If you are an intermediate or advanced lifter and want to increase your bench press strength, then the 6-week Russian Bench Press Program can serve you pretty well. The Russian bench press program is a 3-day bench press peaking program that targets to enhance the bench pressing strength of an intermediate or advanced lifter. The prime goal of this program is to develop and peak bench press strength. It does so by accumulating volume that is around 80% to 85% of a lifter’s 1 RM before it tapers down the volume and increases the intensity. The Russian bench program is a 6-week program that ends when the lifter completes two singles at 105% of his initial 1 RM.
You must keep in mind that this workout program is not meant for you if you are a beginner. You need to have a decent amount of lifting experience before you try out this program. The following section will provide you with a detailed overview of the 6 Week Russian Bench Press Program.
The first two weeks of the Russian bench press routine tend to be very moderate. You may also get a feel that you are not training hard enough, but the intensity will keep on building up as you progress through the weeks.
Here are some points that you need to follow while following the Russian bench program:-
- Don’t fall into the trap of overestimating your one-rep max. You must always use a reasonable estimation that may be on the light side.
- While following the Russian bench press routine, you would be training each major lift twice a week. For powerlifting purposes, those lifts would be the squat, the deadlift, and the bench press.
- If you are competing, then in that scenario, you will attempt your week 6 one rep max on competition day.
- Taking rest of 4-6 minutes is recommended in between the sets of major movements.
- Your total workout time for each training session must not exceed 90 minutes. You must adjust your accessory exercises accordingly.
- Since this program is targeted to peak your bench press strength, you must not include other bench press variations, like the incline bench press or the decline bench press to your training sessions. It might overtrain your pushing muscles and may hamper recovery.
Many people remain a bit confused regarding the inclusion of accessory movements while following the 6-week Russian bench press program. Well, you can certainly perform some of the accessory movements during the first 3 weeks of the Russian bench press routine. When it comes to the back half portion of this program, performing accessory movements can intrude with your recovery and recuperation. This would make it more challenging for you to complete the program.
If you wish, you can include the following accessory exercises to your Russian bench press routine:-
- Hammer Curls
- Tricep Extensions
You need to perform the accessory exercises for 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions. You can also include some other exercises in place of the above-mentioned exercises. Your selection of accessory exercises will be dependent on your weaknesses and preferences.
The intensity of this program will tend to go high past week 3. In that case, you can include some rehab movements like band pull-aparts, light curls, etc. in your training program.
Russian Bench Press Peaking Program Spreadsheet
The above provided Google sheet will provide you with templates in which you just have to put in your 1 RM’s for the specified lift. The excel sheet will simply determine the weights that you need to lift in each of your training sessions.
The spreadsheet that has been presented above will guide you pretty well throughout the program. You can easily carry it to your training sessions.
The 6-week Russian bench press program is an ideal program for peaking up for a powerlifting meet. It peaks up your bench press for a specified period of time. It is an intense program, and hence you must not consider it running back to back.