T Nation

The Russian Bear


#1

DR Google and the Search function don't seem to be of too much use with this.

Has anyone done then Russian Bear and if so what were the results. Any hints and tips would be appreciated.

I'm running the BBB 3 month challenge at the moment and would like to give this a crack afterwards.

Cheers


#2

After I moved, I didn’t have room to reassemble my rack, so all I had to work with was a barbell, some mats, and some chains. I searched for programs I could do with what I had, and settled on Power to the People and Russian Bear.

I read quite a bit of stuff over on DragonDoor, and saw somewhere where Pavel recommended running them back to back; 4-6 weeks of Bear, 4-6 weeks of PttP; repeat.

That was my plan. I started with the bear, 2x weekly, deadlift variation (I used mat pulls with chains) Monday and Thursday, and press variation (I used Z Presses, since I didn’t think I had enough room for any other press) on Tuesday and Friday. I started light, added weight every session, and made it through my first month.

But the weights were too light, and it got kind of boring when you’re doing tons of sets of 5 that aren’t challenging. I was literally reading books between sets during 60-90s rests. I think I stuck with a minimum of 10 sets, sometimes ending because I got bored, sometimes because I was actually spent.

After the first month I switched over to the PttP, training 5 days a week (+/- a day here and there), and made good progress. I played with wave cycles a bit, then after reading around some more, decided to go back to a linear progression, resetting to 70% after every new peak. I bumped the weight increases up a bit to ~5% a session, and added in a rest day between sessions as I was nearing a peak. I worked the peak to get to a new 5RM, 4RM, 3RM, 2RM, 1RM, whatever came from it. Then reset 70% and repeated.

I did well enough with that, didn’t get bored, and never went back to the Bear. I didn’t see any reason to while I was still making good progress. At this point, I think I just wasn’t working with a high enough intensity with the Bear.

PttP is short and sweet, in and out, and still has a decent weekly volume if you actually do it daily. I’d suggest giving that a try before trying Bear. Russian Bear, on its own, is not meant for long term use. From what I understand though, it’s fine being cycled with some more pure “strength” work and can be used indefinitely like that.


#3

Cheers LoRez

I was considering 3 weeks on 1 week deload.

I will post up my observations once I have done this.

Interested to hear from anyone else who has also tried the bear.


#4

personally i’ve never used russian bear because of my size , gaining size has never been a issue for me with my body type. a friend of mine had bought it because he wanted to gain weight and it seemed pretty extreme, your supposed to drink it with a gallon of milk throughout the day. in all honesty if you simply drink just the milk by its self in a day youll see serious gains (good and bad lol)


#5

Thanks for the reply mate.

I have started it and yeah its pretty intense. Takes a bit to adjust to the sheer volume.

Ill post my conclusions on the effectivness of the program when I complete a few cycles.

Hadn’t heard about using the GOMAD principle when doing it but it does state you have to eat excessive amounts which I seem to be doing.

Just reread your statement seems wires were crossed. I ment the Russian Bear program.


#6

[quote]Ausberserker wrote:
Ill post my conclusions on the effectivness of the program when I complete a few cycles.[/quote]
How’d you decide to set things up?

3x a week, linear cycle, using dead-start deadlift and overhead press? Or something a bit different?


#7

A lot of volume and boring. The good news is you only do it for 4-6 weeks. Not as bad as German Volume Training, but not a lot of fun


#8

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]Ausberserker wrote:
Ill post my conclusions on the effectivness of the program when I complete a few cycles.[/quote]
How’d you decide to set things up?

3x a week, linear cycle, using dead-start deadlift and overhead press? Or something a bit different?

[/quote]

I have bastardised it a bit. My log will demonstrate best. I am changing things around as I go. At first I was doing a 2 day split and doing all exercises bear style… I have since cut that away and only do the bench and deadlift bear.