Soviet workout

Many a great workout program has been published at T Nation over the last 12 or so years. How many workouts? Well, let's just say that if you were to choose your favorite five workouts per year starting from the day we started publishing and planned to follow each one for six weeks: you wouldn't have to worry about what your next program is going to be for about seven years! The problem with a haphazard system like that is, well, it's just not ideal. You're just stringing together a bunch of workouts; workouts that might kick ass on their own but aren't part of a larger plan.

And we don't want that, do we? The answer lies in an entirely different form of periodization that takes into account strength phases, size phases, and of course, peaking.

Enter a little bit of old school Russian wisdom, served up JP Catanzaro style. As you read, or skim, this article you lazy bastardyou may at first think it's confusing. Stick with it and by the end of the article where the author provides some examplesit'll make as much sense as wearing a cup during a dodgeball tournament. Way back in the dark ages of athletic training, strength coaches often went to great lengths to ensure that their athletes added as little muscle mass as possible.

The importance of strength was undeniable, as it was often correlated with an athlete's medal haul. But extra muscle mass? Forget it, you'll just get "muscle bound.

What a difference a generation or two can make. Today, it's widely accepted that "optimum" hypertrophy is required for "maximum" performance. The reason is simple: muscle protects athletes from injury, provided it's obtained in the proper manner.

Performing a high volume of slow, limited range isolation movements on machines will not help. In reality, the opposite is true: it will hinder performance and set you up for injury.

The following workout template is inspired from the work of Professor Yuri Verkhoshansky, a senior track and field coach for the Soviet national team, a pioneer of the shock method of training known as plyometricsand an innovator in the area of planning and training periodization. If you're a seasoned athlete looking to add some size and strength to take your on-field performance to the next level or just trying to find that perfect marriage of strength and hypertrophy, this is the system for you.

Picking just one method and following it to a T will produce results, and picking two or three and following them in any haphazard fashion will likely work as well, to a certain degree.

But following the programs in an intelligent, systematic fashion that gradually increases intensity up towards a final peak will produce the greatest gains by far. That's having the wisdom and foresight to see each workout as a small step towards a much larger goal.

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That's smart programming. That's periodization. This plan presents five gradually increasing waves of intensity. By the end of the final program, the athlete will peak. Personal records will be set at this point. Book your victory sex now: you'll have earned it.The Soviet weightlifting systems from the s up to were known for breaking many world records, as well as for creating athletes with longevity.

I was fortunate to learn straight from Pavel himself about the Soviet secrets of dominance and longevity during this time period. Leonid Taranenko won his first Olympic medal in and his last in at the age of He is not the only older Soviet lifter, either. Vasily Alexeev also set his last world record at age This is the heaviest ever lifted in a competition.

In the figure below, I charted current records against records from to The older records are equal to or above the current records, especially for the heavier weight classes. The heaviest lifts above current records are all from Soviet athletes.

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How did the Soviet system evolve to create such great athletes? They measured everything. Pavel quoted a Soviet scientist who said that physiological data of what works can be found in world records and not in textbooks.

The Soviets also had a ranking system of their athletes. This allowed them to see what programs worked for what level of athlete. There was a great deal of data to analyze and Soviet scientists were put to work doing exactly that.

Most Western systems adjust intensity defined by percentage of a one-rep max across the cycle in a linear pattern. For example, if our lifter had a 1RM clean of pounds, he would start with a lower weight in the first week of training and then build up to higher weights. As intensity increased, the number of lifts or volume would go down.

Pavel pulled together and analyzed some of the Soviet research literature on how athletes trained in Olympic movements from the s to the s. Some of this work is available as translated versions e. However, a good deal is not available or is poorly translated. Alexsei Medvedyeva Soviet scientist of strength, found the intensity of the lifts of Soviet athletes had a repeatable normal curve in the intensity pattern in the data.

Reps in this higher range are taxing physically and neurologically, and it likely takes more time to recover. This rule is probably difficult to follow for many people, as it is tempting to see how much you can lift. However, a great deal of strength can be and was built staying in this sub-maximal range.

Waves of Strength: Soviet-Style Periodization

In the East, it is variability. The idea behind changing volume is that greater variability in how many reps you do is much easier on the body then large jumps in how heavy you lift. This constant up and down of volume can keep an athlete fresh. If an athlete wanted to do snatches in a month, his or her volume would change each week in a wavy pattern.

80's Soviet Fitness Vs San Fran-disco

One week, he or she might do seventy snatches, the next 44, followed by 56, and thirty. Within the week, there are higher and lower volume days, as well. Western systems generally have an inverse relationship between intensity and volume. As you lift heavier weights, the number of total repetitions goes down. Within the Soviet systems, these two variables are uncoupled. Thus, you might lift in a heavier range for low repsbut complete multiple sets.

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Some Western systems e. However, these systems control for volume to keep it consistent.However, due to lack referencing, widely varyings opinions mostly Incorrect on implementing this style of training, and a crazy surge in social media savvy strength coaches there is a disconnect between Westside Barbell and the system that Louie Simmons could be credited with revolutionizing or at the very least popularizing for the modern day coach and athlete.

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Louie has been writing about this system for over 30 years. Every year it refines and updates and we try to put out as much free content as possible. Draw your own opinions from the source not from a third party. Many have asked how Westside developed the conjugate system and why. I started training full time in powerlifting in late after returning from the army. I had my first power meet in What an experience!

I lifted along with four future world champions: Milt McKinney, George Crawford, who gave me countless tips on squatting, Larry Pacifico, and Vince Anello, who was the deadlifting machine. I asked Vince what helped his deadlift. George was the squat king. His training was a combination of regular squats, box squats, old Westside style meaning Culver City, CA, stylerack squats, and good mornings, which contributed to his success. This is the conjugate system, a system of unidirectional loading that was designed to enable him to squat more.

Larry Pacifico, who was a renowned powerlifter in the s and early s was great at everything, but his bench was unreal.

His bench training was a combination of heavy-duty bodybuilding and lots of triceps work. With their advice, which they gave me freely at meets, and following the methodologies of the Culver City Westside group, I came up with the Westside conjugate system.

George Frenn was a world record holder in powerlifting and in the pound weight throw. They had countless special exercises such as rack pulls, box pulls, high pulls, good mornings, box squatting on at least three different height boxes, benching with rubber mats on the chest, floor pressing, rack lockouts, and so forth.

Their rotation of exercises was space-age at the time, which was to the early s. The system was the conjugate sequence system, although it was not named yet. The training I was doing at the time was influenced by everyone mentioned above. The only true problem I had was the loading. There were no Soviet secrets being leaked to the United States at that time.

The progressive gradual overload system was being used in the U.

soviet workout

It was divided into different time periods, or blocks, designed to work on a specific element of training. I am amazed that lifters are still using it today. Maybe they think the push button starters on some new cars are also new, but all cars had a starter button in the s. I was always stronger a week or two after a meet or a week or two before the meet, but very seldom on meet day.

The Soviets had coaches, like Matveyev, who realized there was a much better method of planning. There has always been controversy over who came up with wave periodization. Yuri Verkhoshansky has been credited with the pendulum wave. This was in Even the renowned Bulgarian coach Abadjieve had a similar plan for waving volume and intensities. Inthe Dynamo Club had 70 highly qualified weight lifters do an experiment by rotating special exercises including the classical lifts. After the experiments were done, one lifter was satisfied and the rest wanted more.

It now had a name: the conjugate system.This method, developed for the Spetsnaz, the special forces group in the former Soviet Union—still active in present-day Russia—might be your answer.

Pavel Tsatsouline, legendary strength expert and former physical trainer for the Spetsnaz, needed a time-efficient way to train soldiers to pass the team's Pull-Up test. The soldiers had to complete 18 dead hang Pull-Ups while wearing a pound vest—the weight of their bulletproof vest.

Many folks can hardly do a few dead hang Pull-Ups, forget about hitting reps in the high teens with heavy weight. So you can imagine that these guys were very strong. But before we get into the workout, you need to understand the philosophy behind Pavel's training methods.

Pavel, who is now the founder and chairman of StrongFirstis an advocate of what he calls Greasing the Groove. This technique involves performing an exercise almost every day, but without ever reaching complete failure—counter to most training styles. Frequently performing an exercise serves as practice for your central nervous system, which is responsible for sending the signals that tell your muscle fibers to fire. As you perform the same exercise over and over again, your nervous system signals more fibers to fire.

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However, you need to be careful to avoid doing too much or else the whole system falls apart. If you work to failure like in a traditional workout, your muscles will be too fatigued and potentially too sore to allow you to do the same exercise every single day.

Pavel recommends performing sets of half your max with extended rest periods, no less than five minutes.

soviet workout

In fact, doing your sets over the course of several hours a day is highly effective. You're able to get in a lot of work while keeping your muscles fresh. So let's say you can do a max of 50 Push-Ups. With Grease the Groove, you can do five sets of 25 Push-Ups throughout the day with one or two hours of rest between sets.

It will feel like you're hardly working, but you will get stronger. But not everyone has the liberty—including the Spetsnaz—to put this method into practice. Pavel's Ladder is a condensed version of Grease the Groove. The same principles apply, but in a workout that can be completed in a single session—the length depends on how many reps you can perform.

The workout is simple. Perform reps of an exercise with every set increasing by one rep.Here's what you need to know Manual labor can build strong, lean bodies. Fairly heavy, non-maximal hard work. Lighter, submaximal weights can emulate "workman strength" and make you much stronger, bigger, and leaner. Strength is not only a physical capacity, but also a skill since your body needs to know how to apply the proper force during a movement.

To reach your strength potential, you must maximize what the Russians called "strength-skill. Train your focus lifts frequently. Motor learning is best done through frequency, not volume or intensity. Use partial lifts or holds to get your body used to handling very heavy weights. It happened in my bedroom of my parent's house.

My family and relatives were downstairs celebrating the holidays, but I preferred iron to the company of people. With nothing but the murmur of voices coming from downstairs to psyche me up, I pulled I was super proud of myself, so I left the loaded bar on the floor as a testament to my accomplishment. Moments later, one of my uncles came up to my room to fetch me to open presents. He saw the barbell on the floor and asked how heavy it was. I proudly told him but he didn't even raise an eyebrow.

Mind you this was a year-old man that I didn't exactly figure to be a world-class athlete. And without any warm-up, knowledge of technique, or effort or so it seemedhe picked up the barbell. He held it up and said, "So that's what you kids do to have fun? I later found out that this particular uncle used to work in a quarry and later at a paper mill, carrying big rolls of paper all day long.

10 Laws Of Strength From Louie Simmons

He was only 5'2" but a solid pounds. Ever since that moment I've been fascinated with the strength of physical laborers. Sure they lift big weights, but rarely almost never maximal weights because they need to work non-stop for a long time. I remember the first time I actually looked lean and muscular. Prior to that I trained every day, but didn't really look like I worked out.

After carrying tiles I was lean and hard. As such, I believe that lighter, submaximal weights can make you much stronger, bigger, and leaner. And for years I tried to find a way to duplicate this "manual labor strength. Then I started to read Russian material about "strength-skill. I was intrigued. People tend to see strength only as a physical capacity. Specifically, strength is seen as the capacity of a muscle or group of muscles to produce a high level of force to overcome a resistance.

And so it stands to reason that in strength training, strength is normally measured by how much weight you can lift. Typically, the stronger your muscles are, the more weight you can lift. This is mostly true, but not entirely. Someone can have strong muscles, yet not be able to display that strength optimally on some exercises, even if the individual muscles involved in the lift are strong.

For example, I've seen plenty of people do more than me on isolated pectoral exercises pec deck, dumbbell flies, cable crossoverstriceps exercises dumbbell extensions, cable pressdownsand front deltoid movements front raisesyet lift pounds less than me on the bench press.

You see the same thing on the squat.The training is rugged and meant to weed out the average soldiers to only have the cream of the crop. The very best. Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen.

Spetsnaz Workout 1 Ruck march 3 miles with 50 lbs pack carry log over head meters pushups carry log back over head meters Ruck back to base.

soviet workout

Question: Do you have any books that you recommend about the Spetsnaz? Question: Do you have any other books that you recommend? When the shadowy, notorious Spetsnaz were first formed, they drew on a long Soviet tradition of elite, behind-the-lines commando forces from World War II and even earlier.

Throughout the ss they were instrumental both in projecting Soviet power in the Third World and in suppressing resistance within the Warsaw pact. Where can I find out more about the Spetsnaz? Check out the website here :.

Charles Perez November 26, pm. Your email address will not be published. Spetsnaz candidates are trained in weapons and hand to hand combat Systema. Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen Spetsnaz Workout 1 Ruck march 3 miles with 50 lbs pack carry log over head meters pushups carry log back over head meters Ruck back to base Question: Do you have any books that you recommend about the Spetsnaz?

This book will give you a good inside look at what goes on in this elite unit. Share this: Twitter Facebook.

The Russian Workout: Secrets of the Soviets

Finish Time of Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.Many a great workout program has been published at T Nation over the last 12 or so years. How many workouts? Well, let's just say that if you were to choose your favorite five workouts per year starting from the day we started publishing and planned to follow each one for six weeks: you wouldn't have to worry about what your next program is going to be for about seven years!

The problem with a haphazard system like that is, well, it's just not ideal. You're just stringing together a bunch of workouts; workouts that might kick ass on their own but aren't part of a larger plan. And we don't want that, do we?

soviet workout

The answer lies in an entirely different form of periodization that takes into account strength phases, size phases, and of course, peaking.

Enter a little bit of old school Russian wisdom, served up JP Catanzaro style. As you read, or skim, this article you lazy bastardyou may at first think it's confusing. Stick with it and by the end of the article where the author provides some examplesit'll make as much sense as wearing a cup during a dodgeball tournament. Way back in the dark ages of athletic training, strength coaches often went to great lengths to ensure that their athletes added as little muscle mass as possible.

The importance of strength was undeniable, as it was often correlated with an athlete's medal haul. But extra muscle mass? Forget it, you'll just get "muscle bound. What a difference a generation or two can make. Today, it's widely accepted that "optimum" hypertrophy is required for "maximum" performance. The reason is simple: muscle protects athletes from injury, provided it's obtained in the proper manner. Performing a high volume of slow, limited range isolation movements on machines will not help.

In reality, the opposite is true: it will hinder performance and set you up for injury. The following workout template is inspired from the work of Professor Yuri Verkhoshansky, a senior track and field coach for the Soviet national team, a pioneer of the shock method of training known as plyometricsand an innovator in the area of planning and training periodization. If you're a seasoned athlete looking to add some size and strength to take your on-field performance to the next level or just trying to find that perfect marriage of strength and hypertrophy, this is the system for you.

Picking just one method and following it to a T will produce results, and picking two or three and following them in any haphazard fashion will likely work as well, to a certain degree. But following the programs in an intelligent, systematic fashion that gradually increases intensity up towards a final peak will produce the greatest gains by far.

That's having the wisdom and foresight to see each workout as a small step towards a much larger goal.