31 Mar

Smolov Training

One of my new year’s resolutions was to hit a 200kg squat. Therefore I have decided to have a crack at SMOLOV training. What is SMOLOV training? Well SMOLOV training is a 13 week squat routine that is said to possibly add 100Lbs (45Kg) to your squat. It was initially developed by a man called Sergey Smolov who was a Russian master of sports.

I have previously done 5×5 training to improve my strength and I would recommend someone that is looking to increase their strength to try this routine out first. It is important to have impeccable form as there is a high frequency of heavy squatting which could result in injury.

How Smolov works:

There are 4 cycles to the routine that will last a total of 13 weeks. The first thing you need to know is your current 1 rep max (1RM). If you are like me and never normally do 1RM then you can use this equation to calculate it:

WEIGHT LIFTED x REPS x 0.0333 + WEIGHT LIFTED = 1RM

The following 5 phases are what make up this brutal workout.

  1. Introduction Cycle: Week 1 – 2
    1. Week one consists of squatting 3 days in a row then the rest of the week concentrates of stretching to aid recovery.
    2. Week two involves squatting every other day.
  2. Base Cycle: Week 3 – 6
    1. We are now squatting 4x per week.
    2. Monday 4 sets of 9 reps (4×9)
    3. Tueseday 4×9
    4. Friday 7×5
    5. Saturday 10×3
    6. Week 4 is a rest week to allow the body to recover. There is only one workout this week where you try to set a new PB J.
  3. Switching Cycle: week 7 – 8
    1. This is a 2 week deload, you will need this slight breather before the final push to your new monster 1RM.
  4. Intensity cycle: week 9 – 13
    1. This is where the heavy weight comes out and you will be pushing to your limits.
    2. You squat 3 x per week but I would recommend having a 2 day break after the 2nd For example you could squat Tueseday/ Thursday and
      Sunday.
  5. Taper: You have now smashed the program and it is time to see what your new 1RM is!

As you can probably see this workout is going to have you squatting a LOT! This will force you through any plateaus and help make those gains in strength.  I have included a guideline workout that has the weight you should be lifting included (percentage of your 1RM). If you are lazy like me and don’t want to workout all the different weights then go on google and type in “Smolov spreadsheet”. There are lots of excel spreadsheets that are programmed to workout all the weights for you.

Smolov Workout Routine

Introduction cycle

Day 1

65% x 8 x 3 (8 reps, 3 sets)

70% x 5 (5 reps, 1 set)

75% x 2 x 2

80% x 1

Day 2

65% x 8 x 3 (8 reps, 3 sets)

70% x 5

75% x 2 x 2

80% x 1

Day 3

70% x 5 x 4

75% x 3

80% x 2 x 2

90% x 1

These three days in a row of squatting are tough and the next three days are spent doing lunges and some Bulgarian split squats concentrating on the stretch. Week two involves squatting every other day and there is people tend to approach this week differently as it doesn’t have as much volume as week 1. Personally I found my week went like this:

Monday

80% x 1 x 5

Wednesday

82.5% x 1 x 5

Friday

85% x 1 x 5

I finished each workout of week two with some broad jumps for the explosive power.

Base Mesocycle

Monday

70% x 9 x 4

Wednesday

75% x 7 x 5

Friday

80% x 5 x 7

Saturday

85% x 3 x 10

This phase is 4 weeks an on the second week you add 20 lbs to each lift and then in the third week you add 30 lbs to your week one lifts. On the fourth week you are to test your new 1RM. I would advise doing this later in the week so that your body is fully recovered. You should aim to add between 24 – 45 Lbs.

Switching

The switching phase is aimed at giving the body a bit of rest but still do some explosive work.

For example I did:

Monday

Squat Negative

Broad Jumps

Wednesday

Power Clean

Broad Jumps

Friday

Box Squat

Broad Jump

Intense Mesocycle

Week 1          Week 2          Week 3           Week 4

Monday

65% x 3          60% x 4          60% x 3           70% x 3

75% x 4         70% x 4           70% x 3           80% x 4

85% x 4 x 3       80% x 4         80% x 3          90% x 5 x 5

85% x 5       90% x 4 x 2      90% x 5 x 5

Wednesday

60% x 3        65% x 3          60% x 3            70% x 3

70% x 4           75% x 3          70% x 3            80% x 3

80% x 4           85% x 3          80% x 3           95% x 3 x 4

85% x 5 x    90% x 3 x 3     95% x 3 x 2               –

Saturday

  65% x 4          65% x 3      65% x 3          75% x 3

70% x 4         75% x 3        75% x 3           90% x 4

80% x 4 x 5         85% x 4        85% x 3           80% x 4 x 3

–             90% x 3 x 3      95% x 3 x 4               –

 Taper

 There are different ways of approaching the taper. I personally think the body needs to get a good amount of rest to set that new 1RM. So I would do this:

Wednesday

75% x 4

85% x 5

Sunday

Test out new MAX

If you want to find out more about SMOLOV click here.

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