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3 reasons on why to do smolov [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Oct 3, 2016 10:00:00 AM

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3 reasons on why to do Smolov 

There is some discussion out there whether it is stupid to do Smolov and if it is a one-sided program. It is extreme, but it delivers what it says on the tin: A bigger one repetition maximum on the squat. This makes it a good program if that is what is you want and I ran it in 2016. Here are my top three on why to do Smolov

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Just because

First and probably best reason is: JUST BECAUSE. If you look at it rationally a lot of things are stupid like

  • Climbing Mount Everest
  • Go into space just to jump down again
  • Eat as many hot dogs in one minute as you can
  • The last time you wanted to take a shortcut

The thing is, people do these things because they can and because they want to. Smolov is not the best program for platform performance in a powerlifting competition. It still is a test of strength, willpower and tests your limits. That is why JUST BECAUSE.

To break through a plateau

Look up any kind of professional lifter and the usual answers you will get to break through a plateau are more volume or go on steroids. I include the steroids because they work and they are an answer. However, as I do not earn money with lifting stuff and roids are out of the question volume is the only answer I have.

If you are stuck on a certain weight for the squat for half a year to a year and the needle just does not move, shock the system with A LOT of squats. Smolov is one established way to do just that. I personally pushed my max from 140kg to 170kg in three months.


This seems counterintuitive but let me explain. The more experienced you will get as a lifter the more you will have a symptom called „floating pain“as Brian Alsruhe also explains on his youtube channel. The older you get the more likely this becomes, too. This basically means that you always will feel some pain at some stage somewhere in your body. (welcome to the misery of aging)

You can either use this as an excuse to not train anymore and leave yourself up to medical scrutiny and weakness or you decide to train around it. I stopped deadlifting for four months because my lower back was not in the right place. In this time I ran a Smolov Jr and a Smolov cycle with good results. It can be done, you just have to want it.

Further reading


Topics: Smolov, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Strongman