Russian Bear

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FireMedic1939

Level 1 Valued Member
I have a question on the Russian Bear.

Should I run the program with 2 exercises... Bench and deadlift? Or perform A/B workouts with (A)press/deadlift and (B)bench/squat on a M/W/F schedule?

I've read PTTP, but there seems to be several variations of the program. Which would be best?

Thanks
 

Jess Burchill

Level 1 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
It is your call. I would probably run it with only military presses and deadlifts for a block and evaluate. Start light (70-80% your 5RM). That being said, on a 3 day a week schedule, alternating squats and deadlifts would probably work well (week A: DL, SQ, DL; week B: SQ, DL, SQ).

If mass is your goal, make sure you are either resting or eating!
Good luck!
 

FireMedic1939

Level 1 Valued Member
I started the program Monday. Started with overhead presses, and made it through 5 volume sets after my top sets. Deadlifts next with 10 volume sets after my strength weights. Rather than dropping in weight, I did a 5/3/2 rep scheme. Looked like this:

OHP- 155x5/3/2 5 minutes rest between sets
130x5 EMOM for 5 minutes/fatigue
Each set of presses was supersetted with a set of 4 pull-ups

Deadlift- 370x5/3/2
290x3 EMOM for 10 minutes/fatigue

I'm about 30 minutes from starting my workout today.... I definitely need to alternate between deads and squats.... I'm still fairly sore.
 

Jess Burchill

Level 1 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
It is easy to see how this program got it's name!
How long are you planning on running this cycle?
Mass is your goal?

Might be good to back the weight off a little to accommodate for the volume.

If your 1RM for the OHP is around 180 (for a clean, solid rep), a work weight of 135 would probably be ideal for your first set, and then drop it down to about 115 for the volume sets with a little longer rest between (2-5 minutes)

For the deadlifts, if you pull say 400 for a clean 1RM, you could probably go LIGHT and still get benefit with something as low as 25-50% 1RM, (100-200lbs), especially if you are pulling volume.

Add a little more weight each week, but keep the RPE about the same from week to week over the 6 weeks, you would probably be pretty happy at the end of the cycle with measurable strength gains.
 

FireMedic1939

Level 1 Valued Member
I'm planning to stay on the program at least 8 weeks(through January) before deloading.

Yes, my goal is mass. For the last 5-6 weeks, I've been increasing my conditioning and dropping some fat. But with the Holiday season, I know there will be some additional calorie intake, so why not put them to some good use!

I read an article where Mike Mahler was using the Russian Bear Program(giving full credit to Pavel for the program) along with muscle fiber dominance to put together the right high volume rep range. It was a pretty interesting read. Basically, he was saying if you did a rep test @80% of your 1RM and your set stopped in the 3-5 range that means you are highly fast twitch dominant and you should keep your volume sets in the 3 rep range to maximize hypertrophy on a Bear style program. If your test set stopped in the 5-10 range, 5 reps per set would be most beneficial. If you are above 10 reps then you are more slow twitch dominant and you would be best served to stay in that range to add mass.

As far as my first workout, I was a little concerned that I was starting too high on weights. My 1RM on the DL is 530. 370 is about 70% of that 1RM rather than the recommended 80%. So, I tried to err on the side of caution.... Its just a tough program!! I'm definitely not used to that much DL volume in a single workout. I usually stick to triples and doubles for 10-15 total reps....
 

JeffC

Level 7 Valued Member
After I stay on PTTP for a while longer, and get back to handling heavy weight almost daily, I will try the bear. Right now I sometimes do the additional backoff set at 80%. I am having a hard time sticking to minimalist training, and not playing with my toys.

The Bear program is very clear. Take 80% of your top lift of the day, and do sets of 5, until technical failure with 30-90sec rest. Alternate a push and a pull, or squat if you wish, per day and work it hard, as many sets as necessary. You could "Bear" two lifts a day but it will take significantly longer, and rob from your second lift. It is a hard work program. 3 days a week, but day on day off would work if you are recovering well.
 

_KpaM_

Level 1 Valued Member
After I stay on PTTP for a while longer, and get back to handling heavy weight almost daily, I will try the bear. Right now I sometimes do the additional backoff set at 80%. I am having a hard time sticking to minimalist training, and not playing with my toys.

The Bear program is very clear. Take 80% of your top lift of the day, and do sets of 5, until technical failure with 30-90sec rest. Alternate a push and a pull, or squat if you wish, per day and work it hard, as many sets as necessary. You could "Bear" two lifts a day but it will take significantly longer, and rob from your second lift. It is a hard work program. 3 days a week, but day on day off would work if you are recovering well.
So for example, you do on day 1 bear DL and military press and day 2 Bear BP and pullups? OR how do you structure the week for the bbear program
 
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