Smolov: Add 100 Pounds To Your Back Squat

The legendary russian squat routine that can add up to 100 pounds to your back squat in 13 weeks. Smolov was created by the Russian master Sergey Smolov and later came to popularity in 2001 in the book “Power to the People Professional”.

First off, this program is not for beginners. It is recommended that you have at least a year of weightlifting experience before attempting this advanced routine, you also must have proper squat technique. This is the program for lifters who know that anything worth doing is worth doing right. Go big, or go home.

Smolov is not for lifters who have been training for less than a year. It’s also not for lifters who can’t Squat more than 300 lb. If you haven’t mastered proper squat technique yet, start off by building your foundation with Wendler 5/3/1,  5×5 or Madcow 5×5 before you give this weightlifting routine a try.

How Smolov Works

The program is split into 4 phases:

  • Weeks 1-2 Introduction Phase: prepares your glutes, quats and hamstrings for the journey ahead. You will squat 3 day in a row working up towards heavy singles, rest of the week is stretching to speed up leg recovery. Week 2 you Squat every other day.
  • Week 3-6 Base Phase: You’ll Squat 4x/week for 3 weeks. 4 sets of 9 reps on Monday, 5×7 Wednesday, 7×5 Friday, and 10×3 reps Saturday. The weight increases each workout, each week. Week 4 is a rest week where you’ll only Squat once and attempt to break your PR.
  • Week 7-8 Switching Phase: 2 week deload
  • Week 9-13 Intense Phase: You’ll only Squat 3x/week, but 44% of the time it will be using weights that are between 81%-90% of your 1RM. Most lifters agree this is the hardest part of Smolov. On week 5 you attempt to break your previous Squat PR.

Full Smolov Tips

  • Do not deadlift when doing the Full Smolov routine. Deadlifts will interfere with your squats.
  • Eat: at least 4000/kcal/day (depending upon body type)
  • Sleep: This is when you get stronger. Recovery will not happen if you do not get at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Stretch: Stretching on rest days will prevent injures, and boost strength and recovery time
  • Get a training partner

Use The Smolov App

To make it easier on yourself try using the Smolov app to track your program. It will automatically calculate your weights, reps, rest times, and even tell you which plates to load on the bar. Give it a try for free on android or ios.


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