The Smolov Jr. Pogram

The Program

The squat is probably the most discussed in crossfit, since it forms the base of so many exercises, like thrusters, wall balls & (squat) cleans.
Proper form is key, but linear with that, comes strength. Not saying that Fran is easy, but it's definitely easier to do if your 3RM front squat is 200kg (440 lbs) instead of 100 kg.

After cranking up my 1RM squat already a few notches, I wanted to try a different program this time and the Smolov program caught my attention. This is a heavy duty weightlifting program developed by Sergey Smolov, and is mostly used for back squat & bench press. It can be used for other lifts as well.

There are 2 versions of the program, Smolov & Smolov Jr
The full Smolov cycle is 13 weeks (training 3-4 days a week), the Smolov Jr. will be 3 weeks (training 4 days a week) Like said before, this program is not easy (to say the least) and if you have little experience in weightlifting, this program is not for you (yet)

There are quite a few resources online about the program, but I used Smolov JR. This website provides all the information you need, including a handy online calculator to calculate the numbers you need to lift during the program. After signing up for their newsletter, I received an e-mail also offering help with any questions about the program. My questions:

Do you needed a minimum required squat to start the program? 
Their reply that a minimum squat was not required, however, experience in squatting was. It's easy to assume though, that the more experienced you are, the higher your lift numbers are.

Can I alter the sequence of the work-outs?
The Smolov Jr. runs for 3 weeks, 4 days a week. Since for me personally it was harder to program 4 days, Smolov Jr. advised me to program 4 weeks, 3 days week. This should maintain the structure of the program.

I also train at a crossfit box, would you advise against participating in regular training?
It's ok to participate in regular crossfit training while doing Smolov, but you need to be intelligent about it. Smolov should be the priority. So if in your CF program heavy squats come up, you should probably skip them. You also don't want to do some gnarly wod that will crush you. With that said, as long as your smart about it, you can definitely CF and Smolov at the same time.

My training plan

I actually decided to follow Smolov for 2 lifts:
  • back squat
  • bench press

The training days are:
  • Tuesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday

On all days I will do some accessory work, my full training program can be found here.
On Mondays & Wednesdays, I will follow the WOD scheduling of my crossfit box, unless they program a strength WOD which includes heavy deadlifts & squats, or a WOD that might be too taxing.


I felt a training program review wouldn't be complete without a nutrition plan. Since this program can be quite hard on the body, both nutrition and recovery should be optimal.
My nutrition routine is quite fine-tuned already and based mostly on the paleo diet, with some personal elements added. The template for my food intake will look mostly like this:

Breakfast: eggs, bacon & spinach
Lunch: type of protein (meat, fish) veggies
Pre-WO: coconut chips, boiled egg
Post-WO: whey protein
Dinner: type of protein, veggies & source of carbs

On top of that, I will take my usual supplements plus a few I´m currently experimenting with. See schedule under tab `supplementation`.

My stats

This obviously is important to know! Personally, I don't pay much attention to my body-weight, since that tends to go up and down a few pounds, but to be complete:

Height: 178 cm (5'11")
Weight: 62 kg (136 lbs)
Age: 36
Gender: Female

Back Squat: 60 kg (132 lbs)
Bench Press: 45 kg (100 lbs)

Ok, let's get started!

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