Smolov squat routine- how to start?


Double-Digit Post Count
I would like to take the Smolov routine (maybe not now but in a few weeks) but I don't know how to start. I finished the Ryabinkov Plan from PTP professional and I feel I'm ready to Smolov ;). In my mind in this routine I must avoid deadlift, and other heavy lower back exercises, but how about light sets of leg curl or low reps, low sets abs workout or maybe a few minutes of kettlebell swings. And how to create upper body workouts. I'd like to perform pull ups and dips and additionaly heavy dumbell rows. how to cennect this exercise with Smolov routine?


Double-Digit Post Count
I squat double BW. My weight 70 kg and my squat 142kg. But I reach the plateau in this exercise and I can't beat this score.


More than 300 posts
Certified Instructor
You could do this, but i think 5RM program from main site would work well, where are you failing? Also consider hyperthrppy cycle + post up a video


I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
@adidiii , I would second @taedoju on this.
142kg is a decent squat at 70kg. It is not bad, but I got people at this level with a novice routine, just linear progression.
It is tricky to comment programming for someone without knowing much of his training history, but I would guess that you are an intermediate, not such an advanced trainee to benefit a routine like Smolov.

Keep in mind that Smolov is about the squat and it is brutal. No deadlifting, no other leg work (no leg curls), and if any upper body work, very light. It is a lot of volume with a high intensity. You need to eat a lot, rest a lot, and forget any other goal than improving the squat.

There are plenty of good intermediate program that should help you break the plateau.

Geoff Chafe

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Madcow 5x5 is more of a intermediate program. I used I for a few months a couple of years ago. I liked it a lot.

I have also done Nick Horton's Squat Nemisis program. I have done the 21 day squat challenge twice and made great strength, flexibility, and technique gains. He also uses it for deadlifts, but never tried it. If were not focusing on bent press currently I would like to run it again.


Double-Digit Post Count
Texas method would work well considering your other thread about combining overhead press with dips.
Back Squat, OHP monday for 5x5, front squat 3x3 and dips on Wednesday, 1 all out set on Squat and OHP on Friday.

Look it up for a more detailed explanation.


Double-Digit Post Count
IMO Greg Nuckols is doing some of the best work on programming for powerlifting today. He takes a systematic, critical approach to a field that is often dominated by anecdotes and cargo cults.

This article is really helpful, I think: The Complete Strength Training Guide • Strengtheory. What kind of program you need has less to do with your actual numbers (e.g. 2x bodyweight) and more to do with your proficiency with the lifts, work capacity, ability to recover, and body composition.

TL;DR: Smolov might be a good idea (if your form is excellent, you've been squatting for a while, and you just want to jump-start your work capacity, or you want to peak) or it could be a disaster (if your form needs work and you need to get more proficient with the lift, or if you aren't ready for the volume).

Interestingly, the conclusions Nuckols comes to are often similar to Pavel's approach, even though they seem to get there from different places.


More than 5000 posts

I don't say it is not a good idea. A challenge is a good source of motivation. Nevertheless Smolov is developped for professional or professional-like. This is a program with a very high volume so IMHO it can be
=> dangerous / too challenging for the nervous system
=> what about sustainability ?
=> stay safe and don't hurt yourself

Kind regards,



Triple-Digit Post Count
And how to create upper body workouts. I'd like to perform pull ups and dips and additionaly heavy dumbell rows. how to cennect this exercise with Smolov routine?
Just do your pull ups, dips and rows after the Smolov routine and without exceeding your daily Technical Max for whatever reps range you're choosing and you should be fine.
Top Bottom