T Nation

Smolov Intense Phase for Bench Press?


I am currently using Smolov jr for my Bench and I am contemplating following it up with the Intense Phase, but I could not find any opinions on it.

Has anyone tried this or do you think it is a bad idea?

Should I just give it a try after a bit of rest the week following my new max?

If so I will make sure to post how it goes on here so that others will know if it is a good or bad idea.


Running an intense Smolov cycle for bench is taxing.

Since you're going into it after a Smolov Jr you need to decide how you feel, because on one hand your body is used to the volume so it will make a smoother transition into even heavier volume, on the other hand you need to carefully evaluate what havoc that first phase wreaked on your body.

If your body is giving you a green light go for it. Essentially your joints and musculature should be in good health and your nervous system should be top notch.

You might also want to bring your squatting and deadlifting into assistance mode as well as cutting out all pressing movements. Keep the back work in along with light conditioning and lots stretching/miofascial release.

Good luck!


Thanks! I will take your advice.

That is what I have been doing so far with my other work while on Smolov jr. Hopefully I can add some epsom salt baths and keep my sleep up to help keep my feeling good so that I will be green lighted for the Intense cycle.


Update Finished Smolov jr: I really screwed up my last day of Smolov jr and the deload week following due to personal stuff. It was a really shitty week with eating low calories/protein, not sleeping nearly enough, and I was pretty stressed. Still, I was able to take my Paused Bench from 285 to 295. I got 300 to about half way, my sticking point.

During the program I was able to add 15 pounds for week 2 and a total of 30 pounds added for week 3, so I really think I should have been able to get 305 had the shit storm at the end not happened.

Trying to be optimistic 10 pounds is pretty awesome for just a month. I also did that without gaining weight and possibly losing a bit of weight at the end.

I did the first Intense day and it felt pretty good. I am going to try throwing in some light pushups daily and probably 70% for 3 sets of 3 on one non-bench day.

Thur- Bench D1 + Upper back +Bi’s
Fri- Squat(Might take as rest day if needed)
Sat- Bench D2 + Military Press
Sun- Deadlift + Upper back + Bi’s + Light Bench
Mon- Rest
Tues- Bench D3 + DB OH Press + Upper back + Bi’s
Wed- Squat (Epsom salt bath hopefully)

Having the 2 day rest after the second day instead of the 3rd is a tip I got from an article someone wrote about Smolov, although it was for running it for squat I am sure it is still applicable.
Also on the main Bench days I will do light DB Bench Presses, like 3 sets of 10. I did them during my Smolov jr run and I think they helped a lot.

It is a lot of total volume, but that is what works for me.


Week 1 update, I had trouble getting my Bench Press in the groove this week. Also there was almost no accessory work because of personal life stuff, but I will have it under control this next week.
Upside, no missed reps!

As for squatting and deadlifting, I am finally going to see an ART specialist on the 3rd for really bad right glute pain I have been having, so I did not really squat nor dead this week, and will not until after I go to my appointment. The glute pain is in no way associated with my Smolov work, it has been going on for a long time, but I have been too dumb to get it checked out.


Week 2-4 were eh, slowly got to the point where for most of the days I had to reallocate the volume. For the most part everyday I hit the prescribed weight for the prescribed total reps, but I tried not to have a lot of the sets at or near failure, but still there were a ton of grinders. If I had been able to keep on a weekly schedule I do no know if it would have gone better or worse, I am thinking better because there would have been a more profound increase in neural activation, but I can not say for sure.

I will be maxing on Tuesday after a week deload. I do know that I made a rep PR of failing to get 3 reps on week 2 with 280, to getting 3 with it in week 4.


After a week deload I hit 300, a 5 pound PR, which felt pretty easy. Then I jumped it up to 310 and got stapled, so I do not know if 305 was doable since I skipped over it.

I have previously used 797m with great success, so I will run it for the next month. This will give me 2 chances to max and because of my experience with 797m I will be able to determine if there were some delayed gains or whatever you want to call it.

As for now I am calling this a semi-success. 5 pounds is not the most optimal gain for a month, but if you are plateaued then it would be worth a try.
Also there is the fact that as mentioned in previous posts I was inconsistent over the month, so I do not know if this helped me or hurt me


Forgot to post my second post program update, on the 17th I got 300 a second time, so no loss in strength as of yet. I did it in a fatigued state, so a semi PR. My next max will be on the 31st, so that might be my last update, but as of yet no post smolov strength drop.