USSR Yearbook Squat Routines (1974 and 1976) with Spreadsheets

Squatting is one of the most complicated compound movements in the world of powerlifting. It requires a lot of practice, especially if you are competing professionally.

But to achieve peak preparedness before a meet event or a competition, following a proper squat routine is essential. Powerlifters, in the quest to max out in a particular exercise, often overtrain their bodies and tire themselves out.

That could make them unable to perform to the best of their abilities on the day of the competition, rendering their hard work useless.

Fortunately, there are several workout routines that are programmed specifically to achieve maximum preparedness before a powerlifting meet.

One of the most popular training programs in this category is the USSR Yearbook squat routine.

USSR Yearbook Squat Routines

Key Differences

The Russian Squat routine is vastly popular in the world of powerlifting. It drew its inspiration from the original two routines – the USSR 1974 Yearbook Squat routine and the USSR 1976 Yearbook squat routine.

Both of these training programs are meant for intermediate or advanced lifters, as the intensity might prove to be too much for beginners. Powerlifters who are hoping to improve their squatting performance for a competition can try out these programs.

It should be noted that these squat routines are meant specifically for meet preps. Lifters should not be trying out these training programs on a repeated basis during their off-season training sessions.

Both of these programs follow the undulating periodization pattern, where training intensity and training volume increase and decrease after every training session. This allows powerlifters to get the desired stimulation for maximum hypertrophy and strength gains.

The primary difference between the two routines is the level of intensity. The USSR Squat Routine 1976 is longer and more intense in terms of weights and sets.

The 1974 rendition is slightly shorter and also less intense.

Both of them, however, aim to improve the squatting 1RM of the powerlifter by a significant margin of around 5% at the end of the training cycle.

To summarize, these are the primary differences between the 1974 and 1976 versions of the training program.

Basis of Comparison

USSR 1974 Yearbook Squat Routine

USSR 1976 Yearbook Squat Routine

Training Period

The training routine only lasts three weeks.

The training routine lasts as long as six weeks.

Training Days

Three training sessions per week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Three training sessions per week – Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Training Intensity

Relatively lesser intensity – stays at or above 70% of 1RM on general training days and around 60% of 1RM on light training days.

Relatively higher intensity – stays at or above 80% of 1RM on all training days.

Repetition Range

Trains primarily with a rep range of about 3-5 repetitions for each exercise.

Rep range of just 2 repetitions for each exercise, but increased sets due to heavy intensity


The 1974 routine comes with two flavors, each of three weeks, that can be run repeatedly for meet prep.

The 1976 routine does not come with any alternative or additional flavors.

USSR 1974 Yearbook Squat Routine

The USSR 1974 Yearbook squat routine is the lighter of the two options. But it’s still only meant for intermediate and advanced lifters because the schedule is nonetheless too intense for beginners.

The training program is relatively shorter, spanning only three weeks. But it comes in two flavors; the first is the basic routine, while the second one is more intense and meant for experienced lifters only.

For optimum results, one can opt to run the two flavors one after the other to produce a 6-week training program.

The training pattern followed is undulating, where intensity and volume fluctuate after every workout session. The intensity, however, gradually decreases on the third week of the program to allow the body to recover before a competition.

USSR 1974 Yearbook Squat Routine

USSR 1974 Yearbook Squat Routine Spreadsheet

The USSR 1974 Yearbook squat routine is pretty simple to follow and will yield maximum results if you follow the program carefully.

You can download the Spreadsheet file from here.



Once downloaded, you can even get a printout of the file to keep a physical copy of the popular USSR squat routine.

USSR 1976 Yearbook Squat Routine

The USSR 1976 Yearbook squat routine is almost the same as the 1974 edition. The only differences lie in the program length and training intensity.

While both the training routines are pretty intense, the 1976 alternative is harsher. The powerlifter has to maintain weights of at least 80% or above throughout the training period.

But to compensate, the number of repetitions is slightly lesser. But at the same time, the number of sets has been increased to keep the training volume balanced.

Ultimately, the goal of this USSR squat routine is to increase the 1RM capabilities of the powerlifter by around 5 percent.

USSR 1976 Yearbook Squat Routine

USSR 1976 Yearbook Squat Routine Spreadsheet

While there are no major differences between the two USSR squat routines, the distinction in training intensity and program length changes everything. As such, a powerlifter must have a copy of both the routines to figure out the best one for themselves.

You can download the USSR 1976 Yearbook squat routine from here.



The Spreadsheet file can also be downloaded to be kept on the phone, or you can get a printout of the sheet to get a physical copy.

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6 Week Soviet Peaking Powerlifting Program
Extended Russian Power Routine
6 Week Russian Bench Press Peaking Program
Fred Hatfield (Dr. Squat) 12 Week Program
Fred Hatfield (Dr. Squat) 9 Week Program

Winding Up

The USSR squat routines are pretty popular in the world of powerlifting. They are also among the most effective training programs.

To be able to follow the original two strains of these programs should be a rewarding experience in itself. But the added benefit of increased 1RM before a powerlifting meet or competition is a huge plus point too.