If you are looking for a method to get stronger and grow muscle, it doesn’t get any simpler than the bear protocol by Pavel.

Heres the rules!

  • Choose a fixed weight around 70-70% 1RM
  • Lift it for sets of 5
  • Take between 30-90 seconds rest
  • Start with 5-10 sets and add a set or two each workout
  • The aim is to complete 20-25 sets
  • When you can do that, add 5kg to the deadlift, add 2.5-5kg to the press, cut volume and build back up

Recommend exercises are the bench press and straight bar deadlift, or variations of.

Start light, the ideal way to get going with this (unless you’ve been training with high volume recently) is to choose a weight that you know you could definitely lift for 5×5 at an RPE of around 6 or 7.

It would be a huge mistake to start too heavy! Be sensible and ease into it, especially if you haven’t been deadlifting for while and are out of practice.

In fact I would highly recommend you do a break in period of two weeks using 5×5 on these exercises, before you go ramping the volume.

A few more important notes:

  • Bench before DL
  • Stop all sets before failure
  • Three sessions for each lift per week
  • Call it a day when form breaks down
  • Be strict with your rest periods, do not exceed 90 seconds
  • Increase protein and calories!

Run with these guidelines as long as you are seeing improvements. Do not be tempted to add any other exercises to this program, the bench and DL hit all muscles, and the volume and frequency here is high!

Reports of both impressive size and strength are common with this protocol, but only if you stick to the above guidelines.

Questions? Ask away below.