I recently completed the first three weeks of Smolov Jr. for bench press. It was one of the more satisfying things I've done training-wise...I had never done more sets than 5 of any exercise before, even with weight training from playing high school baseball/football and college baseball. This was very challenging...the last two days of week three were a huge struggle. I'm currently a Physical Educator and high school baseball coach.
For the three weeks, I worked out 10 out of 12 days at a local gym that doesn't have a lot of weights, and no "donuts"...so some of the numbers prescribed via the calculator were not exact. I always went slightly heavier than prescribed if this was the case.
The other two days (after we got back from Winter Break), I lifted in our high school weight room, brand new with plenty of space. I will test my 1RM bench this Friday once some of the soreness of the last 10x3 day subsides.
beginning 1RM: 235 lbs
8x4x205 - on this day, I was supposed to do 198 lbs. I couldn't find 2.5 lb weights anywhere in the gym, so I just put 205 on and hoped for the best. After completing, I pushed the weights up a little for the next 5 bench days, which was extremely rough.
10x3x215 (supposed to be 210, but felt really good. Got all 10 sets no problem)
6x6x185 (supposed to be 178)
10x3x225 (215) - this was one of the most difficult things I've ever completed...I had never done more than one rep at 225 pounds before this day. Very excited to see where the new 1RM is.
From here, I have decided to try running "Junior" for my squat. I pulled a hamstring over Thanksgiving break, and my 1RM to that point was 365 lbs. I am using 355 as a max for the design because I have hit that as a 1RM more than once, whereas the 365 was my first try and the day before the hamstring issue.
Yesterday (Monday): 6x6x250.
-Felt better as I went on. Have some good soreness today...Wednesday should be 7x5 at 265. Will try to keep this as up to date as possible. I know doing this many sets on squats is going to be very mentally (and physically, of course) challenging...this is why I wanted to make sure to post, to hold myself accountable to finish this. Luckily, our school weight room has eight racks to use.
Have a good one, all.