Smolov Training Program – Week 3

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I have fully committed myself to the Smolov Training Program. The realization of the importance that volume has in making progress in your lifts is crucial. I embrace the challenge each training session to not only complete all reps/ sets, but also to perform the lift more efficient, so I am able to move more weight confidently.

Any good program has to have a combination of volume and intensity to force growth and cause an adaptation to promote changes. With the Smolov Full Squat Routine it has it all laid out for you, challenging you physically and mentally to the end.

First, building up your work capacity and stimulating muscle growth. Then, transferring that into a high-intensity block with still a good deal of volume that will ultimately give me the ability to increase my 1 rep max. Also, I have a feeling that if my squat strength improves my deadlift max will most likely go up too.

I have been doing deadlifts once a week to maintain some consistency with form, but nothing heavy or taxing. For deadlifts I pull sumo style. I’ve been doing beltless singles going up 10-20 lbs a week. Every 3 weeks I will reset and ramp them back up until the end of my squat program and then test out.

This is the beginning of the base cycle for the Smolov Full Squat Routine and the last week for the Smolov Jr. Bench Routine. So far, so good! I feel like my technique is improving from day-to-day giving me more consistency with squat and bench. From set-up to finish I’m purposely trying to replicate each step for each rep and set that felt and looked the best. I’m accomplishing this by tracking my progress through video and documenting my thoughts for each training session.

I have upped my calorie intake to stay around the 200 lb range. This is to:

  1. Ensure I have the energy to get through each session.
  2. Gain as much muscle and strength as possible.
  3. To aid in the recovery process between each session.

Nutrition is also a big part of tracking my progress. I track my macros, so that I know how and when to increase or decrease my calorie intake to benefit my goals. The goal right now is to gain muscle and strength, and I will do what it takes to accomplish that.

Week 3

Day 1 – 10/8/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 270×9,9,9,9
  • Leg Extensions: 3×8 – Superset – Leg Curls: 3×8

Note: Squat felt great! Still need to keep upper-back a little tighter and brace my trunk better. I am feeling more stable since switching back to flat shoes and widening my stance.

2nd Workout – Smolov Jr. Bench Press Routine

  • Bench Press: 190×6,6,6,6,6,6
  • Dumbbell Cleans: 3×12 – Superset – Band Triceps Extensions: 3×25

Note: Bench felt light and easy. Putting in the work! Focusing on consistent bar path and speed off the chest.

Day 2 – 10/10/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 290×7,7,7,7,7
  • Leg Extensions: 3×10 – Superset – Leg Curls: 3×10

Note: Squat went well. Need to work on staying tighter in the bottom of the squat.

2nd Workout – Smolov Jr. Bench Press Routine

  • Bench Press: 205×5,5,5,5,5,5,5
  • Seated Rows: 3×15 – Superset – Band Triceps Extensions: 3×25

Note: Bench was ok. I need to stay tighter on the chest and drive with legs harder. Really just keeping legs more engaged from the beginning to the end to be more stable.

Day 3 – 10/12/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 310×5,5,5,5,5,5,5

Note: Squat felt awesome! Good day; felt very stable and balanced.

2nd workout – Smolov Jr. Bench Press Routine

  • Bench Press: 220×4,4,4,4,4,4,4,4
  • Push-ups: 3×20 – Superset – Inverted Rows: 3×12-15

Note: Bench went fine. A little slower than I would like. I couldn’t quite find the groove today. Last few sets were rough.

Day 4 – 10/13/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 325×3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3

Note: Squat felt ok, some sets better than others. I think back-to-back squat days might play a role in not being as explosive as I would like. No excuses, just a thought.

2nd Workout – Smolov Jr. Bench Press Routine

  • Bench Press: 230×3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3

Note: Bench started off good, but ended up grinding it out at the end. Rough! This was the last week of the bench routine, so I’m glad to have completed it. Rest then test!

  • Deadlift-Sumo: 405×1,1,1,1,1

Note: Easy! I need to be more patient and wait until I’m in position before starting the pull. For some reason I was rushing through these. This I will definitely work on.

Trusting the Process!

By trusting the process and embracing the dedication that it takes to achieve something you want bad enough becomes a mini victory each and every training session that I accomplish. I have my goals in my mind and that is the motivation, but it still takes discipline and action to get to the destination. I enjoy lifting weights and pursuing strength through working hard and earning what I deserve. If I fail, I will do my best to learn from it and put together another plan to achieve my goals. Never give up!

Moving forward I will keep an open-mind, so that I can continue to learn and improve. Understanding that what works for someone else may not work for you, but finding common denominators is the key to building successful patterns.

I am off to a great start with this program and the sky is the limit. Squat is feeling better than ever. I have made some changes that have given me added stability and improved my movement patterns.

Some of the changes I have made are:

  1. Change to flat shoes.
  2. New SBD lever belt, but more importantly bracing properly with the belt.
  3. Upper-back tightness and head position.
  4. Widen stance, knees out, and drive out of the bottom with hips.

This is the final week of the Smolov Jr. Bench Press Routine and I need to make some decisions moving forward on which direction I am gonna go with my bench training. I have an idea to test my max next week to see where I’m at, and then take a deload week. I will either start the Smolov Intensity Cycle or just do a 3 day a week sub-maximal block to focus more on my squat. I have a feeling I am going to end up doing the Smolov Intensity Cycle, but I am not sure yet. I will make a more definitive decision after next week’s training.

I am still doing recovery workouts on my rest days to help keep me mobile. What I plan to do for this next week’s recovery workouts are:

I will pick from these options and do abs on every rest day. The ab roller is an awesome tool because it not only strengthens your trunk and core muscles, but it stretches out the upper-body as well. I will try to get outdoors as much as possible to enjoy the last of the nice weather before it gets too cold, so the sled will be getting some usage. Kettlebells are always a go to and provide many great exercises that help strengthen, condition, and aid in flexibility. Bodyweight exercise can also offer a great way to get blood flow to the muscles without over doing it, so you feel better prepared for the next training session.

This is what has worked for me and ‘if it’s not broke why try to fix it.’

Until next time, Keep Pushing!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions leave them below.

When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.-Paul Brown







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Marcus is a man of God, married to a wonderful women and has 4 children. He is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and aspiring Powerlifter. He has a passion for helping others achieve personal growth through a healthy fitness and nutrition based lifestyle. With hard work and dedication anything is possible. God bless

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