Pavel: 80/20 Powerlifting and How to Add 110+ Pounds to Your Lifts

Mullet power: John Inzer deadlifts 780 lbs. at 165 lbs. bodyweight. (Photo: Powerlifting USA)

Pavel Tsatsouline, former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor, has made a name for himself in the world of strength.

He wrote the below article, outlining the simple routine of Russian Master of Sports, Alexander Faleev, for Built magazine, which folded before publication. Pavel contacted me to publish the piece here, and I am pleased to offer it to you as an exclusive.

Though I often suggest training to failure for maximal size gains (see “Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. in 4 Weeks”), the pre-failure approach detailed here is excellent for maximal strength development, and the repetitions can be further reduced for relative strength (per-lb. bodyweight) development.

Enter Pavel…

Total read time: 12 minutes.

Read time for routine only: 7 minutes.

Pavel:

I have read a book that has made an impression: The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.

The 4-Hour Workweek is not a dubious get-rich-quick scheme but a guide to ultimate productivity through ruthless elimination of non-essentials. “Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is NOT laziness,” states the author. “This is hard to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity. Few people choose to (or are able to) measure the results of their actions and thus measure their contribution in time.”

It is no surprise that Russia has borne a number of Ferriss-type strength and muscle building programs, mercilessly eliminating the non-essentials and delivering extraordinary gains. One is Alexander Faleev’s system that has gained many followers among Russian muscle heads in the last four years.

Comrade Faleev dabbled with powerlifting for seven or eight years, then took a few years off. He poured over years of his training logs looking for what worked and came back to the barbell with a vengeance. In just six months, he reached the coveted Master of Sports level in powerlifting.

Faleev has summed up his approach as “Nothing extra!” In one sentence, it is about doing only four things: the squat, the bench, the deadlift, and competing regularly. That’s it.

The system the Russian had developed for his strength and size breakthrough could have come out of The 4-Hour Workweek. Among Tim Ferriss’ tools for getting the most out of life is Pareto’s law. The essence of the law is that 80% of all results come from 20% of the efforts. Applied to muscle and strength, it means, if most gains will come from the three powerlifts, why waste your time and energy on curls and close-grip benches?

Before I will move on to the nuts and bolts of the training regimen I will address your objections. I can read your mind: “But I am not a powerlifter, and I don’t want to look like one!”

The sport of powerlifting (PL) has an unfair image of refrigerator-sized men whose faces turn red from blood pressure when they bend over to tie their shoes — or rather try to bend over and get stopped by an enormous “uni-ab”. To say that all PLers look like that is akin to stating that all runners are thin and wiry.

Look at photos of powerlifters in lighter weight classes. They are as hard as a rock, and many are ripped — without curls and cable crossovers. Take Texan John Inzer who held the world record in the deadlift for years, 780 pounds at 165 pounds of bodyweight or Ukrainian Oleksandr Kutcher, who recently beat that record with 793 pounds. These guys look more like gymnasts than refrigerators.

Tim: Oleksandr Kutcher pulls a light 694 lbs. and then needs chamomile tea.

Faleev’s 80/20 Routine

5 x 5 Progression:

For beginners, Faleev offers a straightforward progressive overload workout with 5 sets of 8 reps. Eventually you are supposed to advance to 5 x 5. In my opinion, you should go straight to 5 x 5. Sets of five are the meat and potatoes of strength training.

Start with a conservative weight. If you manage five reps in all five sets, next time add 10 pounds and start over. Not 5 pounds, and definitely not 2, but 10. For reasons that are outside of the scope of this article, Malibu Ken and Barbie jumps with tiny plates are a waste of time.

Most likely you will not bag all the fives on your first workout with the new weight. Perhaps you will get 5, 5, 5, 4, 3. No problem, stay with the poundage until you get all 5×5. Your second workout might be 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, and your third of fourth should get you to 5 x 5. Slap on another pair of “nickels” (5-lb. plates) and work your way up to 5 x 5 again. According to Faleev, the above progression will add 110-175 pounds to your max in each of the three powerlifts in one year, provided you are fairly new to the game.

Deadlift 1x per week; Squat and Bench 2x per week

You will be deadlifting once a week and squatting and benching twice a week, once heavy and once light for the latter two. Your light days are for honing technique, not for burning out your muscles with high reps. Do 5 sets of 4 reps (5 x 4) with weights that are 80% of the heavy day’s. For instance, if you did 5 x 5 with 200 on your heavy day, stay with 160 for 5 x 4 on your light day. That’s it! The key to the program’s success is in doing less.

The Russian recommends the following schedule:

Monday –heavy squat (SQ)

Tuesday –heavy benchpress (BP)

Wednesday –heavy deadlift (DL)

Thursday – light SQ

Friday –light BP

Saturday –off

Sunday –off

If training five days is not an option, four will do:

Monday –heavy SQ

Tuesday –heavy BP

Wednesday –heavy DL

Thursday –off

Friday – light SQ, light BP

Saturday –off

Sunday –off

Not ideal, but if you have to cram your training into three days:

Monday – heavy SQ

Tuesday –off

Wednesday –heavy BP, light SQ

Thursday – off

Friday – heavy DL, light BP

Saturday – off

Sunday – off

Failure and Rest Intervals

Never train to failure! Don’t attempt a rep unless you are 100% sure you will make it. Ideally, keep one extra rep in the bank. “Save your strength for the next set,” insists Faleev.

Don’t get greedy.

Practice one lift per workout, stretch, and get out. Faleev stresses that you must wrap up each strength workout with static stretches. “The benefits of stretching are enormous. Stretching can increase your strength by 10%. It is a lot.” The man explains that “when you lift a weight your muscles contract. And after the workout the muscles remain contracted for some time. The following restoration of the muscles’ length is what recovery is. Until the muscle has restored its length, it has not recovered. Hence he who does not stretch his muscles slows down the recuperation process and retards his gains.” Besides, tension and relaxation are the two sides of the same coin, “if the muscle forgets how to lengthen, it will contract more poorly. And that is stagnation of strength.”

Don’t rush your sets.

Do a couple warm-up sets if you must, then feel free to take 5 min. and even more between your work sets. Top power dogs take longer; 30 min. is not unheard of. Power loves rest and does not tolerate rushing. You may feel that you are completely recovered in 2 min. but take a full 5 anyway. According to Faleev, an hour is a good number to shoot for in your workout length.

Balanced Development: Biceps and Other Decorations

One common objection is: “But I will not get a balanced development if do only three exercises! What about my biceps and my…?!”

Faleev sticks to his guns: “For a sharp increase in muscle mass and [strength] results you must do only three exercises: the bench press, the squat, and the deadlift… when you deadlift a 550-pound barbell think what kind of a huge load is born by your biceps, shoulders, traps, and even neck… When you squat with a 550-pound barbell, think about the high pressure the athlete’s abdomen must withstand. An athlete lifting such weights cannot have weak abs by definition –the midsection is strengthened in the process of training the squat. If you bench 330, the muscles of your arms, chest, and the front delts will be so developed, than any bodybuilder will be envious. One must add an interesting detail–in the bench press it is very important to learn to use the lats when starting the bar off the chest. Perhaps someone will think of this as a paradox but the bench press develops the back as well, especially the lats.” Faleev states than the above numbers, a 550-pound squat and deadlift and a 330-pound bench, are “more than achievable” if you focus on these exercises and practice them for years.

And if you have not felt your abs when squatting, it only means you have not squatted heavy enough. “Bodybuilding is a strength sport. Don’t forget it,” admonishes Faleev.

The only legit reason for additional exercises is correction of a dysfunction or imbalance that puts your health at risk. An example would be a pronounced discrepancy in the hamstrings’ flexibility, your knees caving in when you land after a jump, or the failure to activate your butt muscles or “gluteal amnesia”. But diagnosis and correction of such problems is not something you can do on your own or even under the guidance or a personal trainer; you need a specially trained health professional. I suggest that you find one through Gray Cook’s website. Cook is the country’s premier sports physical therapist; in the last Super Bowl both teams were his clients. Get a tune-up from a professional on his team so you can safely focus on the basics and not do stupid things like extra leg curls “to balance out my quads”.

But back to our basics.

Faleev stresses that additional exercises are worse than worthless –- they are harmful because they drain valuable energy that your body could have directed towards spectacular gains in the big three. “…get rid of the excesses and just do what is necessary… When you give up the secondary exercises, you will feel that you are not training enough. You will be leaving the gym totally fresh. This is it, the energy for an increase in the load in the basic lifts. This reserve is what will enable you to ‘shoot out of the gate’!”

The above point cannot be emphasized enough; curls, calf raises, and other miscellaneous non-sense may not feel hard but they drain your adaptive energy!

The Fourth Element: Competition and Parkinson’s Law

Focus on the lifts that matter is half of Faleev’s power and muscle equation. Regularly competing in sanctioned power meets is the other half. Faleev observes that with a powerlifting meet date looming on the calendar, many an athlete have accomplished more in six months than others have in many years.

In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss echoes him when he makes use of the Parkinson’s law to get results faster.

According to this law, a task will take as much time as you will allot for it. In other words, you will shine under the pressure of an ambitious deadline. Applied to iron, it means compete, and often! You will be forced to focus on what matters — your squat, your bench, your deadlift –– rather than fool around with what former Coach Powerlifting Team USA Mark Reifkind calls “random acts of variety”. Subscribe to Powerlifting USA magazine on Amazon. Find a meet near you three months away, and go for it! Look for “raw” meets that require that you compete without special squat suits, bench shirts, etc. AAU is one of the federations that hosts raw meets.

As the meet approaches, cut back from 5 x 5 to 4 x 4, 3 x 3, and finally, a couple of weeks before the competition, 2 x 2. Up the poundages accordingly. After the meet, take a week off, then start over with 5 x 5.

Faleev stresses that maxing in the gym is dangerous. Maxing out tests your strength but does not build it. A max workout in the gym amounts to missing a productive 5 x 5 day that you will never get back.

Tim: 5 x 5 isn’t just for beginners: Johnnie Jackson, one of the few champions in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, demonstrates the deadlift. I suggest not slamming the plates. Touch the plates to the floor as if a baby were sleeping in the room.

Faleev offers a formula that will help you estimate your max from your 5 x 5: multiply that weight by 1.2. This is not exact science, but it is much better than those ridiculous charts that claim to calculate your 1 rep max (1RM) from your 10RM.

Just decide what you want: The process of enjoying the pump, the burn, and the variety of exercises? Or muscles and power?

Faleev’s secret of success is so simple, it is easy to ignore: practice nothing but the powerlifts and compete regularly. Period. The Russian muscle man walks into the gym, trains one lift, spends a few minutes stretching, and hits the showers. Done!

Since he dropped all the assistance exercises his progress has been nothing but spectacular. Ironically, his gym buddies who sweat for hours wasting time on meaningless exercises consider him a slacker. He does not care, the wily Russkie has the last laugh with his strength and his mass.

# # #

About the author:

Pavel Tsatsouline is a former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor, currently a subject matter expert to the US Secret Service, the US Marine Corps, and the US Navy SEALs. Pavel’s bestselling book Power to the People!: Russian Strength Training Secrets has been published in the US and Russia.

In real-time: Follow Tim and his experimentation with Pavel’s methods here.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 700 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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906 Replies to “Pavel: 80/20 Powerlifting and How to Add 110+ Pounds to Your Lifts”

  1. Pavel,

    Again, thanks a lot for taking time to answer questions. I am 5’10, weigh roughly 140lbs, I have never had a consistent workout schedule. The max I’ve benched for 5 reps comfortably was 135lbs, deads were 165lbs a year ago.

    Currently, I wait 5 mins between sets.

    125lbs on Bench, 135 on Squat and 145lbs on Deads. I hadn’t squatted prior to starting this program. I have been gaining some muscle and losing some fat, but I would really like to see better strength gains. I am tempted to switch to the PTP workout, but I think I would like to see some mass gains.

  2. From JohnM:

    “I am 5?10, weigh roughly 140lbs, I have never had a consistent workout schedule. The max I’ve benched for 5 reps comfortably was 135lbs, deads were 165lbs a year ago.Currently, I wait 5 mins between sets. 125lbs on Bench, 135 on Squat and 145lbs on Deads. I hadn’t squatted prior to starting this program. I have been gaining some muscle and losing some fat, but I would really like to see better strength gains. I am tempted to switch to the PTP workout, but I think I would like to see some mass gains.”

    John, you just need to get more aggressive. Put your mind to it.

  3. Pavel,

    I’m really drawn to the 5×5 routine because of its simplicity and efficiency. There are just a few things I would appreciate you clearing up:

    The first is the lack of variety that was addressed in the article. If you are doing the same 3 exercises each workout, then doesn’t your body adapt to that range of motion so that over time your results won’t be as significant? That’s the general reason, I think, why people stress variety in exercises.

    Also, if you depend on those 3 exercises for training secondary muscles, then won’t you’re pecs, triceps, hamstrings and lower back develop disproportionately to your calves, biceps, abbs?

    This last point is more particular to me. I’m a tall guy (6, 5) and struggle with dead lift. Is there an easier variation I could use to work up to a regular dead lift?

    Any thoughts you have I’d greatly appreciate.

    Thanks

  4. Miro20, variety is overrated. The strongest people in the world keep doing the same thing for years—only with heavier weights. Indeed, your body stops responding, but this is where cycling comes in.

    Due to the phenomenon of irradiation (explained in my book ‘Power to the People!’) when the weights are heavy enough all the muscles get worked. Few powerlifters do non-sense like curls, yet they all have huge pipes. Once you work up to 400 in the SQ and DL, your abs will work harder than they ever have in “ab exercises”. A calf concession is reasonable. Throw in a set or two after squats. Or, if size is not your goal, just jump rope.

    Pull sumo.

  5. Pavel,

    then do you think when starting out it makes sense to add a few supplements for secondary muscle groups. While the guys squatting 400 are getting all the groups worked, if you’re only lifting 150, would some additional core work be beneficial rather than detrimental?

  6. Miro20, I wouldn’t. The plan was designed by an experienced lifter and coach and tested on many athletes. Why second guess him?

  7. Hi Pavel. I’ve been into weight training for just under two years and have done a lot of experimenting. I was led to your name from a very strong guy and Power To The People worked wonders for me. I went from a max deadlift of 315lbs. to 415lbs. in three months, and due to the frequency of the lifts I learned to truly love the deadlift.

    Anyway, I want to say thank you very much and tell you that you are one of the only voices in the iron game that I have come to trust (almost) completely. I always keep a bit of healthy skepticism on hand for practical purposes.

    I have two questions about the 80/20 set up:

    1) Will the Power To The People system of working only 1 or 2 sets more often work equally to the 5×5? In other words, Mon/Wed/Fri- BP 1×5, SQ 1×5, DL 1×5. It seems like this would be a faster progression and help with the GTG system. Also, since PL meets consist of performing these lifts on the same day wouldn’t it help to train that way?

    2) What are your thoughts on mixing in some conditioning (15-25 mins) after each lifting sessions. I have decided that powerlifting is the way to go for me, and hope to compete by the end of the year, but I gain fat easily and don’t want to sacrifice appearance entirely. Is it necessary to put strength training on hold when it’s time to cut the fat? Sorry, slipped a third question in on you.

    I apologize for making this so long, but it’s a real honor to have direct access to your advice, and I greatly value it. Thanks for your time and all that you’ve done for us “iron heads”. Na zdrovyeh!

  8. I have to apologize, Pavel. After taking the time to go back and read your previous comment answers, my second question was answered. Still curious about incorporating the PTP plan for hardcore powerlifting training. Thanks again.

  9. Kyle, thank you for your kind words!

    There are many ways of effectively spread the volume over a week. If neural adaptations are what you are after, doing less more often is better (PTP). If you want hypertrophy, it is better to get smoked less often (5×5, even 10-20×5). If you are not obsessed with either putting on weight or not putting it on, alternating the two works well. Not more frequently than 12 weeks though.

  10. Sounds great. So, would you say that I could expect to continue to make strength gains even when dropping a few pounds of fat, as long as it’s done correctly and not in a “crash diet” format?

  11. Pavel

    This article and your responses to it have made me want to check out some of your other books and DVDs. Obviously I don’t want to purchase every single product you have ever created but which would you recommend I get?

    On a separate note what are your thoughts on Tim’s “From Geek to Freak” program. What he recommends appears to be very different from what you wrote about here and your “bear” program.

  12. Thank you so much!

    I went to the gym to have a workout planned for me. The result : 1h of exercises to train my stabilization muscle and looking as a sissy doing it.

    I gained 25 (from 130 to 155) and 30 (from 160 to 190) pound of muscle twice in my life. How I did it, the bench press.

    I can not wait to do this training. I think it’s great for guy’s who are genetically better for strength training then cardio.

    As Tim said in his book, develop your strength’s, don’t fix your weaknesses.

    Thanks to you both to be great inspiration.

    Nick

  13. Pavel,

    You are truly a great teacher to answer so many questions. I asked earlier about stretching and you said it depended on your goals. If I was to follow Faleev’s advice of “Faleev stresses that you must wrap up each strength workout with static stretches”, should I order your DVD and do the stretching in that? (http://www.dragondoor.com/dv024.html#order)

    Right now my 5×5 poundages have jumped to:

    SQ – 425

    BN – 285

    DL – 405

    I’m working on competing soon, I’ll probably get back on here and ask another question regarding how you reduce to 4×4, 3×3, 2×2.

  14. A HUGE thanks to Tim & Pavel for bringing this system to my attention, it has completely changed my attitude towards weight lifting. I’m stronger, leaner and gained over 5 pounds! I first read this back in early April, and after enduring all the inane comments, I followed the program, the whole program & nothing but the program, here were my results after 4 weeks:

    Strength gains:

    Squat: 135 to 175

    Bench: 145 to 170

    Dead-lift: 185 to 220

    Size gains/losses:

    gained 5.5lbs,

    waist decreased just under an inch (from 34″ to 33.125″)

    Chest increased over an inch (from 41.5″ 40 42.625″)

    Quads increased a quarter inch (from 22.5″ to 22.75″)

    Thanks again for sharing this.

    DK

  15. Pavel:

    Once I am hitting 3x body weight squat, 2x bench press, and 3x deadlift; would you recommend that I cycle, maybe using one set/rep range for an amount of time, then another, and so on?

    Also, how might a deloading phase affect the weights used as openers in competition?

  16. An important note to those using this program: After the benches get ‘heavy’ for you (you have a week where you think you might not get all 5 sets, but do), switch to increasing only 5 lbs per week instead of 10. Maximum benching potential is significantly lower than squats or deads, so this is in line with % gains you should expect on this type of program. This has helped me push my bench farther and farther, and it keeps the bench from ‘petering out’ too soon. I would suggest that this would allow you to get higher overall in the bench than going up too fast as well.

    S.O.

  17. 5×5 should be the cornerstone of 90% of those looking to ‘bulk up’ a bit and add muscle for the first time.

    Indeed, even after the beginner phase, 5×5 is still an effective tool!

    As the article outlines, intensity must be changed as per the light/dynamic days and increased intensity (read classically) as competition day draws near.

  18. I’d also like to point out that in the photo, John Inzer is using a DOUBLE OVERHAND GRIP.

    Impressive! I can barely lift anything this way!

  19. Inzer is using a mixed grip in the photo, I can see his thumb on his left hand. I suggest using mixed grip from the start for those wanting to improve their deadlift to over 200 lbs. I started with overhand and switching to mixed grip when the weight got heavy was needed but would have been easier had I started off training the mixed grip in the first place. Don’t forget to alternate the grip from set to set. I started at 165 lbs on my deadlift and brought it up to 285 lbs (for 5×5) in 13 weeks.

    S.O.

  20. Update: Maxxed yesterday on Bench and Squat. Benched 245 lbs for 1 rep and Squatted 290 lbs for 1 rep. Deadlifts on Wednesday should be 350+ lbs for 1 rep (last Wednesday I did 2×2 with 325 lbs). I stared around 100 lbs bench, 135 lbs squat, and 165 lbs deadlift for 5×5 in late December ’08, and used only the program outlined here with no significant modification. Get Pavel’s ‘Strength Stretching’ DVD, as it gives great tips on stretching and general technique for the lifts used in this program. Thanks again, Pavel, for your outstanding advice and generous answers to our question here on this blog!

    S.O.

    PS: also, I gained a significant amount of muscle and lost a significant amount of fat by combining this workout scheme with some light low impact cardio (recumbent bike and swimming) as well as a low glycemic index diet (similar to Tim’s listed here). Very impressed! Now I’m ready for some kettlebell action to burn the remaining fat and show off my muscles!

  21. From George:

    “This article and your responses to it have made me want to check out some of your other books and DVDs. Obviously I don’t want to purchase every single product you have ever created but which would you recommend I get? On a separate note what are your thoughts on Tim’s “From Geek to Freak” program. What he recommends appears to be very different from what you wrote about here and your “bear” program.”

    George, the product choice will depend on your needs. What are your training background and goals?

    Tim’s plan gets the job done, obviously. More than one way to skin the cat.

  22. From Alexander:

    “Pavel, you are truly a great teacher to answer so many questions. I asked earlier about stretching and you said it depended on your goals. If I was to follow Faleev’s advice of “Faleev stresses that you must wrap up each strength workout with static stretches”, should I order your DVD and do the stretching in that? (http://www.dragondoor.com/dv024.html#order)

    Right now my 5×5 poundages have jumped to:

    SQ – 425

    BN – 285

    DL – 405

    I’m working on competing soon, I’ll probably get back on here and ask another question regarding how you reduce to 4×4, 3×3, 2×2.”

    Alexander, thank you for your kind words!

    Good lifting! With proper peaking you are looking at 475-315-475. The ‘Relax into Stretch’ book is appropriate for you: http://www.dragondoor.com/b14.html

  23. From Sam:

    “Hey Pavel, you didnt mention anything about diet. Doesnt diet matter?”

    Sam, it does. Eat. A lot. If you don’t hate food, you are not eating enough. I am not joking.

  24. From DK:

    “A HUGE thanks to Tim & Pavel for bringing this system to my attention, it has completely changed my attitude towards weight lifting. I’m stronger, leaner and gained over 5 pounds! I first read this back in early April, and after enduring all the inane comments, I followed the program, the whole program & nothing but the program, here were my results after 4 weeks:

    Strength gains:

    Squat: 135 to 175

    Bench: 145 to 170

    Dead-lift: 185 to 220

    Size gains/losses:

    gained 5.5lbs,

    waist decreased just under an inch (from 34? to 33.125?)

    Chest increased over an inch (from 41.5? 40 42.625?)

    Quads increased a quarter inch (from 22.5? to 22.75?)”

    DK, keep up the pressure, you can easily double your SQ and DL and up your BP by at least 50% on this plan. Power to you!

  25. From Dr. Danny:

    “Once I am hitting 3x body weight squat, 2x bench press, and 3x deadlift; would you recommend that I cycle, maybe using one set/rep range for an amount of time, then another, and so on? Also, how might a deloading phase affect the weights used as openers in competition?”

    Dr. Danny, cross that bridge when you get there. There is no reason to switch to a different program at that point but you training logs will teach you something about optimizing cycling, unloading, etc. It is individual when you are an advanced lifter.

  26. From Starting Off:

    “Update: Maxxed yesterday on Bench and Squat. Benched 245 lbs for 1 rep and Squatted 290 lbs for 1 rep. Deadlifts on Wednesday should be 350+ lbs for 1 rep (last Wednesday I did 2×2 with 325 lbs). I stared around 100 lbs bench, 135 lbs squat, and 165 lbs deadlift for 5×5 in late December ‘08, and used only the program outlined here with no significant modification. Get Pavel’s ‘Strength Stretching’ DVD, as it gives great tips on stretching and general technique for the lifts used in this program. Thanks again, Pavel, for your outstanding advice and generous answers to our question here on this blog!

    S.O.

    PS: also, I gained a significant amount of muscle and lost a significant amount of fat by combining this workout scheme with some light low impact cardio (recumbent bike and swimming) as well as a low glycemic index diet (similar to Tim’s listed here). Very impressed! Now I’m ready for some kettlebell action to burn the remaining fat and show off my muscles!”

    Well done, Starting Off! The power of narrow focus.

  27. Dear Pavel and Tim,

    I cant thank you enough for publishing this fantastic workout. I am in your debt, and I can only hope to repay you one day.

    My lifts have increased like crazy, Since April to today (8 weeks) they look as follows:

    Bench 140 This week 180lb

    DL 160 This week 200lb

    Squatz 150 This week 190lbs

    I havent gained all that much weight (still at 165ish, at 5’11”), but I am getting bigger. I cant seem to eat enough, so thats probably the problem. But I am definitely in the best shape of my life.

    I do have one question, I cant seem to get any size gains on my right side. I had a nerve injury years ago of the shoulder, so I think thats the problem. My trap and my shoulder are not growing as much as the left side.

    Any advice would be welcome and appreciated. Maybe I should add extra work to the right side?

    Again, even if you dont respond, thank you for this fantastic workout. So liberating and straightforward.

  28. I am now doing 3×3 to try to stay in a lower weight class and am wondering what to multiply by to estimate the one rep max. Ex: With 5×5, it’s weight x 1.2.

  29. Message to all: Impressed with Pavel’s sound advice and generous help here, I moved on to using kettlebells per his book: ‘Enter the Kettlebell’. I’ve seen good overall strength gains as well as some muscle growth around my shoulders, lats, and hamstrings. I highly recommend anyone making progress with this program to consider alternating powerlifting or barbell strength training with one of Pavel’s kettlebell programs to ‘connect the dots’ and fill in the gaps in the strength chain. Doing the first workout program in the book, I’ve helped make the strength gains from this powerlifting program more functional and applicable to real life – very cool! Also, the dragon door forum is an endless source of great information on this and other related topics. (www.dragondoor.com)

    S.O.

  30. From AdrianM:

    “I cant seem to eat enough, so thats probably the problem. But I am definitely in the best shape of my life…

    “I do have one question, I cant seem to get any size gains on my right side. I had a nerve injury years ago of the shoulder, so I think thats the problem. My trap and my shoulder are not growing as much as the left side.”

    Adrian, you need to make yourself eat. Carry food with you, plan every day of eating.

    You should see a medical professional for your imbalance.

  31. From Starting Off:

    “Message to all: Impressed with Pavel’s sound advice and generous help here, I moved on to using kettlebells per his book: ‘Enter the Kettlebell’. I’ve seen good overall strength gains as well as some muscle growth around my shoulders, lats, and hamstrings. I highly recommend anyone making progress with this program to consider alternating powerlifting or barbell strength training with one of Pavel’s kettlebell programs to ‘connect the dots’ and fill in the gaps in the strength chain. Doing the first workout program in the book, I’ve helped make the strength gains from this powerlifting program more functional and applicable to real life – very cool! Also, the dragon door forum is an endless source of great information on this and other related topics. (www.dragondoor.com)”

    Great to hear, Starting Off! Although you would be better rotating between PL and ‘Enter the Kettlebell!’ every 3 months instead of doing them at the same time.

    S.O.

  32. What is your opinion of doing SQ and BP on a Smith Machine?

    You worry me abit when you say that if you don’t hate food your not eating enough “and I’m not joking”. Surely your appetite tells you when you need eat? I don’t really like the idea of forcefeeding myself (and eating is a joy I don’t wish to lose)

    oh, and I’m pushing 50 – am I past it for this?

  33. … one more question, what about cycling? how long should should I stick with this program before taking a break, and for how long should that break be? And is there any exercise variety?

    I have just done my first session today – 5 x 5 squats on a smith machine with 80kg worth of discs (I am 1.83m tall and weigh 95kg). Spent one hour in the Gym total. I feel like I’ve had a work out!!!! I’m going to do the 4 day routine.

  34. From nick:

    “What is your opinion of doing SQ and BP on a Smith Machine?”

    A great way to get hurt.

    “You worry me abit when you say that if you don’t hate food your not eating enough “and I’m not joking”. Surely your appetite tells you when you need eat? I don’t really like the idea of forcefeeding myself (and eating is a joy I don’t wish to lose)”

    I am not joking. Carrying a lot of muscle is very costly to the body and it needs to be convinced that it is worth it (train heavy) and it will not starve (food is in abundance).

    “oh, and I’m pushing 50 – am I past it for this?”

    Not at all. My father took up powerlifing at 70. Less than 2 years later he pulled a 374 pound deadlift weighing 181 (no belt or any other supportive gear) for an American record in his age group. Although, to revisit your eating question, for health reasons you may want to consider getting stronger without getting much bigger. Smart successful powerlifters drop into a lighter class as they get older. Marty Gallagher used to compete as a 275, as a master he has competed as a 198.

    “… one more question, what about cycling? how long should should I stick with this program before taking a break, and for how long should that break be? And is there any exercise variety?”

    Provided you cycle, you don’t need variety. There is no reason why you can’t stay on the above program indefinitely. “Variety” is an industry buzz word intended to sell you more gimmicks. Top Russian just SQ, BP, DL with a couple of variations of the above to address individual weaknesses (e.g. half deadlifts just up to the knees to strengthen the start). But you don’t need to worry about that for a long time.

    “I have just done my first session today – 5 x 5 squats on a smith machine with 80kg worth of discs (I am 1.83m tall and weigh 95kg). Spent one hour in the Gym total. I feel like I’ve had a work out!!!! I’m going to do the 4 day routine.”

    Start with 60kg or even less and use a barbell. Power to you, Nick!

  35. Thank you Pavel for your advice.

    One of your answers leads me to another question – I must ask, how/why is a Smith Machine “a great way to get hurt”?

    Thanks again, Nick.

  36. Hi Pavel,

    I have some gymnastic rings. With the above program, would some planche lever progressions (static) on the rings at the end of the workouts affect recovery & strength gains much? Also say 3 or 4 singles with say a progressive dip and chin/inverted body row?

  37. Hey Pavel, I was wondering if this type of program could be used for weighted chinups? I currently pull my bodyweight(150.6) + 167.5lbs for one rep max. I was flirting with the idea of pttp for it, but your actually input on it would help give me some focus. My current workout is as follows:

    Monday:

    Weighted Chin:(+125lbs) 5×3

    Hanging Leg Raise: 2×5

    Tuesday&Friday:

    Weighted Pushups:(+45) 5×15

    Wednesday&Saturday

    Pistols:(+2.5) 5×4

    Thursday:

    Weighted Pullups:(+90) 5×3

    Hanging Leg Raise: 2×5

    Sunday:

    Bleacher Sprints: 5 rounds of 5 sprints

    Thank you!

  38. From Ivo:

    “I have some gymnastic rings. With the above program, would some planche lever progressions (static) on the rings at the end of the workouts affect recovery & strength gains much? Also say 3 or 4 singles with say a progressive dip and chin/inverted body row?”

    Ivo, save ring work for another training cycle. One of the keys to the success on the Faleev’s program is doing nothing else.

  39. From Travis:

    “Hey Pavel, I was wondering if this type of program could be used for weighted chinups? I currently pull my bodyweight(150.6) + 167.5lbs for one rep max.”

    Travis, impressive performance!

    Pullups can handle a lot higher volume, I would look for a different training plan, one with many sets of low reps and 3-5 days a week of pullups.

  40. Pavel, just got 3 of your books which answers the smith machine question – can’t fire a cannon ball from a canoe now can we! but why are you recommending a different course to the one in PTTP – more sets, more exercises?

  41. Hi Pavel,

    I’m aiming to increase my flexibility to do the splits. Using the 80/20 rule, what are the best stretching exercises to achieve this?

    Thank you

    Ben

  42. Pavel is a bad mama jamma… Simple yet effective im sure that came from some aspect of his special forces life. No B.S. I like it

  43. Pavel, i will be doing this program in a few months i have read most of your books and they really have made me strong. it really is simple to get strong and i admire your honesty and time taken to teach us the simplicity and hard work of strength training.

    God bless you and Russia 🙂

  44. From nick:

    “Pavel, just got 3 of your books which answers the smith machine question – can’t fire a cannon ball from a canoe now can we! but why are you recommending a different course to the one in PTTP – more sets, more exercises?”

    Nick, there is more than one way to get the job done. You may alternate cycles of Faleev and PTP Bear.

  45. Pavel, first of all, I would like to thank you for spending the time to reply to everyone so far. A comradely display of kindness and humility! Even if you don’t reply to my specific query, the comments section thus far has been a valuable supplement to the original article. You have mentioned that “light” conditioning would be ok; I was wondering what you think about one or two days of Viking Warrior conditioning, and if so, on which days? Would this be too much stress? Thank you so much.

  46. Pavel – in Johnnie Jackson’s deadlift video he says he starts light, keeps the reps at 5 and pryamids up to a heavy weight. Is a ramped 5×5 an option rather than a static 5×5?

  47. I didn’t know where else to post this, but I was wondering is your stance on lifestyle drugs. I am currently researching drugs like CX717 and modafinil for their productivity potential and non-negative side effects.

    The above drugs have been clinically proven to increase memory retention and sleep efficiency without any dangerous side effects of addiction.

    I think this would be a great blog topic or a perfect addition to your upcoming book in a supplement section.

  48. From John Pearson:”

    You have mentioned that “light” conditioning would be ok; I was wondering what you think about one or two days of Viking Warrior conditioning, and if so, on which days? Would this be too much stress?”

    John, thank you for your kind words! You might be able to get away with two days of VWC. Ideally I would practice VWC on mornings after evening PL workouts.

  49. From Rick Hussey:

    “In Johnnie Jackson’s deadlift video he says he starts light, keeps the reps at 5 and pryamids up to a heavy weight. Is a ramped 5×5 an option rather than a static 5×5?”

    Rick, there are many effective interpretations of 5×5. I prefer using the same weight in all sets.

  50. Com. Pavel, you mentioned that one might get away with two Vo2max sessions a week while being on this program.

    Right now I´m only able to train once a day (in the evening). On what days should I add the Vo2max kettlebell snatches after the weightlifting?

    After the bench pressing on tuesday and friday?

    What about doing only one session on saturdays, would that still be effective?

    Thanks for the great article!

  51. Hello Pavel. Finally a program I love. A week into it and I can’t wait for the next. I feel alive when I’m done. Quick question. No belt for now. Should I keep going that way or bring a belt into play? You are totally awesome for responding to us. Thanks !!!!

  52. Pingback: Monday 11/30/2009
  53. Hi Pavel. I have read this post before, and have only recently begun to try it out. Also read your book, Power to the People. It really expanded my understanding on strength training, and I am enjoying trying it out.

    Just a few questions:

    1. Between the Bent Press, Bench Press and Overhead Press, which one is best suited for strength gains? As I understand, Bench Press is more widely accepted but Bent Press is what the good ol’ strong men of the past use.

    2. (From PttP) For each rep of the Bent Press, do I drop the bar to floor and start over or just lower it to shoulder and press again?

    It is just so much fun to lift a bar overhead with one hand. Thanks for the inspiration, and power to you!

  54. Pavel – just want to be in all around good shape for the Air Force Reserve. Need to pass PT test twice a year and be strong and lean. I like KB’s but want goodstrength as well. I think having a strong bench, dead and squat would take care of a lot of my goals but I still want to run my 1.5 miles in 10 minutes…Would you recommend a good plan?

  55. Hi guys,

    I have been making my own programs inspired by Pttp and Naked warrior for the past year or so and have been getting tremendous results. When I came across this program, I knew it was brilliant so decided to do it with as little modification as possible (Pavel’s principles I trust almost exclusively in the iron game as well).

    I went with front squats to full olympic depth, bench, and sumo deadlift (I am 6’0″ with a 37″ inseam, so the front squat and sumo deadlift are better biomechanically for my long legs). My initial bests were 225lbs for the squat, 170lbs for the bench and 415lbs for the deadlift (I had a track and field background, so my deadlift started pretty good).

    I tried to do the 5x/wk program but had to modify to the 4x/wk when life got in the way. I was doing a single set of pullups after the lifts, but after week 6 or so, I realized that little bit extra was jeapordizing my recovery. He is right, do the program EXACTLY AS IT IS DESCRIBED! IT WORKS! I’ve been lifting fairly regularly for the last 10 years, so I’d say that even for fairly experienced lifters, you have much to gain by doing this program.

    I started the program at around 175lbs, and didn’t want to gain much weight as I am planning on cycling fairly competitively in the spring and summer. about halfway through the program, I was starting to get a bit of a reputation around my gym as the skinny guy who can lift so much weight!!

    At the end of 12 weeks, at 180lbs body weight, I tested at 285 on the front squat, 185 on the bench (first time in my life over my body weight) and 505 for the deadlift. I felt sick on the squat day, and the deadlift felt fairly easy, so I will re-test both of those in about another 3 or 4 lifts.

    Here is a video of the deadlift test:

    Between Pavel’s programs (BB, Etk, Pttp, and NW), you have plenty enough information to be able to acheive any goal you want in the weightroom!

    Thank you comrades for this brilliant program, and to Pavel: Power to you!

    Moses Bernard

  56. Benefit of combining Pavel 5/5 with Colorado experiment with another 80/20 reduction:

    One set of slow Colorado pushups proved to me that one set will do me for the day. Pavel shows how 3 strength exercises provide more benefit than other types of lifting. Then it hit me. If you applied 80/20 again by combining these two programs what would it look like?

    Colorado does ONE SET per exercise. Pavel does ONE EXERCISE per day. What does that give you? One Set x One exercise = No waiting in between sets and maximum benefit per minute spent.

    The 80%? Pavel wastes the 5 minutes between sets for 40 minutes wasted per workout plus the 10 minute commute to and from the gym for a total of 60 wasted minutes not including shower. Colorado also wastes the commute to the gym does suboptimal exercises and the rest between sets and does exercises that waste Pavel’s time.

    For maximum per minute spent: Hit the barbell for one set of 5 slow reps with 100% control and energy. Shower. Take a day off. Monday stretch and bench one slow, controlled set with the right weight and perfect form and hit the showers. Done. Wednesday one set squat. Friday deadlift. Done. Take weekend off. Total workout: 15 minutes a week including stretch and changing weights on the bar. With the extra strength and energy, I’ll jog through my errands, dart up the stairs, and hop through my open car window like them duke boys.

    No waiting between sets. One and done. I’ll use the extra energy for flying up stairs, jogging through the grocery store parking lot, enjoying an impromptu jog or bike ride. Not the fastest gain per month, but the fastest gain per minute of exercise, maximum muscle recovery time and a joyful life. Now where will I put my barbell?

  57. Pavel,

    I’ve read that many PLs prefer 1-3 reps, i was wondering which is better in developing strength (i.e 3 vs 5 reps)?

    Thanks a lot

  58. Question for Pavel:

    I have run into an issue with increasing the weight by 10lbs in the Squat and Deadlift.

    For example: Lets say I have completed 5 x 5 at 150lbs. for Squat and Deadlift. At this weight, it is difficult to get 5 x 5, but not so difficult that my form suffers in any way.

    The next week I go up to 160lbs., and find it difficult enough that my form suffers. This leads to some knee and back pain, which is obviously not a good thing.

    Should I go back down to 150lbs, and stay at this weight for several weeks until it becomes noticeably easier to get 5 x 5, and then try going back up to 160lbs?

  59. From Hank:

    “Com. Pavel, you mentioned that one might get away with two Vo2max sessions a week while being on this program. Right now I´m only able to train once a day (in the evening). On what days should I add the Vo2max kettlebell snatches after the weightlifting? After the bench pressing on tuesday and friday? What about doing only one session on saturdays, would that still be effective?”

    Hank, try it on Saturdays only first. Even though, based on today’s science, it should not be enough, many people in the trenches are getting excellent results from doing the V02max protocol once a week.

  60. From The Daver:

    “Hello Pavel. Finally a program I love. A week into it and I can’t wait for the next. I feel alive when I’m done. Quick question. No belt for now. Should I keep going that way or bring a belt into play? You are totally awesome for responding to us. Thanks !!!!”

    The Daver, even in competition there are guys who don’t wear a belt. And if you don’t plan on competing, definitely forget about it. Power to you!

  61. From TTTimo:

    ANSWERS IN CAPS

    1. Between the Bent Press, Bench Press and Overhead Press, which one is best suited for strength gains? As I understand, Bench Press is more widely accepted but Bent Press is what the good ol’ strong men of the past use.

    IT IS NOT A QUESTION THAT CAN BE ANSWERED IN A SHORT POST. BUT IF YOU ARE AFTER MUSCLE MASS—BENCH.

    2. (From PttP) For each rep of the Bent Press, do I drop the bar to floor and start over or just lower it to shoulder and press again?

    IT IS THE SIDE PRESS, NOT THE BENT PRESS, IN PTP. DON’T DROP THE BAR.

  62. From Nick G:

    “Pavel – just want to be in all around good shape for the Air Force Reserve. Need to pass PT test twice a year and be strong and lean. I like KB’s but want goodstrength as well. I think having a strong bench, dead and squat would take care of a lot of my goals but I still want to run my 1.5 miles in 10 minutes…Would you recommend a good plan?”

    Nick, follow the plan from the article and run 3/week a few hours after lifting or on days free of lifting. Easy runs, 1.5 miles in 10min is an easy goal.

  63. From Moses Bernard DC:

    “I have been making my own programs inspired by Pttp and Naked warrior for the past year or so and have been getting tremendous results.”

    Thank you for your kind words, Moses!

  64. From Roger:

    “Benefit of combining Pavel 5/5 with Colorado experiment with another 80/20 reduction..”

    Roger, mixing programs is a sure path to failure. Pick one plan and stick to it.

  65. From Wael:

    “I’ve read that many PLs prefer 1-3 reps, i was wondering which is better in developing strength (i.e 3 vs 5 reps)?”

    Wael, with a few exceptions, 5 rep sets build strength more reliably than singles and triples, because you do not train so much on the nerve and because you also build muscle mass.

    Powerlifters generally do singles and triples only right before the meet and stick with fives most of the time. Of course, this does not apply to the WSB, but they get their reps in through other exercises.

  66. i have started to follow parts of this workout by deadlifting every other day and i’m starting to get some good definition in my arms my glutes and my neck and back i’ve also lost 3 inches from my gut in 2 weeks

    i’m currently at 50kg which i know isn’t huge in powerlifting terms however i’m only a beginner and i’m managing to slap on extra plates each workout

    i’m starting to get in to the best shape i’ve been in for years i’m 45 years old.

    my current workout’s are 5×8 with rest intervals in between sets.

    this is excellent stuff everyone dealiftings good for you .

  67. Right after a deadlift set, I like to leap up and grab a pullup bar (the kind that run perpendicular to the shoulders) and just ROCKET up to the ceiling. It feels like gravity has disappeared and you’re on the moon. No purpose, really, it’s just fun.

  68. Hi

    Love the articles, this training programme is great; making good strength gains but need to drop some fat and need some advice as and when to fit cardio into this.

    Bodyfat is far too high at around 22% (tanita scales, not great but same set used for last 6 years so consistent).

    Currently doing the 5 days routine (work, young family etc). What would you suggest, have tried early morning cardio but young baby and sleep patterns means its not consistent at all.

    Any help appreciated

  69. 1 month on my above described variation. Total workout time about 65 minutes this month. Commute time: 0 minutes. Female friend’s comment: “I know you’ve been working out. I can really tell.” Results: maximum results per minute worked invested and the belt moved one notch with an appropriate diet. Strictly abstained from all other exercise other than 2-3 flights of stairs per day. Weight used: 65 pounds. Reps about 10-20 depending on exercise. The goal was efficiency. Goal attained. Thanks for the support.

  70. From Scott:

    “Love the articles, this training programme is great; making good strength gains but need to drop some fat and need some advice as and when to fit cardio into this.Bodyfat is far too high at around 22% (tanita scales, not great but same set used for last 6 years so consistent).”

    Scott, consider kettlebell training. Our starter kit has what you need: http://www.dragondoor.com/kkb009.html

  71. From Roger:

    “1 month on my above described variation. Total workout time about 65 minutes this month. Commute time: 0 minutes. Female friend’s comment: “I know you’ve been working out. I can really tell.” Results: maximum results per minute worked invested and the belt moved one notch with an appropriate diet. Strictly abstained from all other exercise other than 2-3 flights of stairs per day. Weight used: 65 pounds. Reps about 10-20 depending on exercise. The goal was efficiency. Goal attained. Thanks for the support.”

    Keep it up, Roger! Your goals: 1.5 times bodyweight BP, 2xbw SQ, 2.5xbw DL. Power to you!

  72. He says the optimal workout time would be about an hour. But with one excersise for 5 sets, assuming 5 minutes rest between sets, what else is there to do the fill that hour. In this scenario, a bench press work out would only take about 25 minutes or so. Am I missing something?

  73. Hi Pavel,

    What type of training would you suggest for water polo players (specifically goalies)? Same thing as the workout in this article?

    Thanks

    Mike

  74. Hi Pavel-

    Remarkable post! Amazing insights and advice. You’re very generous with your wisdom. Thanks for sharing for over a year.

    My question concerns deadlift grip. Which is the “standard” – double overhand or a snatch grip (one over, one under)? I certainly cannot lift as much with double overhands compared to snatch. From Kutcher’s videos and others, it seems the snatch is standard and preferable, yes?

    And, if snatch grip is the way to go, do you advise alternating them – either per set or per workout? I’m thinking about an imbalances that would result if you didn’t.

    Power to you! Cheers!

    Matt

  75. I’ve just started doing the 3-day version of this work out and I can already see a difference. Best of all, I spend less time in the gym and I don’t feel tired the whole day. But I came across this article and I thought it might be of interest to you and the other readers on this blog.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060918142456.htm

    Basically, a scientific study has shown that four to six 30 second “all out, full tilt” bursts of exercise, with about 4 minute recovery periods between each, can have the same effect as a 90 minute moderate work out. This is totally in keeping with this post and totally great news to the four-hour work week lifestyle!

  76. Hi,

    Five years ago I too torn my meniscus ( judo accident ), had an arthroscopic surgery to remove the torn portion ( around 20% ). A year later I resumed squatting. I’m currently at 450 squat ( like in Mark Ripptoe’s Starting Strength book ). I also jog sometimes for cardio ( not too much though ). Never had any pain. Am I putting my knee in too much danger danger by squatting this heavy? I would also like to squat more, I know I have it in me but I don’t wanna destroy my cartilage.

  77. Just completed my first three weeks of this program after following Tim’s HIT max-growth workout for one month.

    Week 1: Struggled but completed SQ – 125, BP – 125, DL – 185

    At end of week 3: Easily squatted 145, and deadlifted 205, bench coming slightly slower than the rest at 5, 5, 4, 4, 3 @ 145.

    Weight used on light days is approaching my original heavy day lifts, and they feel like warm up sets.

    Sure beats doing curls in front of the mirror. Deadlifting is a rush. It feels empowering to move a heavy weight. Thanks for the prescription guys.

    Will keep the results coming.

  78. @Pavel

    Hey mang, thank you for writing the powerlifting article. I stopped doing p90x in my basement, and I am now squatting, bench pressing and deadlifting for the first time in my life. It’s fun! I joined a crossfit and they give me lots of personal attention, always they are telling me “keep your knees out, KNEES OUT.” Today is my 4th week and I set a new PR by squatting 185 pounds, 5 x 5.

    …????? ???? 4 reps on that fourth set…

    I wish there were more nutrition options on dragon door fitness. I will write a letter to John Ducane and ask him to stock “Bee Alive Royal Jelly” and “E3Live.” Those are my favorite!

  79. One important thing to note:

    The deadlift and squat require excellent form, or you may injure yourself. Find someone who truly understands body mechanics, and get some instruction. Take your time getting the lifts right.

    Depending on your build, you may want to do ‘sumo’ style deadlifts instead of the standard lift. I’m 5’5″, 145lbs with short legs, and I cannot do the standard deadlift without injuring my lower back. But the sumos work great.

    Squats are especially critical to do correctly.

  80. From Heyward:

    “Hey mang, thank you for writing the powerlifting article. I stopped doing p90x in my basement, and I am now squatting, bench pressing and deadlifting for the first time in my life. It’s fun! I joined a crossfit and they give me lots of personal attention, always they are telling me “keep your knees out, KNEES OUT.” Today is my 4th week and I set a new PR by squatting 185 pounds, 5 x 5.

    …????? ???? 4 reps on that fourth set…

    I wish there were more nutrition options on dragon door fitness. I will write a letter to John Ducane and ask him to stock “Bee Alive Royal Jelly” and “E3Live.” Those are my favorite!”

    Heyward, well done, keep doing what you have been doing—DON’T ADD EXERCISES or change the program.

    Sorry, I am not a friend of nutrition ;]

  81. Hey, I reading Faleev’s book that contains this info. But there are a few things wrong with Pavels instructions, namely that he has got the light days wrong, according to the book they should be 60% (not 80%) for only 4×4 not 5 sets.

    As of yet I have not finished the book.

    This simple error might (will) cause you to go stale quicker.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks very much for the comment. Which book of Faleev’s are you referring to and where might I find it? Is it in Russian?

      All the best,

      Tim

  82. Yeah it is in russian, ive used online translation software to read it (although it does screw up the words a number of times), and convert to a document.

    you can download the russian version for free here:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://faleev.com/about_muscles/muscles/m004.html&prev=hp&rurl=translate.google.com

    this is one of Faleev’s sites (there is an english version but it doesnt include anything about training). Another one is:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffaleev.ru

    which has the same download.

    He also has a forum on the first site I posted, but the google translate , doesnt always translate the entire page.

    I’m still fixing the inaccuracys caused by the translation software, also unsure, if I were to upload the english version, what the legal ramifications might be (could send it directly to you (Tim Ferris) so you could check it, if you want).

    Plus I’m unable to fix some of it anyway…as dont follow the gist of some of the paragraphs.

    But the numbers havent been altered in any way by the software.

    hope I can be of help

    -Chris

  83. Oh, yes I’ve just remembered, Faleev states that a begginner starting should for the 1st month or so ascribe to the following program before including deads:

    Mon: Squats (Heavy)

    Wed: Bench (Heavy)

    Fri: Squats, Bench (Light)

    with pullups being ok to include now, but to remove with addition of deads.

    He states that this is best to allow the squats to prep the back for the more trying deadlifts.

    personally think this is only good for rank begginers.

    -Chris