View Full Version : Russian Squat Cycle

Ryan Arthur
05-06-2010, 07:19 PM
What is the "Russian Squat Cycle?" What are the pros and cons of the program?

Gavin Harrison
05-06-2010, 11:51 PM
Probably either this: http://www.exrx.net/WeightTraining/Weightlifting/RussianSquatProgramGenerator.html
Pros: Seems not to bad on volume
Cons: 6 week cycle, might be slow if you're a beginner
Not meant to be used continuously

Or Smolov.. http://www.ontariostrongman.ca/Resources/training/smolovsquatcycle.htm
Pros: works
Cons: volume may be high
wont be able to train other lifts as much if at all

Pete Gordon
05-08-2010, 12:54 AM
Smolov kicks arse. If you elect to do it & finish it, you wont regret it.

If you do it, do things such as sn & cln pulls at a moderate weight.

Will Peterson
05-09-2010, 10:33 AM
Smolov does work, but if you have a solid max weigh on the exercise (back squat, but it can be adjusted for others) you will be doing very little other than recovering. I have never done the Russian squat cycle, but I do think this is an article of interest on the subject:


Also, if you do the Smolov cycle, do not underestimate the two "switching" weeks and the need for dynamic movements. I like the 50% 1RM doubles ala Westside combined with plyometrics and Oly lifts. I believe that this cycle can turn you into a grinder if you are not careful.

Keith Miller
05-12-2010, 08:16 AM
I'm planning on running the Smolov cycle for back squats. I'm doing the second week of the introductory microcycle (3 days a week of 85% to 2x2, 3, 5 on each day). I'm doing light work on the Oly lifts and will start the Base Mesocycle next week. I'm only doing the Base Mesocycle and maxing out. I will be doing some moderate weight pulls from hang positions and overhead movements (jerks, presses, etc). Only 1-2 exercises in addition to the squats per day, and nothing too heavy or intense. I have a max of 147, but using 140 as my 1RM for the program. I'll let you all know how it goes. :eek:

Mark Fenner
05-12-2010, 10:55 AM
You might find this useful:


Will Peterson
05-16-2010, 05:17 AM
Good luck.

I really think that it is a great off season routine to bump your back squat. As you will find listed plenty of other places, increase your calories, increase you sleep, and be sure to keep up/ increase your soft tissue and flexibility work. There is a lot of stress put on the hips and all the small muscles involved through this volume of high 1RM percentages.

Keith Miller
05-17-2010, 03:18 PM
Well, I looked at the thread you directed me to. However, since I'm not working, I'm going to try and do the Smolov as written. Only thing I might change would be extending it out a week and only squat 3x's per week MWF with a light power session on Sat. We'll see how this week pans out.:D

John P. Walsh
05-20-2010, 11:08 AM
This was one of the hardest things I ever did. After several attempts I learned to do nothing but squats during this cycle and to drop the weight 25%. I'd like to try it again and see how the body handles this at 45.

Dave Van Skike
05-21-2010, 03:06 PM
some of the magic of smolov may just be the increased frequency. could get your toes wet just upping the frequency of squatting to see how you fair after 2-3 weeks.

Keith Miller
05-24-2010, 08:32 AM
I agree with the increased frequency being the magic. Also, there is the reular increases. I have already completed my first week of squatting (after today), squatting 3x's per week. On my 4th day (sat), I did hang power cleans, power jerks, and snatch deads (moderate weight). That's what I'll do for the next three weeks to finish this off, then get back into a regular Oly routine. I'm doing this mostly because I suck at programming for myself, I need something to tell me exactly what to do. I hope everyone who does the Russian program succeeds!!:D