View Full Version : Smolov Jr. for bench
06-21-2012, 11:04 PM
Been researching different kinds of routines to improve various lifts recently and came across this one. Its a relatively short program only going 3 weeks and in some cases producing amazing gains. It has you benching 4 times a week. Looks really intense. This is a modified version of the longer Smolov program for squats.
Anyone have any experience trying something like this? I have to admit I am kinda curious.
06-22-2012, 08:57 PM
Try it out. I'm a human guinea pig myself.
06-22-2012, 09:14 PM
Yea I think I will try it for either bench or squat and report back. I think my legs will handle the volume a bit better.
06-22-2012, 10:33 PM
More and more I'm reading that you should only really go after one lift at a time anyway. I know of some powerlifters who squat frequently and hardly ever deadlift. Some even train their deadlift with box squats and good mornings and only deadlift the day of the meet!
I suspect that one of the reasons that people stick with 5-3-1 is that you don't really go after any one lift. It's a go-slow approach and you don't burn out.
And by the same token I can see where that's why some would become impatient with 5-3-1.
06-23-2012, 03:21 AM
Yeah, I have recently been looking into some of these powerlifting programs and based on what I am reading the consensus seems to be focus on one lift at a time. Some go to the extreme and only practice that single lift. I would not take it that far but I would drop or limit most assistance work.
The reason I have gotten interested in this program specifically is that for the past month or so I have had such an inconsistent schedule and progress has been slow if at all. But now I find myself with about 6 weeks where I know I wont have any travel and can focus on my lifting. So, I am thinking a short intense program to really make some strength gains would be a nice challenge to focus on.
I am leaning more toward squat as of now, my bench press is actually pretty good for my size where as my squat is really lacking. So I think perhaps I will give the squat routine a try for 3 weeks and if I like the results start the same routine for bench after.
06-24-2012, 03:36 PM
Started today. Did 6 sets of 6 reps at 170. This is a weight that I could do plenty more reps at normally but I still really feel it. I am not much of a volume lifter so by the end of the third set I was huffing. I did no assistance exercises as I would rather just recover and focus on the squat itself since I will be doing it again on Tuesday.
06-24-2012, 03:38 PM
Here are some guys who aren't real high on Smolov. :wink:
That said, if you had to emphasize a lift, I'd guess you could hardly go wrong with a very short-term squat-based configuration.
06-24-2012, 03:42 PM
I see the post and they are probably right, but they are also talking about the longer Smolov program which is 13 weeks as opposed to 3 like Smolov Jr. Either way, I will listen to my body and if I start feeling pain or like the program is going to hurt my progress I will back it down and look for something else.
I am sure there people who don't like the program, even the positive reviews I have read say that not everyone achieves positive results.
For me this is a human guinea pig type thing as you mentioned. I am not happy with my squat performance when compared to other lifts and training it once a week while helping me improve is slow going. Plus I really want to nail my form and think more repetitions will help me achieve that. Which is why I decided on squat over bench, bench would have been more of a vanity thing.
06-24-2012, 04:03 PM
Yeah, seems like it would be hard to debilitate yourself in three weeks. Believe it or not, there is a school of training, guy's name is John Broz, which MAXES out on squats EVERY DAY. Bret Contreras is raving about it.
But another trainer I know tells me that Broz lifters pretty much stay injured.
I can't even imagine squatting three times a week as with Starting Strength.
06-24-2012, 04:38 PM
I just read an interview Bret Contreras did with Matt Perryman yesterday and I believe that was mentioned, though I don't recall the name being brought up.
Some very interesting ideas out there.
06-25-2012, 11:00 AM
Rest day today. Legs are sore but not too bad. Also read up on broz and it turns out his gym is really close to me.
He has some very different ideas and his analogies are funny.
06-26-2012, 05:37 PM
Second day down. 7 sets of 5 reps at 180 (my BW). Followed that up with my normal bench workout and all in all spent the most time in the gym at one time in what has to be a few years.
Though my legs were a little sore going into the workout they felt good for the most part. The only thing that is kinda achy are my hips which I am trying to stretch and foam roll as much as possible to loosen up.
Will see how I feel tomorrow.
06-27-2012, 08:21 PM
No squatting today. Legs are feeling pretty good. Did my regular 5-3-1 deadlift workout today and looking forward to getting in the gym for day 3 of Smolov Jr. tomorrow.
06-28-2012, 02:50 PM
Just got home from day 3. Did nothing but squat today and it was rough.
8 sets of 190x4. Tomorrow is going to be a struggle.
06-28-2012, 10:02 PM
Sounds grueling. Good thing is that you can do almost anything for three weeks. Hell, I sold used cars for three weeks.
06-28-2012, 10:07 PM
Definitely grueling and yet I am enjoying it and look forward to my workouts. Its a nice change of pace and if nothing else I feel my form will benefit from all the work. My hip flexors hate me right now.
06-29-2012, 03:30 PM
Holy frak that was hard. My legs are blasted.
10 sets of 205x3. So looking forward to not squatting tomorrow, hope I am ready on Sunday to start week 2 with increased weights.
06-30-2012, 03:34 PM
Legs feel surprisingly OK today, so I assume they will be destroyed tomorrow just in time to squat again.
07-01-2012, 09:00 PM
Just as expected, legs felt awfully sore at the gym today. Probably does not help that I have gone out the past 2 nights.
Anyway, still did my 6 sets of 6 reps at 185. Decided to go up 15 pounds this week and will continue that each day this week. Then hoping to do 25 pounds more next week.
07-03-2012, 04:00 PM
Rested yesterday. Lifted again today. And exactly half way through the workouts this one was a total struggle from the first rep. My legs are at the point where I feel every movement. I know my form was starting to struggle today which sucked but I hope I can recover enough to do better on Thursday.
Good reason to eat big at July 4th bbq.
07-05-2012, 04:49 PM
Workout number 7 in the books. 8 sets of 205X4. Felt better going into this one than I did a few days ago but that did not last long. Right around the 6th set I considered just calling it a day. My knee is a little sore and my legs are just beat up. I did finish today but I am dreading squatting again tomorrow. I am going to hopefully feel better about it in the morning but I may be cutting this routine short. I am honestly starting to doubt whether I can keep this up for another 8 days.
07-06-2012, 01:31 PM
After 7 of the 12 workouts down I am calling it quits on this program. I just dont see the benefit of continuing this when I know my form would be awful today just defeating the purpose.
Even though I am not going to finish I may try something like this again with another body part. My one major take away is that I did enjoy squatting more often until the volume caught up to me at workout 6.
So, I have been researching programs that allow for more squatting just without the volume that Smolov Jr. uses and of course I came across 2 from Jim Wendler himself. That man must be a programming machine, he has so many tweaks for his 5/3/1 now.
Here is his 3 day full body workout (http://www.t-nation.com/strength-training-topics/1316) which is inspired by Rippetoe and Bill Starr. I may try to incorporate this as soon as next week. Though right now I can not even stand up without either pushing or pulling myself up with my arms.
07-06-2012, 01:43 PM
Here is another program from Wendler that is aimed at beginners. Here he recommends squat and bench twice a week with OHP and Deadlift once a week.
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