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Any questions, please drop it in the Russian Bench Press Program discussion thread or email me. Good luck increasing your bench press!
To your continued gains,
This is a no nonsense 6 week bench press peaking program styled after the infamous Russian Squat Routine. It is a 3 day bench press program that accumulates volume around 80% to 85% of a lifter’s 1 rep max before tapering down volume and increasing intensity. It ends with completing two singles at 105% of the lifter’s beginning 1 rep max.
While it may not look like much, this is a significant amount of volume for the prescribed intensities. Week 1 is an easy week, but it quickly ramps up from there (take a look a week 4).
Good for peaking and preparing for a powerlifting meet.
A lot of people are messaging me and asking if they should also be doing accessories while running this program.
Yes, you can do accessory lifts during the first 3 weeks, but I wouldn’t recommend doing much past that.
It’s a peaking program. It is designed to peak your bench press for a specific period of time – usually a powerlifting meet. Most people cannot run this kind of program many times back to back since the intensity is so high. It needs to be mixed in with other training blocks (see: block periodization programs).
Doing accessories during the back half of the program could interfere with your recovery, which is essential to adequately completing the program.
I personally like to do the following accessories for 3 to 5 sets of 10 to 15 reps:
- Hammer curls
- Tricep extensions
- Pull downs
But this is me. Your accessory choice should reflect your individual weaknesses and preferences.
I personally would not perform any bench press variations (e.g. incline bench press, dumbbell press, etc.) while running this.
I also, again, would not do many accessories past week 3 other than any prehab movements you find helpful (e.g. band pull-aparts, light curls for elbow health, etc.).
6 Week Russian Bench Press Peaking Program Spreadsheet
November 8, 2021 Update: Thanks to a Lift Vault reader, I corrected the Week 3 Day 2 rep scheme to 6 sets of 6 reps. It had been incorrectly recorded as 6 sets of 5 reps. The fix is included in the spreadsheet below.