Smolov is 13 week squat training program that was developed in the soviet union by Sergey Smolov. The program is often regarded as brutal and has been criticized for leading to overtraining and/or long term staleness. On the other hand, many have had huge success with the program and a handful of people have managed to increased their squat from 20-50kg. Smolov is regarded as an intermediate program and should not be attempted by a person with less them one year of heavy strength training under their belt. Generally, it is not recommended to try actively to improve other lifts while doing Smolov, and assistance work is done mainly with the purpose of maintenance and rehab.

Open Spreadsheet

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Preview the Smolov Spreadsheet

The structure of Smolov

The Smolov squat routine is split into four blocks or phases.

Week Description
1-2 Introductory microcycle – Preparatory Block

The first two weeks are done to prep you for the high frequency of squatting, that is to come. Lifters who are used to high a frequency and workload in the squat can skip this part.

3-6 Base mesocycle – Accumulation Block

You will be squatting with 4 times a week and each session can be regarded as challenging ( 4*9 @ 70%, 5*7 @ 75%, 7*5 @ 80% and last but not least 10*3 @ 85%). The next week you will do the same, but adding an extra 10kg(22lb) to the bar. In the third week, you will further increase the weight by 5kg(11lb). I personally find these increases arbitrary and think there is no problem with making smaller jumps, if your are missing or close to missing sets in training. The base mesocycle has a higher focus on hypertrophy and overall work capacity, compared to the intense mesocycle.

7-8 Switching – Transition Block

The switching phase prime is to maintain results and allow for recovery.

9-12 Intense mesocycle – Transmutation Block

In the intense mesocycle you will only be squatting 3 times a week, but rest assure the lower frequency is made up for in a higher average intensity (% RM)

13 Taper Week – Realization Block

The aim of week 13, is recovery and realizing the gains you have made in the previous 3 months.