Megapovtorka. Another way to train endurance.

I don't have a choice, "megapovtorka" is the name of this method used by the guy whose Youtube channel I lifted it from. The guy is Dmitry Sokolov, and he is a personal coach.

Don't be put off by the name of the method too much. Megapovtorka simply means MegaRepeat. It is likely not new, but Mr.Sokolov more time to it than anybody else. In any case, his channel is where I found it.

Before describing the method, let's track back a little. How do you increase the number of reps in GS? Fedorenko and his WKC crowd believed you have to do 10 minute sets every training session and try beat your best every session. Russian EDT template got you progressing from ten one minute sets to five sets of two minutes and so on, till you could do seven, eight and full ten minutes. many other templates used repeated method - several sets of snatching or jerking, also gradually progressing to ten minute set. Finally, Rudnev got me doing several shorter sets with heavy bells, followed by one ten minute set with light bell (I was only doing snatch).

MegaRepeat is somewhat different. Dmitry applies it to many activities, including Girevoy Sport. The idea has been described in Khozhurkin's book on pullups. It goes as follows.

Let's take KB snatch. You start with light bell, say 12 kg, and do 50 reps each hand. You have to have considerable number of reps in the tank, so that you don't get the feeling of - I am struggling to find a good word in English... You know the feeling when the muscles are "done": you can barely move them. In case of gripping something with intensity and for a long time you can barely lift the water bottle with your hand. Well, this is the feeling you have to avoid.

So you do your 50 snatches. Done. Next session you increase the number of reps. And so on, until you reach 100 repetitions per hand.

Increase the weight AND drop back to 50 reps per workout. Build up to 200 total. And so on.

Here is one of Dmitry's videos. The list at 2:30 is the progression of his snatch.

This method can be applied other exercises, such as pullups and pushups. In those cases Dmitry used rubber bands to reduce the load and gradually moved to smaller bands as he was building up to 100 reps. Here is the video of that. It is in Russian, but you in the right side of the screen you can see him actually doing the exercises.

In one of the videos Dmitry has a table comparing Megarepeats with Static-Dynamic method.

Rapid change
Hydrogen Ions
Stable levels
Growth Hormone
Free Creatine
Structural effect
Energy source
Doesn’t address
Weak points

Looks interesting to me. I also think using heart rate monitor and sticking to Maffetone HR number can be useful.

In any case, this test with my GS experience quite well. When I was coached by Sergey Rudnev (snatch only) training sessions usually consisted of three parts: several timed sets with heavy bells, followed by one ten minute set with light bell in gloves, followed by GPP - a circuit of BW squats, abdominal exercises etc. The reasoning behind ten minute set was to be used to lasting ten minutes.

At the beginning I did minutes of snatching 12 kg bell. After a while - and consultation with Sergey - I started increasing the weight. Eventually ten minutes with 16 kg was pretty ordinary.

There are obviously differences between my experience and Dmitry Sokolov's method. Rudnev wanted me to do 200 reps in ten minutes straight away, while Dmitry's method you gradually build reps up from fifty, every time having a good number of reps in reserve.


JasonC said...

Awesome, I'm signing up as Guinea Pig #1. I like anything that I can do at a Maffetone-level HR.

And I like training every day, which looks feasible on this plan, judging by how Easy Strength-y it seems. So unless you indicate otherwise, I'll try doing it about 5 days/week.

Only thing is the name. As you say, "Megapovtorka" isn't music to the Anglo ear. Before Dmitri is ready for international stardom as a fitness celebrity, he'll need a better name for it. Also, he'll need a Hollywood make-over. People will think he's an undernourished, scrappy ex-con from a Siberian prison or an unshaven Bolshevik from a Nazi propaganda poster. Also, we need to get him tanned and oiled.

But I get ahead of myself. First we need to see if it works.

Steven Petersson said...

Thank you so much for writing this blog. In the English speaking kettlebell world, this is a breath of fresh air.

I am in my late 40s. I love GS (mostly long cycle and snatch), but I also like lifting heavier at lower volumes for GPP.

Andrew said...

Thanks for putting this together Smet

Nick Efthimiou said...

VF didn't champion daily 10 minute sets. He suggested a weekly test at most, less for more experienced lifters.

His approach was to train the competition lift at around 70-80% intensity, which meant 5-7 mins of jerk/LC or 6-8 mins of snatch. Always finishing with plenty in the tank.

Light jogging (he called it massage the lungs), similar to Maffetone style running for building aerobic endurance and lots of swings/OAJ/jumping squats for assistance work.

In general, the approach was the keep the weight/pace/time the same-ish until it felt easy. Then increase one of the variables (order was time > pace > weight) and repeat. Eventually you are doing big numbers.

So it's quite similar to this approach actually.

I'd say most successful training approaches have more in common than not, even if they look different at first glance.