Russian Squat Routines (RSR)

 Russian Squat Program (aka Russian Squat Routine or RSR) is a brutal peaking program that will help boost maximum strength when prepping for a meet.

I will review two versions, the original six week Squat Routine then the Eight week Masters Routine. Both are fantastic routines and WILL help you boost your Squat PR without a shadow of a doubt. The original six week is better suited to younger lifters, the Master’s is better suited to older mature lifters in the Master’s categories. The original six week routine has you squatting, deadlifting and bench pressing three times per week, the Masters eight week routine is squat only and you squat just two times per week.

Russian Squat Routine – 6 Week Version

This version is six weeks, you train a frequency of three times per week and in this program you train your squat, bench press and deadlift then Back Extensions every session. The majority of your training is at 80% of your one rep max for 6 sets of two reps. However, there are three training principles within this six week routine and it can be split into two phases. Below is a table demonstrating the overview of the six week training routine rep schemes and percentages which includes all 18 sessions.

Six Week Routine Overview

Session:123
Week 1.6×2@80%6×3@80%6×2@80%
Week 2.6×4@80%6×2@80%6×5@80%
Week 3.6×2@80%6×6@80%6×2@80%
Week 4.5×5@85%6×2@80%4×4@90%
Week 5.6×2@80%3×3@95%6×2@80%
Week 6.2×2@100%6×2@80%1×1@105%

I split this routine into three training principles and two phases which I will explain below. I will not review each lift because you use the same rep schemes and percentages for all three. Therefore, I will review only the rep schemes, training principles and the percentages of 1RM.

Phase One

Session:123
Week 1.6×2@80%6×3@80%6×2@80%
Week 2.6×4@80%6×2@80%6×5@80%
Week 3.6×2@80%6×6@80%6×2@80%
Phase One Six Week Routine

Phase one I call the ‘volume phase’ whereby you are keeping the intensity percentage fixed at 80% of 1RM, however, you are increasing the number of reps each training week. The moderate days are 6 sets of 2 reps, then your high intensity days are 6 sets of 3 to 6 reps.

The high intensity days follows a reverse undulated style of training whereby the number of reps per set increases each training session but the percentage of 1RM remains consistent. Meaning the volume increases, however the intensity doesn’t decrease. The high intensity day training session are every two days, on the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th training sessions as seen below:

  • Session 2: 6×3
  • Session 4: 6×4
  • Session 6: 6×5
  • Session 8: 6×6

All other training sessions are moderate intensity for 6 sets of 2 reps, consider this the light day and the 6×3-6×6 your heavy day.

Phase 2

Session123
Week 4.5×5@85%6×2@80%4×4@90%
Week 5.6×2@80%3×3@95%6×2@80%
Week 6.2×2@100%6×2@80%1×1@105%
Phase Two Six Week Routine

Phase two I consider to be the peaking phase whereby the focus shifts from volume towards intensity and tapering for your new personal best set on the 18th training session. You have a light and a heavy training session, the light training session is the same as phase one, 6 sets of 2 at 80% of 1RM.

The heavy training sessions follow a traditional undulated training system starting at 5×5 at 85% of 1RM and finishing at 1 set of 1 rep at 105% of 1RM. The progression is as follows:

  • Session 10: 5×5=85%
  • Session 12: 4×4=90%
  • Session 14: 3×3=95%
  • Session 16: 2×2=100%
  • Session 18: 1×1=105%

The same as phase one the heavy day is every second training session. The final session is your peaking day whereby you chase your new PR which is 5% more than your current 1RM.

My recommendations for the six week squat routine is as follows:

  1. Training Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday.
  2. Your days off are just that – REST, RECOVER NO TRAINING.
  3. Use your lifting belt and knee wraps, this will help reduce the training fatigue and help you keep up with the high training frequency.
  4. NO accessory or assistance exercising outside of what’s stated in the program – light cardio is allowed, however no other resistance training of any form.
  5. Make sure you are not on a calorie deficit trying to cut! You need the calories, carbs and proteins to keep up with the high frequency, volume and intensity.
  6. Sleep eight hours per night, this routine becomes your central focus not partying or late night Call of Duty sessions.
  7. Train in the order of squat, bench press and deadlift each session.
  8. Don’t slip the back extensions, it’s a fantastic exercise for strengthening your core.

Russian Squat Routine – Eight Week Masters

The masters routine is different from the six week routine, you train twice a week instead of three times and it last eight weeks instead of six weeks. In addition, you only train squat, NO BENCH PRESSING AND NO DEADLIFTING.

Masters Eight Week Routine Table

DAY/WKDAY 1 %DAY 2 %
Week 16×280%6×380%
Week 26×280%6×480%
Week 36×280%6×580%
Week 46×280%6×680%
Week 56×280%5×585%
Week 66×280%4×490%
Week 76×280%3×395%
Week 86×280%3×1100%
105%
110%
Masters Eight Week Routine Table

The above routine can be split into two-four week phases with eight sessions each phase.

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Phase One

DAY/WKDAY 1 %DAY 2 %
Week 16×280%6×380%
Week 26×280%6×480%
Week 36×280%6×580%
Week 46×280%6×680%
Phase One Master’s Eight Week Routine Table

Phase one is the volume phase and all work is performed at 80% of your 1RM. Day one is the light-moderate day performing 6 sets of 2 for 80% of your 1RM. Day two is your heavy day performing 6 sets of 3 to 6 reps at 80% of your 1RM. The number of reps increases by one rep each training session just like the six week routine. But the tricky part is the intensity of your 1RM does NOT decrease as the reps increase. This is counter intuitive and goes against the general rule of powerlifting programming. The Day two rep scheme is the same as the six week routine:

  • Session 2: 6×3
  • Session 4: 6×4
  • Session 6: 6×5
  • Session 8: 6×6

Phase Two

DAY/WKDAY 1 %DAY 2 %
Week 56×280%5×585%
Week 66×280%4×490%
Week 76×280%3×395%
Week 86×280%3×1100%
105%
110%
Masters Eight Week Routine Table

Phase two is the peaking/high intensity phase whereby you perform one light day on day one, then one heavy day on day two each training week. The Light day is of moderate intensity and volume, you perform 6 sets of 2 reps at 80% of your 1RM throughout this whole phase.

Day two is your heavy day whereby the intensity is higher, the heavy day follows an undulated training principle starting at 85% of your 1RM and finishing at 110% of your 1RM reducing the number of reps and sets by one from week five-seven. Week eight is your peaking week whereby you will set a new PR that’s going to be 10% above your current PR and 5% more than the six week routine peaking day.

My Advise for the Masters Eight Week Routine
  • Train Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Saturday to give you more rest after your day two heavy day.
  • Do not perform any other lifts or resistance training during this eight week period, just light cardio.
  • Sleep 7-8 hours per night, no late night’s during this routine!
  • Do not attempt this program if your doing a calorie deficit cutting bodyweight – you WILL become fatigued and burnt out very quickly.

Summary of Both Programs – 6 or 8 Week?

Both program’s follow the same structure, both comprise of 18 training sessions, however, the eight week is less intensive and has you lifting twice a week whereas the six week has a training training frequency of three times per week. The eight week routine is two weeks longer than the six week for this reason – you are training less frequency but for a longer duration. The six week routine has you performing the squat, bench press deadlift, whereas the Master’s eight week is a squat only routine. Therefore which program you choose is based on two factors:

  1. What is your timeframe? What sync’s better with your up coming meet preparation.
  2. How well do you handle high frequency-high work load training?
  3. Are you looking for a squat only routine or a routine that includes the bench and deadlift?

The Master’s routine is probably better suited to older lifters who might not handle the six week routine frequency and intensity as well as a younger lifter’s. Both follow the same 8 sets of 2 reps at 80% on your moderate intensity/light days and the 6 sets of 3 to 6 reps at 80% training system in Phase one and the undulated 5 sets of 5 at 85% to 1×1 PR set in Phase two.

Both have you hitting a new PR on the 18th session for 110% of your current 1RM, however the six week routine has the option of hitting 105% of your 1RM instead of 110%.

Good luck with the routine and training, if you enjoyed this post donations are very much appreciated as I do all my blog posts and YouTube videos for free.

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