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Old 01-01-2011, 12:49 PM   #1
Kevin Shaughnessy
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Default Smolov Failure

So I managed to get 3 workouts into smolov base mesocycle before being unable to complete the required sets and reps. Is this something that happens when you start too heavy or are some people just not cut out for the volume? I used a projected max of 350 based on a best of 285x10. The 285x10 was done high bar while smolov was done low bar. I was thinking maybe I would retry with a working max of 315, or would that be too easy to give enough benefit?

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:04 PM   #2
Don Stevenson
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Are you trying to do the full smolov with 4 sessions a week? I've tried a bunch of Smolov variations and even with good nutrition and recovery methods in place I've never managed to pull off 4x a week. Keep in mind that the guys who originally used this were high level PL and more than likely on the gear.

These days when I do Smolov I knock the training back to 3x a week to stretch the base cycle out to 4 weeks and reduce the volume per session by about 25% so

3x9, 4x7, 5x5, 6x3

This still seems to be enough load and intensity and on average the last three times I've done smolov I've added 10-15kg to my squat each time.
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:30 PM   #3
Ian Gallimore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaughnessy View Post
I used a projected max of 350 based on a best of 285x10.
I'd say this is why you failed - you need to use a recent tested max and not a projected max, especially one based off a set of 10. I've done the base meso twice and am just about to start the intense meso. First time round I had tested my max about 2 weeks before, so I lowered that by a few kg (7.5kg if memory serves me correctly) and based my numbers off that. Second time round I just used a very recent max triple to base the numbers off. The general rules seem to be to use either:

a) A very recent actual 1RM (a limit lift) minus a few kg
b) Your max triple
c) Your everyday 1RM.

Start too heavy and you will fail without a doubt. There's no way you should be failing in week 1. For info, last time I did the base I used 150 as my max as that was a recent triple, and I squatted a comfy 167.5 six weeks later (I ran the intro cycle too, which I'd recommend if you're not squatting 3+ times a week already).

I'd suggest testing your 3RM, then running Peter Puetz's version of the the intro meso before doing his version of the base (less volume as Don suggested). Same output for less input and less pain and suffering (in fact I had none at all throughout the whole intro and base, compared to the concrete legs I had from the OG base).
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Old 01-01-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
Kevin Perry
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Why are you constantly jumping around on programs?
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:18 AM
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
Kevin Shaughnessy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Perry View Post
Why are you constantly jumping around on programs?
I get bored and start desiring something fresh.

Rick, please take this somewhere else.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:40 PM
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:25 PM   #6
Pete Gordon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaughnessy View Post
I get bored and start desiring something

Strength training is a long term sport. A Marathon. Not a 200m sprint. It's not made for people that can't commit. Well....okay it is, but the results speak for themselves.

I did wonder how come Peter turned into Rick....
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Old 01-02-2011, 02:40 PM
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:20 PM   #7
Kevin Shaughnessy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Gordon View Post
Strength training is a long term sport. A Marathon. Not a 200m sprint. It's not made for people that can't commit. Well....okay it is, but the results speak for themselves.

I did wonder how come Peter turned into Rick....
Thanks for laying down your wisdom pete.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:19 AM   #8
Pete Gordon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaughnessy View Post
Thanks for laying down your wisdom pete.
Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in your post? I know a few people who've stuck with a program like starting strength, 5/3/1 and bill starrs Actual program for a year plus with results that are staggering. I believe in a few things. 1) men will never fully understand women & 2) consistent progressive overload is king.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:12 AM   #9
Steve Shafley
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Just for the record, Kevin:

It often seems counterintuitive to a lifter to start a program from a deficit, i.e. 95% of your 1RM, or 10kg below your 1RM, or something arbitrary like that. You want to get going and get after things right away.

This tendency has been addressed by many people, most recently by Jim Wendler for his 531 program, but it's also been addressed by such luminaries as Tudor Bompa, Louie Simmons, Mel Siff, and Pavel Tsatsouline.

There is immense value in getting a running start at the beginning of the program, and having thing feel "easy" or "kinda easy." This one simple thing can often make a program more effective in the long term.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
Brian M Smith
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from the research I've done on smolov, the "max" number you are supposed to use for the program is translated from russian as a "daily training max" or essentially a 1rm you can do on any given training day.

On a related note, Glenn Pendlay said in an interview that one should be able to hit 90% 1rm on any given training day, and that not being able to do so can be an indication of overtraining.

Combining these two logics, You could say that 90% of 1rm would be a good value to use for the smolov program. Keep in consideration that if you plan to run smolov without a belt, wraps or whatever other gear one may use to squat, then you should be using your "raw" 1rm to take 90% of.
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