Smolov and 1-6
Deployment in Kuwait is rather boring?not much to do except watch Arab TV or surf the net. So I spend an inordinate amount of off time reading T-Nation, usually skimming through various forums and digging through old articles for new nuggets.
This is how I happened upon the information I used to develop my current routine. I had been using a program I found elsewhere, which had been serving me rather well for the last two years or so. Dang, two years. How?s that for stagnating? But it was easy to follow, easy to push progress, and I enjoyed the results I got from it.
But upon recent digging through articles and forums, I found several new pieces to add to my puzzle. I started on the Advanced German Volume Training program, but didn?t feel like I had done much work the first week. I decided I would rather seek strength(as I had already been doing) and gain size as a side benefit. So dig I did.
My research garnered me several worthy nuggets, including one I had used before. So I decided to piece together a new routine, using some of the old and some of the new. The additions were: the Smolov Squat Specialization Cycle(which I saw mentioned in a forum post and Googled), Waterbury's Six-Days-Per-Week for Triceps, and Poliquin's 1-6 Method. It?s funny, details at work usually are my downfall; but give me some paper, a pen, and ideas for a new lifting regimen, and I?m all over it. I shuffled the numbers, threw them out on the table, and came up with the following routine:
1-6 Bench 4 waves
Pullups, using various grips and methods 8-10 x just shy of failure
Overhead DB Press 5 x 5
Squat 5 x 3, then switched to Smolov
Rack Half Press 5 x 3
Screw Curl 4 x 6
Energy Work, usually intervals on Elliptical Machine
Rotator Cuff Work(Internal/External Rotations, YTWL)
Run 2-3 miles, or Elliptical Intervals
Narrow Grip Pressdown 2 x 25
Bent Row(or T-Bar) 5 x 5
Seated Cable Row
3 x 5
Cobra 4 x 6
(replaced Deadlift with Squat here for Smolov)
Weighted Dip 8 x 3
Reverse-Grip EZ-Bar Curl 6 x 4
Rotator Cuff Work
Run or ESD
DB Skullcrusher 2 x 12
Weighted Pullup 10 x 5
(Box Squatted here on old program, changed for Smolov)
Close Grip Bench 3 x 5
Incline DB Curl 5 x 5
(added Smolov session)
Rotator Cuff Work
Due to time constraints with work and allotted PT time, some of the longer days get split into multiple sessions in order to get everything done. I was using some Westside protocols in my squatting and benching; I would do one max effort day for each, but would do a dynamic effort day for squat(box squats) and a rep effort day for bench(40-rep bench).
The 40-Rep Bench came from something I read about trying to max out the Football Combine Test(I think it was here, don?t recall). Basically, you are doing forty total reps with the same weight, the goal is to do as few sets as possible to get the forty. The original article called for using 225, but when I started using it, my 225 was too close to my 1RM, so I used 185, planning on moving up as I got stronger(I never got to where I felt I could move up). Use your own rest periods for everything(except where specified). I use thirty seconds for most movements, except for the 1-6, Smolov squatting(90 seconds), and 40-Rep Bench(120 seconds).
My max effort bench day consisted of eight heavy singles, as close to my 1RM as possible. I never tested my 1RM for this; I guesstimated for a starting point and then pushed the weight up when I could. Made decent gains with this, but every time I got close to my goal of three plates, something would happen. I started having shoulder pain, which caused a short layoff(and the steady rotator work seen above); went on a trip for work where there were no gyms; won an amateur MMA fight before deploying, and then completely stopped lifting for about two months. Always something, right?
The 1-6 benching slid right in where I was doing 8 x 1 before, but I kept the 40-Rep because I like doing it. Here is the 1-6 in a nutshell: you bench as close to your 1RM as you can, then rest for 4-10 minutes. Lower the weight to your 6RM and crank out six, then use the same rest period. That is one wave. For each successive wave, you bump the weight up five pounds or so. Basically, the 1RM effort followed by the long rest period primes your CNS for the 6RM, which then amplifies it that much more when you go back to a heavy single above your 1RM. I have only done four waves of this at a time due to time limitations, so I have no idea how many waves this would work for.