Thursday, July 2, 2015

Eastern Bloc Training

The Soviet Percentage System – or Eastern Bloc training – involves complex mathematical calculations for determining weight/rep schemes to use, in order to make measurable progress and to continue challenging the body to perform at new levels. While this routine should be used with deadlifts, squats, and bench press in order to lead to the most gains and progress for both powerlifters and bodybuilders, for the sake of simplicity we will only be using the bench press for our example. Additionally, we will assume a flat 200 pound maximum bench press, for ease of calculation. Your numbers will differ, of course, based upon your own 1-repetition maximum lift ability (1RM). You’ll need to ascertain your 1RM on the three major lifts before embarking upon this program. There will be times when you can go beyond the day’s requirement – but you should not. Instead, leave those body resources available for growth. Likewise, there will be times when you cannot quite complete the day’s required workload. On those days, a spotter will help you move the weight, and you’ll need to increase food and rest to allow your body the additional resources required to make this lift the following week.


Week #1
70 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #2
75 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #3
80 percent of your max lift. Use 6 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #4
85 percent of your max lift. Use 5 sets of 2 reps each.

Week #5
Attempt a new 1-repetition max today. Rewrite your training goals for the next few weeks, based upon your findings.

Week #6
70 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #7
75 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #8
80 percent of your max lift. Use 6 sets of 2 reps each.

Week #9
85 percent of your max lift. Use 5 sets of 2 reps each.

Week #10
80 percent of your max lift. Use 1 set of 2 reps each.
85 percent of your max lift. Use 1 set of 2 reps each.
90 percent of your max lift. Use 1 set of 2 reps each.

Week #11
70 percent of your max lift. Use 8 sets of 3 reps each.

Week #12
Take a rest week if needed. Then begin with Week #1 once again!

This is a flexible lifting routine in that is allows you to keep the rotations brief, and allows for instant measurable success. Just five weeks in, you are re-evaluating your one-rep max. If you are able to make gains in that time period, you’ll gain some serious momentum as you re-calculate your lift numbers for weeks # 6 through #11. This type of training can be used for the three major compound movements, and some Olympic style lifts if you so choose. Give a shot, and see if Russian percentages are right for you!

Training Routine Example

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