T Nation

Question for Smolov Vets (Modi, etc.)


so i've finished Smolov Week 1, 190lbs 4x9, 202.5lbs 5x7, 216lbs 7x5, and 230lbs 10x3.

i just was at the gym and went for 205lbs 4x9, but i missed the very last rep (9/9/9/8). i took 5mins between 1st and 2nd sets, 5.5mins between 2nd and 3rd sets, and 6mins between 3rd and 4th sets.

i have 2 questions:

  1. the Smolov writeup advises +20lbs from 1st to 2nd week, but that is for lifters with higher squats. i figured out that, proportionately, i should be adding +10lbs. however, i tried +15lbs because i had heard that lighter lifters gain poundage faster than heavier lifters on Smolov.

judging from the length of my rest times and the fact that i failed the very last rep, have i added too much weight from the 1st to 2nd week?

  1. what were your rest times between sets for the 2nd and 3rd weeks? Modi told me his rest times for the first week, and those worked pretty well for me.

thanks a lot!


I would have taken a 10, 15 or 20 minute break and done another set of 9. I wouldn't have left the gym until I finished the reps for the day.

With that said, you may have gone too heavy with adding 15lbs. You may want to drop back to +10lb for the rest of the week. If you kill the weights with the +10lbs, you could always add +10 again next week. If it felt about right, then just add 5lbs next week. The last thing you want to be doing is missing reps on each session because you misjudged the weights.


very helpful info Modi, i guess i will drop the weight a bit.

do you remember what your rest times were the second week? like i said, modeling my rest times after your rest times helped me very much during the first week.


Honestly, my rest times were all as needed. The deeper I got into the program, the longer I needed to rest, and the more sets in a day, the longer I rested as I got to the later sets. I would just rest as long as needed. You don't want to be on a clock.


Agreed, you don't need a clock. However, getting experienced enough to make the pauses by feel, is something that is developed over time. If in doubt, rest more, not less. Doing the high reps, you should always be able to get the reps, provided you have eaten adequately and want it bad enough.

You do not tell what your body weight is, it would be helpful if you did. I never read that lighter lifters should increase the weights less by week two, I would rather decrease the pre 1RM for the entire cycle, as this would give you experience without making you miss sets.

Still missing a rep or two in a workout is not a disaster, but if this keep happening, the program might be to heavy, and you could back off some on the 1RM the program is based off.

Eating and getting enough rest is very important on this program. Fail on that, and you ask for trouble.


thanks for the reply Stallion. i am 152lbs, if that helps any.

i have decided not to lower the increases but instead try to soldier on with longer rest breaks. it worked today, as i completed a tough 216lbs 5x7; however, i did take long breaks. it took me 30 mins to complete all 5 sets.

by the way, great job on hitting 250kg Stallion. :slight_smile:


Froggbuster: Well done on the 216lbs 5x7reps.. The 7 rep day is very hard. Just take as long breaks as you need. It does not matter if it takes a very long time. The point is to get all the sets done, then your body will become stronger.

If you come close to failure in a set, have some more rest before the next set, and just clench your teeth, and be determined. YOU CAN DO IT! Thanks for the compliment.