Smolov Jr. is an abbreviated version of the Smolov squatting protocol. It is also very often used for bench press. For many of you, this 4-day per week regimen will include some of the toughest sets you’ve ever attempted.
However, if you stick with it and add weight intelligently, you should make great progress on your lifts. This page will detail the Smolov Jr. protocol, for more information about the full 13 week Smolov protocol, head here. If you’re familiar with the program and are just looking for a calculator to compute loads, click here or here for the app.
Smolov Jr. is a 4 day per week program that extends over a period of 3 weeks. Each week the same repetition scheme is repeated.
|Day||Sets / Reps|
|Day 1 (Monday)||6 / 6|
|Day 2 (Wednesday)||7 / 5|
|Day 3 (Friday)||8 / 4|
|Day 4 (Saturday)||10 / 3|
The weights used on each day are based on your one rep max according to the table below. Each week, depending on how the previous week went, you will add weight according to the table.
Week Day 1 - 6 x 6 Day 2 - 7 x 5 Day 3 - 8 x 4 Day 4 - 10 x 3
1 70% 75% 80% 85%
2 70% + 5 to 10lbs 75% + 5 to 10lbs 80% + 5 to 10lbs 85% + 5 to 10lbs
3 70% + 10 to 20lbs 75% + 10 to 20lbs 80% + 10 to 20lbs 85% + 10 to 20lbs
No need to break out your calculator though, we’ve got one that will automatically calculate loads based on your 1RM. The amount of weight added each week is subjective. If you failed sets or so hammered by soreness that you waddled around all week, it’s best to leave the weights the same for the following week. If the lifts were super easy, add 10 lbs in week 1 and another 10 for week 2.
It is typically recommended to avoid doing accessory work doing a Smolov cycle. Again, just with the week to week weight increments, you can use the way your body feels and make a judgement call here. Sticking exclusively with the squats and / or bench press will take you a long way though. If you do decide to mix in a little accessory work, keep it brief.
The great thing about squatting or benching 4 days a week is that you can get really good at them. Do your best to focus on technique throughout your Smolov cycle and it will yield major dividends. It is not unheard of for someone to group two Smolov Jr. cycles together (with a one week rest between) and see a 30 to 60+ lbs increase in their squat. It’ll be tough work for sure, but can pay off handsomely in the end.