If a regular gym-goer tells you that he doesn’t want to increase the poundages of his basic lifts (bench press, deadlift, and squat), then you can easily ascertain he is lying. Bigger numbers on these lifts that can even be two, three, or four times your body weight not only seem impressive but also gives you the mass, the masochism, and strength that can even make Thor a bit insecure.
If you are not too sure about going through the brutality of the Smolov Squat Program for 13 weeks, we have another alternative. You can go with the Smolov Jr. Program. This workout program is like the younger brother of the Smolov program. But don’t get fooled by the presence of the word Jr.(an abbreviation of Junior) in this program. This program will test your limits in its 3-week long protocol. You can simply choose the lift on which you want to increase your numbers and follow this program for 3 weeks. At the end of those brutal but effective three weeks, you are surely going to experience an enhancement in your gains and guts.
What Will I Learn?
Smolov Jr Program
If you have been through the brutality of the Smolov Squat Program, you might find the Smolov Jr. Program a “little bit” easier. If you haven’t been through it, then while following the Smolov Jr. Program you will surely experience one of the toughest training protocols you have ever tried in your lifting career. Unlike the Smolov Squat Routine that goes for 13 weeks, the Smolov Jr. Program extends up to only 3 weeks. Now, before you start getting excited about its short duration and start day-dreaming about upping your basic lifts, let us warn you, these 3 weeks will be nothing less than hell. Your body and your respective muscles will be pushed to their limits. Many times during this 3-week protocol you would have thoughts about quitting the program. But as they say, “winners never quit and quitters never win”, if you stick to this program, you will surely emerge as a winner.
The Smolov Jr. training protocol is known for its high volume and high-frequency approach in which you are required to train your body 4-times a week. Even if you intend to improve a particular compound lift, this program can serve you pretty well. Having a firm foundation of experience in lifting, you would surely be rewarded with god-like strength gains from this program.
Now, once you have picked a lift on which you want to improve your performance and poundage, the following table will help you proceed with the Smolov Jr. Program. Just make sure you have specified your 1 RM for that lift.
Smolov Jr. Program
Percentage of 1RM
70% + 5 to 10lbs
75% + 5 to 10lbs
80% + 5 to 10lbs
85% + 5 to 10lbs
70% + 10 to 20lbs
75% + 10 to 20lbs
80% + 10 to 20lbs
85% + 10 to 20lbs
Following the Smolov Jr protocol, many lifters have claimed a 15-30 lb increase on lifts like bench press and a 20-35 lb increase on Squats and Deadlifts (aka the bigger lifts).
Owing to the high volume and high frequency nature of the Smolov Jr Program, accessory lifts are not recommended while you are following this program. Working on your compound lifts while following this protocol, the supporting muscles automatically get trained to a certain extent. Making provisions for specifically training smaller muscles with raises, curls, or extensions might interrupt with your recovery and can also lead to over-training at times.
The maximum you can do is to train those muscles on which you are not following this protocol. For instance, if you are following this protocol on your Squats, you can do your bench press following your normal routine. But at no cost, you should be including leg presses, leg extensions, or leg curls for three weeks if you are targeting to increase your squat poundages with this program.
You should also focus on your muscle recovery and recuperation. Eating in bulk and sound sleep of 7-8 hours will drastically improve your performance while you follow this program. In case, you miss a day of training in a week or you fail on a certain day, don’t increase the weight in your next week’s training session. Stick to the same weight on which you missed or failed.
Smolov Jr for Squat and Bench Spreadsheet
Now if you are thinking about deciding about the numbers that you would be lifting while being on the Smolov Jr Program, we have some good news for you. We have provided a detailed spreadsheet that will aid you in determining the poundages for your lifts.
You can simply put your 1 RM in this Smolov Jr. calculator and it will calculate the weights that you would be lifting progressively in the coming sessions.
This calculator has been created by smallkiwi
Smolov Jr Bench Spreadsheet
Upping your benching numbers will now be much easier for you with the use of this Google sheet. All you need is to determine your 1 RM on your bench press and you are ready to go. Using the template presented here, you can take a note of your prospective bench press lifts while you follow the Smolov Jr Bench protocol.
The credit of creating this excel sheet goes to adamsz
The Smolov Jr. Program has been designed for intermediate, advanced, and elite lifters. For beginners, it is certainly not recommended. It can prove to be one of the hardest training protocols that you have followed. Still, if you are eager to try this routine, you should first up your strength by following 5×5 or 3×3 kind of protocols.
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