Smolov Jr

Smolov jr is a three week program derived from the infamous Smolov squat routine. It’s as intense as it short, but well worth it if you can handle it. Although Smolov was originally designed for the squat, Smolov Jr can be used for other lifts such as the military press or the bench press. Keep in mind when using this program, you will be able to add more weight to your squat or deadlift then you will on upper body lifts. The normal total weight increase is generally around 20-35 pounds for squat or deadlift and 15-25 for the bench press. Lets move on to the the Smolov jr programming


Week One

Day Sets Reps Weight
Monday 6 6 70%
Wednesday 7 5 75%
Friday 8 4 80%
Saturday 10 3 85%

Week Two

Note: (When you add the 10-20 pounds onto your percentage, it’s just the same weight you used last week plus 10-20 pounds.)
Day Sets Reps Weight
Monday 6 6 70% +5-20 lbs
Wednesday 7 5 75% +5-20 lbs
Friday 8 4 80% +5-20 lbs
Saturday 10 3 85% +5-20 lbs

Week Three

Note: (Do not add 15-25 pounds onto your lift in addition to the 10-20 from week 2. Instead add on extra weight to get a total of 15-25 pounds.)
Day Sets Reps Weight
Monday 6 6 70% +15-25 lbs
Wednesday 7 5 75% +15-25 lbs
Friday 8 4 80% +15-25 lbs
Saturday 10 3 85% +15-25 lbs

Now in order to get your percentages for the program you will need to know your one rep max. It’s better to be conservative and use a number you know you can do with good form and isn’t a grinder. For example let’s say that your one rep max is 300 pounds, then the first week would look as follows.

Day Sets Reps Weight
Monday 6 6 210
Wednesday 7 5 225
Friday 8 4 240
Saturday 10 3 255

Accessory Work

Accessory work with smolov jr should be kept to a minimum in order to allow your body to recover. If using smolov jr for bench then you should be doing pulls for accessory work. Pullups and rows are the best choices, throw in some ab work if you feel up to it. Keep the weight low and the reps high focusing on form, it’s called accessory work for a reason.

How Smolov Jr Works

Smolov takes advantage of supercompensation (well all training does really). By practicing the lift four times a week your form only gets better, and you start to really find your groove. By not going to failure your muscles are not fatigued and your body continues to overreach. Your CNS plays a huge role in allowing your body to adapt and improve. Smolov is really a controlled form of overtraining, which is why it is used as a peaking routine.

After you have completed the program you must deload for a week before you attempt to max out. Do not attempt this program in a calorie deficit, you will fail and it will be counterproductive. You must be in a caloric surplus and make sure to get enough rest between workouts. When adding weight on weeks two and three go by how you feel. If after you add weight you start to fail on some sets then try taking off some weight. If you add only five pounds and are still failing all of your lifts, then take off all of the weight you added and continue with the same weight as the previous week.

What To Do After Smolov Jr

After completing a Smolov cycle it is best to do something with low volume and lower rep ranges. 5×5 is a popular routine people hop on after smolov jr. You may find your body responds best to something else, everybody is different do what works for you, these are only recommendations based on other lifters experiences. It is not a good idea to run this program back to back for the simple fact that you will most likely not be able to handle it. Remember a big part of developing strength comes from recovery, so enjoy your new strength and ease off the volume for a little while (if that’s what works for you).

Smolov Jr Bench Press Results

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