The Russian Workout

Lie on the bench and plant your feet firmly Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip and squeeze your shoulder blades together Arch your lower back, but keep your butt on the bench. Tense your whole body and then unrack the bar. Lower the bar to your sternum pushing your chest out to meet it and tucking your elbows toward your sides. Pause for three seconds and then press it up.

With the barbell on the supports of a power rack at about shoulder height, grab the bar overhand and then wedge yourself under it so that the bar rests on your shoulders. Step out of the rack and squat as low as you can while keeping the lower back flat Pause for three seconds, then drive with your legs to return to the starting position.

How It Works

Russian methods were amazingly simple yet brutally effective. In our variation, you're performing only three exercises. Between reps on each exercise, pause for a three count, then lift. This pause will train you to keep tight form-no bouncing the bar off your chest on the bench press. Because your body isn't used to holding those isometric contractions for prolonged periods, you should also see fast growth.

The sets and reps use the Russian ladder" method-a great way to recruit muscle fibers without the risk of burnout.

Directions frequency»

Perform twice per week, resting two days between sessions. time needed*

60 minutes doit>

Estimate your 10-rep max (the heaviest weight you can lift for 10 reps) for the bench press, front squat, and tug-of-war row. On your first set, perform one rep, then rest three to five minutes. Perform two reps. rest, then do three reps. Repeat twice more (that's three ladders). Use the same load on every set. Perform all the ladders for one exercise before moving on to the next.

In the "down" position of the bench press and squat, pause for three seconds, holding your breath, and then lift. Do the same in the second position on the tug-of-war row, when your back is contracting hard.

Each workout, add five pounds to each exercise. Continue every week until you can no longer add weight. At that point, reduce pauses to one second-this should extend the effectiveness.

Lie on the bench and plant your feet firmly Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip and squeeze your shoulder blades together Arch your lower back, but keep your butt on the bench. Tense your whole body and then unrack the bar. Lower the bar to your sternum pushing your chest out to meet it and tucking your elbows toward your sides. Pause for three seconds and then press it up.

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