4 Workout Tips From Russia

If you remember the 1980’s, you’ll recall how dominant the Russians and Eastern Bloc countries were in all the international sports. Images of iron men, of machine-like strength and efficiency, of these robot giants of muscle and metal who could beat anybody at anything abounded. Even now, a couple of decades later, Russia still has that invincible mystique when it comes to its workout regimens and secret training techniques. What can we learn from them today, what advice can we get from them?

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Take Adaption Into Account

The Russians figured out early on that bodies will adapt to any form of exercise in about 6 weeks, with more advanced athletes adapting as early on as even 2 weeks. What does this mean for you? This means you can train the same way, use the same weights for only up to six weeks, and then you have to change things up. You can derive enormous advantage and growth from changing your workouts every so often, challenging your body to adapt and continue growing. On a practical level, train systematically, rotating what each workout segment is supposed to achieve, whether it’s increasing volume and intensity, or focusing on your weak points, or whatever, and keep changing it up and doing different combinations.

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Stretch Properly

Watch a bunch of track and field athletes, and they’ll all be doing static stretching, reaching down to touch their toes and holding that position for long beats before moving to the other leg. The Russians eschewed this approach, instead opting for ballistic stretching, where movement was involved, and you didn’t simply hold a stretch for long periods of time. While recognizing the value of increased blood flow to the muscles and warming them up over lengthening them. This was because static stretching can lead to injury due to your stretching out your ligaments and tendons, reducing your body’s ability to stabilize itself and maintain optimum balance. So warm up dynamically instead by either jogging or doing jumping jacks, bodyweight squats or push-ups.

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