Smolov Training Program – Week 4

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Another week in the books. This week was both mentally and physically tough. I was able to hit all my numbers with no problem, but the feelings of over-expectation is starting to creep in. It kinda sucks because I have started to question whether or not I made the right decision by doing Smolov in the first place. Should I have continued with my own training program that I was doing prior? Then I started to remember what the purpose was for me to do Smolov in the first place, and that was to improve technique through high-frequency repetitive practice with the possibility to increase my maxes.

In many regards I feel that Smolov has been a huge learning experience on how I will incorporate more sub-maximal volume into my training in the future to maintain consistency in movement patterns. While also, keeping a high-intensity element on a regular basis to keep peak strength more consistent as well. I want to stay ready, and not feel that I have to get ready to display strength I know I’m capable of.

Overall training went well. Although, bench didn’t quite go as planned. I tested my bench this week from the 3-week cycle of Smolov Jr. and I stayed about the same as I was before by about a 5 lb. difference. I probably could have added the 5 lbs. and matched my starting number, but it is; what it is. So, moving forward with bench I was thinking of starting the Smolov Intensity Cycle, but I have made the call to do my own bench program based on what I was doing before I started Smolov Jr. I will be going back to my Top Set Training Program for bench and incorporating what I have gained from Smolov Jr. by incorporating more volume to reinforce technique and muscle stimulation.

As far as my squat goes, I will continue with the Smolov Squat Routine and make the most of it. My upper-back is tore up from the bar and I am starting to get a little forearm pain towards the end of the weeks, but I have one more week of the base cycle and then I start the intensity cycle after a two-week switching phase; which is like a deload/ reload whatever you want to call it. Also, I drooped the weight on my toe during deadlifts and that was do to me being lazy and not taking my knee sleeves off after squats. My finger got caught in it on the way up, threw off the bar path, but it was light enough to finish the lift, so when I was putting the weight down the bar was shifted over a bit and landed on my left foot. Oouch! It will be ok! I kept going and finished another 3 sets.

Week 4

Day 1 – 10/15/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 280×9,9,9,9
  • Lat Pulldown: 3×12

Note: Squats felt great and moved well! I am starting to like doing this higher rep day.

Day 2 – 10/17/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 300×7,7,7,7,7
  • Megaset – Leg Extensions: 3×10 – Leg curls: 3×10 – Seated Rows: 3×12

Note: Another great squat day. Felt solid!

Day 3 – 10/19/18

Smolov Jr. Bench Press – Test Max

  • Bench Press: 250×1, 265×1

Note: Bench felt ok, but didn’t quite hit what I was hoping for. This was 5 lbs. less than what I did before starting Smolov Jr. I felt weaker off the chest than normal, but I was able to move it well enough. I couldn’t get my set up right, it’s like I forgot how to get my body into position. Everything just feels weird from foot placement to the way I am gripping the bar. Kind of frustrating. I’m not sure if I am burnt out from all the volume or if I should try to adjust my set-up. I will be playing around with this idea in the next few weeks.

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 320×5,5,5,5,5,5,5

Note: Squats felt strong! I wasn’t sure how this would go because mentally I was a little rattled from bench, but I got over it and kept pushing!

Day 4 – 10/20/18

Smolov Full Squat Routine – Base Cycle

  • Squat: 335×3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3

Note: Squats felt slow, but doable. Upper-back was feeling tore up from the bar knurling by this point in the week. Forearms feeling some pain too.

  • Deadlift-Sumo: 365+Chainsx1,1,1,1,1

Note: I will never be lazy and not take off my knee sleeves after squatting again before deadlifting. I dropped the weight on my toe on the second set. This sucked, but not so bad I couldn’t finish the last 3 sets.

Living and Learning!

I will never stop learning even if it means taking a few steps back to move forward by gaining a better understanding on what I plan to do. The biggest benefit I have learned from doing Smolov for my squat is that volume; sets/ reps help to build consistent technique, muscle, and will lead to strength gains.

For my bench on the other hand I feel that Smolov Jr. has been challenging, but not the most productive for building my bench press. With my bench training I realize that I need to have a higher-intensity set to maintain a certain level of strength accompanied by a decent amount of volume to help maintain a solid foundation for technique. Pause reps on the chest for bench are by far the best strength building variation for stability and explosiveness for me.

With Smolov Jr. I lost focus of this by mainly committing to getting the required volume in. Prior to Smolov Jr. my bench was making slow forward progress, but I wanted to see if a sub-maximal high-volume routine would benefit me. So with that much volume combined with doing Smolov for squat, it just doesn’t make sense to continue with it. I’m not saying it isn’t a good program; in my opinion it is better suited for my squat than bench press.

In fact after this week of my Smolov Squat Routine I might go back to doing my own program altogether. I feel that I really got what I needed, and that was figuring out my technique. Sometime the ‘grass isn’t greener on the other side’ and this helped me to realize that the most important factor is not that any one program working better than another; it takes consistency and dedicated practice to become good at anything regardless of the program.

I still have a ton to learn and in the future I may consider hiring a strength coach to help guide me and set-up a personalized program for me, but until then, I will continue to try to figure things out the best I can.

My plan for this next week on rest days for recovery workouts:

It is better to do something than nothing. When I feel sore and tired it’s easy to want to sit and not do anything, but that’s not me! It is better to move and I get enough sit time doing things like this here.

When I do these recovery workouts it is light and easy to get blood flow through the body with a little conditioning aspect. I also do many other active things I don’t really count as working out like: yard work and walking, although it is better than nothing.

My nutrition has played a big role in giving me the energy needed to get through these workouts and recover quickly between workouts. I have a base for what I need macro wise per day and then I eat more if needed. After Smolov I will refine my macros and begin a lean phase to improve body composition. I don’t want to sacrifice size for strength, rather to get the most out of the plan to accomplish my goals.

Until next time, Keep pushing!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

A champion is afraid of losing. Everyone else is afraid of winning.-Billie Jean King

Peace & Blessings,




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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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