View Full Version : Russian Bear Routine


RedSkull
11-13-2006, 07:31 PM
I found this snippet on Pavel T's Russian Bear routine in a t-mag article (full link below). Has anyone tried anything like this? Seems like the volume would be good for size and the practise good for strength (in theory).


The Russian Bear

Another effective high volume program is the "Russian Bear" program I learned from Pavel Tsatsouline. Here's how it works: Start off by doing a hard set of five on an exercise. Don't pick your five-rep max. Pick a weight that you could do six to seven times with good form and stop at five reps.

Wait five minutes after the first set and do another set of five with 90% of the first set. After that set, wait 30-60 seconds and do a set of 5 with 80% of the first set. Keep doing sets of five with 80% of the first set and take one-minute breaks between each set. When you can no longer do five reps with good form, call it a day. This may happen after four sets or as many as fifteen. It really varies with the individual.

Since you're not training to failure and are using relatively light weights for most of the sets, you can do the Russian Bear program more often. For example, you could do it three times a week. Just take a day off between each workout. Unlike GVT, the Russian Bear program consists of full body workouts. Here's a sample program:

Monday

A-1: Military Press
A-2: Pull-up
B-1: Deadlift

Wednesday

A-1: Bench Press
A-2: Bent-over row
B-1: Squat

Friday

A-1: Military Press
A-2: Pull-up
B-1: Deadlift

Alternate between the two workouts each time. Each workout is a full body workout that hits all of the major muscle groups. Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. Take two-minute breaks between the first two sets of each exercise and thirty second breaks between the working sets with 80% of the first set. On B-1 follow the program as stated previously. Take two days off for every three workouts that you do.

Now let's personalize the Russian Bear program for specific muscle fiber types. If you're fast twitch fiber dominant, keep the rep range between three and five per set. If you're slow twitch fiber dominant, keep the rep range between ten and twelve.


Wrap-Up

Stay on which ever high volume program you go with for a maximum of six to eight weeks. After a maximum of eight weeks, switch to lower volume training for four weeks before doing another high volume program.

Don't start either high volume program here if you don't have money to purchase new clothes! Make sure that you eat and sleep well and get ready for some killer results!


About The Author

Mike Mahler is a strength coach and kettlebell instructor based in Los Angeles, CA.

The Russian Bear

Another effective high volume program is the "Russian Bear" program I learned from Pavel Tsatsouline. Here's how it works: Start off by doing a hard set of five on an exercise. Don't pick your five-rep max. Pick a weight that you could do six to seven times with good form and stop at five reps.

Wait five minutes after the first set and do another set of five with 90% of the first set. After that set, wait 30-60 seconds and do a set of 5 with 80% of the first set. Keep doing sets of five with 80% of the first set and take one-minute breaks between each set. When you can no longer do five reps with good form, call it a day. This may happen after four sets or as many as fifteen. It really varies with the individual.

Since you're not training to failure and are using relatively light weights for most of the sets, you can do the Russian Bear program more often. For example, you could do it three times a week. Just take a day off between each workout. Unlike GVT, the Russian Bear program consists of full body workouts. Here's a sample program:

Monday

A-1: Military Press
A-2: Pull-up
B-1: Deadlift

Wednesday

A-1: Bench Press
A-2: Bent-over row
B-1: Squat

Friday

A-1: Military Press
A-2: Pull-up
B-1: Deadlift

Alternate between the two workouts each time. Each workout is a full body workout that hits all of the major muscle groups. Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. Take two-minute breaks between the first two sets of each exercise and thirty second breaks between the working sets with 80% of the first set. On B-1 follow the program as stated previously. Take two days off for every three workouts that you do.

Now let's personalize the Russian Bear program for specific muscle fiber types. If you're fast twitch fiber dominant, keep the rep range between three and five per set. If you're slow twitch fiber dominant, keep the rep range between ten and twelve.


Wrap-Up

Stay on which ever high volume program you go with for a maximum of six to eight weeks. After a maximum of eight weeks, switch to lower volume training for four weeks before doing another high volume program.

Don't start either high volume program here if you don't have money to purchase new clothes! Make sure that you eat and sleep well and get ready for some killer results!


About The Author

Mike Mahler is a strength coach and kettlebell instructor based in Los Angeles, CA.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do;jsessionid=579546AF2A260C207B7511A9D9 5B10E7.hydra?id=543803&pageNo=0

Sentinel
11-13-2006, 07:45 PM
sweet find

JT1
11-13-2006, 10:33 PM
another interesting read Chris

RedSkull
11-14-2006, 07:37 AM
Now, anyone willing to try it? :D

One of the guys in that thread (below the article) said he had success alternating something like that and a lower vol, high intensity routine. That makes a lot of sense.

idk
11-14-2006, 03:18 PM
well i am a big fan of mike mahler but i promised myself i'd try to kill my exercise ADD, so i gotta stick with what i'm doing now. i'm sure good gains will be made. sorry to have to relate this to some other program, but it is similar to a rippetoe/bill star 5x5. i'm sure you would get drained really fast though. its very much like mahler to do a superset with the two moves like he does above. thats how i governed my exercise choices, synergy. hes the first guy to get me interested in low-volume PB/PL type workouts. i tried his rest-pause, but like i did with most programs, i didnt stay on it long enough.

RedSkull
11-14-2006, 04:33 PM
hehe

I tried this today on Seated Presses - felt great.

Jen
11-15-2006, 07:35 AM
Interesting RS. this whole powerlifting thing has me intrueged

53greystreet
11-15-2006, 07:46 AM
Interesting RS. this whole powerlifting thing has me intrueged

Powerlifting is great. Hitting a PR on the platform is an awesome feeling. Also the camaraderie amongst lifters at a meet is really cool. We are having a push/pull meet here in AZ on Feb 10th.

The best thing to do if interested is to pick a meet and do it. Then one can decide if they want to keep doing them. The bug is usually caught.

Jen
11-15-2006, 08:11 AM
Powerlifting is great. Hitting a PR on the platform is an awesome feeling. Also the camaraderie amongst lifters at a meet is really cool. We are having a push/pull meet here in AZ on Feb 10th.

The best thing to do if interested is to pick a meet and do it. Then one can decide if they want to keep doing them. The bug is usually caught.

not sure if i'm interested in trying it or not but i am going to watch my first local meet here on sat. Just want to check it out and see what goes on. fun fun!!

JT1
11-15-2006, 08:13 AM
consider a go at powerlifting BB - your physique will thank you for it, and if you do return to physique contests you'll have a lot more dense muscle because of it. a lot of women shy from pwerlifting because they thik they will become as big as trucks or something - its not the case most of the time, have a look at Kara bohigan (apologies i get her name wrong) she still looks very feminine despite lifting more than most guys lol

RedSkull
11-15-2006, 09:25 AM
Interesting RS. this whole powerlifting thing has me intrueged

Glad you liked it. This routine could be applied to any lift tho, doesn't have to be one of the PL...just anything you want to improve. I did it on Seated Overheads.

Here's some reflections from yesterday's:
- Not sore today. At all! Quite strange.
- Felt GREAT after the workout. Then very depressed a few hours later. Not sure if that's a cortisol thing from the volume or just me being fucked up, though.
- My acheing elbow is...feeling better! I thought it'd feel awful today. Quite strange also.

I imagine this system would be pretty good for me just for the reason that I was able to keep the sets going and going. I hit 200 x 8 for my top set then 176 x 6, then 155 for 4 sets of 6 (too light), 165 for another 4 sets and finished with a couple with 176. About 15 sets in total, including warm ups. It'll be interesting to see how my presses feel next week.

bad rad
11-19-2006, 01:41 PM
This is a good program, lots of practice with the lifts you want to improve and super simple. I gave it to a friend of mine and he added alot to his lifts and gained some good mass.

RedSkull
11-19-2006, 01:44 PM
This is a good program, lots of practice with the lifts you want to improve and super simple. I gave it to a friend of mine and he added alot to his lifts and gained some good mass.

Could you give more specifics. ie what were his lifts at/what gains, how did you set up the program etc? Thanks.

The idea does make a lot of sense and is kind of an easy to follow dumbed down version of how the Ruskies/Bulgars etc train with a hypertrophy slant to it, I suppose...

bad rad
11-19-2006, 01:47 PM
He used the program as outlined, same lifts and MWF. He gained about 10 lbs and about 10% to his lifts.

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