Smolov Squat Program (13 weeks)

Smolov is a 13 week weightlifting program used to increase your strength in the Back Squat. It is recommended that you complete this routine only if your back squat has reached a plateau.

This is a very intense program that will see you squatting up to four times a week with little in the way of accessory work. You need to be on top of your diet, recovery and sleep in order to maximise the effectiveness of the program.

Smolov Squat Program

Smolov is broken down into five phases:

  • Phase In – Weeks 1,2
  • Base Cycle – Weeks 3,4,5,6
  • Switching Phase – Weeks 7,8
  • Intense Cycle – Weeks 9,10,11,12
  • Taper – Week 13

Phase In: During this phase you will get used to the frequency of squatting three times per week. This phase shouldn’t be too tiring.

Base Cycle: Squats move to 4 days per week and this is very intense for weeks 3-5, followed by a few days rest before re-testing your Squat 1 rep max.

Switching Phase: This phase involves more accessory work and lighter, faster squat movements to allow your body some recovery time.

Intense Cycle: This phase uses your new 1 rep max. and will see you complete multiple sets at 80-90% 1RM three times per week.

Taper: In the final week the volume eases off, allowing you to taper and achieve a new personal best in the squat.

The Sessions

I have created a spreadsheet where every session has been written out. By simply entering your 1 rep max in the green cell it will populate the table with the weights you need in each session. You can see below that I’ve entered “100”, which allows you to see each session represented as a percentage of your 1 rep max. There is also a second tab in the spreadsheet which shows Accessory Lifts as suggested by

The link is to view only, so please go to File –> Make a copy… to have your own copy to enter information.

This program is for Intermediate to Advanced lifters and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone with less than 2 years of consistent training.

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