November 5, 2017 in Programming
Sergey Fedosienko is one of the most decorated athletes in powerlifting history.

Some of his accomplishments include:

  • Two-Time Best Overall World Games Champion
  • 11-Time IPF World Powerlifting Champion (Equipped)
  • 5-Time IPF World Powerlifting Champion (Classic)
  • 8-Time Best Overall World Champion (Equipped)
  • 4-Time Best Overall World Champion (Classic)

Sergey joined the MyStrengthBook team of coaches and just recently launched three 12-week training cycles on the Program Library. The training cycles are split into ‘beginner’, ‘intermediate’, and ‘advanced’ stages based on an athlete’s Wilks. When an athlete’s Wilks crosses a certain threshold, they graduate to the next level of programming. This approach follows the Russian Classification System.

What is the Russian Classification System?

The Russian Classification System is a wilks-based approach in determining your experience level. The ideas is that when an athlete walks through the gym doors for the first time, it’s hard to determine the type of training variables that might be the most suitable. As such, the Russian Classification System takes an athlete’s Wilks and offers coaches a way to program certain volumes and intensities that are generally appropriate to that skill level. As an athlete’s strength increases, they are developing greater neural connections with their muscles, and can coordinate their movements more efficiently. The Russian Classification system evolves the training stimulus as an athlete enters later stages of athletic development.

New to Wilks? Enter in your maxes and find your Wilks HERE.

Sergey’s Training Overview
Training Metrics

Sergey’s training cycles on MyStrengthBook are based on 3 different levels of training – beginner (less than 275 Wilks), intermediate (275 to 440 Wilks), and advanced (more than 440 Wilks). Each stage of training differentiates based on three primary metrics:

Number of Lifts: From the beginner to intermediate training cycle, approximately 10% more lifts are completed across all movements. The number of lifts stay the same between the intermediate and advanced training cycles, but other variables, such as intensity, are manipulated.

Peak Intensity (heaviest weights lifted): Since beginner athlete will gain rapid increases in strength in a shorter time-frame, beginners are programmed higher intensities earlier in the training cycle that are expected to be done for multiple sets and reps. Advanced athletes still get opportunities to lift higher intensities, but the progressions are much more gradual with longer periods of recover.

Average Intensity (average weights lifted): While the number of lifts remain the same between the intermediate and advanced training cycles, the average intensity is approximately 5% higher for the advanced program.

Example of Volume / Intensity (Intermediate Program)

The following is an example of a volume and intensity graph for the 12-week Intermediate Russian Training Cycle. The green bar graphs represent total weekly volume. The line graphs represent intensity, with the dark line showing peak intensity and the light line showing average intensity.


Whether it’s the beginner, intermediate, or advanced training cycle, each one is split into three 4-week blocks of training – volume, strength, and peaking. In the volume blocks, rep ranges are between 5-8 with the goal of increasing muscle size and capacity for handling higher volumes. The strength block starts with volume still relatively high, but the average and peak intensities start to climb. The goal in this block is to increase strength across a variety of rep ranges (3-5). For the beginner and intermediate cycles, athletes are expected to set new ‘rep PRs’ – doing more weight than ever before for multiple reps. In the peaking block, the goal is to drastically reduce volume and get athletes prepared to test their 1 rep maxes. This block includes handling loads close to or at 100% (depending on skill level), allowing athletes to build confidence as they prepare for their tests. The tests could be a competition or a training day aimed at maxing out in the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Sample Training Week (Intermediate)

The following example is taken from week 5 of the intermediate training cycle. While the complete training cycle is 12-weeks in length this shows week 5, which starts the transition from the volume phase to the strength phase. As seen below, day 1-3 are focused on the powerlifting movements (squat, bench, and deadlift), with day 4 solely focused on assistant exercises.  NOTE:  The load column will update with your exact training loads once loaded into the MyStrengthBook calendar.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4


As standard with most Russian training philosophies, exercises are primarily focused around the competition movements. The idea is that with higher degrees of specificity, athletes get more opportunities to practice the skills they want to develop.

The following are both the main and assistant exercises that are programmed throughout each of the training cycles. Substitutes are provided for those that don’t have access to certain gym equipment.

Main Exercises
  • Squat
  • Paused Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Board Bench Press
  • Long Pause Bench Press
  • Deadlift
  • Block Deadlift
  • Deficit Deadlift
Assistant Exercises
  • Hyperextensions
  • Goodmornings
  • DB Flys
  • Tricep Pushdowns
  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Leg Press
Getting Sergey’s Program

To access Sergey’s programs, you’ll need to sign-up for MyStrengthBook and join our premium membership.

Most athletes pay over $150-200 for online coaching, but Sergey’s training cycles are available on MyStrengthBook for only $29/month. You’ll also get the benefit of being able to track his programs using the MyStrengthBook analytics platform to better understand what you do in the gym.

To get started sign-up for a FREE TRIAL, go to the Program Library, and add his training cycle you’re your calendar.

Looking for training advice or have questions about any of the training programs available on MyStrengthBook? Please book a time to chat with us HERE and one our coaches will set you up for success!

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