T Nation

2nd Meet in the Books


I did my second meet on Saturday. Didn't get the total I wanted but I manged to get a 5lb squat PR, 10lb deadlift PR and add 80lbs to my total since July. My numbers still aren't anywhere near impressive but I worked pretty hard for them so I feel good about the results.

I used the Strength Challenge template with FSL assistance work again. I really like this template and would recommend it for meet prep.

Moving forward one thing I really want to do is improve my squat. Squat is my weakest lift and I think it's really holding my total back. My plan was to run a vanilla 531 6 week cycle and then run one 4 week cycle of Smolov jr to really focus on refining and building my squat. I would be using FSL as the assistance for the 6 week cycle so I will be squatting two times a week. After finishing the Smolov Jr I would go back to 531 6 week cycle.

Before starting that I wanted to ask if anyone had advice on how to program 531 with a heavy focus on squat.


I’m not competitive PL, or have any experience of peaking my squat, but doing frequency routines (full body-variations) have helped a lot to get back my pre-injury numbers this fall. I also made my most rapid development last winter with 5/3/1 routine where I squatted twice a week, both sessions were quite hard.

I usually try to squat at least twice a week, squatting with low frequency seems to stall/reduce the lift (even thought I’m not moving really big weights here).

So: you should try Smolov (I know people who have had terrific results with this) and continue with some semi-frequent PL-based program (beyond 1.1-1.4 for ex.).


My squat did not respond well to the 4 day templates. I switched to 1000% Awesome from Jim’s sight and my squat is growing rapidly… As is everything else.

Two heavy squat days a week is the ticket for me. Smolov is a silly, quick fix. Do the 5x5 BBB squat on a second day or more ideally, a 3 day template as suggested above for more volume.