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Smolov Advice?


I have been looking at the smolov training program, can anyone offer some advice as where you need to be before starting this? I am currently squatting 152.5kg for 5x5 and 180kg for 1 rep. would like to see if this routine can keep my squat going up like it has been beyond the 200kg + region.
If anyone has tried the smolov or could shed some light on this for me would be much appreciated


I say go for it.


my squat is right about where yours is and i'm starting it in about a week in order to peak for a meet in September. I have it mapped out perfectly. i have two concerns:

  1. my hips. can they take the beating they are about to get?

  2. how do i fit my bench in there? i guess i will just get used to benching once after i squat. and then having a separate bench day. that gives me 5 days a week lifting.


The Smolov FAQ says:

Can I do upper body lifting during the full Smolov Squat routine?

Of course. Depending on your level of conditioning you may not need to reduce volume or intensity for upper body lifts. Some things may need significant adjustment or replacement with alternate exercises (e.g., bent rows may not be the best idea due to the high involvement of the low back).

When do I do my upper body lifting during the Smolov?

Whenever you can fit it in or prefer to do it. I like to do it in workouts separate from the squat workouts (bench in the morning, squat in the evening).


I may be being daft here, but it sounds like what you're doing is working well for you, so why do you want to switch it up?


I know what you mean, it's just my gains have slowed as expected. at 152.5kg i did 3x5, then the next week did 4x5 then last week got all 5x5. My gains have come on well due too only training at most 12-16 week programmes. I am considering also charles poliquin's highly rated german volume training.


I'd say at least two years of squatting experience where you squat at least two times every week, preferably more, before you start smolov. If you start it with less experience, and less work capacity, it could be wise to lower the pre-1RM with 10-15kg. You could also consider doing just the base meso cycle and not the entire program. However, if you go through with the entire program, you can expect to gain something like 25kg+ on your squat, I did it the first time and went from 172.5kg to 200kg. It was the hardest thing ever. And I worked myself so hard, that I lost motivation for training after completing it.

There is a smolov experience thread on this forum.

Read it, and google smolov, read everything you can, and spend at least a full week reading all that you can. Then, if you decide this is for you, make it number one priority in life, and do not be afraid of gaining fat. Eat, eat and then eat some more, do your squats, rest and sleep, and the mighty God of squats will bless you with an awesome strong squat, and your legs will turn into carjacks.

However, most people that do run smolov fail, for various reasons. Some alter the program, some add heavy deads (that's a killer), some eat too little, some just get killed by the volume, and some get acute injuries.

So it could be a gamble, if you go for it, you will most likely at times feel like you have no motivation to live, and you will be depressed and not feeling like you want to train, but oh the sweet taste of success when you make that PR-attempt after 3 months of incredible hard work.. That's so sweet, you cannot even imagine.

So if you have what it takes, do it..


I've always done the benches after the squats. The benefit of this is that you are properly warmed up, although maybe a bit tired, but I don't think this would affect the strength gains as compared to doing the benches in a single session of its own. And then you have the logistics. Showering, travelling time, dirty clothes, unless you have a home gym setup, or unless training is your no. 1. priority in life.


What Stallion said. I am glad I did it, but it was a motherfucker of a program. The rapid gains come at a fairly high psychological and physical price. But, again, I am glad I did it and felt a real sense of accomplishment when it was over. And I actually made very good gains on bench and overhead press during the switching and intense phase. But good luck with anything else while your body adjusts during the base phase.


Eat food like you are going to be fucking dropped into Antarctica butt ass naked with a tooth brush the next day. Repeat everyday for the duration. I also tried my hardest for 8 hours of sleep. Not always possible with a job and life but you need rest.


Also, read everything stallion says on the subject and take it to heart, the man knows his Smolov and it was advice that got me through it even if he doesn't know it.


  • 1 on this. Modi's log and comments in the Smolov thread were also very helpful as well.