T Nation

Only Got 15lb Out of Smolov


#1

I am running the full Smolov training cycle this summer. I just finished the base cycle, deloaded, and tested my max today. My max before the base cycle was 270 (weighing 160), and I hit 285 today (still at 160). Needless to say, I was expecting to get a lot more out of the base cycle. I thought that Smolov base typically resulted in improvements of closer to 30lbs?


#2

Varies across individuals. There are no guarantees. You should be happy with a PR, nonetheless.


#3

Smolov is a peaking cycle, and one that tends to work better for seasoned lifters. Kids with low squats will sometimes get crazy jumps from it but due to it being a peaking cycle they usually do not keep a lot of the gains.

With 270 at a 160 bw you probably should have gone with a routine like Sheiko, 5x5, or something of the sort to hammer down your technique since the strength lvl is not really there yet. Just keep squatting. but remember Smolov is a [u] peaking cycle [/u]


#4

The base cycle is more about volume and frequency than a peaking cycle. It typically soes not lead to as much jump in max as the intense phase will, depending on what kind of training you were doing before smolov. If you were doin a lot of high rep volume stuff prior to the base cycle, you might not get as much out of it as a guy doing low rep work. On the other hand it might not be as brutal for you as it would for a guy used to only doing 3 reps lol. The other question is how much you fudged your max down when estimating your start percentages.

I thoroughly disagree with the poster that says “smolov is a peaking cycle”. 13 weeks is not a peaking cycle. The last 4 weeks (the intense phase) though could be considered a peaking cycle in and of itself perhaps.


#5

You can’t squat 2x BW and you did Smolov…

I’m not trying to get into an argument here about “credentials” needed to do x program or type of training…

But if you’re not at 2x BW squat yet just go to the gym three times a week, squat several sets for 3-6 reps each time, and add weight to the bar.

Do not complicate this shit.


#6

You didn’t gain any weight and yet you added 15lbs to your squat in 1 month. I don’t know what you were expecting, but if you can hold onto those gains, it won’t have been a bad month.


#7

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
The base cycle is more about volume and frequency than a peaking cycle. It typically soes not lead to as much jump in max as the intense phase will, depending on what kind of training you were doing before smolov. If you were doin a lot of high rep volume stuff prior to the base cycle, you might not get as much out of it as a guy doing low rep work. On the other hand it might not be as brutal for you as it would for a guy used to only doing 3 reps lol. The other question is how much you fudged your max down when estimating your start percentages.

I thoroughly disagree with the poster that says “smolov is a peaking cycle”. 13 weeks is not a peaking cycle. The last 4 weeks (the intense phase) though could be considered a peaking cycle in and of itself perhaps.[/quote]

Base cycle has you squatting 12 days out of 21. That is 9 more squat sessions more than the avg person. Even a higher level squatter (upper 500’s) will get past a 6 squat with it but then regress if they do not keep up the volume. So yes I would consider it a peaking cycle. As would the literature available on the program.


#8

I wouldn’t define peaking base on the number of days of squat sessions. It’s an interplay of volume, frequency, and intensity.

I squatted heavy singles every day for three months straight. That’s at least 90 sessions. No peaking at all.


#9

Not everyone gets 30 pounds out of it. There are a lot of factors that play into it; diet, experience, rest, timing, form, etc, etc. Be happy that you even got anything? Good job though, I wouldn’t have been able to finish it if I was in your shoes. You can probably make better and smoother progress squatting 3x’s a week. Then add 5 pounds every week.

I always thought Smolov was a peaking cycle, unless you’re someone that squats 95% of your max for 10x3 every 3 weeks.


#10

[quote]Sutebun wrote:
You can’t squat 2x BW and you did Smolov…

I’m not trying to get into an argument here about “credentials” needed to do x program or type of training…

But if you’re not at 2x BW squat yet just go to the gym three times a week, squat several sets for 3-6 reps each time, and add weight to the bar.

Do not complicate this shit.[/quote]
I agree with this guy, when I was in high school we did squats mon,wed,fri along with all the other lower body lifts(except DL only one day a week) and we all got strong as an OX before we were done… Had a 800 700 and a few 600 LB squatters all in HIGH SCHOOL!! Just squat 3 days a week… If you want to put a hurting on your legs do 5 sets of 10, that is a pain!!


#11

[quote]Curls4Girls wrote:

Base cycle has you squatting 12 days out of 21. That is 9 more squat sessions more than the avg person. Even a higher level squatter (upper 500’s) will get past a 6 squat with it but then regress if they do not keep up the volume. So yes I would consider it a peaking cycle. As would the literature available on the program.
[/quote]

You’re telling me the average trainee only has one squat day a week? Maybe a bodybuilder. Or a weekend warrior. But a weekend warrior isn’t somebody who should even consider Smolov, and this is the powerlifting forum. I don’t know any strength athlete, be it powerlifter, strongman, or olympic lifter that squats once a week. If they DO…then they have a second leg day that 95% of the time also includes a squat variation as a supplemental lift, because it’s deadlift day. Hell, collegiate athlets squat more than once a week. 1x per week squatting is sissy shit for a strength athlete unless you are a) injured or b) you are focusing very hard on the deadlift, which is of course understandable as you want to focus on that one lift. You can’t define “peaking program” based on amount of days squatted in a given period of time, as Doh has said.

I’ve spent months on end in the past squatting heavy 3-4 times a week, in addition to doing explosive pulls of some kind. My brother squats 5 days a week and has for about a year. Those aren’t peaking programs…that’s normal. It is a specialization program but unless you are equating “peaking” with “specialization” I’m not seeing it.


#12

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
I don’t know any strength athlete, be it powerlifter, strongman, or olympic lifter that squats once a week. If they DO…then they have a second leg day that 95% of the time also includes a squat variation as a supplemental lift,
[/quote]

This.


#13

The other question is how much you fudged your max down when estimating your start percentages.

I squatted 270 two days before starting Smolov, so the number was 100% accurate


#14

[quote]Sutebun wrote:
You can’t squat 2x BW and you did Smolov…

I’m not trying to get into an argument here about “credentials” needed to do x program or type of training…

But if you’re not at 2x BW squat yet just go to the gym three times a week, squat several sets for 3-6 reps each time, and add weight to the bar.

Do not complicate this shit.[/quote]

That’s the thing, though. I’ve been lifting seriously for a year, and I stagnated on linear progression about 8 months ago. I’ve tried 5/3/1, high frequency 5/3/1, squatting heavy 3x a week without any set program, and all I got out of it was a 270 squat at my first powerlifting meet a month ago. I figured that I needed to try something else, so I decided to do Smolov.


#15

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Curls4Girls wrote:

Base cycle has you squatting 12 days out of 21. That is 9 more squat sessions more than the avg person. Even a higher level squatter (upper 500’s) will get past a 6 squat with it but then regress if they do not keep up the volume. So yes I would consider it a peaking cycle. As would the literature available on the program.
[/quote]

You’re telling me the average trainee only has one squat day a week? Maybe a bodybuilder. Or a weekend warrior. But a weekend warrior isn’t somebody who should even consider Smolov, and this is the powerlifting forum. I don’t know any strength athlete, be it powerlifter, strongman, or olympic lifter that squats once a week. If they DO…then they have a second leg day that 95% of the time also includes a squat variation as a supplemental lift, because it’s deadlift day. Hell, collegiate athlets squat more than once a week. 1x per week squatting is sissy shit for a strength athlete unless you are a) injured or b) you are focusing very hard on the deadlift, which is of course understandable as you want to focus on that one lift. You can’t define “peaking program” based on amount of days squatted in a given period of time, as Doh has said.

I’ve spent months on end in the past squatting heavy 3-4 times a week, in addition to doing explosive pulls of some kind. My brother squats 5 days a week and has for about a year. Those aren’t peaking programs…that’s normal. It is a specialization program but unless you are equating “peaking” with “specialization” I’m not seeing it.

[/quote]

Sam Byrd ( 1013 Squat at 198 equipped, 800+ RAW no wraps) world record holder in more than a few weight classes with or with out wraps equipped or not only Squats once a week… and I know this because I squat with him every Sunday. Every other week we MAY do a speed Squat or Front Squat session but not in the past month.


#16

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
You’re telling me the average trainee only has one squat day a week? Maybe a bodybuilder. Or a weekend warrior. But a weekend warrior isn’t somebody who should even consider Smolov, and this is the powerlifting forum. I don’t know any strength athlete, be it powerlifter, strongman, or olympic lifter that squats once a week.
[/quote]

5/3/1 with BBB. 1 day a week of squatting.


#17

[quote]Curls4Girls wrote:
Smolov is a peaking cycle, and one that tends to work better for seasoned lifters. Kids with low squats will sometimes get crazy jumps from it but due to it being a peaking cycle they usually do not keep a lot of the gains.

With 270 at a 160 bw you probably should have gone with a routine like Sheiko, 5x5, or something of the sort to hammer down your technique since the strength lvl is not really there yet. Just keep squatting. but remember Smolov is a [u] peaking cycle [/u][/quote]

Exactly what I came to say.


#18

I don’t really think the problem is the timing of the program. It doesn’t really matter what your max is(to an extent, of course if you can only do 150x1 you shouldn’t be thinking Smolov) But for the most part, if you can squat with good form throughout the program, eat,sleep and recover properly, then the program will help you get stronger and can teach you a lot about squatting.

You don’t squat for times a week working up to high percentages of your max for 13 weeks and not gain a pound if you’re doing the program right.

He probably didn’t eat enough. And there were probably some other things he could have done better. Form issues, sleep, lack of recovery, like using foam rolling.

The program is fine. He didn’t use it properly.


#19

[quote]RonSwanson wrote:

[quote]Sutebun wrote:
You can’t squat 2x BW and you did Smolov…

I’m not trying to get into an argument here about “credentials” needed to do x program or type of training…

But if you’re not at 2x BW squat yet just go to the gym three times a week, squat several sets for 3-6 reps each time, and add weight to the bar.

Do not complicate this shit.[/quote]

That’s the thing, though. I’ve been lifting seriously for a year, and I stagnated on linear progression about 8 months ago. I’ve tried 5/3/1, high frequency 5/3/1, squatting heavy 3x a week without any set program, and all I got out of it was a 270 squat at my first powerlifting meet a month ago. I figured that I needed to try something else, so I decided to do Smolov.[/quote]

How much weight did you put on in that year of training?

And if you’ve been training seriously for a year and stagnated 8 months ago, do you mean you only made progress for 4 months out of that year? And you ran 3 different programs in that year?


#20

[quote]krummdiddy wrote:
Had a 800 700 and a few 600 LB squatters all in HIGH SCHOOL!! Just squat 3 days a week… If you want to put a hurting on your legs do 5 sets of 10, that is a pain!![/quote]

Really?? That’s some world class numbers for HS kids.