Bodyweight Russian Bear with Bodyweight?

Nate

Level 6 Valued Member
I couldn't find this addressed here but maybe someone has feedback.

Russian Bear:
Heavy 5 (would be about 85% or ~6rm for most)
5 @ 90% first set (making it 77% or ~9rm)
As many sets of 5 at 80% first set (68% or ~12rm) with 30-90sec rest.

Basically one heavy set near max reps, another a little lighter & 1/2-2/3 of max reps, then a bunch of sets about 1/3-1/2 possible.

Q: could you apply the last template to dips and chins (called the upper body squats by many as long as they're difficult enough to be considered heavy enough) by manipulating reps instead of weight?
Example
Set 1 - Near max reps of 20.
Set 2 - 12 reps (1/2-2/3 possible)
Sets 3-? - 8 reps (1/3-1/2)

Or is weight vests or ring variations needed for this to be effective hypertrophy (ie must be heavier than 12rm)?

Thanks for any thoughts!
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
Provided you terminate the final Bear set at (or close to) failure the growth stimulus will be there. I’ve got decent gains from the Bear but my top set was rarely, if ever, at 85% given PTTP’s cycles of wave loading. I can’t remember precisely but I suspect my top sets were mostly ~80%, maybe even a bit lower, because I always struggled a bit with the recovery
 
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Nate

Level 6 Valued Member
Provided you terminate the final Bear set at (or close to) failure the growth stimulus will be there. I’ve got decent gains from the Bear but my top set was rarely, if ever, at 85% given PTTP’s cycles of wave loading. I can’t remember precisely but I suspect my top sets were mostly ~80%, maybe even a bit lower, because I always struggled a bit with the recovery
So that day would have been:
5 @ 80% (~8rm)
5 @ 72% (10-12rm)
5-20 sets of 5 @ 64% (15-20rm)
Per Pavels forum comment, done 1*week for DL & 2*week for BN.
 
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Bauer

Level 6 Valued Member
btw: On the PTTP DVD Pavel says that you could do your hypertrohy back off sets with 60, 70 and 80% of your working weight - not only 80%. So there is some flexibility.
 

Nate

Level 6 Valued Member
btw: On the PTTP DVD Pavel says that you could do your hypertrohy back off sets with 60, 70 and 80% of your working weight - not only 80%. So there is some flexibility.
That could be as low as 50% 1rm. At 1-2*week, it's not what i would have guessed he meant by "Heavy but never-to-failure, frequent, and high volume training delivers."
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
So that day would have been:
5 @ 80% (~8rm)
5 @ 72% (10-12rm)
5-20 sets of 5 @ 64% (15-20rm)
Per Pavels forum comment, done 1*week for DL & 2*week for BN.
That’s correct and at the beginning of a wave the weights would have been lower still. I would definitely have been doing some Bear sets at my 20RM (see below). I don’t recall ever completing more than 10 Bear sets but my rest periods were customarily short, 30-45 sec. Also the rep max equivalents you have used are high for me, I’m pretty typically 10RM@75%, 12RM@68%, 15RM@65%, 20RM@60%.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
At 1-2*week, it's not what i would have guessed he meant by "Heavy but never-to-failure, frequent, and high volume training delivers."
I have been a bit confused by that exact (apparent) contradiction myself.

As to the orignal question: Given that the idea behind the Bear is to do a high volume of lifts with high tension, would it not be more effective to use a weight vest or use bodyweight pressing variations that were more difficult, instead of just using RM percentages? Just a thought, dunno how on-point it is.

I would guess that you can do heavy and frequent (maybe 3 days/week) if the volume was spread out, as opposed to the 20 sets in one session or whatever was recommended in the book.

$0.02
 

Nate

Level 6 Valued Member
I have been a bit confused by that exact (apparent) contradiction myself.

As to the orignal question: Given that the idea behind the Bear is to do a high volume of lifts with high tension, would it not be more effective to use a weight vest or use bodyweight pressing variations that were more difficult, instead of just using RM percentages? Just a thought, dunno how on-point it is.

I would guess that you can do heavy and frequent (maybe 3 days/week) if the volume was spread out, as opposed to the 20 sets in one session or whatever was recommended in the book.

$0.02
That's my confusion as well. Sets 3-10 or 20(?) with a 15-20 rep max (as it turns out) wouldn't be very weighted for me. Very different than the built strong definition of heavy, frequent, not to failure i thought this would be similar to.
 

LukeV

Level 6 Valued Member
As to the orignal question: Given that the idea behind the Bear is to do a high volume of lifts with high tension, would it not be more effective to use a weight vest or use bodyweight pressing variations that were more difficult, instead of just using RM percentages? Just a thought, dunno how on-point it is.
Yes, I think you’re right, but I doubt that will matter much for most people given that the actual Bear sets (80%) are not that heavy in the program as written (maximum 12RM and usually lighter). So unless you can do more than, say, 12 to 20 strict form reps (eg pull-ups), you can safely perform the Bear as written with no weight equipment or modification. If you can do more then adjustment would assumedly be more in keeping with the Bear program (of course whether you would build any more muscle is another argument entirely)
 
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