Introduction to Smolov Jr.
Smolov Jr. is a popular variant from the original Smolov squat cycle. The difference is, Smolov Jr. can be used in a variety of different lifts, and is only three weeks long. This high volume, high frequency routine will have you lifting four days per week, with the option to spread it over three days per week.
Should you run Smolov Jr?
While not quite as difficult as its bigger brother, Smolov, this variation is still geared toward the intermediate and advanced lifter. A beginner lifter will make better long term progress off of a more suitable beginner routine.
If you do have a solid base level of experience, Smolov Jr. is a great way to try out higher volume and frequency. If you are looking to run a short three week cycle to improve a lift, Smolov Jr. might be for you.
Smolov Jr. Explained
All 3 weeks you will be training 4 days per week, with the weight increasing each week. Use the spreadsheet below to calculate the proper weights according to a recently tested max.
Week 1 example:
- Mon – 6 sets, 6 reps at 70%
- Wed – 7 sets, 5 reps at 75%
- Fri – 8 sets, 4 reps at 80%
- Sat – 10 sets, 3 reps at 85%
Week 2 – You will use the same schedule as the first week, but increase by 10-20 Lb
Week 3 – Again, same format, but increase another 5-10 Lb over week 2.
Smolov Jr. Full Routine
Below is the full routine, and a link where you can customize, print, or download to your device. Just plug in your maxes, and let it do the calculations. Bring a pen to the gym, and scribble off the days/sets as you go!
To edit the spreadsheet customized to your lifts, click HERE. You can also print, or download.
Progression and Results
Like Smolov, results vary drastically between lifters. Lifters are reporting 20-35 Lb increases to the bigger lifts like Squats and Deadlifts, and about 15-30 Lb on the Bench Press in three short weeks.
Mixing in Other Lifts
Accessory work and other recovery impeding lifts are not recommended on this program due to the high volume and frequency. Doing the lift four days a week should be enough work on all the surrounding muscles.
For muscle groups that do not affect the lift you are focusing this cycle on, just proceed as normal. For example, if you are running this routine for Bench Press, you should squat alongside this program as normal. It is recommended to do your Smolov Jr. cycle first in the day, then the rest of your normal session following.
Smolov Jr. Tips
- Do not start too heavy, especially if you are not used to such high frequency.
- Elbow sleeves may help keep pain away while benching.
- Make sure recovery is priority. Eat plenty, and sleep deeply each night.
- If you fail a day, do not increase for the next week.