T Nation

Smolov Jr. for Bench


#1

I have a knee injury, so I figured I'd let it rest and focus on my bench. :slightly_smiling: This is based off of a 305 max. The last I benched was 300 for 2. I've been out of the gym for 2 weeks. :-/ Program was completed with a max bench of 320, paused. I am now following 5/3/1

Thursday, 4-2-09
Bench:
135x5
185x3
215x6x6 (70%)

DB Rows:
95x3x8

Cuban Presses:
55x3x8

DB Lateral Raises:
20x3x8


#2

Saturday, 4-4-09

Bench:
135x5
185x3
225x7x5 (75%)

Deadlift/Shrugs:
135x5
225x3/10
275x1/10
335x1/12
365x5 (80%)

Leg Curl:
105x2x8
90x8

DB Curl:
40x7
(drop set)40x7, 35x4, 25x?, 15x?

Felt strongest on my last set of bench; like my form was perfect. So far, so good. :slight_smile:


#3

Monday, 4-6-09

Bench:
135x5
185x3
245x8x4 (80%)

Chinups:
7,7,6

Facepulls:
140x3x15

Again, felt strongest on my last set of bench. Had a handoff though. I love handoffs. :slight_smile:


#4

Tuesday, 4-7-09

Bench:
135x5
185x3
225x1
260x10x3 (85%)

Squat:
135x8
205x3
265x3
315x5
335x2 (80%)

Had some shoulder/bicep pain on my left arm by the 5th set of bench. Had some knee pain in my patella tendon (oh, this is new!) on my last set of squats. I was gonna do 5, but as soon as I felt that, I stopped.


#5

Good luck. I just came off of it and had minimal success (only 10lbs gained) Oh well. Gained 50lbs when doing regular Smolov for squats


#6

[quote]Trenchant wrote:
Good luck. I just came off of it and had minimal success (only 10lbs gained) Oh well. Gained 50lbs when doing regular Smolov for squats [/quote]

I’d be happy with 10 lbs. What was your starting bench max when you did it? Do you have any advice? Anything you would have done differently?


#7

Thursday, 4-9-09

Bench:
135x5
185x3
225x6x6 (70% + 10 lbs)

DB Rows:
100x3x8

DB Lateral Raises:
20x3x12

Cuban Presses:
60x3x8

Shoulders are a little sore. :-/ Particularly my left one.


#8

Interesting blog! :slight_smile:

I got 25 lbs (330–>355) on my Bench with modified Smolov few years ago. Smolov works also for bench very well.

Any joint pain so far? I used to have terrible joint pain on my elbows when I first time tried to follow Smolov on bench but on the second try I had no problems.


#9

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
Trenchant wrote:
Good luck. I just came off of it and had minimal success (only 10lbs gained) Oh well. Gained 50lbs when doing regular Smolov for squats

I’d be happy with 10 lbs. What was your starting bench max when you did it? Do you have any advice? Anything you would have done differently?[/quote]

225 when I started :frowning: I’m still weak.

If you look my log “Program Review” it goes into detail about it there. I decided this spring to start reviewing any programs that I do.


#10

Saturday, 4-11-09

Bench:
135x~8
185x3
225x1
240x7x5

Deadlift:
135x5
225x3
315x3
385x2x3

Hack Squat:
180x8
270x10
360x8

H.S. Neutal Shrug Machine:
270x20
360x12
450x3
410x8

Feelin’ Great. Popped some advil before the workout for my left shoulder, though.

I also took Surge Workout Fuel for the second time today. I really felt it. Moved faster through bench sets, and even now after I’m all done I feel as if I could go back & do it all over.


#11

[quote]Trenchant wrote:
goochadamg wrote:
Trenchant wrote:
Good luck. I just came off of it and had minimal success (only 10lbs gained) Oh well. Gained 50lbs when doing regular Smolov for squats

I’d be happy with 10 lbs. What was your starting bench max when you did it? Do you have any advice? Anything you would have done differently?

225 when I started :frowning: I’m still weak.

If you look my log “Program Review” it goes into detail about it there. I decided this spring to start reviewing any programs that I do.


[/quote]

Thanks! That’s an awesome idea. I appreciate it.

Do you think running the bench cycle during the squat cycle affected your gains negatively?


#12

[quote]nisseri wrote:
Interesting blog! :slight_smile:

I got 25 lbs (330–>355) on my Bench with modified Smolov few years ago. Smolov works also for bench very well.
[/quote]

Damn, impressive gains. Can you elaborate on the program you followed? Was it smolov jr.?

Yeah, mostly on my left shoulder. It felt the worst on my 4th day of the training week: the 10x3 day. It worried me a bit. Today it doesn’t feel too bad at all.

Luckily, I have a fantastic fiance who is willing to massage me, and really push on some trigger points in my back. I’ve also been doing shoulder dislocates with broom to help combat any problems.

I expected there to be some pain though. I mean, it really is a shit ton of benching.


#13

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
Damn, impressive gains. Can you elaborate on the program you followed? Was it smolov jr.?

I expected there to be some pain though. I mean, it really is a shit ton of benching. [/quote]

It was not the Smolov jr. but an another modified version of original smolov squat programme. The routine was originally published on finnish bodybuilding / powerlifting magazine and probably also on some finnish powerlifing web site (maybe www.voimaharjoittelu.fi). I also made some modifications to make it more suitable for bench.

But here is the short description of the programme

  1. Preparative period

Week 1

* Monday:8x3 65%, 1x5 70%, 2x2 75%, 1x1 80%
* Wednesday:8x3 65%, 1x5 70%, 2x2 75%, 1x1 80%
* Friday:5x4 70%, 1x3 75%, 2x2 80%, 1x1 90%

Week 2

* Monday: Incline bench 5-6x5 
* Wednesday: DB press 5x6
* Friday: DB Press 4x8

Week 3

* Monday:1x5 80%
* Wednesday:1x5 82,5%
* Friday:1x5 85%
  1. Base meso cycle

Week 1

* Monday:5x7 75%
* Wednesday:7x5 80%
* Friday:10x3 85%

Week 2

* Monday:3x2 90%
* Wednesday:7x5 80%+5-10 lbs. 
* Friday:10x3 85%+5-10 lbs.

Week 3

* Monday:3x2 90%+10-15 lbs.
* Wednesday:7x5 80%+10-15 lbs. 
* Friday:10x3 85%+10-15 lbs.

Week 4

Time to test 1RM for the first time.

* Monday: rest
* Wednesday: rest 
* Friday:new 1RM
  1. Recovery period

Week 1 and 2

* Monday:Bench 2x3 50%, 3x2 60%, Bench with 2-3 second stops 4x3x50%
* Friday:Bench 2x4 70%, 4x3 80%
  1. Intense period

All training weights are calculated based on 1RM achieved on week 4 of the base mesocycle.

Week 1

* Monday: 3x4 80%
* Wednesday: 2x5 85% 
* Saturday:5x4 80%

Week 2

* Monday: 2x4 90%
* Wednesday: 3x3 90% 
* Saturday:4x4 90%

Week 3

* Monday: 2x3 95%
* Wednesday: 5x5 90% 
* Saturday:4x3 95%

Week 4

* Monday: 4x4 90%
* Wednesday: 4x3 95% 
* Saturday:4x4 90%

Week 5

* Monday: 4x4 90%
* Saturday:new 1RM

Intense phase really is intense. If you have problems on week 2 you’ll be in trouble on later weeks and it is recommended to cut 5% of the weights for the week three and then get back on the plan on the week 4.

[quote]goochadamg wrote:
I expected there to be some pain though. I mean, it really is a shit ton of benching. [/quote]

Of course the volume on Smolov is extreme but I think that the intensity and +85% training weights cause the joint pain. I am now trainig with Sheiko and had just 200 lift week on bench without any pain on elbows or shoulders. Quite high volumes are “easy” but if volume is combined with high loads (+80%) the pain will be there at some point.


#14

[quote]goochadamg wrote:

Do you think running the bench cycle during the squat cycle affected your gains negatively?
[/quote]

I don’t think so. Before this, I had really been focusing on incline DB presses and they were going up (albiet slowly). I figured I’d throw it in there because I reaped such dramtic results from the base mesocylce of Smolov for squats.

I’m pretty hardened by volume. In fact, I thought that Smolov for squats was fairly easy, especially when compared to my typical leg days (even just the quad focused portion). My legs grow off of this quite well. I should mention that in the two weeks after Smolov, my legs have grown just under a half an inch to almost 25.5" (on a lean 182 frame) so I know what works for them.

I’m still a little fuzzy on what I need to do to make pressing focused muscles grow, though.


#15

[quote]goochadamg wrote:

Do you think running the bench cycle during the squat cycle affected your gains negatively?
[/quote]

I don’t think so. Before this, I had really been focusing on incline DB presses and they were going up (albiet slowly). I figured I’d throw it in there because I reaped such dramtic results from the base mesocylce of Smolov for squats.

I’m pretty hardened by volume. In fact, I thought that Smolov for squats was fairly easy, especially when compared to my typical leg days (even just the quad focused portion). My legs grow off of this quite well. I should mention that in the two weeks after Smolov, my legs have grown just under a half an inch to almost 25.5" (on a lean 182 frame) so I know what works for them.

I’m still a little fuzzy on what I need to do to make pressing focused muscles grow, though.


#16

Monday, 4-13-09

Bench:
45x12
95x12
135x10
205x3
225x1
255x8x4

Chinups:
9, 8, 7

Facepulls:
150x3x15

Shoulders feelin’ ok. Surge workout fuel rocks. Only had a liftoff for the last set, which flew up, since my buddy doesn’t lift on mondays.


#17

Tuesday, 4-14-09

Bench:
95x10
135x10
183x3
235x1
270x10x3

Squat:
135x5
225x5
305x5
335x6
375x5
405x2

Cable Curls:
150x12

DB Curls:
40x8

EZ BB Curls:
80x17

Left shoulder is sore, kept me up at night. Advil helped. Knee felt absolutely fine during the squats, which I was feeling particularly strong in.


#18

Thursday, 4-16-09

Bench:
135x10
185x3
205x3
235x6x6

DB Row:
105x2x8
110x8

DB Lateral Raises:
25x12
25x10
25x8

Cuban Presses:
75x3 (misload, oops.)
60x8 (ish)
60x8 (ish)
45x15

I had a HUGE pump in my whole shoulder girdle, and my triceps, after doing that set of 15 on the cuban presses. I’m not sure if it’s related, but my shoulders feel the best today than they’ve felt in a while.


#19

Saturday, 4-18-09

Bench:
135x10
183x3
225x1
250x7x5

Cuban Presses:
45x18

Deadlift:
135x5
225x5
315x3
365x1
405x3
405x2

Left shoulder was killing me during the bench sets. That was the hardest part - working through the ache. It immediately felt better after doing the cuban presses. Didn’t take any advil today. Shoulder isn’t sore at all right now.


#20

Tuesday, 4-21-09

Bench:
135x7
185x3
235x1
265x8x4

Chinups:
8, 7

Facepulls:
160x20

DB Rows:
125x5

Facepulls:
160x20

H.S. Preacher Curl Machine:
1x8x45
2x8x70 (slow negatives)

T-bar “Machine”:
135x5

Seated cable row, L.A. Fitness:
12x12

Took an extra day off for 2 reasons: I wanted to give my shoulder a break, since it hurt so bad saturday, and I wanted to make sure my partner was there to give me handoffs.

Shoulder felt pretty good, reps weren’t too hard. The accessory work was a little haphazard, wasn’t feeling the chins and I just felt like doing some other stuff. :slight_smile:

One more day!