T Nation

Smolov Jr. for Bench Press + Modified Intense Period After


Base Mesocycle:

Mon - 6x6x70%
Wed - 7x5x75%
Fri - 8x4x80%
Sat - 10x3x85%
Week 2
Mon - 6x6x70%+10-20 lbs
Wed - 7x5x75%+10-20 lbs
Fri - 8x4x80%+10-20 lbs
Sat - 10x3x85%+10-20 lbs
Week 3
Mon - 6x6x70%+15-25 lbs
Wed - 7x5x75%+15-25 lbs
Fri - 8x4x80%+15-25 lbs
Sat - 10x3x85%+15-25 lbs

Rest few days and try new 1RM.

Intense Period: (discuss this one here)

All training weights are calculated based on the new 1RM (take 5-10% of the load when calculate if it's too heavy and you think you can't complete it)

Week 1

  • Monday: 3x4 85%
  • Wednesday: 2x5 85%
  • Friday:5x4 85%

Week 2

  • Monday: 2x4 90%
  • Wednesday: 2x3 95%
  • Friday:4x4 90%

Week 3

  • Monday: 4x3 95%
  • Wednesday: 5x5 90%
  • Friday:4x4 95%

Week 4

  • Monday: 3x3 100%
  • Wednesday: 4x5 95%
  • Friday:3x4 100%

The point of the intense period is to do 4-5 reps with your max (from the base mesocycle) at the end of it.

So what are you thinkin' about this?


There is no way an experienced or even intermediate lifter can do 4-5 reps with his true max one month ago unless he is on some serious steroid cycle.

Say a lifter has a 170kg bench press after the base cycle. Then in your fantasy world he will have 170kg x 4 after the intense period, which according to exrx 1rm calc would give you a 185kg 1RM. This is absolutely not going to happen for the majority of trainees.

Also, lifting with too high intensities might be detrimental to overall progress. Provided a lifter actually makes it through this program without an injury, he sure will be stronger, but not anywhere near the numbers that you prescribe. Even a 2.5kg-5kg gain over a 2 month period for an intermediate/experienced lifter must be considered good.

You'd probably be interested in checking out other methods of training too. The smolov routines are usually good, but far too many good people have burnt out on them as well.

Another possibility is that strength may increase till around 6 weeks, and then the intensity of the sessions will start to break you down, and you might actually regress. There's been some research about how long very hard training can be upheld for maximum results. Read up on the litterature in the field.

For a newbe that eats a lot and focus on the bench, this program might just give that extra boost you're looking for.


I have to agree with Stallion, OP. I've performed the Smolov Jr. for bench press and it was a killer in itself, the intense phase would be too much of an overload for most people to handle. I did modify it to where I was benching 2-3x per week instead of 4x per week. This was because a) I was/am a natural lifter and there's no way I would be able to recover with that volume, and b) I wanted to at least maintain my other lifts. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to perform the intense phase after a month (or 1 1/2 if you spread it out as I did) of benching 4 times per week. I made excellent gains off of the Jr. program (25 lbs in 5 weeks)....it doesn't get much better than that.



Week 1

  • Monday: 3x4 80%
  • Wednesday: 2x5 80%
  • Friday:5x4 80%

Week 2

  • Monday: 2x4 85%
  • Wednesday: 2x3 90%
  • Friday:4x4 85%

Week 3

  • Monday: 4x3 90%
  • Wednesday: 5x5 85%
  • Friday:4x4 90%

Week 4

  • Monday: 3x3 95%
  • Wednesday: 4x5 90%
  • Friday:3x4 95%

I cutted down 5 percents of all bench days. Should i give it a try? I just finished the base smolov jr mesocycle and i am currently resting. I will try my new 1RM soon, but i suppose it'll be around 235-240 lb (training from a year, 17 yo, so not pro lifter). Or what should i do for next? Less volume, more intensity? Or? Thanks!