T Nation

Starting Smolov - Beginner Training Log

Howdy everyone. First time posting here in a long, long time.

I recently began training for Oly lifting after making my way back after a shoulder/neck injury. My snatch, clean and jerk are all extremely underperforming for someone my size. Injuries suck, yah?


Squat: 100kg
Snatch: 60kg
Clean: 90kg
C&J: 75kg

I decided to start Smolov tomorrow, since squatting is the only thing I can really hammer away at while my shoulder and trap recover. I’ll be following it religiously and update this with my progress. Hopefully this gives newer guys an idea of what Smolov can do for them just starting out, rather than guys who already have fairly high squats.

You say your squat is only 100kg? Why not do something like the Russian squat program, or texas method? At 100kg, that doesn’t seem like you’re used to high intensity/high frequency squatting. That sounds like a recipe for another injury.

I’m conditioned, just not strong. I do pretty high volume legs the last couple months just for conditioning purposes, so they can handle/heal the intensity pretty reasonably. I mean, legs is all I was able to do for the last few months haha so they’re prepped to take a more intense beating for sure. The strength just wasn’t there; only conditioning.

Starting Smolov with a 100kg squat is about the worst choice you can do… Really advise you not to do it.

I must be the only person here who genuinely thinks this might not be such a bad idea.
Never go into Smolov thinking your legs are conditioned and prepared to squat for such high volume, because they simply aren’t. This is one of the most brutal squat programs around.

So long as you keep decent form, I suggest investing in a belt because even with perfect form your lower back will tire from the high percentages during the intense cycle(or even the last week in the base mesocycle). Eat like a horse and get proper sleep.

Also take your time with your warmups and I’m sure you’ll come out of the program with a much much more powerful squat. You don’t need to have professional numbers to do a professional program. You just need a professional mindset. So stay smart, stay fed, and most of all, stay strong.

If OP is very lucky, and doesn’t get injured during this program; where does he go from there? Smolov is a program you do later in your career, not at the very beginning. It isn’t a program you just jump right into, you need to build up a base and be prepared for high frequency AND intensity before you start. Even then, you will feel like total shit when doing Smolov. It isn’t something you do for fun.

With a 100kg squat you should do Starting Strength, not Smolov.