T Nation

What is Yury Belkin's Training?

anyone know what type of programming he does, be nice if I spoke Russian

Lots of crunches and stretching.


He doesn’t share all his information as far as I can tell, but if you look at his Instagram page you can get and idea of what he’s doing. Looks like he squats twice a week, one time high bar, most of his lifts in training are fairly submaximal.


He did a video with Stefi Cohen and said he squats twice, benches twice and deadlifts once with little to no accessories.


Probably minimalistic. I’m more interested in the training that got him to this level like in his earlier years because his current training probably isn’t to useful to us mere mortals.


In the video he says he does high bar squats once a week, no assistance work or bodybuilding stuff, sounds like only the comp. lifts other than that. He also said he used the same programming for 5 years straight.

Whatever he did to get to an elite level isn’t really of much relevance either, he obviously has great genetics for this kind of stuff and the right supplements will help too. Some guys get incredibly strong doing stuff that hardly makes sense, if they didn’t gain strength and muscle so easily then they wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far as they did. Life isn’t fair.

1 Like

While there are many types of training that build strength, it’s been proven over and over that the competition lifts and slight variations of those are more beneficial than all the extra accessory isolation movements.

There was a Russian Alexander Faleev who contested that only the main lifts were necessary and that any extra work kept recovery from being optimal.

I’ve long thought that most of us overtrain. Some can get away with it. Everyone is different. But for the majority of the population who compete, less time in the gym might be more valuable especially the more age in training years.

I personally have benefitted from 1-2 days per week lately rather than 3-4 days per week. My body just can’t recover as quickly so I listen to it. Injuries have also been a reason for this as well; but my recovery is much better and I go in strong and feeling great every session now.

Are you sure about that?

Yes, I’m sure

I seem to remember you telling people to focus on high rep bodybuilding work, what happened?

Older folks like me…yes.

In my prime, not so much. Too heavy too often. Should have done main and main variations in the 60-70 range more often.

But I think the first few yrs in particular are super important to concentrate mostly on performing and perfecting those main lifts.

If you’re not accumulating injuries from being dumb like me, I would still focus most if not all of my work on main lifts and their variations.

At one time I would have agreed with you. Right now I’m starting to think that there is something to bodybuilding-type movements. I think that variations that use the same movement pattern (like pause squats, as opposed to SSB of front squats for example) would carry over more since you are actually training that movement. If it’s a different movement then you aren’t reinforcing the correct movement pattern, you are training the same muscles but emphasizing some over others while the same thing could be accomplished with a less taxing exercise. I was thinking about this stuff and then happened to come across the above post which explains it better than I could.

There does come a time when bodybuilding stuff becomes more important for sure. Isolation movements that aren’t variation of main movement. Particularly when mass building slows with main movements. However, guys like Ed Coan stuck mostly with variations of the main movements to get stronger and supplementing compound movements like barbell rows.

This is a good discussion. Thanks!!!

Speaking of Ed Coan, at one time his main squat assistance exercise was single-leg leg press.

Anyway, I don’t think this is such black and white argument where one approach is wrong and the other is right, some people just respond better to certain things. But maybe part of the problem is that people are always talking about how such and such exercise variation is good for whatever without considering that certain exercises can actually have negative consequences as well by affecting your technique on the comp lifts in unintended ways.

For example, I took some time off from low bar squats and in the last month or so my technique was feeling good again, I just have a sticking point about halfway up and when the squats are heavy or hard I have to fight not to get folded over. I thought that maybe high bar pause squats would help fix that since they force you to stay upright so I added a few sets of those, but in my next squat workout my technique just didn’t feel right and it seemed like I was shifting forward more, like in a high bar squat. It’s a similar movement pattern, but it’s not the same. If you’re trying to master one particular movement (low bar back squat in this case) then is adding similar but different movements actually helpful? And if say quads are the weak point then wouldn’t direct quad work on a less taxing movement be more efficient? This is the stuff I have been considering.


Doing the big three exercises and not much else seems to be common in East European athletes. Malanichev’s routine is basically squat, bench, deadlift once per week with some ab work (weighted sit ups)

I am doing conjugate and this makes me wonder if I should do some back down sets after max effort…

BTW: I got money that Yury has a podium finish anyone agree?

Don’t do it!


In my opinion back down sets after Max Effort are too much, and the easiest way to mess up recovery and the program.

You already have an entire day/workout (dynamic effort day) devoted to the weights and effort that you would use for the back- off sets. A couple sets of 8-10 after your ME lift is almost the same workload as DE day, in addition to everything else you’re supposed to do.

The max effort day is suppose to be high intensity/ big weights and low volume. Get your record and move on.

If you just gotta do something moderately heavy pick a different lift, more specific to your weaknesses.

I know it’s hard to shut it down after a big, PR single lift. You usually feel awesome. That makes it easy to do way to many lifts, too heavy if you do back- off sets.

1 Like