At StrongFirst, we never rest. We constantly research, refine, experiment. Today we will give you a very powerful strength plan based on the most cutting-edge Russian research. It was tested with great success by Level II SFG certified instructors supervised by StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor Fabio Zonin.
Results of this Plan (Press and Pullup)
Who Is Eligible
To qualify for plan SF 930 you need:
- Excellent double kettlebell military press technique
- A recent 1-3RM for the baseline
- The ability to perform at least 10 strict pullups (tactical, parallel grip, or ring)
[Unconventional] Reps and Rest Duration
The plan uses high—by StrongFirst standards—reps of 8-12 per set and unheard of rest periods between them of 8-10 minutes. It will build a lot of strength into your weighted pullup and kettlebell military press in just six weeks. (We have tested it with double front squats as well, but the gains were not as impressive, so train your lower body in a manner of your choice.)
For the next six weeks, you will be training with your current 8-12RM in both exercises.
The Weekly Schedule
As you can see, you will have one heavy session and two light sessions per week for both the pullup and the press. “Light” refers to lower volume, not a decreased weight or effort.
Perfect Reps Required
All sets, on heavy and light days, are done close to RM—as many perfect reps as you can do without failing or compromising your technique. There are no rep goals to meet and no formal progression; just do as many perfect reps as you can and record them. Do not be surprised that in one session your reps go down as you fatigue and in another suddenly go up halfway through.
Alternate sets of both exercises. E.g. if your day calls for 5 sets of presses and 2 sets of pullups, do:
The Rest Periods
Rest for 8-10 minutes between sets of the heavy day exercise! In the above example, rest for 8-10 minutes between each set of presses. Sandwich pullups into these 8-10 minutes.
These ultra-long rests are a critical component of the program. SF 930 is based on the research and guidelines by Prof. Victor Selouyanov. To learn more, refer to last year’s blog, How to Build Your Slow Fibers, Part I. The logic remains the same, only the weights change to target the fast fibers.
Curiously, our subjects saw only minimal body composition changes—a little muscle gain, a little fat loss—but their strength went through the roof. (If mass is your priority, your new strength will set you up for success in your next hypertrophy cycle. May I suggest the Total Tension Complex.)
The first minute after each set do “fast and loose” drills: shake the muscles you just worked, swing your limbs, shadow box, etc. to reduce the congestion as quickly as possible! This applies to all exercises, heavy and light, and is another key to the success of this plan. After the first minute, you may sit down and rest passively.
The Plan in Detail
After whatever warm-up or lack of thereof that you are accustomed to, perform the following number of sets of presses and pullups:
Changes in Weeks 7 and 8
In weeks 7 and 8, deload and max:
Use 5-6RM weights in all ladders both weeks. Perform the exercises in a slow circuit: MP x 1, PU x 1; MP x 2, PU x 2, etc. There is no need to time your rest periods, but make a point of getting more rest than you think you need.
To perform the 1-3RM test, first do whatever warm-up or lack of thereof that you are accustomed to. Then, do three reps with the weight you used in your first six weeks of training. Rest for 5 minutes, and do two reps with the weight you laddered in the last two weeks. Rest for 5 minutes, and do a single with your 1-3RM.
Depending on the difficulty of that single and the kettlebell selection available, decide whether you are going to do more reps with your old 1-3RM or attempt a new PR with a heavier kettlebell. Test after 8-10 minutes of rest (timed).
Post Your Results
Do not forget to post your results in the comments.
Power to you!