T Nation

Russian Squat Program



I had taken about a year off from Weightlifting due to knee issues. My knee has been feeling great and I am confident the problem has been resolved.

My lifts have taken a big hit and my squat numbers are embarassing right now. I am planning on starting the Russian Squat Program in order to try and get some strength back.

I was wondering what others would reccomened for lifting volume on top of the squatting. This is my first time executing this particular program and I realize it is more volume than I am used to.

Due to time constraints (coaching) I was thinking of performing:

Core lift (variation of competition lift)
Assitance lift x2
for the 3 days/wk and than on the fourth day of the week continue on working on the complete lifts (snatch/ cj).


Thank you for imput. This is my first post on the site.



Do you plan to start weightlifting again?


Yes but no competitions until June.


RSR is BRUTAL man...it'll destroy your lifts. When I ever did it I lifted about once or twice a week. The first 2 weeks is okay, but the 3rd week is insane man...at the time I was squating 3x a week alternating FS and BS, 6reps x 6sets. Got from 185 to 201 in 6 weeks, felt really good to be able to double my 1RM after 5 weeks!

Added 10kg on to my FS as well and I had't even FS in about 8 weeks! 160 to 170.



Russian squat routine is likely too much to fast if you are only now healthy.

I would train like most beginners train the squat (in Russia etc...) and do higher volume sets (5-8 reps) with moderate weight. This will help you regain hypertrophy, strengthen the tendons/ligaments and improve your work capacity again.

After several weeks of this sort of program then you should be ready to hit a harder program like the RSR if you still want to hit very heavy squats.

I have talked to a good 23 y/o lifter in Russia (hes not famous, but still does 160/200 in 94s) who said when he was young he would do squats with 80-90% of his clean and jerk for sets of 2,4,6,8,8,6,4,2 in his workouts. for the first year or so to help prevent injuries in the future and build work capacity.
He says that despite training around 12 time/week at good intensities he NEVER gets knee pain or any other lower body injury.


Thank you all for your time.

Koing- whem you did lift 2x per week during the RSR what did your program consist of? Would you mind providing an example?

Tork94- Thank you for your input. I have been back lifting for about 3 months now with no pain or issues. I have been squatting 2x/wk with higher volume sets and the knee is fine. I am glad you shared your information from the Russian lifter.


Tork94- I have another question for you. Would the lifter from the previous example use a set intensity for all 8 working sets? Example 2,4,6,8,8,6,4,2 @80%? Or would intensity vary from 80-90% during the working sets?


RSR squats

I'd lift on the lighter sessions but it just random lifting, nothing set as I was so dispensed from the squats.



I believe that the intensity depended on what else he was doing in his training, how close to competition, if he did heavy cleans earlier in the session etc...

But the weight was selected and was not changed in the workout. Some days were 80% of Clean and jerk, some were 90% and some were even 100% of clean and jerk. Would definitely depend on how good ones clean and jerk vs squats are.