T Nation

Das Uber Smolov

first time poster, long time reader.

i’m a competitive raw powerlifter from canada. been training for several years as a hobby. now i’ve left biochemistry behind and have begun coaching in toronto.

sorry for the introduction. onto the more serious business.

after getting hella pissed off that my 100%RAW record open squat record fell i’m back on the power train: next stop, Raw Unity Meet V.

the smolov base cycle has been my bread and butter ever since i first ran it several years ago. she is a cruel mistress, but if you rub her the right way she will take you places few have ever been.

so here’s the setup:
W1: 4x9@360, 5x7@385, 7x5@410, 10x3@435
W2: same + 20 lbs
W3: same + 10 more lbs

the split that i like to use is:
M/W/F/S squats.
Mon = M.E. style bench + tris.
Wed = some heavy back/bis/grip (avoid all lower back).
Fri = dynamic effort bench + shoulders (possibly moved to Thurs if feel strong)
Sat = anything goes (by feel).

I am lucky enough to work fulltime in a private training facility. nutrition and lifting are my priorities and because of this i’m in a good position to tackle the volume.

When i was a nub I would run smolov on the pizza diet (also a side effect of being an undergrad). The pizza diet works wonders from building your wheels, but I can’t afford to get that heavy anymore. So here is how my diet works during this phase:

Lifting days (M/W/F/S)
-mixed p/f/c breaky (eggs, toast+pb, shake, fruit)
-high carb immediately before, during and after training (~10-1130am), for ~6-8 hours following (i’m talking real carb load levels - dates, cereals, containers of yougurt, milk, oats, rice… maybe 5-750grams

  • low fat
  • taper at night ~ 8pm

Rest days (Tue/Thu/Sun)

  • low/almost no carb day
  • keep healthy oils up in most meals

Besides that, fish oils and a gnc vitamin and whatever other supplements i have on hand for placebo effect (greens-type stuff, ACV, arginine, probiotics, whatever is on sale…)

i’ll post a vid of the last set of each day. intensity is directly correlated to the shade of purple that my face turns during this set so it will be useful to see.

except for the first two workouts because i’ve already done them…

W1 Monday

I knew these were going to kick my ass. Damn, right again. Coming off of ~2 months of 5x3s around 80% +/- with occasional heavy singles or doubles, 4x9 is a blow to the nuts.

That being said I nailed it and by the 4th set I had my groove back and my body remembered what smolov is all about

up to 330x2 regular grip. was planning on going for a heavier single but alas, I had promised to film some closegrip benches for the gym owner and the film crew showed up while I was still warming up. Had to toss a 300x5x1 fast singles in my progression, took a bit of steam out (trying to make them all sexy as such…)

after I hit some heavy db flies/tricep hypertrophy burns
along with some banded GHRs because I was dicking around and my hams are shit

W1 Day 2

Before I get into it,

fuck, my quads are ripping of the bone when i sit down…
time to pay my dues…

sets felt great actually. i had forgotten what it was like to squat with sore legs, its an awesome feeling. serious

hit it, no problem. buried the final rep of every set into the floor (usually my gauge for goodness)

Back work:
some heavier pullups, strapped a 32kg kettlebell to my junk and pumped up ~ 5 sets of rest-pause reps with grip changes, then finished off with a weight-less set of widegrips.

dicked around with grip-work
towel-chinups x 10
rolling thunder L/R hand singles up to 190+pin/handle, drop to 150 for pass-back/forth burnout
Coc2 L/R hand burn out closes

and because i was wearing a sleeveless shirt i had to pay homage to the bro in me:
hammer curls - 2 sets @ 70s
normal curls…1 set @ 40s

fun times.
looking forward to squatting in the 400s again. I very (read: never) squat under 400 because its not cool. anyways, back to eating.

rolling thunder video will be added tonight when i get home, fuckin thing is a bitch!


had to burn through this one which was made very hard by my lack of caffeine
also did 8x3 speed bench w. 180# + ~80#chain (top) varied grip.

vid of last set