If you have clicked on this link in the hopes of reading about a program full of optimism, mindfulness and inspiration then obviously haven’t trained with us. 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.
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.
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 the 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.
Over the last 7 years while running this program, we have seen an average of 13mm body fat lost and an increase in aerobic performance of 6.7%, which is why we keep coming back to it year in, year out.
The 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**KING RIP IN!
The Hammer Athletic German Volume Training (GVT) program runs for 6 weeks commencing February 7th, 2022.
GVT will be available to our Strength & Conditioning members; this means you must be a current S&C member or join our S&C membership, which will set you back $59 per week for the six week program.
S&C Members / GVT Participants will receive: