The Full Information to the Smolov Squat Program


Share post:

The Smolov squat program is a coaching program designed to spice up your squat energy as quick as doable.

Basically, it’s a high-volume, high-frequency specialization routine meant to spice up your squat as quick as doable. It’s additionally thought of one of the tough packages you may comply with, which is why it’s typically held up as a ceremony of passage for the hardiest and most devoted.

Is that this popularity warranted, although? 

Does Smolov work as promised, or is it only a useless and masochistic strategy to win bragging rights and likes?

On this article, you’ll be taught what the Smolov program is, who ought to try it and who shouldn’t, what this system entails, and extra.


What Is the Smolov Squat Program?

The Smolov Squat Program, typically shortened to “Smolov,” is a 13-week weightlifting program designed to extend your squat energy. 

It was named after its creator and “Russian Grasp of Sport,” Sergey Smolov, who reportedly used its rules to coach the dominant Russian weightlifters of the mid-to-late twentieth century.

Smolov has been a mainstay in soviet weightlifting circles because the 70s, nevertheless it didn’t acquire worldwide notoriety till 2001. That’s when former Soviet Particular Forces bodily coaching teacher and main health determine, Pavel Tsatsouline, wrote about it within the now defunct Powerlifting USA journal.

Since then, it’s change into notorious for its brutal high-frequency, high-intensity strategy that guarantees so as to add as much as 100 kilos to your squat one-rep max in simply 3 months.

Discover the Good Dietary supplements for You in Simply 60 Seconds

You do not want dietary supplements to construct muscle, lose fats, and get wholesome. However the suitable ones will help. Take this quiz to be taught which of them are finest for you.

Take the Quiz

Who Is the Smolov Squat Program For?

Earlier than we discuss who Smolov is for, let’s be clear about who Smolov most positively isn’t for.

If . . . 

. . . Smolov isn’t for you.

If, nevertheless, you’re a sophisticated squatter whose progress has slowed to a crawl or stalled, and also you’re on high of your weight loss plan, restoration, and sleep, Smolov may be value a shot.

Keep in mind, although, that the Smolov program is grueling. Many who try it stop early due to exhaustion or damage. Don’t start in the event you aren’t all in. 

For these causes, it’s typically used periodically to spice up your squat—perhaps as soon as per 12 months and even much less typically—not as a long-term “way of life” coaching program like Larger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger.

How Does the Smolov Squat Program Work?

The Smolov squat program is 13 weeks lengthy and cut up into the next 5 phases: part in, base cycle, switching part, intense cycle, and taper week. 

This system outlines exactly how a lot weight it’s best to carry in each set primarily based on a share of both your . . .

  • One-rep max, which is the utmost quantity of weight you may carry for a single repetition by way of a full vary of movement with correct method, or . . .
  • Your coaching max, which is a share (often 90%) of your one-rep max

In different phrases, your coaching max is a conservative one-rep max.

Historically, individuals used their one-rep max to calculate their “working weights” on Smolov. Nevertheless, this strategy has fallen out of favor lately as a result of it’s notably (and unnecessarily) demanding. 

Utilizing your coaching max is extra wise as a result of it ensures you may full all of the prescribed units and reps in every exercise with out sporting your self to a frazzle and risking damage.

For Smolov, I like to recommend you utilize a coaching max equal to 90% of your one rep max, which you’ll be able to calculate by multiplying your one-rep max by 0.9. 

For instance, in case your squat one-rep max is 400 kilos, your coaching max can be 360 kilos.

Thus, if this system calls so that you can carry 80% of your coaching max, it’s best to load the bar with 288 kilos (80% of 360).

Discover the Finest Food plan for You in Simply 60 Seconds

What number of energy do you have to eat? What about “macros?” What meals do you have to eat? Take our 60-second quiz to get science-based solutions to those questions and extra.

Take the Quiz

Section In

The “phasing in” weeks prepared your physique for the pains of squatting heavy 3-to-4 days per week.

The exercises ought to really feel comparatively straightforward. In the event that they don’t, you’ll have calculated your coaching max incorrectly, so return and verify your math.

Listed below are the exercises. Once more, all the odds are primarily based in your coaching max:

The-Smolov-Squat-Program-Phase In

Base Cycle

The bottom cycle is probably the most grueling a part of Smolov as a result of it combines excessive frequency with excessive quantity and depth. Throughout weeks 3-to-6 of the bottom cycle, you squat 4 occasions per week, and within the ultimate week, you squat twice.

As you progress by way of the bottom cycle, you get alternatives to improve the burden that you simply carry. This system recommends rising the burden by 20 kilos within the second week of the bottom cycle (week 4 of this system) and an additional 10 kilos throughout the third week of the bottom cycle (week 5 of this system). 

These will increase aren’t cast-iron, although. 

For instance, in the event you fail to finish the prescribed units and reps within the first week of the bottom cycle, keep on the identical weight within the second week. Or, in the event you discover it very difficult however nearly doable, a 10-pound improve between weeks 1 and a pair of of the bottom cycle might be extra becoming. 

Likewise, solely add an extra 10 kilos within the third week of the bottom cycle if you are able to do so and nonetheless full your exercises. 

Within the ultimate week of the bottom cycle, you do exactly two exercises. There are not any set and rep targets in these exercises—as an alternative, you utilize them to find out your new squat one-rep max.

To do that, full an intensive warm-up, then load the bar together with your present coaching max and carry out one set of 1 rep of the squat. Relaxation for 3-to-5 minutes, then add 10-to-20 kilos to the bar (or a smaller improve in case your first set was very tough), and do one other set of 1 rep. Proceed this technique of including weight, performing one rep, and resting 3-to-5 minutes till you attain your restrict.

The best weight which you could carry for a single rep with good kind by way of a full vary of movement is your new one-rep max.

Right here’s how the exercises look. Once more, all the odds are primarily based in your coaching max, not your one-rep max:

The-Smolov-Squat-Program-Base Cycle

Switching Section

The switching part is a 2-week deload that offers you a relaxation from heavy squatting. 

This system doesn’t prescribe particular exercises throughout the switching part. As a substitute, it recommends that you simply use the time to deal with growing velocity and energy.

Thus, if you wish to prepare throughout the switching part, right here’s what I like to recommend:

  • Do 2-to-3 exercises per week.
  • Do 3-to-5 units of 1 lower-body train per exercise.
  • Do 5 reps per set.
  • Use workouts that develop lower-body energy, such because the energy clear, soar squat, and paused again squat.
  • By no means carry greater than 70% of your coaching max.
  • Full every rep as explosively as doable (whereas sustaining good kind).

Some Nutritionists Cost Tons of of {Dollars} for This Food plan “Hack” . . .

. . . and it is yours free of charge. Take our 60-second quiz and be taught precisely what number of energy it’s best to eat, what your “macros” must be, what meals are finest for you, and extra.

Take the Quiz

Intense Cycle

Throughout the 4-week intense cycle, quantity and depth lower to permit for greater coaching depth. In different phrases, you do fewer exercises, units, and reps per week, which lets you carry heavier weights.

To calculate your weights for the extreme cycle, take your new one-rep max (that you simply decided within the ultimate week of the bottom cycle) and multiply it by 0.9 to get your new coaching max, then calculate all of your coaching weights as a share of your coaching max.

For instance, in case your new one-rep max is 450 kilos, your new coaching max can be 405 kilos.

Thus, if this system calls so that you can carry 90% of your coaching max, it’s best to load the bar with 365 kilos.

Listed below are the exercises. As earlier than, all the share are primarily based in your coaching max:


Taper Week

The taper week is the ultimate week of the Smolov program. It includes two comparatively low-volume exercises, then one ultimate likelihood to check your one-rep max.

Listed below are the exercises. As all the time, base the odds in your coaching max:

The-Smolov-Squat-Taper-Week In

FAQ 1: Does the Smolov squat program make it easier to construct muscle?


The Smolov program encourages you to progressively overload your muscular tissues by lifting heavier weights over time, which is the number-one driver of muscle development.

That stated, Smolov isn’t the perfect coaching program for individuals whose main purpose is gaining muscle, particularly not if you wish to construct full-body muscle. For that, you’ll want a extra balanced program with a greater mixture of quantity, depth, and frequency and extra train selection, similar to my packages for women and men, Larger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger

(Or in the event you aren’t positive if Larger Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger are best for you or if one other energy coaching program is likely to be a greater match in your circumstances and objectives, then take Legion Power Coaching Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know the right energy coaching program for you. Click on right here to test it out.)

FAQ 2: How a lot does Smolov add to your squat?

It varies drastically between weightlifters, however most individuals can anticipate so as to add between 40 and 100 kilos to their squat one-rep max in a single cycle assuming you optimize your weight loss plan and restoration throughout this system. Like several program, you may anticipate reducing returns from Smolov as you get stronger and stronger and inch towards your genetic potential for energy and muscle acquire.

FAQ 3: What’s Smolov Jr.?

Smolov Jr. is a variation of the Smolov program modeled on the complete model’s base cycle. It’s well-liked as a result of it yields comparable outcomes to its larger brother, nevertheless it’s shorter and fewer demanding, making it extra doable for many weightlifters. 

FAQ 4: Must you do different workouts on the Smolov program?

Most Smolov squat program guides suggest that you simply stick solely to the squat throughout this system and depart another workouts for after you end. You actually simply squat.

Whereas this works nicely, many individuals like so as to add “accent” work to make sure they don’t lose muscle in areas of the physique that aren’t skilled by the squat, such because the higher again, chest, shoulders, and arms.

If that is so for you, the trick is to . . .

  • Do as little additional accent train quantity as doable to preserve your measurement and energy.
  • Do one accent train per exercise after you’ve completed your Smolov coaching. That’s all it takes to maintain your different physique components from getting smaller and weaker.

With that in thoughts, right here’s what I like to recommend:


FAQ 5: Which dietary supplements ought to I take throughout Smolov?

You don’t must take any dietary supplements throughout Smolov, however the suitable ones will help.

One of the best dietary supplements for reinforcing your efficiency and restoration whilst you full the Smolov squat program are:

  • 0.8-to-1.2 grams of protein per pound of physique weight per day. This gives your physique with the “constructing blocks” it must construct and restore muscle tissue and make it easier to recuperate out of your exercises. In order for you a clear, handy, and scrumptious supply of protein, strive Whey+ or Casein+.
  • 3-to-5 grams of creatine per day. This may enhance muscle and energy acquire, enhance anaerobic endurance, and scale back muscle injury and soreness out of your pull exercises. In order for you a 100% pure supply of creatine that additionally contains two different components that may assist enhance muscle development and enhance restoration, strive Recharge.
  • One serving of Pulse per day. Pulse is a 100% pure pre-workout drink that enhances vitality, temper, and focus; will increase energy and endurance; and reduces fatigue. You can too get Pulse with caffeine or with out.

(And in the event you’d like much more particular recommendation about which dietary supplements it’s best to take to succeed in your well being and health objectives, take the Legion Complement Finder Quiz, and in lower than a minute, you’ll know precisely what dietary supplements are best for you. Click on right here to test it out.)

FAQ 6: What’s a Smolov calculator?

It’s important to do a good quantity of quantity crunching to calculate your coaching weights on Smolov. If math isn’t your forte, this may be extra daunting than the squatting.

A Smolov calculator is a web based calculator that does all the math for you. All it’s important to do is plug in your one-rep max and it tells you ways a lot weight you have to carry in each set of this system.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related articles