T Nation

Smolov Plus DC...Thoughts?


#1

I did Smolov from early January to early April of this year. I had immense success with it. I am debating running Smolov again in August and was thinking about what to do along with it.

Last time I did Smolov, I did 1 push and 1 pull compound exercise for upperbody to keep it simple since it is very exhausting squating 3 and 4 times per week.

I thought I might implement DC for my upperbody exercises.
I figured that DC is intense, but it is also lower in volume which is good since Smolov is extremely high in volume.

The standard DC split is:

SPLIT A:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
Back Width
Back Thickness

SPLIT B
Biceps
Forearms
Abs
Calves
Hamstrings
Quads

Since Smolov calls for squating 3 and 4 times per week, I would have to change it.

Here is my tentative idea (subject to your feedback):

SPLIT A:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
Smolov (Squating)
Abs

SPLIT B:
Smolov (Squating)
Back Width
Bach Thickness (I would have to be very careful the exercises I choose for back thickness since Smolov will already be hitting my lower back hard)
Biceps
Forearms

I would basically be hitting A, rest 1 day, B, rest 1 day, etc, etc. I don't necessarly try to fit my schedule into the days of the week.

Please, any thoughts on exercise order, good back thickness exercises that would fit well with Smolov, or any other feedback is appreciated. I have a lot of time to set up a good plan for August.


#2

Well, I’m no expert, but I just don’t think that’s a very good idea. Seems like a crazy amount of volume. Plus, you know with DC you have cruising weeks.

Also, part of the DC philosophy is based around the Widowmaker.

You can’t really call it DC with those kind of modifications… why not just pick one or the other? DC is great for strength gains, I mean that is what the program is ultimately focused around. Just give it a go for a year or two and see if you like it.

Just make sure you 100% know what you’re doing if you do decide to DC…


#3

I am not concerned with calling it DC. I am just considering using DC principles.

I want to do Smolov again because I added 87 pounds to my squat in 13 weeks. DC is about progressive strength gains, well Smolov did pretty well in that department.

I am surprised you felt it was a lot of volume. I am seriously considering DC principles on top of Smolov for 2 main reasons:

  1. It will keep my volume down. Take SPLIT A, I will do 3 hard sets, one each for Chest, Shoulders, Tri (with the rest pauses of course) and then onto squats. The first time I did smolov I was sometimes doing 8-10 sets for my 1 compound exercise. So this will be less volume than my first time on Smolov.

  2. I had great success with it before. 1.5 inches on my legs, huge increase in squat.


#4

If you’re actually going to do that, i’d stick to one arm rows (opposite hand supported), chest supported rows, and maybe one arm low cable rows or something, because i don’t see how you could possibly be able to do deadlifts or row variations on top of smolov. And also on days where smolov calls for squatting 4 times a week, i’d possibly move the fourth workout to the following week and just take a bit of extra time to finish the program.

Let me know if you still feel enthusiastic to go to the gym at the end of the base cycle :slight_smile:

But seriously, i don’t think Smolov was meant to be run back to back with more smolov, i thought it was an intense off season cycle, and you will need recovery from it. I’m sure others can correct me if i’m wrong. Perhaps you should do DC for a bit to give yourself a break from high volume, then in a few months when you have put on even more leg and back size hit smolov again when you can try this smolov/DC hybrid you’re suggesting?


#5

2 different programs

you try to mesh them both and you will get crappy results, do one or the other, my guess is you arent ready for either if this is your train of thought.


#6

i think it will work great. infact, while you’re at it, why don’t you do some tabatas too and go on the V-Diet in order to get RIPPED. you might want to take up thai kickboxing as well.


#7

[quote]bigNasty_ wrote:
i think it will work great. infact, while you’re at it, why don’t you do some tabatas too and go on the V-Diet in order to get RIPPED. you might want to take up thai kickboxing as well. [/quote]

I did that, elevated me to status of man-god for about 3 months. But then I discovered streaming pornography and it all went to shit.


#8

[quote]bigNasty_ wrote:
i think it will work great. infact, while you’re at it, why don’t you do some tabatas too and go on the V-Diet in order to get RIPPED. you might want to take up thai kickboxing as well. [/quote]

You need steady state cardio too, so best start training for that marathon!


#9

I can’t even bring myself to type up a reasonable response to this… maybe I’ll come back later but short answer is

“you’ll shoot your eye out”


#10

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
2 different programs

you try to mesh them both and you will get crappy results, do one or the other, my guess is you arent ready for either if this is your train of thought.[/quote]

Do you actually read posts before you reply so thoughtlessly?

I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY completed Smolov to the tune of an 87 pound gain in my squat. I also did heavy compound push/pull upperbody movements for my upperbody during the program.

While it is true that I wouldn’t be “doing DC” I am not really meshing anything. Smolov is NOT a complete program, it is a squat program. It leaves the trainee free to decide what to do for upperbody. I thought low-volume high-intensity set up may work well for upperbody and I was hoping to get some thoughtful responses.


#11

[quote]Scott M wrote:
I can’t even bring myself to type up a reasonable response to this… maybe I’ll come back later but short answer is

“you’ll shoot your eye out”[/quote]

Fair enough, I would appreciate the longer reasonable response as well when you have time. I am not making any decisions yet, I wanted input.


#12

[quote]bigNasty_ wrote:
i think it will work great. infact, while you’re at it, why don’t you do some tabatas too and go on the V-Diet in order to get RIPPED. you might want to take up thai kickboxing as well. [/quote]

Holy crap you read my mind!

Seriously, have you guys ever done Smolov? Do you think that you don’t have to do anything for upperbody during the program?

I have completed Smolov before and I have an idea of what I can handle. I think it would be best to keep volume down for the upperbody given the immense volume of Smolov. And sure DC is a complete program, but the principles behind are nothing revolutionary, heavy progressive weight and rest-pause. I was thinking that I could use those principles for my upper body during Smolov to keep my volume down.


#13

[quote]tmcg86 wrote:
If you’re actually going to do that, i’d stick to one arm rows (opposite hand supported), chest supported rows, and maybe one arm low cable rows or something, because i don’t see how you could possibly be able to do deadlifts or row variations on top of smolov. And also on days where smolov calls for squatting 4 times a week, i’d possibly move the fourth workout to the following week and just take a bit of extra time to finish the program.

Let me know if you still feel enthusiastic to go to the gym at the end of the base cycle :slight_smile:

[/quote]

I figured chest-supported rows would be a good option. And of course, deadlifting would be out. But that doesn’t bother me too much, my deadlift went up 36 pounds while NOT training it during Smolov simply from all the heavy leg work.

If I do it, I will surely let you know. I am not to proud to admit if something doesn’t work. I am just looking for suggestions.

[quote]tmcg86 wrote:

But seriously, i don’t think Smolov was meant to be run back to back with more smolov, i thought it was an intense off season cycle, and you will need recovery from it. I’m sure others can correct me if i’m wrong. Perhaps you should do DC for a bit to give yourself a break from high volume, then in a few months when you have put on even more leg and back size hit smolov again when you can try this smolov/DC hybrid you’re suggesting?[/quote]

I would have 3 months of rest between cycles. Do you think that is too little?

Running DC prior too isn’t a bad idea either. Thank you for your input.


#14

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:
bigNasty_ wrote:
i think it will work great. infact, while you’re at it, why don’t you do some tabatas too and go on the V-Diet in order to get RIPPED. you might want to take up thai kickboxing as well.

Holy crap you read my mind!

Seriously, have you guys ever done Smolov? Do you think that you don’t have to do anything for upperbody during the program?

I have completed Smolov before and I have an idea of what I can handle. I think it would be best to keep volume down for the upperbody given the immense volume of Smolov. And sure DC is a complete program, but the principles behind are nothing revolutionary, heavy progressive weight and rest-pause. I was thinking that I could use those principles for my upper body during Smolov to keep my volume down. [/quote]

I have done it. I tried doing upper body things early on. By the 2nd week, the intensity you put into the upper body movements is so low that there is absolutely no point. You won’t reap any gains what so ever.

No, I don’t think you have to do anything for upperbody, especially DC. After 10 sets of heavy triples, you simply cannot put enough intensity into a DC set to reap any real benefits. The reason the volume for DC is “Low” is because the intensity is through the roof. Save your energy for recovery so you can make bigger gains on your squat.

By the way, where did you hear Smolov is not a complete program? To me, it just looks like a Meso-cycle for a powerlifter/weightlifter who has a dispropotionately weak squat, relative to his dead and bench/CJ and Snatch. Or were you talking out your butt, be honest now.


#15

[quote]Invictica wrote:

I have done it. I tried doing upper body things early on. By the 2nd week, the intensity you put into the upper body movements is so low that there is absolutely no point. You won’t reap any gains what so ever.

No, I don’t think you have to do anything for upperbody, especially DC. After 10 sets of heavy triples, you simply cannot put enough intensity into a DC set to reap any real benefits. The reason the volume for DC is “Low” is because the intensity is through the roof. Save your energy for recovery so you can make bigger gains on your squat.

By the way, where did you hear Smolov is not a complete program? To me, it just looks like a Meso-cycle for a powerlifter/weightlifter who has a dispropotionately weak squat, relative to his dead and bench/CJ and Snatch. Or were you talking out your butt, be honest now. [/quote]

Fair enough, thank you for your serious response. I really do appreciate it. I will definitely take your second paragraph into consideration. Maybe my success with upperbody during Smolov was because I wasn’t taking anything to failure. It could be too demanding on the CNS to squat heavy and do failure work.

No I wasn’t talking out my butt, I didn’t “hear” that Smolov is not a complete program. What I mean is that it only designates what the trainee does for their legs while leaving upperbody training at the discretion of the trainee. I believe with proper rest and recovery you can still make gains on the upperbody. I have a desk job and my life is not too taxing.

As I memtioned previously, I did 1 push and 1 pull compound for upper body. Here is exactly what I did during Smolov:

Smolov Jr. for DB Bench and Chin-ups first and then the Russian Volume for Flat Bench and Pull-ups during. At the end of those programs I achieved PR’s in DB Bench, Chin-ups and Pull-ups. I admit, I did bomb out on the the Russian Volume for Flat Bench. It was too much for me, but hey, you live and learn.


#16

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:
As I memtioned previously, I did 1 push and 1 pull compound for upper body. Here is exactly what I did during Smolov:

Smolov Jr. for DB Bench and Chin-ups first and then the Russian Volume for Flat Bench and Pull-ups during. At the end of those programs I achieved PR’s in DB Bench, Chin-ups and Pull-ups. I admit, I did bomb out on the the Russian Volume for Flat Bench. It was too much for me, but hey, you live and learn.
[/quote]

What are your numbers? And what body weight?

It is possible, but the heavier your maxes are, the harder it will be to do upper body work with Smolov


#17

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:
Invictica wrote:

I have done it. I tried doing upper body things early on. By the 2nd week, the intensity you put into the upper body movements is so low that there is absolutely no point. You won’t reap any gains what so ever.

No, I don’t think you have to do anything for upperbody, especially DC. After 10 sets of heavy triples, you simply cannot put enough intensity into a DC set to reap any real benefits. The reason the volume for DC is “Low” is because the intensity is through the roof. Save your energy for recovery so you can make bigger gains on your squat.

By the way, where did you hear Smolov is not a complete program? To me, it just looks like a Meso-cycle for a powerlifter/weightlifter who has a dispropotionately weak squat, relative to his dead and bench/CJ and Snatch. Or were you talking out your butt, be honest now.

Fair enough, thank you for your serious response. I really do appreciate it. I will definitely take your second paragraph into consideration. Maybe my success with upperbody during Smolov was because I wasn’t taking anything to failure. It could be too demanding on the CNS to squat heavy and do failure work.
[/quote]

Yeah, that’s where the real problem starts IMO. Gotta figure that DC is past-failure training twice in a week… that definitely taxes the fuck out of your system, hence the 10-14 day cruising phase…


#18

[quote]SSC wrote:

Yeah, that’s where the real problem starts IMO. Gotta figure that DC is past-failure training twice in a week… that definitely taxes the fuck out of your system, hence the 10-14 day cruising phase…[/quote]

Thanks for the response and input.


#19

Wow people really get unnecessarily harsh on these boards…oftentimes it’s coming from people who give shitty advice themselves yet are quick to judge others. Too much ego too little constructive thought. Oh well 'tis the world we live in.

Your ideas are neither stupid nor crazy. When I look over your idea for your A-B split, however, I find it hard to manage. If you DC (pardon you, rest-pause that is…don’t want to piss off the die hard DC fanatics…oh wait, too late!) chest, shoulders and tris in the same day before your squats I would think you’d have difficulty maintaining intensity for your squats…but if you feel that won’t be an issue for you give it a try. With squatting every session however you may burn out quickly on this kind of schedule.

I would try a 5-day cycle instead for more recovery and allow you to keep your intensity up as the program rolls on. Maybe A, off, B, off, off just like your wrote it but with another day off at the end. Obviously this compromises your squatting frequency as well as DC frequency but as Mr. Polite pointed out - albeit less eloquently - when you try to combine two different programs you end up with a less efficient compromise between the two.

It should be noted that I do NOT know everything unlike so many people on here and I haven’t even tried smolov. The only person who can tell you for sure if it will work for you, however, is yourself…after you try it. Anything else is just someone’s educated guess. If it was me I would probably just run a 6-8 week cycle of DC before returning to Smolov fresh and ready to make new gains since 80-pound squat increases in 13 weeks won’t last for long anyway.


#20

[quote]timmcbride00 wrote:
I did Smolov from early January to early April of this year. I had immense success with it. I am debating running Smolov again in August and was thinking about what to do along with it.

Last time I did Smolov, I did 1 push and 1 pull compound exercise for upperbody to keep it simple since it is very exhausting squating 3 and 4 times per week.

I thought I might implement DC for my upperbody exercises.
I figured that DC is intense, but it is also lower in volume which is good since Smolov is extremely high in volume.

The standard DC split is:

SPLIT A:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
Back Width
Back Thickness

SPLIT B
Biceps
Forearms
Abs
Calves
Hamstrings
Quads

Since Smolov calls for squating 3 and 4 times per week, I would have to change it.

Here is my tentative idea (subject to your feedback):

SPLIT A:
Chest
Shoulders
Triceps
Smolov (Squating)
Abs

SPLIT B:
Smolov (Squating)
Back Width
Bach Thickness (I would have to be very careful the exercises I choose for back thickness since Smolov will already be hitting my lower back hard)
Biceps
Forearms

I would basically be hitting A, rest 1 day, B, rest 1 day, etc, etc. I don’t necessarly try to fit my schedule into the days of the week.

Please, any thoughts on exercise order, good back thickness exercises that would fit well with Smolov, or any other feedback is appreciated. I have a lot of time to set up a good plan for August.[/quote]

Cool idea, and when i am in full PL training beating the crap out of myself DC style assistance work has been a good approach. Since training is art as much as science, a lot of what you do has to be trial and error.

Personally, i think since DC does not go beyond positive failure it is not as devastating as forced reps. So i think it would work. My input would be to skip working shoulders on day A and only work width or thickness on day B, not both. Smolov squat is sick, but i think the low volume of DC is the right approach.

Good luck…