How to Reach the Spetsnaz Standard

June 10, 2005 07:35 AM

The meat and bones of this article is about reaching the Russian spec-ops pull-up standard of 18 dead hang pull-ups with 10kg attached to you.

I'm sure that there are many ways to train for this but the idea of really going for it and training to failure is just not it. I have tested myself with the Spetsnaz standard many times and I will continue to do so every 3-6 months until I either die or my arms fall off.

I will first off state that until I trained for 18 dead hang pull-ups with 10 kg I had been training 1RM strength in my pull-ups and so I knew that I needed to change my training direction. I am glad that I did because I opened up new synapses and it made my 1RM training more productive.

I sat down one night and looked over my training journals, trying to find the best way for me to go about training for strength endurance, while maintaining my 1RM - this is very important for me as I want to achieve a double bodyweight pull-up - anyway I decided to focus on ladders with a few, 3-5, heavy singles in the morning.

Now I will outline the training programme that I followed myself, after that I will point out where you can change things, and explain the method to my madness.

Monday & Wednesday

Handstand push-ups: 3 ladders stopping before I went to failure
Alternated with
Bodyweight pull-ups: 3 ladders stopping before I went to failure

Rest 5 minutes shaking my arms and body out.

Bodyweight dips: 2 ladders stopping before I went to failure
Alternated with
Towel pull-ups: 2 ladders stopping before I went to failure.

Rest 2 minutes followed by

Standing evil wheels: 5x5


Pull-ups with 10kg
Alternated with
2 KB military press: ladders, no set number just how many ladders I was capable of without reaching failure.

Alternated with
Crush curls: same as above.

Alternated with
Hanging leg raises: 5 sets of 8 reps

Now for the method behind my madness.

I can't seem to train every day, I either get busy or I overtrain myself and have done it on many occasions. That is why it is a 3-day a week programme. The reason I have a different training session on Friday is because of specificity, this in my humble opinion is needed, again for opening up new synapses.

The crush curl with a kettlebell will teach you to recruit your pecs when you are doing pull-ups. That's about it, I reached my goal of 18 dead-hang pull-ups in just two weeks. Other trainees may take longer but stick with my routine and see where you end up after a month.

Now go and be awesome.

Simon Forsyth is a freelance writer Australia's first certified Kettlebell instructor and has been training with weights for over 8 years. He is available for group or private training sessions and online training. To contact him E-mail: simon_forsythRKC@bigpond.com