T Nation

Smolov for DL


Would it be possible to use the sumo deadlift as the exercise for the Smolov cycle instead of the squat and get similar training effects?


I wouldn't use Smolov for deadlift, the strain on the back is intense, even using sumo.

I'd think you'd burn out pretty fast.

The volume is demanding even for squat.

I think you could get similar results, but I just think you'd end up overtrained from the volume.

This is just a hypothesis, I'd be interested in seeing you give it a shot though.

If you do, keep us updated and watch for signs of overtraining.


I've done Smolov with Snatch grip DL's...well, only the preparatory cycle as written originally, which is:

(forgot about the repsxsets...)

week 1
day 1 70%
day 2 75%
day 3 80%
day 4 85%

week 2 add 10k to all lifts

week 3 add 15k to all lifts

week 4 test for a max single

This thing is difficult as hell, kills your posterior chain in no time. Even if you survive it, it will be difficult to test for the max at week 4 because it's almost impossible to recover so fast and make a PR performance.

The volume is insane, the frequency is ever worse. I wouldn't do it again

I'd recommend a less dense version...just reduce the frequency by half. Like this:

week 1
day 1 70%
day 2 75%

week 2
day 1 80%
day 2 85%

week 3
day 1 70% plus 10k
day 2 75% plus 10k

week 4
day 1 80% plus 10k
day 2 85% plus 10k

week 5
day 1 70% plus 15k
day 2 75% plus 15k

week 6
day 1 80% plus 15k
day 2 85% plus 15k

week 7 test for a max single..


the short and long of it...there are better methods.


I definately would not use the Smolov for DL, your CNS will be so burnt out after 1-2 weeks. I've found out the best way to train the DL is to pull to a max about every other week while doing speed pulls every week. Westside style. My deadlift has went from 335 to 535 since october, so pull heavy every other week, pull for speed every week, and do some rack pulls and you'll have a big pull.


I second this.

Setup A:

ME- Squat (box squat, front squat, etc)
assistance-RDL on Box

DE- Box Squat/Jump Squat
Speed Pulls

Setup B:

ME- Pull (Sumo, rack pull, etc)
assistance- Good Morning

DE- Box Squat/Jump Squat
Speed Pulls

Something like that.


If i do a rack pull its almost always after a ME squat. And if i do a GM i always do olympic squats for assistance. Just seems like this works best cause you can get work in for both movements without overtraining.


Especially if you use straps for the rack pull. Its not the deadlift that wears out your CNS, its the heavy weight in your hands. Using straps can kind of combat this a little maybe.