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My Experiment

I generally don’t post much about my personal lifting, to me that’s not really what a blog is for. I did a training log page for a little while but it didn’t get much traffic and I assumed that people weren’t very interested. However, this week I started something that I think might be an interesting journey to chronicle.

I started the Smolov Squat Cycle. For deadlifting.

If you aren’t familiar with the Smolov cycle you are probably wondering why it warranted the drama of having it’s own 2 sentence paragraph. I will fill you in on the specifics but a quick Google search will show that there is quite a mythos around the brutality of this program. There are literally hundreds of forum pages filled with people talking about how hard (and effective) this program is, how you will overtrain, hate life, almost die, etc. It is also commonly said that you,

1.) Should not do anything other than the squats as dictated by the routine and some light upper body work

2.) Not to attempt this for deadlifts.

Being that I am contrarian  in nature, I have decided to do BOTH. I will be doing the Smolov cycle for deadlifts and I will continue lifting in my usual fashion, which means 2-3 times per day 6-7 days per week doing heavy compound movements such as squats, cleans, snatches, rows, presses, etc. for many sets of 1-5 reps.

I have decided to make a daily training log every day to show my training. In addition I will be including my macronutrient totals for each day and a photo/weigh in each week. This is to check any new hypertrophy that my result from doing this routine which, although not the main purpose of the cycle, seems to be a reasonable side effect that I will gladly take.

I have upped my calories a bit by adding in more carbs than I usually eat but it is by no means extreme calorie intake (except Fridays when I will easily exceed 10,000 calories since it’s pizza night). If I feel that I need more food, however, I will eat more.

For those that do not know, this is the Smolov Cycle (minus 2 intro weeks that I felt I didn’t need):

Base Mesocycle Week 1

  • Day 1: 4×970%
  • Day 2: 5×7/75%
  • Day 3: 7×5/80%
  • Day 4: 10×3/85%

Week 2 Add 20lbs to all %

  • Day 1: 4×9/70% + 20 lbs
  • Day 2: 5×7/75% + 20 lbs
  • Day 3: 7×5/80% + 20 lbs
  • Day 4: 10×3/85% +20 lbs

Week 3 Add 30lbs to all %

  • Day 1: 4×9/70% + 30 lbs
  • Day 2: 5×7/75% + 30 lbs
  • Day 3: 7×5/80% + 30 lbs
  • Day 4: 10×3/85% + 30 lbs

Week 4

  • Day 1: REST
  • Day 2: REST
  • Day 3: Max 1RM
  • Day 4: Max 1RM

After that there are 7 more weeks. I haven’t decided if I will pursue it to that extent. It will depend on how much I get out of the Base Mesocycle, some say it is reasonable to get 30 pounds (with the entire program potentially giving 100 pounds). We shall see.

The only change I made was how I based my max, which I did so very conservatively. My best every deadlift is 540 which I have done on three separate occasions.  I would say that my feeling good max is around 525-530 while my any-time-feel-like-shit max is 500. I know that I can walk in off the street with 3 hours of sleep and only minimal warm and manage to pull 500. Therefore, that is the max I went with. If I have learned one thing from my years of training, it is better to start light(er) than you probably could.

I will be shooting to eat – Protein: 400 Fat: 150 Carbs: 140. These numbers will change if I feel they need to but that is my baseline for this week.

That is all for now.

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