I’m a complete wimp when it comes to squatting, so I decided to do Smolov. I also suck at introductions. Blamma.
Right, after the winter break (in December, I did a whopping 6 workouts and ate like a girl), I weighed in at 166 lbs at 5’8’’. Embarrassing stuff, yes.
According to most recommendations, I should have been squatting twice a week for 2 years with high volume / high intensity before attempting Smolov. I haven’t. So if I die, it’s my fault for being retarded.
However, seeing as how most Smolovers complain of lower back overload during the program, I figured I needed to prep my lower back in record time. Being dumb as shit, I decided against soliciting advice anywhere and just made a gut decision.
Waterbury’s Singular Workout: http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do;jsessionid=8F07B8B9432ABF9607C0828B77C50134.hydra?id=1738331
I realise he’s not the most popular author amongst the big guys here, but the program layout made sense to me from the perspective of hammering my lower back (low volume, high intensity, high density).
I picked Rack Pulls from below the knee, Back Squats and Snatch Grip Platform Deads as my main exercises for lower back pummeling.
So, On January 9th, I did Max Testing. At 166, I squatted a girly 275 (my all time PR was an equally girly 305 with very questionable depth).
After completing the Waterbury stint, on February 5th, weighing in at 177, I squatted 305 (rock bottom). I failed at 315. I’m fairly certain I could’ve gotten it, but as I slowed down about halfway up, I lost my composure, forgot all about pulling down and driving through, and got stuck. I set my max at 295 for purposes of the Smolov Cycle.
The next day, I breezed through the recommended 5 reps at 85% (245).
Gotta say I’m satisfied with my choice of the Waterbury program for an introductory meso. 30lbs on my squat and 11lbs of bodyweight is decent in 3 weeks.
Monday February 9th, Smolov begins:
4x9 @ 205
First set was way too easy, and I was already cocky from the ease with which I hit 5x245, so I figured this’d be a walk in the park. By the 3rd set, my quads were rigid as shit. Still got through it without too much of a hassle tho.
5x7 @ 220
DOMS were fucking with me all tuesday and wednesday leading up to the session, and after the warm-up (I do the whole protyazhka sequence as prescribed, I can even OH Squat now) and stretching I was trying to convince myself to lower the weight. I didn’t though, and after the first couple of sets, I was alright.
7x5 @ 235
Sore as shit again. Daily stretching of the hip flexors is an absolute must for me, or they start pinching after my first warm-up set. I find that once I get past the first 3-4 sets of squatting, my confidence really gets on a roll and I can finish the workout with real energy.
10x3 @ 245
DOMS had dissipated somewhat. Again though, I’m not really comfortable until I get the first couple of sets under my belt, but when I do, I know I can get through the whole thing.
Cliffnotes after week 1:
- I’ve gained 2 more lbs, 179 now. Need to step my calories up next week. 2 lbs a week is great stuff, but I really want to stay ahead of the curve here, so I don’t crash halfway through the shitfuck week 2 looks to become.
Rather eat too much than too little at this point. Also, this is usually the bodyweight where I plateau. I need to move my set point here.
Lower back is aching a little once I start my work sets, but by the end of the workout, it’s gone. No troubles in evenings or on off days.
Lifting on weekends is great. I usually struggle to maintain sound eating habits if I have both saturday and sunday off (lower bw on monday than preceding friday), but going to the gym keeps me structured throughout the weekend.
I squat shoeless. This is just a habit from Bali where I didn’t really wear shoes at all. I’ve no idea what this means for my squat, but as long as get deep enough and get all my sets, it can’t be too bad. Shoeless OH Squats should put me in the ‘flexible enough’ category.
My squat form has never been this good. All this repetition is obviously great for proprioception.
Every workout is a full-body workout. So after I’ve squatted, I perform a push and a pull. Push Press, Chins, Paused Bench, DB Rows, Dips, Pull Ups, Speed Bench, Kroc Rows (in that order, figure it out). I’ll put up the numbers on these as I make progress.
This week, I’ve rested 2 minutes between sets. I have a feeling I’ll be extending these next week.
I like this shit.