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Smolov Squat Cycle


For anyone who has done this Squatting Routine do you spread out core work through out the program or you just squat and your done help would be aprecciated


squat is the best core exercise there is.


i guess you dont understand my question when i mean core i mean abs maybe some lower back work like reverse hypers etc


its a squat specialisation plan which lasts for a few weeks, which if done properly leaves no energy for such assistance exercises


Extra ab or lower back work will most-likely be counterproductive while doing Smolov. I know I couldn't do it.


Can someone please explain to me the reasoning behind this program? Because it seems absolutely senseless and counter porductive to long term squat improvement.


I did it as a pride thing. I had recently undergone knee surgery and my squatting had gone down a ton. I wanted to do something to get my numbers back up and to kinda prove I could do something that strenuous 2 months out of surgery. It was stupid as all get out but I did get stronger and I did not get injured so it was aight.

edited for clarity


The opposite. :slight_smile:



A couple questions I have about it:

When do you deadlift on this prgram?
If your squat form sucks, how do you work on it?
If you have a lagging muscle group, when do you work on that?


I went into maintenance for my deadlift while on this program, I would do it once a week on my off days from squat. Lagging muscle groups got tacked onto the end of whatever day I felt like putting it on, usually later on in the week.


Should you really see this as a program? I mean, it's only 1-2 months depending on whether you do both mesocycles or not. Feels more like a phase that's part of a bigger program to me.

Anyway, if deadlift needs work, why go on a squat specialization cycle? If lagging muscle groups need fixing, why go on a squat specialization cycle? As for squat form, don't you think squatting four times per week might improve form? That's of course assuming form isn't so crappy that you'll wreck yourself in the process.


Smolov is a squat-specific peaking cycle. The base cycle is only 18 days, then a test day, then a 2 week deload called the switching phase, then there is another 18 day cycle called the intense phase, with two more squat days at the end to peak before the contest date. The entire program is based off a contest date, then counts backwards from that date. If you are not running the program for a contest, then you are running it to break a plateau, or just because you want to. But it is by no means a long-term program, and there really is no room for other assistance work, other than during the switching phase. It is not a program to work on form or lagging muscle groups, although my form improved just by squatting 4 times a week.


I asked Suzy about this yesterday, and she said to not deadlift at all. Just some bench/shoulder stuff and maybe some assistance lower back. She tested her DL a week after she finished the first 4 week cycle (the only one I'm doing) and it had gone up like 20 lbs or something. We'll see how it works for me..


A woman completed Smolov?

Pics, vids?

I think I must worship her.



She's on youtube as well. Her and her husband Matt own the gym I lift at. A few people there have done Smolov and all got good results.


I hurt my elbow in a judo tournament and couldn't do any upper body work or deadlifts afterwards. I did Smolov while letting my elbow heal. I put 45 pounds on my squat and gained 10 pounds. And I didn't lose an ounce of strength in any of my other lifts.

Since you're squatting heavy 3-4 times a week, there's no need to DL. You get plenty of PC work by squatting.
If you have crappy form, you have no business doing a Smolov cycle.
Work on your lagging muscle groups after you're done. It's 12 weeks.


when i ran it too get my max from 250lbs to 300lbs, i found doing OHP/dips, row variation and pullup variation were plenty for upperbody, as these didnt take long to complete or impact on the squatting. i think i might do this again in october


If you do smolov with the right percentages of a recent 1rm you will not have the desire or energy to want to do any other training whatsoever. I used to spend every waking minute dreading the next workout and after getting through each session I would feel there was no way I would manage the next one. The 10 sets of 3 on a saturday after having done 3 prevoius squat workouts in a week was brutal.

Saying that, my squat did go through the roof until I tore an adductor muscle on the last workout of the base mesocycle! Use it with caution as it is really intense, forget any other training and for gods sake stretch several times a day because you will get incredibly tight.


FarmerBrett: True words spoken from someone that has endured the horrors. I always smile when I hear people worried about other lifts when considering doing the base meso cycle. They have no idea..

As for stretching. I never do anything of that for my own legs, I just go for walks, that's about it. But we are all different. I used to do a lot of stretching for the legs, but I stopped it many years ago. I found it does not benefit strength gains (for me).


Oh yeah, I've seen her site before actually. That's one hardcore trainee right here. She's toughter than most men on this site! :slight_smile: