By Edward McLaughlin on 1/19/2013 Back to Articles
Edward “McBeast” McLaughlin’s 1st Smolov Experience
SMOLOV BASE MESOCYLE
31 DEC- 19 JAN
Early last month I decided I was going to follow some sort of short program, just for kicks. I was looking for something challenging, and what I came across made welp at the very sight of it. I found a program that called for squatting 4x a week. 4x A WEEK. Again.. 4x A WEEK. This idea sounded absurd, seeing as the most I had ever squatted was twice in one week, a max day & a speed day. I decided I would run just the base mesocycle for the program, instead of the full 13 weeks because I did not want to be "tied down" for too long, or be forced to quit a program due to work etc. Here is my experience/guideline, starting with setting up my numbers..
Calculating your numbers/percentages:
First off, with this program you need to be extremely conservative. I originally was going to base my 12 sessions off of my raw squat (no wraps,600) Boy, am I glad I did no such thing. A few people who have run this program and similar high volume programs advised me to take 10% off my max, and use that. At first it was an ego bruiser, seeing as my training numbers dropped dramatically but I am thankful I listened.
1- Take 10% off max
2- Insert that number into http://www.joeskopec.com/smolov.html
While running smolov do not worry about "over eating". There is no such thing. This also goes without saying, but do not plan on "cutting" while running this program. I gained a few pounds on this program, along with over an inch on my thighs. Overall I feel thicker, everywhere. My diet must haves were chocolate milk, chicken, eggs, steak, pasta and ice cream. I'm not going to go into detail about just how much I ate, but know there was 2-3 things of ice cream & 2-3 gallons of chocolate milk in my fridge/freezer at all times. Ontop of this, make sure you are getting in a gallon+ of water a day
I can not stress just how important recovery is while running smolov. If you do not recover from these brutal sessions, you will not reap the benefit of the following one. While running smolov I put myself through various painful stretches, lots of self myofascial release (with my rumber roller, visit www.rumbleroller.com), contrast showers, icing/heating, and a dip in a freezing cold pool. None of this was comfortable, but it ensured I would be well prepared for my next session.
-Fish Oil (10,000-25,000 a day)
The above supplements I feel really helped me stay somewhat fresh session after session. Fish oil I feel was the most important of all, keeping the body "lubed" at all times. If you are not on these basic supps, reconsider what you are doing.
4- SUPPORT GEAR
Due to the high frequency of squatting, rehband knee sleeves were a must have for this program. I have been using them for over a year, and could not imagine going thru this program without them. The constant stress on your knees would be brutal if not for wearing some type of sleeve or light wrap. I personally decided against using a belt for this program, I wanted to really work on core strength. Aside from that, I just do not like belts! For those of you with wrist problems I also suggest lightly wrapping your wrists, for at least your last few sets each session.
MY 9 DAYS OF HELL
(Yes, only 9..Will Explain)
Upon starting this a powerlifting meet opportunity came up, so took that as well!
Day 1- 4x9 w/ 380
- It fucking sucked, period. I started off with some really shitty conditioning. Also rushed thru this session, and got back spasms from hell. Luckily, Justin Randal was there to keep me motivated. No assistance done..
Day 2- 5x7 w/405
- Yup, still sucked. Did some light benching as well. Was very difficult getting into position..
Day 3- 7x5 w/432
-Started getting used to being under the bar now
Day 4- 10x3 w/460
-Who the hell thought of this? Getting under the bar was difficult and it took a long time to warm up and feel good.
Day 5- 4x9 w/405
-Was able to train with Ben Seath. All reps were stupid fast, very pleased with this session
Day 6- 5x7 w/425
-Squatting was pretty easy, benching was the hard part. Worked up to a pr for a double
Day 7- 7x5 w/435
-This session was pretty rough!
Day 8- 10x3 w/ 48
-Trained in the Seath lair in 23 degree weather. Was definetely interesting, and cold! This was probably the hardest day of the program.
-Day 9 was skipped! Had a PT test that morning and pulled the hamstring a bit. Due to the volume of the program and the proximity to my meet, did not want to risk it.. Stayed home, and worked on recovery.
Day 10 5x7 w/435
-This session was brutal. Just..Brutal. Also did some pulls after this, to see where I would be at for the meet.
Day "12" I took my meet squat openers
You can check my SMOLOV Videos here-
Well folks, this was my short & not so sweet smolov experience. WIll be back again next week with my final results from my meet. I am proud to walk away from this program with an extra inch on my thighs & a new squatting confidence! I definitely reccomend this program to any intermediate-advanced athlete who knows how to squat properly! Give it a try and let me know how it goes..