The Smolov Squat Program is one of the hardest programs that any lifter can do. It will turn you from a boy into a man, or a novice lifter into an advanced one.
This program is NOT for the weak. It’s for the serious people looking to put hundreds of pounds on their squat in a short time, and are ready to leave every last drop of sweat out there on the gym floor.
But, if you seriously want to get your squat up and your legs in massive shape. Here’s the program you’re looking for.
Let’s talk about the Smolov Squat program: what it is, if you should do it, how to prepare for it, and why every lifter needs to do it to become tough.
What is The Smolov Squat Program?
The Smolov Squat Program was made famous by Pavel Tsatsouline, a huge russian powerlifter.
The Smolov Squat Program is not really a ‘bodybuilding’ program per se, but it is a ‘powerlifting’ program. Sure, if you’re a bodybuilder, you can see massive leg growth.
But the point of this program is to make your legs incredibly strong and make you squat more than you ever have squatted before in your life.
There will be no if, ands, or buts, about this. If you follow the program, you WILL see results.
Smolov Squat Program FULL Routine
In this program, you will be doing HEAVY and high volume of squats 3 times a week.
Look I’m gonna be honest, trying to find this program routine online is like trying to solve a Rubix cube while you’re blind. I don’t know why people make it so complicated to understand or find.
So here it is, I just put all of it together, so you can always just bookmark this page for reference.
Key: @ 65% = 65% of your current one rep maximum. So if your current one rep maximum on the squat is 100 lbs, you will be doing 65 lbs for that set.
And 3×8 means 3 sets of 8. So if there is a number that says 5×7, you will perform 5 sets of 7 repetitions.
Here’s what your programming will look like:
|1||1||3×8@ 65%, 1×5 @70%, 2×2@75%, 1×1@80%|
|1||2||3×8@ 65%, 1×5 @70%, 2×2@75%, 1×1@80%|
|1||3||3×8@ 70%, 1×5 @75%, 2×2@80%, 1×1@90%|
|3||4||10×3@85% (no, that’s not a typo)|
|4||1||4×9@70% + try to increase 20 pounds from week 3|
|4||2||5×7@75% + try to increase 20 pounds from week 3|
|4||3||7×5@80% + try to increase 20 pounds from week 3|
|4||4||10×3@85% + try to increase 20 pounds from week 3|
|5||1||4×9@80% + try to increase 10 pounds from week 4|
|5||2||5×7@75% + try to increase 10 pounds from week 4|
|5||3||7×5@80% + try to increase 10 pounds from week 4|
|5||4||10×3@85% + try to increase 10 pounds from week 4|
|WEEK 7||**SPECIAL||Focus on your speed of getting out of the hole when you squat.|
|WEEK 8||**SPECIAL||Lift at 55% of your 1RM and focus on getting back up fast.|
|9||1||1×3@65%, 1×4@75%, 3×4@85%, 1×5@85%|
|9||2||1×3@60%, 1×3@70%, 1×4@80%, 1×3@90%, 2×5@85%|
|9||3||1×4@65%, 1×4@70%, 5×4@80%|
|10||1||1×4@60%, 1×4@70%, 1×4@80%, 1×3@90%, 2×4@90%|
|10||2||1×3@65%, 1×3@75%, 1×3@85%, 3×3@90%, 1×3@95%|
|10||3||1×3@65%, 1×3@75%, 1×4@85%, 4×5@90%|
|11||1||1×3@60%, 1×3@70%, 1×3@80%, 5×5@90%|
|11||2||1×3@60%, 1×3@70%, 1×3@80%, 2×3@95%|
|11||3||1×3@65%, 1×3@75%, 1×3@85%, 4×3@95%|
|12||1||1×3@70%, 1×4@80%, 5×5@90%|
|12||2||1×3@70%, 1×4@80%, 4×3@95%|
|12||3||1×3@75%, 1×4@90%, 3×4@95%|
|13||1||1×3@70%, 1×3@80%, 2×5@90%, 3×4@95%|
|13||3||Try to max.|
How To Prepare for The Smolov Squat Program
As I said, the smolov squat program isn’t easy. And I’ll be honest, every fitness influencer out there always says “ohh!! this program is tough”- here’s the bottom line.
The Smolov Squat Program is the hardest program you will ever do in your life. First of all, squatting itself is a very difficult lift that takes a lot out of you. Most people skip legs in the gym completely just because of the squat.
Now imagine doing the squatting so much that you’ll squat more in the next 4 months than you will probably ever have squatted in your life.
I mean look at some of these days, 10×3 for squats. That 10 sets of 3 reps, that’s more squatting in one day than my program usually makes me do in a whole week.
And I do Arnold’s Blueprint to Mass, one of the best programs ever made. And even that doesn’t have you squatting as much as this program will in one single day.
Fact is, you’re going to need to buckle down and get this program done.
Have The Right Mentality
You need to have the right mentality.
This isn’t a bodybuilding program, so you can’t come into this trying to examine every single vein and striation on your leg after doing a few squats. You need to think about outputting raw power and strength every time you go down on the squats.
Secondly, you need to have a ‘never-give-up’ mentality. Nobody will want to keep doing this program every single day. This is a program that you’ll just hate yourself for doing. You won’t want to even go to the gym, nor get out of bed in the morning.
But, you need to keep going. If you want to see the results you will have to keep going to the gym every single time the program orders you to.
Consider Knee Sleeves
If you’re doing this much squatting, consider picking up some knee sleeves.
They boost circulation, help you keep a better range of motion, and will help reduce some knee pain from the constant squatting.
Most advanced powerlifters will put on knee sleeves before big squatting sessions, so I recommend you do to.
It’s not that common in the bodybuilding scene at the lower levels because the squats usually aren’t that intense. However, in powerlifting- it’s a different story.
Dirty Bulk, You Don’t Have a Choice
Try to lean bulk on this program, I dare you. Let’s see how long you last.
It just won’t end pretty. You’re going to need to dirty bulk, which is the act of eating a massive surplus of calories everyday.
Don’t worry about putting on any fat. This program tests your body’s natural limits, you will likely be putting on more muscle than most “science” says is possible.
Some studies claim that you can only put on 2 pounds of muscle in a month. But they don’t have their participants on the Smolov Squat Program. When your body is put in this bad of a state, your muscle is forced to grow.
You’ll just need the food to support that muscle growth. Furthermore, that food will help your sanity. Doing 10 sets of 3 reps at 90% of your 1RM for squats is going to take everything out of you.
That food will help replenish your overall energy and keep you pushing along.
Bring a Friend + Setup Squat Safety Pins
Bring a friend with you while you’re on the smolov squat program. Better yet, get them on it too.
That way you can both hold eachother accoutable.
But I think you’ll need someone there regardless. You’re probably going to fail some of the squats. And by “probably”, I mean definitely.
When you’re on your 8th, 2nd rep of 90% of your max, your legs are going to be like giving out. You definitely don’t want to be slamming 225 lbs down on your spine as you collapse to the ground.
Bare minimum, if you’re doing this program, set up the safety notches on the squat rack. That way if something does happen, you don’t die.
Sleep 8-10 Hours
Don’t think you’ll be able to get away with 6 hours of sleep on this program. I don’t think your body will let you move anymore if you’re not sleeping enough.
When I was 15 and started lifting, leg days would normally knock me out and it’d be hard to walk if I slept only like 3-4 hours a night.
I don’t know of any way you’d be able to pull off 3 hours of sleep with this program and live.
In fact, when I did the Smolov Squat Program I accidentally didn’t sleep. Long story short, my ex-girlfriend was being “the big mean” to me. I didn’t sleep after doing 10 sets of 3 reps of something like 265lbs on the squat.
LET ME TELL YOU. MOVING WASN’T EASY. I tried to get out of my bed in the morning to bring her to breakfast and cheer her up (I am a classic SIMP) and that was tough. I literally almost fell out of bed because I wasn’t expecting my legs to be in such dire straits.
Anyways, I ate, and went back to bed and we were all good. But don’t let this be you.
Look, many people just go with the philosophy that once your squats are done, you go home. However, I disagree with this notion completely.
Yes, you’re going to be sore and it’s going to be tough. Perhaps on the day you do 10 sets of 3 reps you might be able to go home right after that, but truthfully otherwise, you should stay and do more.
I just feel like if you only do the squats and head home every day, you’re not actually doing enough to get FULL leg development.
Now I’m not saying to do like hack squats or something, but just a little more leg work can go a long way.
**Also, NEVER do deadlifts on this program. That’s a surefire way for your central nervous system to give out.
Here are my recommendations for accessory work you should do after you’ve finished the squats on the Smolov Squat Program.
- Quadricep Extensions: 5×5
- Hamstring Curls: 3×5
- Calf Raises/Calf Machine: 5×5
- Hip Abductors (more to stretch and recover): 3×8
Don’t Stop Working Out Your Other Muscles!
If you do a typical push/pull/legs split, do those also. Yes, it’s going to be tough, but it will work out better in the end.
So let’s say you’re coming in on a chest/back day. You walk in, get your squats done right away, then move onto your chest/back day.
Is it going to be difficult? Yes. But do you want that physique? If so, you gotta chase it.
What Results Can I See On The Smolov Squat Program?
The Smolov Squat Program is one of those programs that even revolutionizes the most advanced lifters.
Most people think squatting weight above 600lbs is only possible with PEDs (test). However, this program has proven time and time again the strength of the human body even at its’ natural state.
Most people claim that the program will put on 100 lbs minimum on your squat in just a few months. This is not far-fetched at all, and this is probably why you came across this program in the first place.
Personally, for me, it put on 120lbs to my squat, and I didn’t even reach week 13. I went from 185 lbs -> 300 lbs, and that was after I had been lifting for one year. So after 14 months of lifting, I finally implemented this program- and saw incredible success. I also only weighed 155 lbs. 🙂
Now, many argue that this problem is really only if you already squat 300 lbs. But it’s not just me who has seen incredible results.
Just Check Instagram
It’s not celebrities reporting their results, it’s normal lifters just like you and me. Take a look from @_dwidwine here.
Even Amy Clifford of @soulandculture squatted an incredible 225 lbs as a woman. Biologically, women lift less than men. Amy Clifford is squatting more than most guys do. I’m serious, most guys end up squatting 185 lbs and calling it good, she is showing them that Smolov really can do anything.
Conclusion of The Smolov Squat Program
Overall, The Smolov Squat Program is a program that will test your mental strength, physical strength, and put on tons of size. It’s one of the hardest programs you will EVER do.
If you’ve ever tried this program, tell me in the comments below. Let me know your experience!