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Smolov Experience Thread For All
 

pndpmt
Level 1

Join date: Aug 2011
Location:
Posts: 34

Is it better to schedule the days in the base mesocycle so on the days you'll have to squat two days in a row, it'll be 10x3 the first day and 4x9 the second day, instead of it being 7x5 the first day and 10x3 the second day like as written? I think having your heaviest day right after a 7x5 day might reduce your performance a bit.

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Pemdas
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2006
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 780

Just completed Smolov

I had few months free of squatting because I had an issue with one of my legs that made it painful to squat. My all time max at this point was 455. Before I started Smolov, I worked up to what I thought was a near max to get an idea of where I was. I squatted 405 pretty easily, so I just called it there and used that for the base cycle.

Base Start:
BW: 198
Squat 405 - to be clear this was a conservative number.

Note: The second week was pretty easy, so added 20lbs in the 3rd week instead of 10lbs. That put me at 385 for 10 set of 3 on the last day. On set 10, I threw on 405 and reped it out getting 8 reps. I didn't have a good reason for doing this, I just did it. It was definitely a confidence booster though.

Base Finish
BW 195
Squat 500

I had a massive PR from the base cycle. This made me think that I could have at least put up 450 before the cycle, but we will never know. Besides, estimating low didn't seem to hurt me in the least.

Intense Cycle Start
BW: 195
Squat 475 - I took 95% instead of 100%

Intense Cycle Finish
BW: 202
Squat 525

I am glad that I used 95% instead of 100%. I am pretty sure I would not have completed the Intense Cycle if I used my true max. I probably would not have been able to complete this cycle if I wasn't gaining weight either. The 5x5 with 90% are freaking brutal. I puked after the first 5x5.

Net gain for 70lbs. I'll call that success anyway of the week.


I didn't stringently adhere to the Mon/Wed/Sat schedule during the intense cycle. During the third week, I took two days rest between all the days. Not a big change to the schedule, but the extra day of recover was huge. This was mainly because the 4x5 at the end of week 2 was brutal. I was not ready 5x5 2 days later. Then the first 5x5 at the beginning of Week 3 absolutely killed me. There was no way I was squatting again two days later. Then I had to go away for the weekend, so it just happened that I had two days rest between all those sessions. In the end, I ended up finishing three days late, which is not a big deal in my opinion.

Would I do it again? Maybe. The main reason I decided to do smolov was because I pinched a nerve in my arm that cause a massive strength loss in my triceps, which basically made it impossible to train my upper body. I had always wanted to try smolov it just never fit in my training. The injury to my arm presented the perfect opportunity. The arm is all better now, so I won't be doing smolov again for quite some time if I ever decide to do again.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3329

So I came across smolov as potentially the best technique for improve my squat to a level a little closer to my deadlift. I can't remember exact bodyweight, but the important number is I hit my previous PR of 150kg @ 198lb bodyweight.. and I was <192lb for the majority of smolov, finishing with my PR at I believe 186lb bodyweight.

1. Base Meso
2. Status Completed
3. Gain - 150kg all time pr to 155kg - so 5kg on all time PR with better depth and much lower bodyweight

1. Intense
2. Incomplete
3. Gain - if I hit my triple at 147.5kg tomorrow.. I'm thinking a pretty big gain.

I love the programme and feel I would have taken the base cycle much further with weight gain instead of loss.. I'm hoping I can hit a PR in the 30lb+ range which would be good for my bodyweight and the fact I'm still training upper body in the full.. for the base cycle I even ran smolov jr. alongside..

Notes: After my base cycle I had one deload week where I avoided squatting.. then maxed 1 week later.. then started smolov intense just 3 days later < the latter is A BAD IDEA which I'm suffering for in how cripplingly hard it is every day

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Pemdas
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2006
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 780

pndpmt wrote:
Is it better to schedule the days in the base mesocycle so on the days you'll have to squat two days in a row, it'll be 10x3 the first day and 4x9 the second day, instead of it being 7x5 the first day and 10x3 the second day like as written? I think having your heaviest day right after a 7x5 day might reduce your performance a bit.


I thought the same thing. I put the 5x7 and 7x5 back to back one week. That was a mistake. Honestly, despite being the heaviest day, the 10x3 was the easiest for me. Based on my experience I would leave the schedule as is.

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caveman101
Level 2

Join date: Jan 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3469

damn pemdas, you made it your bitch.

pndpmt - i find the 7x5 and 10x3 back to back days the easiest part of the week

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3329

Smolov intense is going rather well for me. Not missing any reps which is always good. Does anyone have any advice for "maintaining" your deadlift or at least practising deadlift form in an effective way whilst doing this.. tried doing 5/3/1 for deadlift after a session and it just wasn't happening. It's just, it's great for my squat to go up considerably, but I'm not too comfortable with the amount of time it's been since I put up anything above 80-90% of my previois deadlift max(when I tested deadlift after smolov jr, I failed at a weight 45 pounds below my max).

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Pemdas
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2006
Location: New York, USA
Posts: 780

jake_j_m wrote:
Smolov intense is going rather well for me. Not missing any reps which is always good. Does anyone have any advice for "maintaining" your deadlift or at least practising deadlift form in an effective way whilst doing this.. tried doing 5/3/1 for deadlift after a session and it just wasn't happening. It's just, it's great for my squat to go up considerably, but I'm not too comfortable with the amount of time it's been since I put up anything above 80-90% of my previois deadlift max(when I tested deadlift after smolov jr, I failed at a weight 45 pounds below my max).


You could DL for warm ups. I wouldn't go over 50% though. I wouldn't worry about your DL strength. All the squatting will hold it in place. It might even go up.

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BicepCurls
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Join date: Apr 2012
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Posts: 4

Cycle: Base Meso
Status: Complete
Gain: 60lb (325-385)

Synopsis: I jumped right into the Base Mesocycle after running three weeks of the "Squats and Milk" program. I had grown bored of back squats, so I decided to run it with front squats instead. I have been squatting heavy 3x a week or more for the past five months or so, so the volume didn't bother me too much until I finished the third week. I tested my max a few days before starting, and that is what I based my percentages off of.

Week 1 was only moderately difficult across the board. Week 2 is where it started to get difficult. 4x9 was pretty tough; the last set turned into a breathing set, which kind of sucks on fronts. The whole week was tough, but especially 4x9 and 5x7. For week 3, I increased the weights an additional 20 pounds. This was pretty damn brutal. The last two sets of 4x9 I was spitting and grunting uncontrollably, and barely got the reps. I took a 15-minute break between my last sets, and then collapsed when I was finished. 5x7 was about the same. The easiest days of every week were actually the 7x5/10x3 back-to-back. You feel like a warrior on the last day of each week, coming in without a day off and hitting some heavy weights, and it feels good not to be gasping for air for five minutes after each set.

Overall, it is a pretty damn tough routine. However, if you are used to frequently squatting heavy, you can definitely power through it. I still looked forward to squatting, unlike 20-reppers, which were so intimidating and mentally/physically draining that I feared going to the gym. I really didn't feel physically beat up until I neared the end of the third week. I had major DOMS in my abs, and a couple of very minor muscle pulls in my middle back/oblique. You will feel strong as hell throughout the program. You will also be very damn hungry after the last two days of each week, so make sure you've got plenty of food around.

I will be starting the Intense Mesocycle next Monday. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Again, I will be using my true max. It looks much harder than the Base Mesocycle.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3329

^ Awesome work to the poster above, huge front squat and stupid improvement for base cycle and front squat.

Pemdas wrote:
You could DL for warm ups. I wouldn't go over 50% though. I wouldn't worry about your DL strength. All the squatting will hold it in place. It might even go up.


You were right! All I've been doing for deadlift recently is working up to a moderately heavy (but explosive) single around 400lb after my 3rd smolov session and surprisingly when I pushed it I PR'd after not going truly heavy in 3 months and after a big Squat PR.



Smolov Base Results - 5kg/11 lb all-time PR with better depth and BW 8~lb lower.
Smolov Intense Result- 15kg / 33 lb over smolov base PR
End result - 170kg / 375lb
Total Improvement: 20kg / 44lb + depth/form improvement

I preferred the smolov intense cycle overall.. so I'm running it again and gunning for >400lb squat afterwards. I love smolov.

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BicepCurls
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Join date: Apr 2012
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Thanks, Jake. I forgot to mention that I did hardly any other lifts during the Base. I basically just squatted and went home. I was too exhausted to do anything meaningful. That probably helped my recovery a bit.

For those of you who have completed the entire program, which mesocycle did you think was more difficult? Base or Intense?

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3329

BicepCurls wrote:
Thanks, Jake. I forgot to mention that I did hardly any other lifts during the Base. I basically just squatted and went home. I was too exhausted to do anything meaningful. That probably helped my recovery a bit.

For those of you who have completed the entire program, which mesocycle did you think was more difficult? Base or Intense?


Yes I'm sure it maximised your results, I still have a chest, shoulder, arm and back day so I'll take what I can get.

Base I missed more reps, but they were pretty equally difficult I think, my form just improved and my weight stabilised/went up for the intense portion. Intense is better if you want to have motivation to train other bodyparts I think.. although it can be done since myself and a few others on the training logs ran smolov base, smolov jr. and either had a back day or included some assistance work too.

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BicepCurls
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Join date: Apr 2012
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Posts: 4

Had my first session today. 3x4 was tough, and the last rep on the set of 5 was an extreme grinder. The low volume was refreshing though, and I felt good enough to do some light overhead and back work. Anyone who can run Smolov and a Smolov Jr. alongside it is a man, in my book.

This routine is awesome. It works, plain and simple, and you grow to like the feeling of having to grit your teeth and will your way through a session. I think everyone should run it at least once. It's a great feeling repping weights near or above your original max.

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jake_j_m
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Join date: Mar 2008
Location: England
Posts: 3329

BicepCurls wrote:
Had my first session today. 3x4 was tough, and the last rep on the set of 5 was an extreme grinder. The low volume was refreshing though, and I felt good enough to do some light overhead and back work. Anyone who can run Smolov and a Smolov Jr. alongside it is a man, in my book.

This routine is awesome. It works, plain and simple, and you grow to like the feeling of having to grit your teeth and will your way through a session. I think everyone should run it at least once. It's a great feeling repping weights near or above your original max.


+1. It makes pretty much everything feel "relatively" easy in comparison..

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Macmade
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Join date: Oct 2011
Location: Ontario, CAN
Posts: 440

Just wondering. If I were to run smolov jr on any 1 of the big 3 lifts, should I be expecting no real gain for my other two lifts? Should I keep my other two lifts to a minimum or try hitting PRs on them like usual? What I think is that if I run Smolov jr on bench, while it has no use of squat/deadlift muscle, it will be taxing on my CNS which will result in a loss of strength for my squat/deadlift. Correct?

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sufiandy
Level 1

Join date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 2851

Macmade wrote:
Just wondering. If I were to run smolov jr on any 1 of the big 3 lifts, should I be expecting no real gain for my other two lifts? Should I keep my other two lifts to a minimum or try hitting PRs on them like usual? What I think is that if I run Smolov jr on bench, while it has no use of squat/deadlift muscle, it will be taxing on my CNS which will result in a loss of strength for my squat/deadlift. Correct?


It's only 3 weeks so just try to maintain other lifts during that time. If you can make enough progress on multiple lifts in 3 weeks you'd probably be better off doing a program that focuses on them all equally.

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BicepCurls
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Join date: Apr 2012
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Missed mad reps today. Barely, and I mean barely, got the 3x3 and then had nothing left in the tank for the 2x5. If I miss reps again, I will take 20lbs off my max and roll with that. Intense is pretty...intense.

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Achilles of war
Level 2

Join date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1156

I have embarked on the Smolov quest, today was day 1

I will post back after the base cycle is done, that is when i will decide on doing the intensive half, shooting for as close to a 650 raw squat as possible so wish me luck. I believe one website described it as Halloween every day and you body being hell.

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Jate
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Join date: Aug 2011
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 3

Cycle: Base Meso
Status: Complete (today)
Gain: 295 to 345 - 50 Lb gain
Bodyweight: 205 to 210

I have been lifting for years but for some strange reason only just got into squatting this past January. I found a squat style I enjoy (high bar narrow stance ATG) and began with some basic 5x5 training twice or so a week. Last month I found out about Smolov and jumped at the thought of increasing my noob squat. The most I had squatted for a single was 295 the previous week, but I wanted to plug at least 300 in the excel sheet - don't know why. I settled for 305 because the numbers came out cleaner.
Getting into the program. The first week was new to me. The high rep days gave a cardiovascular smack to the face, and the last 2 days brought out the little aches and pains to deal with. Week 2 is when I really began to appreciate the programming. What I mean is that every single set of every day, the weight never felt "Heavy" and psyched me out. The weight would feel the same as it did the previous weeks, only that it went up a bit slower and was a bit harder to push.. if that makes sense. I'll admit some days it was a battle (The very last day was the hardest for me) But you can play mind-games with yourself to get it done as some of the above posters said. On my final day I was to do 290 3x10. I got a bit cocky and because I didn't want to fuck around with 5's and 2.5's I threw on 295. It felt sort of fitting to do the last workout with my previous max. It was hell. After the last set I felt a huge wave of accomplishment hit me. A great feeling!
Some quick thoughts that may help. I highly recommend increasing the calories substantially. I
drank a lot of chocolate milk 1% fat, and really ate what I craved, mostly carb cravings. feeding hormone levels will skyrocket the last 2 days of the week :) Take advantage and indulge! My maintenance is around 3400ish and I ate 4000-4200 most days. I'm happy I did as I now look leaner with bigger legs. For any who care about aesthetics or bodybuilding I added an inch to my legs measured midway down the femur and again at the top of the thigh. My last tip would be to take some time after each session and really roll out with a foam roller or lacrosse ball over tight areas, maybe do some light stretching before and definitely after. Trust me it will feel great and help out with the next workout.
Final thoughts.. I highly recommend Smolov to lifters looking to zone in on their squat and bring it up a great deal. Very happy with the results and looking forward to more smolov in the future. Will test deadlift soon and post any improvements. YEE!

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Spock81
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 3753

BUMP (If it's still technically considered a bump even though the thread is still on the first page, Lol)

I just started this two days ago and am excited about the post excessive squatting feelings of death.

My starting 1RM is around 180 and I dream of someday having a two-plate squat.

Let's hope this progam will get me closer to that.
Is this stallion person still posting? He seems like a wonderful well of information.

OH EDIT: yes I am reading this entire thread post by post, ha-ha

<-- No life

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Macmade
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Join date: Oct 2011
Location: Ontario, CAN
Posts: 440

Spock81 wrote:
BUMP (If it's still technically considered a bump even though the thread is still on the first page, Lol)

I just started this two days ago and am excited about the post excessive squatting feelings of death.

My starting 1RM is around 180 and I dream of someday having a two-plate squat.

Let's hope this progam will get me closer to that.
Is this stallion person still posting? He seems like a wonderful well of information.

OH EDIT: yes I am reading this entire thread post by post, ha-ha

<-- No life


Dude, your starting 1RM is 180, do Starting Strength or something, you should make more gains on that without the kind of volume in Smolov. this is waaayyy too early to use Smolov.

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Spock81
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 3753

DUDE, I think 180 is pretty good for a chick who just got back into powerlifting after about 9 months off.

And smolov is actually less volume than my crazy obsessive made up plan that I was doing before where I basically squatted every day (I'm mental).

I'm a volume whore BTW.

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Doh
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Join date: Mar 2005
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Posts: 464

You can probably milk more from 5x5 (squat 3x a week plenty of volume) than smolov. Not saying that you shouldn't do smolov, but i'm just letting you know in terms of optimization, something like 5x5 would be better. you can reserve smolov for when you hit a plateau as you hit higher weights in squats.

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jjackkrash
Level 3

Join date: Apr 2009
Location: Washington, USA
Posts: 6359

^^^ Bullshit. Smolov rocks and there is no reason to discourage someone who wants to try it. Everyone ought to run it at least once just to find out for themselves.

Spock81, go kick some ass.

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Spock81
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 3753

I dunno, I 5/3/1-ed myself into a hatred for all things basic and "beginner".

I am excited to give this a shot! If it works it works, if it doesn't then I can try something else like it ain't no thang.

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Spock81
Level 5

Join date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, CAN
Posts: 3753

jjackkrash wrote:
^^^ Bullshit. Smolov rocks and there is no reason to discourage someone who wants to try it. Everyone ought to run it at least once just to find out for themselves.

Spock81, go kick some ass.



THANK YOU!!! **Cyber high five**

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