T Nation

Dropoff After Smolov


#1

Finished the base cycle 3 weeks ago. Second to last day I did 315 for 7 sets of 5 reps and felt fantastic. I had been buffeting it up and weighed in at 227 by the end of it and decided to shed some of the fat I accumulated and cleaned up my diet. I'm still eating a ton, just doing a carb cycling approach.

I also switched over to the 5/3/1 bodybuilding template for a change of pace. I had been alternating between smolov and sheiko for a while and made decent gains on my squat - it used to be my weakest lift (for reference in March of last year my max was a measly 250lbs).

Well, I just finished up the 3rd wave of my first cycle and I was to do max reps with 315 with the squat. I barely got 2 reps. Granted, I lost a few lbs from cleaning up my diet, but I am still consuming copious amounts of protein. My other lifts are going fine with the 5/3/1 as I hit some PRs with Military and Deadlifts, but I am terrified of losing my squat strength that I worked so hard for.

Has anyone experienced a dropoff like this? I'm feeling like unless I squat multiple times a week my legs decide that they don't need strength. I'm contemplating abandoning the 5/3/1 and doing Sheiko #29 again.

(The caveat with Sheiko is that by the end of the month my shoulders and sometimes knees hurt - if I run it again, less flies and direct tricep work over dips to mitigate shoulder pain) Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance...

Here's my log if it'll help assess the situation better:

http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=piStZDuzNAJctFPQ9q8faaw&output=html


#2

I’ve experienced strength loss after Smolov as well, if you don’t keep it up, you might lose some strength. But in your case, it is nothing to be afraid of. It does not take a long time to get back to five reps at that weight.

If you want to be a serious squatter you need to squat at least 3 times a week. You don’t have to go heavy all the time. :slight_smile:


#3

[quote]stallion wrote:
I’ve experienced strength loss after Smolov as well, if you don’t keep it up, you might lose some strength. But in your case, it is nothing to be afraid of. It does not take a long time to get back to five reps at that weight.

If you want to be a serious squatter you need to squat at least 3 times a week. You don’t have to go heavy all the time. :)[/quote]

I agree somewhat, but it’s only been 3 weeks since he finished doing 315 for a 7x5. I’m leaning towards you need to take a week off. Looking at your log, BT, you have been putting in your time in the squat rack, as well as the rest of the gym. Maybe, a few days of relaxation are in order. Before I start saying “overtraining”, how do you feel physically? Do you feel sluggish and unfocused?


#4

Stallion, Undesired - glad to have you two reply on this.

I’ve been feeling pretty good physically, maybe a little less energetic because I’ve lowered my carb intake the past few weeks, but overall pretty good. I’ll have a forced 5 day vacation starting Thursday because I’m flying to Colorado to visit the in-laws. They live up in the mountains, so all the activity I’ll be getting is through walking around.

I think Stallion is right about one thing - I can’t get away with squatting once a week. My body needs to be reminded more often or else I’ll bleed strength.

I hate the idea of a deload - not saying they’re not necessary, I just feel that I’m too weak to merit one. I often read on here people saying they need to deload before they even put in the effort. But maybe those 5 days in Colorado will be just what the doctor ordered.

Another thing - psychologically, I think I do better in structured programs like smolov or sheiko where it dictates exactly how many sets and reps to perform versus more open-ended ones like westside or 5/3/1 where you shoot for a PR on your main lift of the day. I don’t know if I burn myself out pushing myself to my limit or I’m just a pussy.

I know there’s no single way to build muscle - everything works as long as you bust your ass. Hell, my 39-year-old brother has been beast for 20 years and he has the same genetics. He did it with a 6-day-a-week split bodypart routine. Yet when I followed his approach, I made little progress - this was like 8 years ago during college. But I digress.

All I know is that I want to make myself as strong as I while I’m here on Earth. That’s why I’m so goddamned pissed about this weakness.

Thanks again for the responses. Also, both of your youtube logs provide fantastic motivation. Nothing like watching somebody squat til he pukes to make me want to hit the weights.


#5

Stallion, Undesired - glad to have you two reply on this.

I’ve been feeling pretty good physically, maybe a little less energetic because I’ve lowered my carb intake the past few weeks, but overall pretty good. I’ll have a forced 5 day vacation starting Thursday because I’m flying to Colorado to visit the in-laws. They live up in the mountains, so all the activity I’ll be getting is through walking around.

I think Stallion is right about one thing - I can’t get away with squatting once a week. My body needs to be reminded more often or else I’ll bleed strength.

I hate the idea of a deload - not saying they’re not necessary, I just feel that I’m too weak to merit one. I often read on here people saying they need to deload before they even put in the effort. But maybe those 5 days in Colorado will be just what the doctor ordered.

Another thing - psychologically, I think I do better in structured programs like smolov or sheiko where it dictates exactly how many sets and reps to perform versus more open-ended ones like westside or 5/3/1 where you shoot for a PR on your main lift of the day. I don’t know if I burn myself out pushing myself to my limit or I’m just a pussy.

I know there’s no single way to build muscle - everything works as long as you bust your ass. Hell, my 39-year-old brother has been beast for 20 years and he has the same genetics. He did it with a 6-day-a-week split bodypart routine. Yet when I followed his approach, I made little progress - this was like 8 years ago during college. But I digress.

All I know is that I want to make myself as strong as I while I’m here on Earth. That’s why I’m so goddamned pissed about this weakness.

Thanks again for the responses. Also, both of your youtube logs provide fantastic motivation. Nothing like watching somebody squat til he pukes to make me want to hit the weights.