What is Smolov Training?

Hailing from Russia, Smolov training is a type of training specifically designed to improve your squatting abilities. It’s an incredibly tough routine, certainly not for those without the will to succeed, however the results it brings can be quite stunning, with many often finding that they can increase their squat thrusts by 100lb in just 13 weeks.


Smolov training hasn’t actually been around for that long, as it was only conceived in 2001, by Sergey Smolov. After publication in Powerlifting USA, it took off in the mainstream, being taken up by large amounts of people not just in the US, but throughout the world.

How Does Smolov Training Work?

Smolov training is designed with maximum intensity in mind, which therefore leads to maximum results. It is split into four phases, each of which lasts for roughly two-three weeks, and each phase builds on the previous one. One of the phases is essentially a break though (the third cycle), which will certainly be needed, as by this point your body will be physically exhausted from your exertions.

It should be stated that Smolov training is not compatible with many other exercises, as it will result in your muscles simply being overworked. Deadlifting is the main exercise to avoid, and ignoring this advice will lead to your exercise routine being completely destroyed. The fact that Smolov training is so tough should ensure that most simply don’t want to exercise any more after they’ve finished though.

Is Smolov Training for Everyone?

Absolutely not. Firstly, as already mentioned, it is only suitable for those with the will to succeed, as it is extremely tough. Secondly, it can only be achieved by those who already have a good base level when it comes to squatting. This means that only those who are able to already squat 300lbs should attempt this regime. Finally, you’ll need a lot of experience to succeed, so if you haven’t been squatting for at least a year, it probably isn’t for you.

What Can You Gain from Smolov Training?

Through Smolov training, you can potentially add 110lbs to your squats, however this figure will clearly fluctuate depending on each individual. You might think that some other regimes offer more gains than this, however the ones you’re thinking of are for beginners, meaning that faster progress is much simpler. This is more of an intermediate program, for the stage when your progression simply can’t be as fast.

Smolov training also has another great benefit, as you’ll lose weight at the same time as putting on muscle. This is even the case if you eat huge amounts during the regime, as it requires so many calories.

Some Helpful Tips

Sticking to the routine is the best possible tip, but there are some other tips that will help you achieve the best possible results.

  • Eat plenty. You should aim to eat around 4,000 calories a day when you are on Smolov training.
  • Stretching will help to prevent any injuries from developing, plus it will also kickstart the recovery process.
  • Sleep. You absolutely must sleep. While sleeping, your body repairs itself, and being well rested will also ensure that you remain motivated.