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If My Only Goal is to Squat More...


Right now i have only one goal...to squat 405lbs (currently @ 295 x 1 parallel).

That being said i've been looking at the programs people have seemed to use on this forum.

Smolov would make sense, but i'm not sure i have the work capacity to squat that much...the mpst i have squat is 2x per week. i also play bball on sundays so that would interfere with recovery.

I'm currently on 531 (which is a great program!) but i feel since my main goal is to up the squat then i should squat more often.

I'm sure someone has gone through this before and I was wondering what your thoughts were. Should i try to modify smolov or is there another program i should look into? Thanks


Well, I have not done smolov, but have desired to up my bench press before and specialization worked extremely well. I did thibs "8 weeks to a record bench" and granted I didn't do it for 8 weeks, I still made considerable gains in the time that I did it.

Your other lifts won't suffer terribly if you do a Smolov cycle especially since it's dealing with the squat which is arguably the best mass/overall strength building compound exercise out there. I would do the Smolov since your number 1 goal seems to be squatting more weight and follow the routine to the letter. (besides if I do remember, there is some accessory work for bodyparts that might be neglected in the program too).

Hope this helps you make a decision. Either way, I'm sure you'll be squatting more very soon.

Good luck bro.


Thanks for your response...

I remember reading another thread (forget which one) someone said if you arent squatting 3x per week dont even try smolov. can anyone attest to this? also, i'm thinking that playing bball will affect the recovery too much. maybe smolov jr


There is a Smolov preparatory cycle, made exactly to increase work capacity before entering the "real" Smolov. I don't remeber which # is (maybe 29, but I may be wrong...). Just google it.


waits for Stallion

This is his department.


Squatting 405 is not hard, just eat and keep on 5/3/1. If you expect it to happen after 1 cycle of 5/3/1 then I can't help you. It's not a matter of you doing anything wrong at this point, just be patient.


And I think he'll say "If you don't have the work capacity for Smolov, work on it. I would say the best way is by doing Smolov."



go get'em stallion


Is the preparatory cycle smolov jr?


I know i would get there eventually on 531 but since my real focus is the squat, i figured i could get there faster with another program. i may be wrong, but i thought that subtracting the other lifts from the equation would help me recover faster, then i could squat more frequently...no?



waits for stallion's reply


Well, I'm not stallion, but I'll throw my .02 in. I've done Smolov base mesocycle (didn't last because I started too heavy) and Smolov Jr for front squats (very difficult). Jr is not a intro to the main one. You can modify the program to 3 days per week. However, if you want to do that, then I would recommend the Russian Squat Program.

Not as hardcore as either Smolov, but it's designed for 3 days/week. You might have to run it a few times to get to 405, but it is a solid routine.


I think i found the "prep" cycle you were talking about. does this look correct?

Day 1 65%x8x3, 70%x5, 75%x2x2, 80%x1
Day 2 65%x8x3, 70%x5, 75%x2x2, 80%x1
Day 3 70%x5x4, 75%x3, 80%x2x2, 90%x1

And thats for 2 weeks...


Stallion is in Thailand for 2 weeks. So, don't hold your breath, unless he logs on from there.

DG, you could do Smolov Jr. That was how I started after a 6 month layoff. It is good, but it is not as extreme as regular Smolov.


Sure, if you're only squatting you will get stronger faster, but where are your other lifts? Is your DL and Bench significantly higher than the squat? If not, you don't need specialized programs at this point.


What was your main decision to start with smolov jr vs smolov? The reason i ask is because you probably started jr stronger than i am right now (i am only at 265lbsx1). so it would probably make sense for me to start jr. or would the intro cycle be sufficient at preparing me for regular smolov?


I knew I wanted to try Smolov, but I have never squatted for high reps and never squatted 4x's a week. I felt Smolov Jr would help be get close to the rep work required for Smolov and get my body used to squatting 4x's over 7 days for 3 weeks. The soreness the first week was "interesting", but after the first week it was replaced by tightness. I had to do a lot of stretching and foam rolling to get loose.

After I went thru Jr and tested, I took a couple of weeks before I started the Intro Phase of Smolov. The Intro Phase was cake compared to Smolov Jr. and IMO, is not really a good prep if you aren't used to squatting with such volume. Smolov is the hardest workout experience I have ever faced. It takes a LOT to get thru it and the guys on this forum help a lot with their support, but you have to have the intestinal fortitude to get thru it cuz it's YOUR thighs that burn, YOUR lungs that feel like they will burst, YOUR hips that dont want to bend.

I would suggest trying Jr and then decide if you want to do regular Smolov. But, keep in mind, Smolov Jr and Smolov are NOT in the same league. But, Jr will show you a little of what it takes to get thru.

Another thing is start a log, no matter which one you do. All of the guys that care and have been thru Smolov before will be there to support you. The reason is, we know how grueling it was and when we read someone else's log, it makes us want to do it again. It's a sickness.


A friend who is unable to train upperbody due to an judo injury is currently running squats and front squats on 531. Could use something like that to squat more frequently.


if you have one goal to squat 400...maybe go for Bill starr 5x5 it will help your squat and help work capacity..then go to smolov if people have completed it why not you..maybe smolov jr then go to full smolov


I wouldn't be surprised. He can sense these things. It's like he got a squatty sense or something.