‘challenges’. GVT allows for consistency and consistency results in progression, which is the key to self-improvement.

I said at the start we don’t believe in three word slogans but on second thought, I’ll acquiesce; here’s a catchy one for you all – f***ing rip in!


Commencing 6th February 2017 you will receive:

  • Strongman6 week training program, including 3 x week group strength sessions with a Strength and Conditioning Coach;
  • 6 week membership at Hammer Athletic – full access to class timetable and open gym times;
  • Push Band velocity-based training software (allowing for increased accuracy and safety);
  • Testing battery at beginning and end of program;
  • Nutrition seminar (optional for those who haven’t heard my nutrition approach before);
  • More importantly, the customary ‘piss up’/end of clinic bonding session at the German Club, Woolloongabba.

What it costs you?

$135 a week for 6 weeks

A necessary 6 week commitment – you can’t perform GVT without anything less.

Are you in?

How did you hear about us?


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