Secret Soviet Methods

Secret Soviet Training Plan

I am not going to bullshit you, there is nothing secret or special about this plan. In the early 90´s post glasnost and all, I had the sometimes less than glamorous priviledge to travel and work in the former Soviet union.

On one such occasion I became good friends with a trainer at the local sports academy, this academy or club had once trained and fostered dozens of masters of sports especially in weightlifting and sambo.

This is the workout plan they had posted on the wall, many of his trainees where not good enough to be sponsored by the sports ministry and had to work for a this is what almost all of his lifters did during the week, elite and intermediate. At the weekends they either competed or held football or volleyball matches…to get some fresh air into the guys lungs, as many of them where factory workers.

The club had a couple of heavyweights and super heavyweights that totaled around 400 kgs, they used the same program as anyone a total at 400 in that time didn’t get you a  sports ministry “sponsorship”! hardly qualified you for the soviet nationals!

Monday Session 1.

Warmup complex no.1 3-5 sets

Power snatch 6×2 85%( 6 sets, 2 reps and % of your 1 RM, either calculated or tested)

Squat Clean 6×2 80-82%

Jerk from rack working up to 1-3 heavy single lifts, PR attempts Ok every 5-6 weeks.

Clean pulls 6×2 95-105% of best Clean

Back squat 6×2 80%

Good mornings 5×5 at 60% of best snatch

Abdominal and Shoulder exercises according to chart on wall.

Tuesday Session 2.

Warmup complex no. 2 3-5 sets

Snatch 6×2 82-85%, every 5-8 weeks work up to PR attempt or 3 heavy singles.

Power Clean 6×2 85%

Push Press 6×2 80-85%

Front Squat 6×2 85%

Snatch Pulls 6×2 at 105% of best snatch.

800 meter tempo run, medium hard or 2-3 Km jog.

Cold rinse and Sauna

Thursday Session 3.

Warmup complex no.1 3-5 sets

Raw Snatch 6×2 85%

Clean from hang or blocks with pushjerk 6×2 80-82%

Back squat work up to one heavy single after that 80% 5×5, pr attempt every 5-8 weeks

Clean Pulls 6×2 100-105% of best clean

Military press 80% 5×5

Good mornings 5×10 at approx. 40-50% of best snatch.

Dumbbell or Kettlebell exercises from chart.

Friday Session 4.

Warmup complex no.2

Snatch from hang or blocks 6×2 80-82%

Clean and Jerk 6×2 80-82%, Either 2-3 heavy singles or new PR attempt every 5-8 weeks.

Snatch  or clean grip dead lift standing on blocks 3×3 at 110-120% of best snatch/jerk

Back squat 70% 5×5

Lower back and abdominal excercise from chart

Jumps about 40-50 reps total.

4×400 meter runs, slow,medium,hard,slow or shuttle runs.

When it says 6×2 80%…it is that, warmup sets not calculated in this plan.

As I mentioned before at the weekends the sports director either held outdoor picnics, where the lifters swam, threw kettlebells and played the winters usually letting them use the heated pool and volleyball matches against workers, other athletes.

Two weeks out from important meet the lifter would max out his lifts, and the last week..usually only do 2-3 light sessions.

Preparation for a regular meet, would usually be to cut the Friday work out and only do Snatch and C&J on Thursday usually testing your openers at the meet  and ending with some light squats.

Hope that’s of interest to some of you, its pretty much from memory and I might have missed or simple forgotten a detail or two.

Lift big!



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