We’ve seen that Rogozhnikov divides his training into light, medium, and heavy days, and he alternates bench press workouts with squat/deadlift workouts. He did not invent either of these practices, and we find American lifters using comparable building blocks in the popular Westside method.
But Rogozhnikov is an artiste in how he stacks up the blocks and mixes and matches them for different types of lifters and in different seasons of training.
The Default Formula
If you lifted on Rogozhnikov’s team, your gym life would be organized around this formula:
L – H1 – L – H2 – L – M
That is, you’d have a light block, then a heavy one, then another pair of light and heavy blocks, and finally a light block and a medium block.
Each of these blocks would last six days. It would begin with a bench workout, followed three days later by a squat/deadlift workout. And three days later you would begin your next block.
That means that you would take 36 days (6 blocks of 6 days) to complete this mesocycle.And during that time you would have two blocks of heavy workouts, which Rogozhnikov calls “H1” and “H2,” and your goal is to set a PR in H2.
At the start of a new mesocycle, you choose one of Rogozhnikov’s approved bench press variations, like the floor press. On your first heavy bench day, you work up to a weight that you can barely handle for 3 sets of 5. And three days later, you do likewise for your heavy squat and deadlift day. That’s block “H1.”
A week or so later, when you come to block H2, you try to beat your record from H1. Ideally, you’ll take the weight you handled for 3×5 and manage 3x6. If you nail it, that is quite something: a 20% rep PR. Normally that would be a strain on your recovery capabilities, but that is why Rogozhnikov has packed your schedule with recovery-oriented light and medium workouts, like sandbags around a foxhole.
And even if you only manage to improve on your numbers on one or two sets, that is not nothing. If you get a PR, you have made progress.
You finish out your mesocycle with light and medium days, which will give you enough hypertrophy (muscle growth) to keep up your size and weight and prime the pump for future gains.
In your next mesocycle, you repeat this process but use a different exercise in the heavy workouts.You have milked a lot out of that exercise in a short time. Don’t stress your central nervous system (CNS) by going back to that well right away. Change to a different exercise.