Experiences along the way in the weeks leading up to what was going to be a Smolov Jr type deadlift program convinced me that, personally, I will need to do differently.
- Even though I substituted a Smith machine and close-grip on account of a chronic shoulder problem, I was able to complete only 2 weeks of Smolov Jr for the bench. I was very impressed with the results as judged from the bb’ing perspective: a very clear visual improvement.
And I really liked the program during it.
But it gave me great problems for weeks afterward, still not completely resolved, with various muscles attaching to the shoulder.
- I decided to try, before doing a Smolov Jr type program for the squat, something along similar lines, but easier, just to be sure, given that experience with the bench.
So I adapted the methods of Vladimir Volkov as described by Pavel T to be within the Smolov Jr template with regard to days of the week and maximum weight reached.
The Volkov approach is much easier: half the volume, and weight is ramped up each workout, rather than the work sets all being at the full work weight. ( www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/353/ )
By the way, the percent-1RM figures in the article should be interpreted as percent of equipped-1RM, though the workouts are raw. Somewhere I found a value for Volkov’s raw contest 1RM during this approximate period and thus was able to convert everything to approximate raw-1RM percentages.
When doing so, the training is at considerably higher percent 1RM than one would, at a glance, gather from the article. But that is an aside only.
Well, 2 weeks of that was more than my legs appreciated. Even now I still have some lingering issues.
And in the past I’ve never had leg problems.
How can this be? Well, Smolov’s athletes probably had better genetics, probably were and are a group pre-selected for having already survived years of harsh Russian training (what’s the surprise that if working with those that have already thrived on brutal training, they will be able to do so, versus the probability of the general population being able to do so?) and probably are younger guys as well.
At 47, I can’t necessarily expect to tolerate what might have been possible some time back.
I still think the ideas are great: the loading pattern, and the 4-days-per-week have considerable appeal. I just have to find how to adjust things to make it work for me.