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  1. #1
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    Question Anyone tried "The Bear" Routine by Evil Russian Pavel Tsatsouline?

    Anyone read Power to the People?


    Does the bear routine have any merit? What kind of gains did you get off it?


    The routine is basicly this:

    Deadlifts and Benches. 5-20 sets per exercise 4-6 reps per exercise, 3x per week.

    Deadlift is supposed to hit your back and legs and arms pretty well and Bench hit your upperbody.



    -----
    The little problem that I see is lack of leg stimulation, because deads do not hit quads in the full ROM.

    On the other hand, the sheer weight and volume and frequency makes up for that.

    Also full ROM might not be nessesary for growth.

    Example: If you do only heavy deads with no straps on, will your forearms grow? they sure will! And they were isometricly contracted! They did not even make your wrist move an inch!!

    What about traps? Will heavy deads make them grow? Yes. And traps are contracted isometricly!!

    Deadlifts are also the best for lower back mass. And your lower back does not go through full ROM either, it is almost an isometric contraction if not completely isometric.

    ---

    Please reply!
    thanks!
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  2. #2
    Registered User Irishfurey's Avatar
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    I tried it and it was pretty good. I'll probably try it again one of these days. I think Pavel but I don't understand a lot of his theories as they aren't explained very well. Probably just a language barrier. I should read his book again.
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    it doesnt have to be benches and prsses, thats just what he recomends. as far as sets go, it just a personall choice, depending on how early you fatigue. so it could be 3x5 or 20x5 depending upon your intensity.

    you could do sqauts,dips, curlups

    rows ,front sqauts, db presses

    any good combination of challenging compound freeweight excersizes will do.


    despite all of the "evil russian" hype, I still think Pavel is one of the most inspirational teachers out there, he knows all about strength training and can back it up with his own outstanding wiry power.
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    thank you all
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    why is it the bear routine
    cus he's a bear?
    or is it supposed to make you extra hairy..
    No-Dope-Crew.

    here's something more constructive
    I helped a guy gain 1/4" on his biceps with 1 workout, and it was definatly volume training
    eat that you buncha HIT nazi's
    (also helped Jesin gain 6/10 " and Q gained 1/10th", also DoctorX2k2 gained 1/4")

    -unrelated bicep comment-
    and btw, I can Hammer Curl the 120's dangit!

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    Originally posted by Kane Fan
    why is it the bear routine
    cus he's a bear?
    or is it supposed to make you extra hairy..

    Big as a bear.

    Bear = huge!!!
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  7. #7
    Registered User Kane Fan's Avatar
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    I like that idea
    I like Bears
    (the animals not the subsect of homosexuality)
    No-Dope-Crew.

    here's something more constructive
    I helped a guy gain 1/4" on his biceps with 1 workout, and it was definatly volume training
    eat that you buncha HIT nazi's
    (also helped Jesin gain 6/10 " and Q gained 1/10th", also DoctorX2k2 gained 1/4")

    -unrelated bicep comment-
    and btw, I can Hammer Curl the 120's dangit!

    March: 275+
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    Originally posted by Irishfurey
    I tried it and it was pretty good. I'll probably try it again one of these days. I think Pavel but I don't understand a lot of his theories as they aren't explained very well. Probably just a language barrier. I should read his book again.

    What kind of results did you get?

    What I am most afraid of is lack of back width/leg mass

    due to only doing deadlifts and bench presses.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Cardinal's Avatar
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    Every idea I have experimented with from PTP has worked. I haven't tried the bear idea though.

    One thing to remember about Pavel is that he is not particularly interested in bodybuilding at all. He is far more slighted to building 'wiry' and functional strength. It seems to me he is just extending his philosophy to include more hypertrophy work in the bear routine if I remember correctly.

    My intuition tells me it probably isn't the very best way to build muscle, but that you probably would come away from it a lot stronger pound for pound.
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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    Every idea I have experimented with from PTP has worked. I haven't tried the bear idea though.

    One thing to remember about Pavel is that he is not particularly interested in bodybuilding at all. He is far more slighted to building 'wiry' and functional strength. It seems to me he is just extending his philosophy to include more hypertrophy work in the bear routine if I remember correctly.

    My intuition tells me it probably isn't the very best way to build muscle, but that you probably would come away from it a lot stronger pound for pound.

    Well there is no best way to build muscle. Some things work for some people and some things dont work for other people.

    More accurately. The only problem I see is the symmetry in his program. But if you do dips instead of presses I dont see symmetry to be a problem, other than calves.

    Since he knows quite a bit about strength training, his advice on hypertrophy should be knowledgeble and based on something.

    I mean lots of people advise you to do this or that to grow, but most of them have NO physiology background. Pavel is one of the very few people who actually has a degree in physiology/kinesiology and was employed for a very very serious place (Russian military).

    Any geneticly gifted can claim that his system is the best and "prove" it by his physique. Phisique means not much, but a degree does.

    Bear is his anti-nobulk training, and it uses solid science.

    Sure it may be a bit different, but again, remember Pavel is actually a real expert when it comes to physical exercise etc.

    reply please!

    thank you!
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  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    Every idea I have experimented with from PTP has worked. I haven't tried the bear idea though.

    One thing to remember about Pavel is that he is not particularly interested in bodybuilding at all. He is far more slighted to building 'wiry' and functional strength. It seems to me he is just extending his philosophy to include more hypertrophy work in the bear routine if I remember correctly.

    My intuition tells me it probably isn't the very best way to build muscle, but that you probably would come away from it a lot stronger pound for pound.

    This program was taken from a "beefy commando" who shared his secret with Pavel.
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  12. #12
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    Good post Droner and I agree with what you say. All very good points. I have a lot of respect for Pavel and his ideas.

    I reread the Soviet Commando section and several others from PTP and came away with some thoughts.

    There are a couple of points that lead me to believe this program 'could' result in some solid strength gains to accompany probable muscle growth for a lot of guys imo.

    1) Though fatigue is minimized by not training to failure, anytime you decrease rest intervals significantly (from 3-5 mins for his PTP workouts to 30-90 seconds) with a relatively heavy weight, you will fatigue soon enough imo.

    2) In regards to strength development, these shorter rest intervals and much higher volume could still lead to increased work capacity (and conditioning) over time translating to strength gains on a subsequent peaking cycle of some sort.

    3) The plan still sticks to a 'greasing the groove'/frequent practice schedule. In other words, it is basically set up as a specialization type program with a few basic lifts. Strength should increase dramatically in those choice lifts. So choosing wisely would be a huge call in predicting the success of the program.

    4) The bear program seems to have many parallels to other eastern and western bodybuilding 'tenets' if you will, things most people would agree on as potentially useful for building muscle (all backed up by science as you pointed out). He mentions Korte's 3X3 program directly.

    Personally, I am experimenting with a basic form of escalading density training advocated by Bryce Lane using squat specialization. Though couched in totally different terms, if you look closely at density training and see what you might be doing from one session to the next, it is remarkably similar to Pavel's bear program in key concepts. Other examples are possible as well.

    He only gives roughly 4 pages to this whole idea, short shrift imo. Diet is obviously key and his 'out' is to refer the reader to The Anabolic Diet (a good book from what I hear). I am also a little concerned about how this program will take into account differing bodytypes and genetic factors. IMO, not enough consideration is given to these very important issues. Some people do not do well with higher volume training or with low reps. Some lifters (endos for example) might need a greater degree of conditioning to keep bodyfat levels in check than this program provides (Pavel emphasizes the need to perform less overall activity outside the weight room to focus on recovery several times in PTP's bear program).

    Wow, post is getting too long/out of hand. These are just some of my thoughts.

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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    Good post Droner and I agree with what you say. All very good points. I have a lot of respect for Pavel and his ideas.

    I reread the Soviet Commando section and several others from PTP and came away with some thoughts.

    There are a couple of points that lead me to believe this program 'could' result in some solid strength gains to accompany probable muscle growth for a lot of guys imo.

    1) Though fatigue is minimized by not training to failure, anytime you decrease rest intervals significantly (from 3-5 mins for his PTP workouts to 30-90 seconds) with a relatively heavy weight, you will fatigue soon enough imo.

    2) In regards to strength development, these shorter rest intervals and much higher volume could still lead to increased work capacity (and conditioning) over time translating to strength gains on a subsequent peaking cycle of some sort.

    3) The plan still sticks to a 'greasing the groove'/frequent practice schedule. In other words, it is basically set up as a specialization type program with a few basic lifts. Strength should increase dramatically in those choice lifts. So choosing wisely would be a huge call in predicting the success of the program.

    4) The bear program seems to have many parallels to other eastern and western bodybuilding 'tenets' if you will, things most people would agree on as potentially useful for building muscle (all backed up by science as you pointed out). He mentions Korte's 3X3 program directly.

    Personally, I am experimenting with a basic form of escalading density training advocated by Bryce Lane using squat specialization. Though couched in totally different terms, if you look closely at density training and see what you might be doing from one session to the next, it is remarkably similar to Pavel's bear program in key concepts. Other examples are possible as well.

    He only gives roughly 4 pages to this whole idea, short shrift imo. Diet is obviously key and his 'out' is to refer the reader to The Anabolic Diet (a good book from what I hear). I am also a little concerned about how this program will take into account differing bodytypes and genetic factors. IMO, not enough consideration is given to these very important issues. Some people do not do well with higher volume training or with low reps. Some lifters (endos for example) might need a greater degree of conditioning to keep bodyfat levels in check than this program provides (Pavel emphasizes the need to perform less overall activity outside the weight room to focus on recovery several times in PTP's bear program).

    Wow, post is getting too long/out of hand. These are just some of my thoughts.

    -Cardinal
    How about doing deadlift + chest dips as a superset with minimum brakes for 5-20 sets.

    Thats sounds like EDT and something that would definately increase your hormonal output.

    what do you think?

    When you do that kind of a problem you do not need much or almost any cardio!


    thanks
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  14. #14
    Registered User Cardinal's Avatar
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    Using deadlifts/chins could work very well, especially if you tend to respond well to doing dips/weighted dips. I am not sure if this superset combo would work out so well however (jmo).

    I have a tough time seeing how that would do more than save time. For reasons beyond my full understanding, some people prefer to superset opposing muscle groups.

    For instance, the other day I tried EDT with chins/dips and it felt incredible. Doing this I tend to hit a lot of upperbody work very efficiently.

    From a personal standpoint, I would probably never choose to superset deadlifts (or squats for that matter) with anything else. I would tend to lose focus and get out of the groove if I was trying to do dips in there with deads.

    Also, most of the conditioning work will come from the deads anyway. It would seem like you would be giving yourself an unnecessarily long break between deadlifting sets or you 'might' just need all of your energy to focus on getting everything out of dling. Anything supersetted to it might compromise performance imo.

    The bear program is time efficient by its very nature. If you split up deadlifts and pressing movement(s), you might find that you could incorporate a few more pressing movements or slight exercise variation more effectively if you needed to.

    No matter what Pavel says, I still think it would be a good idea to throw in a rowing or chinning/pullup move in there with a press and DL or squat. So long as you kept the volume under control, it would be pretty easy to avoid overtraining imo. A little assistance here and there is worth it imo.

    What are your thought on all this? Good discussion btw.
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    Originally posted by Cardinal
    Using deadlifts/chins could work very well, especially if you tend to respond well to doing dips/weighted dips. I am not sure if this superset combo would work out so well however (jmo).

    I have a tough time seeing how that would do more than save time. For reasons beyond my full understanding, some people prefer to superset opposing muscle groups.

    For instance, the other day I tried EDT with chins/dips and it felt incredible. Doing this I tend to hit a lot of upperbody work very efficiently.

    From a personal standpoint, I would probably never choose to superset deadlifts (or squats for that matter) with anything else. I would tend to lose focus and get out of the groove if I was trying to do dips in there with deads.

    Also, most of the conditioning work will come from the deads anyway. It would seem like you would be giving yourself an unnecessarily long break between deadlifting sets or you 'might' just need all of your energy to focus on getting everything out of dling. Anything supersetted to it might compromise performance imo.

    The bear program is time efficient by its very nature. If you split up deadlifts and pressing movement(s), you might find that you could incorporate a few more pressing movements or slight exercise variation more effectively if you needed to.

    No matter what Pavel says, I still think it would be a good idea to throw in a rowing or chinning/pullup move in there with a press and DL or squat. So long as you kept the volume under control, it would be pretty easy to avoid overtraining imo. A little assistance here and there is worth it imo.

    What are your thought on all this? Good discussion btw.
    -Cardinal

    Why cant you superset deadlifts and dips? Sure your lats/shoulders will be fried from both movement but that is good! No need for more lat work and no need for assistence (chins)!

    Again I do not think that chin ups are important for width.

    Remember, you cannot reshape a muscle! You cannot grow a taller or longer bicep. You can just make it bigger and it will take its natural shape. Same with lats. Some lats insert low,at the hips. Some lats are high (as in Orville Burke or lee priest). There is nothing you can do to change the insertion point.

    Lats by working them you will get them bigger. Their spread/shape is purely genetic. Just as your bicep shape is governed by genetics so is your lats.

    Deadlifts hit lats from one angle, dips from another.

    Also remember, you are deadlifting/dipping for low reps. If you would go out and do 20 rep squats, then I agree - you cannot effectively/efficiently superset that. But low reps should be not that exhaustive.

    But low rep deadlifts should not exhaust you. Remember that pavel says no to exhaustion!

    The fewer different exercises that you do, the easier it is for your body to learn them and move larger weights, I think.

    Remember GTG? More sets allow you to groove that exercise better. Assistence work would be too minor to make any major impact but would drain your resources and distract you from more important work.
    Just look at anyone deadlifting an impressive amount of weight. ALL OF THEIR FRIGGIN HUGE MUSCLES IS TENSING AND READY TO RIP!!!!!

    And unfortunately volume training is required... Sometimes I prefer to go macho and cute like Dorian Yates - but that overtraings me and isnt good for circutry. But you can make positive adaptation to be able to handle more and more volume if you just do the volume training.

    I want to see what 40-50 tonnes per workout feels like, and that better make me a dinasour. Will be a long time before I can work up there. That is 89,000-112,000 pounds! Too bad Pavel does not include the picture of that "beefy commando." or his stats.
    Or the begining stats of the soldier who got 16+ inch arm in few month of training on the bear.


    reply please!
    thank you!!!!
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  16. #16
    Registered User Kane Fan's Avatar
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    one thing about Deads and Traps/Forearms/Lowerback Hypertrophy and ROM

    Those muscles have a very small ROM in the first place
    so having little/no ROM isn't as impactful on them (according to my theory) but something like a Tricep Extension with a long ROM doing a statick hold would probubly be less bennificial
    No-Dope-Crew.

    here's something more constructive
    I helped a guy gain 1/4" on his biceps with 1 workout, and it was definatly volume training
    eat that you buncha HIT nazi's
    (also helped Jesin gain 6/10 " and Q gained 1/10th", also DoctorX2k2 gained 1/4")

    -unrelated bicep comment-
    and btw, I can Hammer Curl the 120's dangit!

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    Registered User Cardinal's Avatar
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    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you 'couldn't' superset dips/deads successfully, just that for personal focus/groove reasons, I wouldn't do it.

    I see your point about dips and lat work now. I wasn't really thinking about the dip in terms of providing more lat work though they do.

    Also remember, you are deadlifting/dipping for low reps. If you would go out and do 20 rep squats, then I agree - you cannot effectively/efficiently superset that. But low reps should be not that exhaustive.

    But low rep deadlifts should not exhaust you. Remember that pavel says no to exhaustion!
    Right. I am thinking in terms of comparing my EDT experience with Pavel's Bear program. I have found that triples, doubles and even singles can be very exhaustive, very quickly if short rest intervals are taken despite not taking sets to failure. You would have to be careful with weight selection and rest intervals to keep on the Pavel 'no exhaustion' track. I think Pavel's idea is smart and highlights some of the main differences between EDT (and other programs too) and Pavel's bear.

    Why cant you superset deadlifts and dips? Sure your lats/shoulders will be fried from both movement but that is good! No need for more lat work and no need for assistence (chins)!
    I need to make myself a little more clear on the chins. When I was referring to possibly needing some assistance, I was actually thinking in terms of pressing assistance that a lot of people tend to benefit from. Example, using a little push press here and there to assist the strict overhead Military press. Not a Pavelized idea, but works for a lot of guys.

    If I were doing it, I would put chins in there mainly to develop proficiency in that exercise. They just have the bodybuilding benefit of adding a tad bit more lat work and some much needed biceps work(imo). I take it part of the reason you choose to do dips is to practice and gain proficiency in that press.

    I would use the same reasoning for putting chins in there. I might not even do them 'bear' style. Might try ladders, or basic frequent practice 5X per week, or go ahead with superset dips/chins. Tons of possibilities.

    Of course the more lifts you add, the more you need to worry about overtraining and moderating workload. I guess it just depends on what you want to focus on and what skills you want to improve. I am just writing this from my personal perspective saying that chins/pullups are very important to me and I wouldn't want to lose the grove in that lift by just doing deads. This is all just personal preference more or less.

    The bear program could be modified several ways and still be effective imo.

    And yes, 40-50 tons would be a lot! Good luck getting there. That is some insane work capacity!

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