The Bondarchuk Complex

My favourite variation involves you guessed it Back Squats

Want a clean, simple and effective program to kick start your new year? I wrote a scramblog on this back in 2012 and refer people to it regularly, when asked “what program should I do”?

Some people like their programs simple and straight forwards, this is understandable especially for beginners, who often desire a no mess no fuss approach to planning workouts. But don’t however get caught in the trap of doing “whatever” – it helps to have a structure to your training. If you are interested I suggest trying the Bondarchuk complex as a starting point.
Named after the Olympian athlete and Russian throwing coach. Dr. Bondarchuk is renowned in throwing circles for being 1972 Olympic and European Champion in the hammer throw as well as a former World Record Holder. He developed the USSR National Team throws program from 1976 to 1992. It’s his coaching the modern strength and conditioning community know him for.
The Complex offers straightforwards planning for 2 or 3 day strength and conditioning sessions, excellent for beginners and athletes looking to maintain and build general physical preparation. Works well in 3-4 weeks training blocks before rotating exercises. If we run this complex 2 or 3 days they will be different from each other, Monday might be deadlifts and Wednesday will be Squats for example. Program slots in with the idea of “big to small” in our training, biggest most neurologically demanding exercises are put first in our program.
Warn-up – Prehab, mobilise, foam roll etc
A) Total Body Explosive Movement      (Jumps, Bounds, Olympic lifts)
B) Lower Body Movement         (Squat, Deadlift, Single leg work)
C1) Upper Body Press        (Overhead press, Press-up, Bench press)
C2) Upper Body Pull        (Row variation, Pull-up variation)
D) Weak Area
Sample Day (reps ranges for someone looking for general program)
A) Power clean 5 x 3-5 reps
B)Reverse Lunges 4 x 8-12 reps
C1) Overhead Press 4-5 x 6-12 reps
C2) Bent over row 4-5 x 6-12 reps
D) Band pull aparts/Band no moneys 3 x 8-12reps
Finish 3 x sprints
Personal Favourite 
I enjoy higher volume accessory work done at 50-60% loading
A) bounds or sprints starts 3-5 x 5
B) Squats 4 x 5 @ 70-80%
C1) Ring Push ups 5 x 10
C2) Ring rows 5 x 10
D) Romanian Deadlifts 5 x 10 pared with wrist extensor work
Finish 3 x heavy prowler pushes or drags
The whole workout should not take more than an hour. It works brilliantly well for small groups of athletes. Not set in stone however, the program is flexible and allows you to modify it depending on your needs. Always push for progressive overload, add a little more weight week to week cycle to cycle and really targeting exercises you need to get better at. Give it a try!
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