The return of GVT! if you didn’t see my earlier column on GVT 1 then you don’t know that this is my favorite workout (also one of the most grueling — not for the faint of heart). You also don’t know the benefits or how it works so click HERE and give it a quick read.
Now that you are back (or you never left because you already read GVT 1) let’s get into it! I am giving you GVT 2 and 3 in the same column because GVT 2 is easy to explain. Here goes …
This is another six-week commitment and is very similar to GVT 1, but instead of doing 10 reps each of the 10 sets, you add more weight and do six reps… but you still do 10 sets! I personally use the same exercises throughout GVT 1, 2, and 3, so
that is what I am recommending for you. But of course you can change the exercises if that doesn’t appeal to you.
Why do I choose to use the same exercises? I like to build on the specific strength built in the level before. Once I get through all three levels of GVT I can reacquaint myself with all the other exercises in the gym that have been feeling left out, sad and jealous. I also like that it gets super boring. Pushing through the boredom and internal resistance trains me to mentally keep at a task that I know is good for me, even when I want to stop, scream and maybe shoot myself in the face before doing it AGAIN. GVT trains me to be stronger mentally.
How do I choose the weight I will use? I choose the new weight by instinct and through trial and error. Other trainers use percentages of one rep max and other strategies, but I like to go organic. If I’ve been doing a bench press for 10 sets of 10 at 55 on each side, I would probably try 10 sets of six reps at 60 on each side. I would go up or down based on how that worked out.
After GVT 2, GVT 3 is like a cool desert spring after three days walking in the sun with no water. I’m not gonna lie, GVT 2 gets boring and makes you question your life choices. GVT 3 brings in something new every week, which is so welcome! It also makes your muscles sore every week. After a while in 1 and 2 you stop getting sore like you did in the beginning, but it’s so hard that you can’t really increase the weights that much. Unsatisfying. However, it does prep you for the next step, so we must take it.
GVT 3 sounds a little complicated so I will explain it, then give you an example that will make it all make sense.
It’s a six-week cycle.
— Week 1 you do 10 sets of six reps, so you start with the weight you ended with in GVT 2 .
— Week 2 you do 10 sets of five reps, a little heavier than Week 1.
— Week 3 you do 10 sets of 4 reps, a little heavier than Week 2.
— Week 4 you do 10 sets of 6 reps, you use your Week 2 weight.
— Week 5 you do 10 sets of 5 reps, you use your Week 3 weight.
— Week 6 you do 10 sets of 6 reps, a little heavier than Week 5.
OK, what???? Let’s use the bench press example.
Say I tried to jump from 55 pounds (GVT 1) to 60 pounds in GVT 2 and that worked. Let’s assume that midway through the six weeks I was able to increase to 65 on each side and finished there. Here’s that routine:
— Week 1: 10 sets of six reps with 65 on each side
— Week 2: 10 sets of five reps with 70 on each side
— Week 3: 10 sets of four reps with 75 on each side
— Week 4: 10 sets of six reps with 70 on each side
— Week 5: 10 sets of five reps with 75 on each side
— Week 6: 10 sets of four reps with 80 on each side
That’s it. Finish out this three-round cycle and you will be huge and strong. Your tendons will also strengthen at a safe rate. Your mental and physical endurance will be increased and you will approach every new workout after GVT like a beast!