T Nation

Russian Squat/Smovlov/Smovlov Jr


Has anyone here that is a natural powerlifter ran the 6 week squat routine or smovlov/smovlov jr? I love squatting and got a new pair of addipowers and would love to squat my balls off in them basically. however im just not sure cause i here so much back and forth of, yes naturals, can no naturals cant bla bla bla.

I guess id like to hear it from some natural lifters that mau have ACTUALLY done one of these and how the felt/ responded. I am 23 years old with about 2 years of solid training, my best squat is ATG 355x5 and beltless DL 430x5. Thanks for any and all input

*Also if you have done them what did you do for pressing and back ? I know NOT to deadlift, i was thinking just twice a week i would do something like Workout A: bench 3x5 military 3x5-8 DBrow 3x5-8 and B: long pause bench 3x5 push press/dips (alternate) 3x5 chinup 3x5-8 that way its low volume and basic ?


I have never ran the full smolov cycle, just the base cycle. It’s doable if you have decent form and no glaring weaknesses. Earlier this year I ran Smolov Base , Sheiko 29, Smolov Base successfully (each time I did the 2 week intro and skipped the max attempt). I did try to run Smolov Base back again but hadn’t fully recovered so I stopped a week into it and ran Sheiko 29/30/31. After that I attempt to run Smolov Base again but that was a disaster since my weak core caught up to me. Since then I’ve been running Sheiko.

I plan to do the same thing next year but with 3 successful Smolov Base cycles. It’s definitely doable if you’re conservative with your training max and have diet/recovery in check. I gained 1-2 lbs each time and slowly cut that weight during Sheiko to stay in my weight class.


I’ve ran the RSR as the traditional program and as the 3 lift 9 week program.

I much prefered the 9 week program. The regular RSR left me with some chronic over use issues by the time I finished. Having to take the time off/easy afterwords killed any extra gains I might have made.



i ran smolov, great fucking results but you really need to have your prehab work straight as an Arrow.

1 advice for base smolov, squat high-bar … every time i tried low-bar it wrecked my shoulders. You won’t miss out on any gains by doing high-bar, it’s a peaking routine but i used it to build a ton of quad strength in the base cycle and do low-bar on intensity cycle.

And if your gym allows it eat some clean food between sets, i find i can get alot more out of sessions and recover alot better by eating intra-workout (you could drink shakes, i don’t do shakes so for me it’s food. If your not allowed to eat they won’t complain about a snicker or something)


@stupidnumber13 thanks for the advice on the intra aid, i never buy protein or anything for shakes im to tight haha) I go to my old high school weightroom and have free range so ill figure out something for some during workout nutrition.

I already only squat high bar, just never could get comfortable doing low bar tried it for 4 or 5 months last year, just could never hit depth with it comfortable. Different strokes for different folks i guess.


was there any particular reason you only ran the base cycles? i understand that you can make 40 lb gains on just that alone (in some cases) but id be intrested why you didnt try the “intensification” phase?


The main reason why I skipped the intensification phase was because I didn’t want to take too much time off from deadlifting. My squat was far behind my deadlift last year (355 vs 501) but I still wanted to bring my deadlift up. Every time I finished the base cycle I only increased my squat training max by 15-20 lbs.

I know that it is a ton of volume to only increase my squat by 15-20 lbs but 15-20 lbs in 6 weeks is a lot better than 30 lbs or less in a year which I wasn’t satisfied with in the past from low volume work. I estimate that amount to be for keeps and not just a temporary increase in strength from peaking. Doing Sheiko in between is perfect because that allows time for me to work on weaknesses. I don’t see anything wrong with doing the intensification phase.


I tried to run the full smovlov once. I got probably 25lbs on my max then made it through about half of the next phase before i burned out. I was natural and about 21 at the time so my recovery was still pretty good. I fell back to where i was when i started which seems to be what happens to most people that aren’t online and increasing there max 30-50 pounds in a few weeks but somehow never breaking any records despite the success they have every time they run it.

I also ran the Russian squat and ended up with the solid 5% increase of my max that it calls for. I like this program a lot since it does a great job of working care of really pushing you then allowing for enough recovery.

I would also recommend looking at more programs. Tim Swords has a great program where you squat (FS and BS) 3 days a week. Paul Carter has a squat specialization program on his website that has you squatting 3 days a week. Chad over at JTstrength has the cowboy method and juggercube program that has you squatting a lot. look at more than a couple programs and chose the one you think you will do best on.


thanks alot for your reply, i forgot all about the cowboy method i bought that for 2$ not to run but just to give to the charity he was supporting with the funds at the time. I am leaning towards the base smolov cycle or the simpler russian squat routine though right now