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Smolov Jr Bench?

Does anyone have any experience with the Smolov Jr bench program ?

I was wondering if rather than following the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday format as an older lifter (52) do you think it would work just as well if i were to do Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, then take 2 days off and repeat ie start the cycle again on Wednesday ?

Also do you think it best to plug in your true 1 rep max or take a few pounds/kilo’s off ?

Or should i just run the program as is regardless of age ?

I don’t recommend Smolov for anyone, much less a 52 year old.

Could you expand on that please ?

It’ll add excess stress to your joints, likely will impede your recovery causing you to stop mid-program, you’ll need extra sleep/food which will likely not happen causing excess fatigue, do you need more reason?

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What he said

Advice taken on board i’ll give it a miss…thanks for your input.

Buy Josh Bryant’s book “Bench Press: The Science”, you can get it on Kindle off Amazon. You can apply a lot of the stuff in that book to the squat and deadlift as well.

I personally had good experience with some short Smolov. But I haven’t done it in like 3 years.

Would you recommend it to someone in their 50’s though?

Not really, but I’m sure it can be modified.

The only reason I think Smolov Jr works so well is because of the frequency and volume. I’m sure feeling it out and autoregulating each set rather than using a straight set off percentages could work.

But to be honest, it really gets old after the 2nd week. And you’re there all day on your 8x4 and 10x3 days.

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speaking as a guy nearing 50…oh fuck no

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Just to add to this thread in the end i couldn’t resist and did indeed do the Smolov Jr program for bench however i did the each session every other day so it took 4 weeks rather than 3 weeks then i rested for 3 days then managed to hit my old PB from 6 years ago today.
Whilst i may lose some of the gains even though i’ve suffered with really bad tennis elbow in the past i’m happy to say i didn’t have any elbow or shoulder issues so for me personally the program worked fine so for those that suggested being over 50 that the program was a bad idea all i can say is that age is just a number and whilst it may not be the best routine for someone of my age to do it all worked out ok in the end for me.


In your face, skeptics! Good work!

What number or % did you end up using to plan your training? Balls out of a little more cautious?

I like the idea of slowing the program down a little. Do you have any other insights/tips for dudes who want to run this in the future?

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Before starting the programme i had just completed Candito’s advanced program for bench so when i put in the numbers i knew what my max was to begin with and just reduced it by 1kg, each week i increased the weight used on the starting percentages by 3kg.
My weight stayed pretty much the same through out although i did lose a little in the final week as i caught a cold which made the last training session hard.
I used various rest periods depending on the session ranging from 2 minutes and up to 4 minutes for the last few sets when on the 10x3 weeks.
Apart from having the added rest days by training every other day i basically ran the program as is.

I also included some high pin presses on the 10x3 days to allow me to get used to heavier weights. With regards to my other exercises whilst i didn’t push them really hard i still trained using a mixture of weighted chins and Bent Over Rows for back etc.

I managed to increase my bench by 3kg at the end whilst my bodyweight stayed pretty much the same in fact if anything i probably lost a little bit of weight in the final week so if one were to train with a calorie surplus then no doubt you could make better gains.

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What comes next in the Bench Quest?

At the moment i’ve narrowed it down to either the Buckeye program, Brad Gillingham’s 12 week bench program or the Russian Squat Routine for bench which i’ve had some success with in the past although I’m not 100% sure yet but i’m about to take a week off so hopefully i’ll come up with something.

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How much ya bench?