T Nation

Russian Squat Routine Advice


Hi guys,

I'm considering giving the RSR a go, however I'm not sure how to structure it around the rest of my training.

I understand this is a squat focussed routine, but I'm afraid of losing strength in the other lifts such as bench press, standing press and deadlift. If I concede that for the 6 weeks of the RSR I'm content with maintaining those lifts, can anyone suggest a rep scheme to do that, without cutting into recovery too much for the squat work? Also, should I squat first in the workout then do other lifts, or vice versa?


I've done the Russian Squat cycle twice and both times I had a somewhat regular training routine throughout and did the squats at the end of the workout. Some others here do the cycle with only the squats and minimal other lifts- so it depends on how much volume you can handle and recover from.

In either case, I wouldn't worry about your other lifts going down or staying stagnant. You're basically specializing in the squat (temporarily) for the duration of the cycle to get in all that volume so its natural for your other lifts to take a backseat. They should easily bounce back once you resume normal training again. I can't comment on your rep scheme because benching and deadlifting aren't a regular part of my workouts :stuck_out_tongue:


I finished the RBR about a month ago, the first two weeks won't be hard but later your lower back will start taking a beating, it feels better towards the end. It put 40lbs on my atg back squat.

don't worry about your other lifts, especially the deadlift. The back squat (atg) is the #1 strength building lift and it is very unforgiving. The deadlift is very forgiving, hell that thing goes up even when you spend weeks not deadlifting.

The biggest thing you need to worry about when doing the RBR is to stay healthy. It is easy to get injured. So one you start the 3rd week STOP pulling off the floor, and do a lot of abz. You can still bench, but don't do an extreme back arch (I suggest use dumbells for this time), a standing barbel press puts pressure on the lower back too so be careful.

I think the best way to do this program is to squat first... shit on the heavy and high volume days all you will do is squat (maybe do abz after).



Thanks dfreezy and neo, thatâ??s some really good and sensible advice. A 40lb gain is outstanding for 6 weeks and I hope to emulate those results :slightly_smiling:

I think I will stop DLâ??ing every week and do it by feel while on the RSR. Perhaps drop the frequency to every 2nd week. For bench and OHP Iâ??ll work up to a 90% single (or until the barbell speed drops considerably) and finish off with abz.

So��something like:

RSR squat
Bench â?? work up to 90% single

RSR squat
[optional 80 to 90% DL single depending on how I feel]

RSR Squat
OHP â?? work up to 90% single

What do you guys reckon?


Also with the ab work, do you go to failure or stop a few reps short?


You gotta adjust your lifting to the RBR's program. Some weeks Mondays and Fridays are hard, others Wednesdays are hard.

If you DL i recommend to do it on a Saturday or Sunday when you are not squatting. Still you gotta go by feel.

Bench Press, if you use Dumbbells you can go as heavy as you want since you don't do a big back arch as compared with a barbell. Plus the weight in DB bench is less than BB bench due to greater ROM and higher instability.

For abz do all kinds of different stuff on different (L-hold, leg raises, Ab Wheel, Decline abs, abs on the glute ham-raise machine, planks). But I never when to failure, if more than 15reps, then I would grab a 10lb plate and put it behind my head.

p.s When I did the RBR I trained 5 times a week, 3 days squatting and some light Olifts. On the other 2 abz, chins, dips, and curls. If you can train more than 3 times a week do it.



I'm currently in the middle of the 2nd week and going OK so far.

On the 6 sets of 2 days, it feels like the reps go up slower than the 6 sets of 4 day. Anyone notice this too?

Also today which was 6x2 day, the first few sets were complete crap, but the last couple were smooth and powerful.


I definitely noticed the first few sets being harder than the last ones, but I always considered the 6x2 days to be like a vacation day compared to the rest of the week!


I think you're right though, with the 6x2 days, it's not a case whether the weight will be lifted or not, rather just how fast or slow you were. It's like "jeez that was slow and crap" then the next set is "cool that was fast and smooth".

And again this morning I had the 6x5 day and while the first set was crap (falling forward onto toes, bar shifting around) by the last set I felt like I could bang out an extra 3 sets if I wanted. Did some abs to finish and felt really fresh after that workout. It was very cool.

The 6x6 day next week should be in the bag. Then the weights start getting heavy after that.


If you were concerned about losing strength in the other lifts you should have done The Extended Russian Routine: www.e-normous.biz/russian_power_lifting.html

I am doing this routine right now. I will be starting week 6x5 this week.


If you were concerned about losing strength in the other lifts you should have done the Extented Russian Routine which I am doing now. I will be starting week 6x5 this week.


Thanks for that link FX.

I'm at the start of week 4 of the (standard) RSR and it's turning out quite well. Bench and military press haven't decreased at all. My strategy has been to work up to a 90% single or 3x3 @ 75% to 80% on alternating weeks.


I always felt fast for the 2reps x 6sets...I could just hammer them out.

But YES I always felt the first few sets of the heavy days were always heavier then the middle and last sets.

Keep us up dated, it's always good to see how others fair on it. I went from 187 to 201kg in 7.5 weeks, as I had a few day breaks where I missed training.



I'm at the end of week 4 now and did the 4x4 @ 90% yesterday. Going strong. Weight doesn't feel too heavy on my back and still had reps in the tank.

The last 6x2 day felt light compared to week 1, though I would have liked for the bar to move faster :slightly_smiling:

4th December will be the test day!



Whats your 1RM, 3RM?



I hit a 1RM of 145kg ATG just under a couple of months ago - so I plugged in 140kg as a 'training' max for the RSR. I'm aiming for 150kg+ at the end of RSR. I have no idea what my 3RM is, haven't done a triples on squats for as long as I can remember.

I'll keep this thread updated on progress and weights.


did you find that the increase of 14kgs helped your lifting in the snatch and clean and jerk?


Cool brah. Every session mate!

You should get 150+ easily imo. Your work capacity should have gone up also :slight_smile:

Yeah, a bit.


I also gained some bw so that helped out also :slight_smile:



Today's training:

Week 5, day 1

80%: 112.5kg x 2/2/2/2/2/2: nice n easy

Bench press
worked up to a 110kg single

Hanging leg raises
15/15/15 - feet to bar

Looking forward to Monday: 90% (132.5kg) for 3x3 woohoooo!


I wanna try this program to raise my front squat number but I can only increase the weight by 5kg in the gym. This means that my FS max number isn't suitable but my BS is. Will doing RSR BS raise my FS max number by approximately the same amount (5% according to exrx)? Oh and my FS max (90kg) is approx 90% of my BS max (100kg).