Id like to end this blog here, (obviously untill I return in a blaze of glory to run my next smolov cycle)
I'd like this to eventually be able to be used as resource for people looking into smolov and peoples previous experiences so I will share mine. I was hesistant about starting smolov because of how I would fare with the harshness of the routine and if my other lifts would suffer etc. I can honestly say I've never been happier with results from something in so little amount of time. I simply did it, just to prove to myself I could, and I had wanted to earn the title of a smolov survivor for a while so why not! Here are some of my deluded thoughts...
October 21st: squat 215kg's (in competition/meet)
Note: I did not run the introductory cycle, or prep week because I knew I was in for a shock and lots of pain anyway so I just jumped in the deep end and got to work. I also used a reduced training max of 205kg's. I think this is absolutely vital for your first run. I will play around with actual 1RM's, and theoretical maxes in other runs of smolov.
Squat: 235kg's (with room to spare)
My bench stayed within 2.5kg's if not the same if I really did max out, possibly progressed and I didnt test my conv. deadlift as Im switching to sumo, but ironically pulled a 7.5kg PR sumo pull days before my last smolov session.
The more important things I should mention are recovery and mindset during this particular training regime. I focused on nothing but squatting and didn't worry about my other lifts at all. The only thing I thought about was increasing my squat and I poured everything into it. I was sleeping as much as possible, and eating as much as possible including dirty foods in plentifuls, and I was drinking a carton of chocolate milk everyday (extra 900 cals straight off the bat) on top of extra food. If you plan to eat like a bird during this, expect little gains or some very painful days, I'm not saying you have to eat like a complete slob because a lot of my cals came from extra clean foods but you simply must find a way to get those extra cals in, or you won't recover, and the best and most convinient way (as I'm sure we all dont have our meals planned out and made for us to go, and all the free time in the world to sit and eat them) is to slam down some junk after training.
As for sleep I would get home from work (will add in importantly I work a labour based job- yes you hard gainers reading must be gasping in terror at how I managed to bust my balls at work all day then squat 4x a week, guess what! It can be done naturally regardless of what your tiny corrupted minds think with a bit of old fashioned testicular fortitude and a mad mans desire of a bigger squat) on my off training days and nap for an hour or so then wake up to eat, then obviously focus on as much sleep as possible of a night.
As far as supplementation goes, all I did use was creatine on my training days, and pretty much slammed pizza-drol down as often as possible post workout. I dont like protein shakes as im weird and I didnt feel a need to touch anabolics, and add in the fact I compete in drug tested feds at the moment, well... it would just be lying to myself and everybody else. I will add though, some day I plan to use them, when I am a lot older and with a run of smolov I think that would yeild some extraordinary gains.
Things I would change:
When I run smolov again, which I will, I would make changes but not many. I would focus on the other lifts, not deadlift so much but definitely bench. I would try and at least get some speed/light rep work in, or some very limited volume heavier benching. My forearms just couldn't take it, and some other upper body lifts, perhaps spreading them across the weeks squat work. Almost like developmental circuits with band work, BW work and very light dumbells, using things like timed sets and very high rep (50+) sets.
I would also have picked up some ZMA because personally that helps my sleep tremendous amounts and as I already stated a key component of this smolov fun, is recovery/rest/sleep in abundance.
Thats about all I have to mention for now to be honest. If you are thinking about running smolov, do it. It will change your views on lifting, and about the whole, only geared up russians who lift every day twice a day can make gains with these sorts of routines. You will also begin to massively appreciate rest days. Just pour everything into your training for 4 weeks, even if it is not conducive to your social life and you will be rewarded with some big gains! Any questions ask away. For anybody wanting to follow my training from here on out, before I come back to pick up in here with my next run I alo keep a log of everything I do and have done in the past on the Wannabebig forums: