T Nation

Full 13 Weeks of Smolov


So I have decided to do all of smolov. I"ve done smolov jr and the base before, but never the entire thing.

The last time I tested my max, about two months ago, I was at 425. I put in 400 as my smolov max.

I am going to try to do other exercises this time, unlike when I did the base and only squatted.

Any tips from anyone that has done this program correctly and survived? Thanks

I'm hoping to have a 450 max by the end of this.


Good luck. Pray that you will jot get injured.


Kick some ass, Red. It's interesting how so many people are starting to do it in the late fall/early winter which is a bitch for your joints. I am going to be doing full smolov also, either with a low bar, wide stance squat or for deadlifts...


Im in the middle of the switching phase, got about 20 pounds out of the base, hope for the same out of the intense cycle.


What did you have the most trouble with so far and what did you do about it?

I'm a little concerned about the higher rep stuff.

Just getting through each rep and set with good form and being smart.

Makes me feel sick sometimes doing that high rep heavy weight. I wonder if I worked on my breathing if that would help.


Keep us updated.

Going to be intense.


So, I know some people have done this.

How did you guys go about doing other work outs. On days you didn't do smolov? Before or after smolov days?

What about the high rep stuff. Did you just take as much time as possible in between sets? Did you go well below parallel or just hit it?

I know you people learned some stuff, so...help a guy out. And yes, I've looked over other smolov threads. Would like to hear some stuff here though.


I have completed the full 13 week cycle with around the same weights as you. In terms of doing other workouts I would suggest doing them whenever feels best, experiment with going after a work out and on different days. In my opinion different days are best mostly because after the workout I was feeling pretty beat up especially during the intense cycle.

In regards to the high reps yes they are awful but they can really be a motivator once you finish the sets, I definitely took my time in between sets and made it a goal to not fail reps so take your time and as long as your hitting legal depth or lower I would count it. No point in practicing high reps

Smolov was a very taxing program but keep up on your eating, sleeping, and stretching and you will love the results. In my experience I wish I had done more upper body work during the program. I found that I was much more sore, even my upper body, during the base cycle which deterred me from a lot of upper body exercises but I did still do it. The intense cycle has me much more mentally fatigued so bench press suffered more during this cycle.

I would keep the volume low and stay focused on your squats and you will amaze yourself by the end of the intense cycle hitting 4x3's with your old 1RM.


I took long ass breaks, as long as I needed, I didnt fail any reps and that was all that mattered to me, I buried all my reps as well. I did defrancos agile 8 and a ton of foam rolling before every session and never got sore, except for my upper back which had a nice permanent mark from the barbell, and some pain in my wrists.


Just started the base. Pretty miserable.

280 4x9. Took me like an hour from starting warm up sets to the end of it.

While I'm doing it I'm fine. After I rack it, I want to die. I guess that's why a lot of people don't do this. Oh well, I'm already in it now.


Agreed, but after you finish the base its quite a sense of accomplishment


The 4 sets of 9 were the worst for me.

I did the whole thing but its been a little while. Gonna have to go back and look, but from what I remember...

Foam roll, a lot. Make sure you warm up properly. I did a lot of leg swings, shoulder warmups, took my time with lighter weights, etc. All I did was warm up and squat on those days. I believe I did something of an upper day on 1 of the off days. Just trying to maintain really. Eat. Sleep.

I got 50lbs out of the entire cycle. 465 to 515


465...to 515. See, that's the kind of stuff that will help me get through this. I'm at 425 right now. Thinking about getting 500....

If I could get 50 pounds, that would be great.

How did your other lifts go? I feel like I'm going to lose some on bench. I really have to work with it to keep it up and I don't think I can bench at the level I need to and smolov.


My bench went up substantially when I ran the full program, and I didn't do any upper at all in the base phase. I did one upper vertical and one upper horizontal day during the switching and intense phase and made the best bench gains I think I have ever made. I suspect it was from jacked hormone levels from heavy squatting multiple times a week and all the food I ate (like, piles and piles of food).

Also, in addition to what others have said, I think a nice nightly walk for about an hour or some time just goofing around in a pool will help with recovery. Nothing too taxing but you want to keep moving for some active recovery especially if you have a desk job.


I can't find my old book, 3 years ago. But I did keep a log here and the first 4 or 5 pages are my go at Smolov with vids. Take a look.



My gf did the full 13 week cycle, took a few weeks off and started it again.

She benches on Tues, Thurs, and on Saturday after her squats. She does sheiko bench and it works very well for her. she generally does some pulldowns, face pulls and delt work after that.

As for the base cycle, why not use 375 as your max? Your max is 425, and if you're lifting everything with the force of someone who squats 425, as opposed to the force of someone squatting 375, you won't get weaker, it's brutally hard either way, and you max after the base cycle anyways to get your weights for the mesocycle. Harder isn't always better.

Either way, best of luck, Smolov is badass.


Got through the first week of the base.

I think I might not go up any weight on the second week.

My left knee is sore. Other than that I'm fine.


As I said in another thread, I got about 80 lbs on my deadlift on it using the intese phase. It was miserable. But awesome.

Best advice I have for you is foam roll before and after, and stretch after you foam roll. If you miss a day of hip, knee and ankle mobilization or soft tissue work, it WILL catch up with you in big way eventually. This will really help keep some of the aches away.


Aragorn, I tried sending you a private message, but I don't think it worked... How much of your deadlift increase did you keep/roughly how much weight did you gain?


Congratulations man! that's awesome as Smolov is as hard as it can get.

I challenge you to add 10lbs, you can do that if you made it through the first week.

Where is your knee sore? if it's the patellar a strap makes it go away, not totally, but enough to keep squatting.

Keep going and updating man