T Nation

Sheiko - What to Expect? Advice?



I'm going to be starting Sheiko tomorrow and I was just looking for some advice from people that have used this program. The following are my stats:

Squat: 265lb
Bench: 215lb
Deadlift: 315lb
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 207

I'm doing Sheiko primarily because I want to get these numbers up a lot. I really wanted to do an oly program but because of equipment constraints I will not be able to Olympic lift. What type of strength gains should I expect from doing this program and do you have any advice about going through the program?

Thank you,


6'5 207! im 6'5 and 250 how do you survive! haha, never done this program but its supposed to work wonders so just run it through check out modi's log for advice on this


Yeah man. 207. I'm trying to gain weight and such but its a slow process. I'll check out Modi's log and anyone else let me know if you have any info.


Eat plenty, foam roll and baseball, and expect the second set of squats or deadlifts to feel like shit at first.
Also the benching will probably feel easy, despite doing a lot of it and hurting constantly.

Expect good gains starting out. You can count on maybe 20 lbs on each lift in a month assuming you don't screw around too much and actually eat.


Sheiko won't make you bigger but it will make you stronger. It's quite different to most other programs.

Use accurate 1RMs and don't throw anything extra in unless you have an obvious problem. Go light on the assistance exercises.

Perfect practise makes perfect. Pay attention to the little details on every set.

With lower 1RMs it's really not too hard, and you never go to failure anyway. Long sessions though. Raw is more fun, otherwise you're in and out of equipment too often.


Eat a lot, sleep a lot, and stick to the weights in the program and you will be fine. At least you should expect decent increases in the squat and deadlift. Many people have struggled to get sufficient gains in the bench with sheiko.


Awesome. Sounds like I'm in for a good time. I've always wanted to have good squat and deadlifts. I'm not concerned about getting huge and my main goal is just to get stronger. Sounds like I will get that from this program.


I've been doing sheiko for about 18 months (just to qualify my advice).

The first 2 or 3 cycles will suck. I was not prepared, even though I was doing more volume than sheiko calls for.

Doing 3x5 @ 80% is difficult to say the least... starting out. After a while, 80% of your max will be easy.

I found doing 80% @ 3x5 was just too much twice a week, so I only do it once a week and do something different on the heavy bench day of the cycle.

I changed a lot of it up, added in a few things, and changed most of it from basic benching to CG, military press, DB work, etc to make up for lack of variation. My bench moved up and got a lot stronger w/ the 3x5 @ 80% work.

When people say they do not get good gains in bench, just ignore these people. I say this b/c they people IMO are not creative. I moved a bench press that was stagnant at 270 for 2 years past 300 w/ sheiko. I've just heard the excuse too much. I am no genius. If I can get the routine to work by thinking, then surely you can.

Creativity is a major pro for this routine. You can really change things up (after going through 2 or 3 cycles of course). Its simple and at the same time, complicated if you want it to be.

I have a bad back, so I am not able to do the volume sheiko calls for. Unless you also have a bad back, then I can't give proper advice. I did hit a PR w/ sheiko though.

I do not do the 4th day. Some do, some don't. See what works for you.

Like people say, eat, sleep, stay dedicated.

As well, do back work & ab work. This is a given, but not written out in the routine. Also, really focus on your weaknesses and incorporate exercises to fix them.

Do not do more than 4 major movements in a workout.

Example: Heavy squat, CG Bench, GMs, DB Press

If you do more, it should be high rep work for recovery or to address an injury/weakness. Try to keep the volume down if possible. The routine will beat you up.

Concerning the 1RM, once you get it established, figure out how much you can add each cycle. I add 10 lbs to my squat and 5 lbs to my bench each cycle. Deadlift is another story, but I won't go there. I correct my max to produce my old 80% work weight + 10 lbs.

This works out very well. I only calculated my max once and had to adjust it (lowered it) to make the routine initially work. Once I actually got past an entire cycle, I just added weight and continued.

I can say this routine works for squat perfectly. I increased my max 133 lbs in 18 months while not even gaining more than 15 lbs (more fat than I want due to poor diet, damn college schedule!).

I hope this helps.


It should probably be pointed out, 3x5 means 5 sets of 3 reps using Russian annotation.


Everyone should use the old world annotation. :wink:


It's compulsory for anyone undertaking inclinations through a goat.


SyntheticKiller: Thanks for the great information. The information about variation was good to hear. I do enjoy doing DB work and now I can see how to incorporate it.

Thanks again for the information and I'll keep the forums updated on the progress.


Which Sheiko cycle are you doing? I'm no expert by any means, but I'm in the last couple weeks of the 13 week beginner cycle, so I can tell you my experiences if it's the same program.


Beginner Prep #29


Just finished day one. The weights weren't super heavy but the sheer amount of lifting blasted my chest. My legs definitely felt it on the last couple sets of 5 but not to failure. Its looking pretty good so far.


29 is more or less just a reduced volume #37, so it should be a good one to start with. I haven't done #29, so I can't speak from experience.

The 13 week cycle is going to be very similar, it just starts with a conditioning week and then takes you through two 4 week blocks (the first 4 weeks is slightly reduced volume), and then finishes with a 4 week peaking cycle. I just started the peaking cycle today.

Matt McGorry wrote an article about the 13 Week Beginner Cycle here not too long ago.

I would suggest doing some GPP stuff on your off days. I usually do 4 exercise with 3 sets of 10 reps. This is when I train my back. Just make sure you aren't overdoing it so that it hampers your recovery. I also try to get 20-30 minutes of light cardio on my off days, which helps with my recovery, nothing too taxing.


Modi has good advice, so listen to him.

I don't know a thing about the elitefts cycles. I took a look at them, but I'm not a fan of their set up vs the original cycle.

You can also take a look at the beginning of Hanely's log in the log section. You can also take a look at my log (a page or two back I guess) in the strength section. Its different and although you'll see that sometimes I get lazy or busy, you can find the good days and maybe use it as a template.

Good luck.


I've gone through two rounds, the first increased my squat but bombed my bench. I re-evaled and the second round is much better.

Big thing on the bench is to pause all the reps. Practice the lifts, don't bounce the deadlift.

I substituted the assistance work to improve my weak areas. I feel that it has made a difference. We'll see.


[quote]DragnCarry wrote:
Sheiko won't make you bigger but it will make you stronger. It's quite different to most other programs.

Are you serious? I went up a weight class due to 16 weeks on the CMS/MS last year.

In terms of information, the BMF Sheiko threads Talmant and Dave Bates set up is particularly useful for anything Sheiko related.

I would reccomend performing the comp lifts in a controlled manner, perhaps with a round/day each week lifting as fast as possible (Al Caslow taught me this). Great for bar control and the 1 session of speed a week maintains bar velocity during the cycle.


Are you a CMS or MS? That is a lot of volume and intensity if you aren't.

I've put a lot of weight on with Sheiko, too, by eating a lot. But I could have put on a lot more if I were training for hypertrophy.