You’re reading this for one reason only. Your bench press. It either sucks or it’s standard – either way you have a problem with it and that’s why you’re here.
But what if I told you, you could add 30lbs to your big lift in just three weeks?
The answer is simple. Smolov JR.
If you haven’t heard of Smolov before, it’s a badass Russian 13 week squatting program designed to turn men into monsters. However, due to the success of the routine, it was revised as a 3 week course for bench press.
And my god is it good.
Now before we continue there’s a few things that you’ll need to get the most out this program:
- A bench press
That’s it. Both of these are very important to getting the gains we’re after, as this will probably be the most intense month of benching you’ve had in your life – if you’re a gym noob back out now, this will only end in tears.
So how does it work?
Smolov JR involves benching 4 times a week for three weeks. It’s insane, but it totally works.
Here’s the layout, and you want to make sure you don’t miss a session:
Day 1: 6 reps for 6 sets – 70% of your 1 rep max
Day 3: 5 reps for 7 sets – 75% of your 1 rep max
Day 5: 4 reps for 8 sets – 80% of your 1 rep max
Day 6: 3 reps for 10 sets – 85% of your 1 rep max
Exactly the same except add 10lbs to each weight in Week 1.
Exactly the same except add 20lbs to each weight in Week 1.
The Do’s and Don’t of Smolov Jr.
- Eat like an elephant and sleep like a baby on this course
- Wear wrist wraps if the constant pressure is straining them
- Make sure the bar touches your chest
- Use a spot if you feel like you’re going to blow it
- Lift your ass off the bench during your set
- Progress in the course if you failed a day – repeat it next session
- Exercise with accessory lifts during Smolov Jr.
- Attempt Smolov Jr if you are a beginner
Working other muscle groups
As you are going to be living, eating and shitting bench press for the next month, it makes sense to know where you stand on other lifts.
Those that don’t interfere with your bench (back, legs, biceps etc) proceed as normal. However, exercises aimed at triceps, shoulders and pecs should be definitely avoided – they’ll just weaken you up even more before your next session.
Also, if you already go the gym 3 times a week and now think you have to go 7 times to incorporate Smolov, shut up. Smolov Jr is just a benching session, once that’s done resume normal service on your other muscle groups for the rest of your workout.
Additional Benefits of Smolov Jr
Okay, as you’re going to be hitting bench 12 times in a 3 week period – expect your form improve dramatically.
You’ll be able to arch your back more and really learn how to dig your heels in for a powerful press. And if your not wearing some kind of flat-footed shoe to bench, you will be by the end of this program.
A lot these simple changes to your form will transfer over to other lifts and make you an all round stronger guy.
Speaking of that by the way, now that your bench has shot up – your usual chest day will need some increases across the board. Your triceps and shoulders will have come along a lot as well. Which leads us to our last point.
Drawbacks of Smolov Jr
One thing we will say about Smolov Jr is that it’s addictive.
Seriously. Once you see results like this, you want to see them every month.
But there’s only so much your body can take, running this cycle month in month out can cause serious problems. Shoulder joints can take a huge hit, not to mention you can risk tearing your pecs.
Listen to your body on this one. After your first Smolov Jr Cycle, take a month and reassess.
In closing, if you’re looking for strength gains, we can recommend no better routine than Smolov Jr.
It will increase your bench press, your form, and your pecs, shoulders and triceps will explode.
Be sure to avoid training any accessory lifts to the bench during the course, and do not immediately start the course again after 3 weeks. Although the gains are addicting, long term damage from over-training totally isn’t.