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Bench/Back Work w/ Smolov Squat?


Hi guys,

I'm looking at running a full Smolov cycle, the 13 week one, and I'm just wondering what else I should do with it in terms of benching and back work?

I was thinking for the base mesocycle:
Day 1 - Squat as planned
Day 2 - 3x5 Bench Press, 3x5 Overhead Press (not pushing it), some chins, flyes, lat raises
Day 3 - Squat as planned
Day 4 - Rest
Day 5 - Squat as planned
Day 6 - Squat as planned
Day 7 - Rest

I was thinking for Day 2:

3x5 Bench
3x5 Overhead Press (both of these superset with bodyweight chins of 10 reps)
3x10 flyes
3x10 lat raises
3x10 rear delt flyes

I want to be sure my upper body lifts dont go anywhere.

On another note, my deadlift is my strongest lift at 250kg as opposed to a 170kg squat... I like deadlifting so is there going to be any harm to doing a few light sets of 3 on Day 4?

Opinions much appreciated guys!



I would just concentrate on squats.

You're going to end up missing reps and sets with squats if you add more to it.


I personally would not try to deadlift. A few light sets won't really set you back, but I would rather be spending my time and energy elsewhere.

When I do Smolov, I generally don't get the full 13 weeks because I'm a little bitch. But I like working heavy, joint friendly exercises into the program.

For example, I might alternate upper body work and heavy ab work after squatting.

Day 1:
3x5 bench with a football bar
3 sets of ring pull ups
Optional arm work

Day 2:
Two different heavy ab movements--roll outs, decline sit ups, leg raises
Something for the upper back, probably face pulls

Day 3:
Repeat Day 1, or work the opposite planes

Day 4:
Repeat Day 2.

If you're doing Smolov to get your squat up, then focus on getting your squat up. Most days you're not going to want to do jack shit after your squats, and that's fine. Your others lifts will be fine; hell they'll probably go up after squatting for 13 weeks.


Oh god... AB WORK while doing smolov?


I would focus on the eating/recovery work/sleeping that you need to do to get through the squatting, then I would just add in upper body work as you see fit. I think it'd be wise to not deadlift during this time and even go further and not do stuff like bb rows - your lower back will probably be trashed along with your legs.


smolov ain't no joke man

u will probably regret adding that stuff to it...smolov will probably be the hardest thing you ever do as it is


I've just done my first day of the Intro Phase and jeez! Loved it and only working up to 80%!!!
Gonna get in there again tomorrow and do Day 2!

Quick q about the intro phase - I'm assuming the lunges are weighted?

At my gym, we don't have a football bar or rings, will a regular bar and chins do?

I'm hoping to at least bridge the gap slightly between my deadlift and my squat because of the difference, it's killing my total! I'm aiming to be hitting a 600+ total by the end of the year, currently on 535kg total!


Dcasson, be prepared for living hell and possible injury. Warm up extremely well, and I recommend you to do nothing else athletic than the training.


Definitely. What most guys do during Smolov is turn their squat into a squat morning, and then they wonder why their squat sucks when they finish. Ab work is mandatory, in my opinion, even if it's just some standing crunches or planks.


I did Smolov for the exact same reason. I was deadlifting 500 and squatting like 315.

I only offered those exercises as examples. I would just try to find exercises that are very easy on your joints. I fucked up my elbow something fierce my first run through. You don't need to use a football bar, but I also wouldn't suggest doing really heavy guillotine presses. Dumbbell bench would be a nice alternative, in my opinion. Same thing with your back work; I wouldn't recommend barbell rows because it's not going to overlap well with high frequency squatting. Just pick accessory movements that will not interfere with your squatting.


If you are natural you are going to have to push and listen to your body very well. Recovery is essential to high volume russian training even though its hardly mentioned anywhere in the books/articles. Much of the training protocol its assumed your using AAS.

Do the program as written for the first two weeks. Your bench and deadlift numbers are not going to fall in two weeks. After your body gets through the initial 2 week shock, you can add not substitute other work, benching etc. Use this time to help your other lifts with submax percentages in things that are lacking and will help bring up your bench, dead numbers.

For example:

So say week 3, day 1: complete smolov as written/ Speed bench at 40% 8x3
day 2: Complete smolov as written/ Dimel deadlift at 40% 3x15

                   Day 3: Complete Smolov as written/ Incline DB press 3x12/ flies
                   Day 4: Complete smolov as written/ Pendlay rows or Good Morning at low weight.

100% of your effort should go into smolov because thats the exercise your trying to improve, then what ever energy you have left in the tank can go toward your other lifts. It is impossible to eat to much, or sleep enough during smolov. As mentioned above be ready for some pain.


So how about chest supported row? I'm just trying to get everything mapped out before I go further.

Is it really not worth doing any chest/upper back work in the intro phase? I feel weird not doing it :confused:


no leave it out till you get used to squatting 4 x per week. Its not about the fact your physically able to add work in, its about proper recovery to promote growth and prevent injury


your gym schedule looks fine.

1 thing though, don't perform any deadlifting while on the Smolov Squat program, snap city right there.

Benching is fine while on it, IMHO. Some people (including myself, i just started it) run the smolov jr. (for bench) at the same time as running the 13 week smolov for squats.



I honestly think you'll be fine with the layout in your original post. Eat a lot. Take this with a grain of salt though cuz I only ran the base meso


Here's a controversial idea:

May implement it after I've run the first 13 weeks. I know this is a squat program but for more carryover to the deadlift what about use deficit deadlifts off a 6 inch platform so you really have to use your legs

Anyone ever run Smolov with deadlifts as opposed to squats?


I just finished the base cycle of Smolov, and I was running Smolov Jr. along with it, and I basically just benched or squatted every day, with one day being a combined session. I did maybe half of my normal accessory work but left out the heavy assistance that I was doing previously. I pulled for speed on Tuesdays and did heavy pulls on Sunday after the 9x4 day. Nothing special was done with me diet--I wasn't on a surplus or anything--and I just made sure to SMR regularly and get a lot of sleep every night.

So, honestly, the best advice would be to just start slow and gradually increase your pressing volume and intensity as you feel more comfortable. It's all a matter of how equipped you are to handle the training load. For some people, it's an enormous task, and they end up having to focus on their squat just to get through it. Start with that assumption, and if you discover you're capable of doing a little more, add a little more.

People would tell me that you can't do "X", particularly not naturally, while running Smolov, but I deadlifted through it and just pulled a five-pound PR two days after finishing the base cycle. I'm just saying that you have to determine your additional workload based upon your own work capacity, not the standards of anyone else. Remember that you're on a squat-intensive program, so don't sabotage that by trying to do too much; but if you can bench/deadlift/whatever, go for it.


I tried running smolov for sumo deadlifts. It was going well until I injured my left rhomboid. Now it wasn't the programs fault it was my own, I had been an idiot in the past and whenever I used a mixed grip for pulling before that I tended to just use a right pronated, left supinated grip.

When I ran smolov for deadlifts I mixed the grips up and got injured when during left pronated right supinated.