T Nation

Anyone Else Go Through Smolov?


Stared Smolov the other day and loving every second of it :slightly_smiling:
In case some of you arent up to what this entails,

Doing maintence mode training on upper body while I am following this insane routine from start to finish. Any others of you out their have gone through the pain and tortue that this program delivers?


Have a search for "stallion" on here. He's been thru it with front squats and back squats about 4 times at this stage I think.


I'm gonna start Smolov tomorrow. Just the base mesocycle, though.


I am starting it in 2 weeks or so, ill be doing the whole program.


I did the base meso last month. Had 3 weeks away and without anywhere to snatch or C&J, so decided I might as well do some daft program dreamt up by insane Russians rather than waste time trying to improve my crappy bench and getting bigger guns. I was already squatting 4 times a week anyway, so I figured it wouldn't be as bad as people make out.

When I tested my back squat I hit 162.5kg at 81kg BW, still jet-lagged and on 4 hours sleep. Previous max was 152.5kg done a week before I started Smolov, and at the start of the year I was at 145kg which was the number I used to base the cycle on. The only other stuff I did during the cycle was a few rack jerks before squatting.

A few notes on my experiences:

  • Sets of 9 will always be horrible. How most people do this sort of thing every week is beyond me. How I ever used to do that sort of thing is beyond me. Ugh.
  • DOMS gradually subsided over the course of the first week. By the second week soreness was absolutely non-existent, and stayed that way throughout the third week. It was the same with tiredness - first week I just wanted to sleep and eat, second and third I just wanted to eat. Recovery is ridiculous.
  • My elbows felt a little beat up, even with elbow sleeves, and I developed a little bit of tendonitis in one which has just subsided. I was squatting high bar with a very narrow grip though.
  • Despite my initial fears, my knees were absolutely fine. I wore knee sleeves anyway just to keep them happy.
  • The worst session was the 7 sets of 5 in the second week. I was seeing stars, nauseous, gasping like I was being strangled, my shoulders and lats were cramping, and my hands turned white and numb. Yet it was kind of enjoyable...The same set/reps during week 3 was a piece of cake.
  • Once you get past the middle set of each day it's pretty easy. The first 2 sets are always the hardest, the last set is always the easiest.
  • The only time the weight felt heavy was during the first half of the final session of week 3. When I loaded up 160kg on my test day it felt no heavier than 100kg, just harder to move, if that makes any sense.
  • My squats got faster, not slower.
  • I ate like a maniac, including a ton of ice cream, and gained about 2kg of carb bloat, of which 1kg has already gone now I'm back on the broccoli.
  • My upper back felt it the most, so it was subjected to some painful myofascial release with a couple of lacrosse balls after every session. I didn't have my foam roller so I couldn't do the sort of thoracic spine work I normally do. Ended up doing some work with the ball on my left glute at the end of week 3 because it was knotted to hell and pulling my hip out of alignment so I walked like someone with a bad prosthetic leg.
  • Where the bar had been sitting I had a permanent red line across my traps for the entire three weeks.

Would I do it again? Probably, but just the base meso again - doing the full thing demands more time off hammering other stuff than I'm willing to allow. The 3 weeks off the snatch and C&J didn't have the detrimental effect I thought it might - I came back faster and stronger both off the floor and overhead - plus it is kind of cool to just turn up, squat, then go home. Oh yeah, and gaining 10kg on your squat in 3 weeks isn't too shabby either. I just have an even more embarassing snatch/C&J to squat ratio now, but we won't talk about that.


Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing. I plan to use it only once every 6 months as part of a leg spec phase.


Great synopsis, ninearms. Thanks for taking the time.


i do the base cycle quite often, and its true about the soreness - just doesnt exist after a few sessions


Some great imput here guys.

As a side note, have any of you incorperated knee wraps or suits into Smolov in any way shape or form?


I did it in a pair of briefs.... If I was gonna add in a suit and wraps I'd probably wait til after the base meso. Maybe on the last few sets of the Friday, obviously upping the weigh to work off your gear max tho.

Tbh I don't know if I'd bother with all of it. It's only 12 weeks and I've never had and problem with my squat gear (well I need a week or two in wraps every couple of months).


Was just curious, I have a meet on July 12th, the training is a template I put together based off some of Magnus Onerud's ideas. After that meet I plan on taking a long off-season from July-January...I'd love to give Smolov a go after the meet then jump back on the Sheiko train for a couple prep cycles.


Looks like you have the first crack at 700 at 90 so!!!

I reckon it'd be a good off season program. That's my plan for it at least if i do try it. One of the reasons I think it's better kept for the offseason is that if you were to do it in the run up to a meet you probably couldn't put as much effort into benching or deadlifting. So if you can get it done maybe 8-12 weeks out it still gives you some good training time for the other two, and you could probably maintain and pick up a little bit more squat strength in that time too!


That's my hope at least. I can't remember are we on a race to 700 at 90kg? If so I need to be reminded of this stuff from time to time haha. I agree, not the best peaking program but great as a prep phase...maybe followed by some Sheiko.

Well the goal for the July meet is 275/606 at 90kg, ideally I will have 305/673 for Nationals next year in April...but 700 would be nice, I can't dispute that. After Nationals next year I need to move up 100kg (I'm too tall for 90kg), but if all goes well I will be cutting back down to 90kg for IPF Jr. Worlds in Sao Paulo around the end of August 09'.


Damn... I'm jealous. I'd love to go to the Jr. Worlds. If I can get near to 800 at 100 or 110 I might make the trip. I'd want to do something respectable if I was going to the big show. I wouldn't just go for the sake of it!! I'll have to see what the story is with the IPF in Ireland because believe it or not, they're the smallest fed here!!

And a 700kg total no...? It was aaaaages ago we said it. I was half thinking of dropping to 90 at the time for one last lash at it (I'm 5'10 and about 100kg at the mo, so probably need to be heavier, not lighter!!). I'd be more than happy to squat 3x bodyweight at 90. Right now if I want 700 it's probbly gonna have to be 260/190/250 or something along those lines. I'd do it right now at 100w without too much trouble, but it might be a push when I go down.


You should we'll make a week of it! 800kg would be pretty respectable at 100kg Jr. I remember you mentioning that the IPF is small in Ireland, kind of odd eh.

700kg total is the goal for my July meet so we'll see how that goes I suppose. Yah I don't expect you to drop...my calling will be at 110 eventually and 100 in the next year or so...what a better race?