Russian Bear - 80% minimum back off set

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
We should note that someone who does the Bear protocol with the deadlift isn't going to look like someone who does a lot of squatting - I think that's what "wiry" means in this context.

When I used to belong to a gym, I recall the manager coming up to me, showing me how to do a bodybuilder's lat flare, and then calling over another trainer to look. They were laughing because I had significant development to my lats but not to the "show" muscles they were used to seeing on the front of people, and apparently had never realized I did have some muscles on me somewhere. Some people might call that "wiry," I guess.

-S-
 

HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
But even without the squats, you will still look muscley correct? Maybe not have the big quads, but muscle in all the right places.
 

MarkS

Level 1 Valued Member
I've shifted to -

BP Mon
DL Wed
OP Fri

4 weeks in I have hit the wall and over trained. The muscle and definition is high so it's working big time. Great method and want to get back into it asap.

Current it's looking like: 100% x5 (100kg on Deadlift), 90% x5 80% 6x5

So not the sort of volume like 10 or 20 sets but its been brutal. I've been off training now for 4 days and still feel a bit beaten up.

Might be an adjustment to diet needed. More carbs. It's just the recovery factor for me. I've had this mater occur on other programs where there is dead lifting required.
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@MarkS For Russian Bear 80% sets did you rest 30-90sec after you PTTP sets, or 3-5min before starting your back off sets?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Might be an adjustment to diet needed. More carbs. It's just the recovery factor for me. I've had this mater occur on other programs where there is dead lifting required.
I have lately discovered that having carbs post-workout makes a difference to how I feel for the rest of the day. Worth a try if you haven't been doing that already. And, FWIW, immediately post workout doesn't feel best to me but rather to wait a half hour or so.

-S-
 

MarkS

Level 1 Valued Member
@Steve Freides

Steve. Thank you. That's good advice. I'm sure with the added rest say 3-5 minutes before hitting the 80% sets will help a lot. I've probably interpreted the book incorrectly.

Thanks again for the wonderful advice as always.

Mark
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
@Steve Freides

Steve. Thank you. That's good advice. I'm sure with the added rest say 3-5 minutes before hitting the 80% sets will help a lot. I've probably interpreted the book incorrectly.

Thanks again for the wonderful advice as always.

Mark
I would try it both ways. Mix things up.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@MarkS, like @Geoff Chafe says, try it both ways. I don't think you should consider what you've been doing an incorrect reading of the book. It's a hypertrophy-and-strength protocol, and short rest periods are important, but you have to get a feel for what works best for you. Ideally you get a feel for how the Bear works for you and that's how you determine your rest periods - maybe they aren't even exactly the same throughout a single session.

-S-
 

MikeMoran

Level 5 Valued Member
I am base building with my DL right now but I like this idea of a 3 day Bench/DL/MP for this program. I was just re-reading PTTP the other day and thought I have not done the BEAR yet...
 

WxHerk

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Back around 2002, when I was a young man of 38, I did the Russian Bear for about 14 weeks. At a bodyweight of ~220 lbs I worked up to deadlifting 315lbs for 20 sets of 5 and 12 sets of 5 dumbbell bench press w/ 100 lb dumbbells. The deadlifts and dumbbell bench presses were done on successive days, twice a week. Usually DL Monday, BP Tuesday and DL Thursday/BP Friday. Oh, I also ate any protein that wasn't nailed down. I took no measurements but angered my then wife because my XL shirts wouldn't fit anymore and I had to buy XXL!! She also remarked that my back "looked like a Christmas tree." Mind you, she was not familiar with that term being used by bodybuilders. I never did any backoff sets, just gripped and ripped. Also, I love lifting so much that it was a joy to get to do so many sets.

Bottom line: Russian Bear works and works quick!!
 

HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
Did you end up with a bar body (all upper body and skinny jeans chicken legs) or did you at least have some legs size?
 
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