Cool idea formfunction! Its awesome to see so many people endeavoring on Smolov.
Heres the basic gist of my experience on Smolov.
Intro, Base, Switching, and Intense Phase.
I’m 5’9", started at 164 lbs,
ended at around 170lbs, +/- 2 lbs.
Started at a 1RM of 275 lbs.
Completed Base with a 315 lbs 1RM.
Completed Intense cycle with 350 Lbs max.
So, overall, I had a total 75 lbs increase in my squat.
Alright, so, will I do it again? Absofrigginlutely. During the process I gained 6 pounds till the Intense cycle, then I lost about 2 lbs. Honestly, I believe the slight loss in weight was from “overtraining.” I was extremely worn down, by the end of the Intense cycle. I’m an astrophysics major, study BJJ and Muay Thai, so with the class workload and doing Smolov was the toughest part. Getting my studies done, working in the 1 hour squat workouts, trying to eat enough, and trying to get to bed at a descent hour was the greatest challenge. I found that without 8-10 hours of sleep, my squat workouts were almost unbearable, but I got through them.
My appetite increased a good bit during the base cycle, and stayed the same throughout. One thing I did that really helped me with calories and energy was probably not the healthiest thing, but it worked and I didn’t gain any fat from it (fast metabolism). But, I made a point to eat an entire large pizza 3-4 times per week before bed. Now, I should note I made these from scratch! I believe pizza out (Papa Johns, Little Ceasers, Dominos, etc.) is too damn salty to do this, and I would think would NOT be good for your body. But if you buy your own ingredients, make your crust from the mix, etc., this was a sure way to get my food intake/calories down.
I made a point to stretch at least 2-3 times a day, my hips and groin got really tight, and good stretching made the difference in my workouts. Next time around, I will add foam rolling to the mix too.
Be prepared for pain. At one point, during the base, my left quad really felt like it was tore in half, it hurt really, really bad with every rep. Being either retarded or stubborn, I kept pushing through my workouts-- and the pain went away after a few days.
Make sure you’re used to squatting heavy at least twice a week before attempting this. I personally did a strength program from VA Tech’s football team, and involved a lot of leg workouts 4 days per week, but no where near the intensity of smolov. But I feel it prepared my body fairly well. You can also try Smolov Jr. or Starting Strength 5x5, as some prep programs.
Things to keep in mind:
-Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
-Be stretching before you even start this shit.
-Go ahead and get used to using the tight back, pressurized breathing methods, etc. It WAS the ONLY way I got through the intense cycle. Be doing it all through the base, as you need to have it down pat.
-Remember, by the intense cycle you’ll be squatting 90-95% of your new max for many sets and reps… I didn’t expect this. So, think about that, it might take a whole minute (or longer) to do 4 reps. Remember to breath and maintain perfect form-- I saw stars, got light headed and woozey sometimes, and still had a few reps to go-- its an experience for sure.
-You have to be a man to do this, with big balls, if you’re a sand in the clit type guy don’t even waste your time. You won’t get through it.
My upperbody stuff… During the base, I maintained working out my upper body by doing the following:
DB Press/s, Dips, Pull-ups, Seated rows/DB rows. That was it and cycled different set/rep schemes.
During the intense cycle, I only had the energy to do the following:
Weighted Dips and Weighted Pull-ups. I did 4 x Failure.
I guess thats all that pops out to me, w/o my workout log sitting in front of me here. I guesss the main thing to remember is, its a tough program, no doubt. Probably one of the hardest thing I’ve done physically, that includes stuff I did as a US Marine, I was an 0311 at that. Stay motivated and determined, look at yourself as superhuman and listen to music that gets you pumped, angry, and ready to kill (not literally for you crazy peeps)-- but thats the mindset I had to get into to make it happen. I listened to Slipknot, Slayer, Metallica, Deftones, etc… its what I had to do. All in all, it was really fun and challenging, and I’ll do it again-- the results were fantastic, so I’ll go through that hard work again for the reults I got in return. Squat!