Smolov Squat Specialization
This was first printed in Powerlifting USA, back in 2001. It was brought to us by Pavel, and the original article is full of little Russian words he likes to use to make it sound more special. For space considerations, I am paraphrasing.
The Smolov is broken up into four mesocycles, and one tapering period; Introductory, Base, Switching, and Intense, followed by the taper. The Introductory cycle is two weeks, and is intended for those who either haven?t squatted in a while, or don?t use much volume. The first week you will squat three days in a row:
Day 1 65%x3x8, 70%x5, 75%x2x2, 80%x1
Day 2 65%x3x8, 70%x5, 75%x2x2, 80%x1
Day 3 70%x5x4, 75%x3, 80%x2x2, 90%x1
The remainder of that week should be spent doing lunges with emphasis on stretching the thighs. There are no loading parameters indicated, so do your own thing. I had been squatting regularly already, so I skipped this.
The second week of the introductory cycle, you should squat every other day in the 80-85% range, working up to one set of five before that week is over. The article mentions doing explosive work during the intro period, but again puts forth no recommendations for loading, exercises, etc.
The base cycle looks like this:
Day 1, Day 3, Day 5, Day 6
Week 1 70% 4 x 9, 75% 5 x 7, 80% 7 x 5, 85% 10 x 3
Week 2(same routine, but add 20 pounds to every day)
Week 3(same as week 1, but add 30 pounds)
Week 4 rest rest work up to near max single(Days 5 & 6)
During this cycle, you should be squatting at a medium pace, not using too much acceleration, and not doing any speed work. The near max singles at the end of this cycle should net you a new 1RM.
This leads into the two week ?switching? period. During this period, the only squatting you should do is negatives, once or twice a week. Replace the squatting with explosive and dynamic work, such as box squats, squat jumps, leg presses with plenty of acceleration, etc. Basically anything you can think of which is explosive for the legs. This is supposed to be a rest and recovery period for your entire body, as well as a time to reintroduce the speed back in.
The third section is the Intense cycle. This will separate the men from the boys, and is good for up to another 30-40 pounds on your squat. When you start this phase, you will throw away your old 1RM, and use the new one you attained at the end of the Base cycle to plug in for all the loads.
Monday 65% x 3 75% x 4 85% 3 x 4 85% x 5
Wednesday 60% x 3 70% x 3 80% x 4 90% x 3, 85% 2 x 5
Saturday 65% x 4 70% x 4 80% 5 x 4
Monday 60% x 4 70% x 4 80% x 4 90% x 3, 90% 2 x 4
Wednesday 65% x 3 75% x 3 85% x 3 90% 3 x 3, 95% x 3
Saturday 65% x 3 75% x 3 85% x 4 90% 4 x 5
Monday 60% x 3 70% x 3 80% x 3 90% 5 x 5
Wednesday 60% x 3 70% x 3 80% x 3 95% 2 x 3
Saturday 65% x 3 75% x 3 85% x 3 95% 4 x 3
Monday 70% x 3 80% x 4 90% 5 x 5
Wednesday 70% x 3 80% x 3 95% 4 x 3
Saturday 75% x 3 90% x 4 80% 3 x 4
Once you have finished this cycle, you will taper down as if for a competition. This taper has you peaking for a Sunday max test.
Monday 70% x 3, 80% x 3, 90% 2 x 5, 95% 3 x 4
Wednesday 75% x 4, 85% 4 x 4
Sunday work up to new 1RM
The article states that a gain of up to one hundred pounds is possible on your squat, but I figure sixty to seventy is more realistic. Then again, the article also has you training raw, but testing(actually competing) in a full suit.
So this is my routine for the next eleven weeks. I started the Smolov with an estimated 1RM of 375, which in retrospect may have been a little conservative. I set my goal for squat at 450, which is lofty but attainable.
Before I started the 1-6, I was using 265 for eight heavy singles. So I used that same weight for my first wave, just for a comfortable starting off point. Since the Smolov runs eleven weeks, I set a bench goal of 375, for the same week as my squat goal. I have benched 300 a couple of times in the past, but something always came up to keep me from going farther or maintaining that level. I did get 315 once, but the guy spotting me was a member of the Two-Man Bench/Deadlift Team, so I don?t really count that one.
To avoid pushing too far with the 1-6, I will follow the recommendation of three weeks hard, followed by backing off for a week. On my backoff week, I plan to drop about twenty pounds below my most recent PR, and do 5 x 2. 40-Rep will stay the same.