Smolov Squat Routine Review: 13 weeks of Squats

The title is a bit misleading, because I ended up completing the first 6 weeks of the routine, but nevertheless, I wanted to share my results.

Smolov Routine

There is already so much info on this training routine, that it is a bit pointless to explain the full program again, but below a summary:

Weeks 1-2:               Phase In
Weeks 3-6:               Base Cycle
Weeks 7-8:               Switching Phase (where I ended up)
Weeks 9-12:             Intense Cycle
Week 13:                 Taper Week

The full routine is explained here.

My stats:
Weight: 61kg
Height: 176cm
Age: 38

Deadlift: 115kg
Bench: 50kg
Strict Press: 42.5kg


My results

I don't have a very impressive squat (weight-wise) It is defintely one of my weakest lifts and needs constant attention.
To start, I set my 1RM for squat at 65kg. Something I really had to grind out. On a good day.

Since visualisation works 100% better than anything, below the results in my 1RM at the end of the Base Cycle:


After 2 days of 1RM attempts in week 6, my final 1RM came to 78kg, an increase of 20%!
For me, this is a HUGE thing, since I've never even squatted over 70kg.

Conclusion & Notes

The Smolov Routine works, and as far as I know, anyone in my surroundings that did the routine had positive results as well.
However, the downside is that when you finish the cycle, your numbers could easily drop again.
Especially if you start squatting less, since Smolov has you squatting 3-4 times a week.

Also, Smolov takes a lot out of you. I wasn't neccesarily very tired, but what I noticed is that my performance during WOD's significantly dropped. Your body needs a lot of energy and recovery time.

A few people I spoke to, complained about injuries, like knee pain and hip pain. This doesn't have to happen all the time, but take that into account.

Other lifts, like the deadlift, will be neglected. It's not recommenend to do any other heavy low body work, in order to let your body fully recover.

Smolov is difficult to program in when you are a competitive crossfitter. Since it takes 13 weeks, you need to find a period when you can dedicate 100% of your time to lifting and less to conditioning.
The reason why I cut my program short, was becasue I have a competition coming up and wanted to make sure I have anough energy to make it through the workouts.

Below a video of my 78kg PR:

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