Smolov Jr: Blast Your Bench in Three Weeks


When you walk into the gym what is the question on every other guy’s mind. Why do eyes suddenly begin to shift in your direction when you approach the bench? It’s not because anyone cares about your new lifting gloves. It’s because the time to showcase your manhood is about to begin.

“A man’s bench press is the physical portrayal of his inner strength” – me. Now I know many of you may not agree with that statement. It may even be fair to say that the bench press is the least important of the three major lifts (bench, squat, deadlift). But regardless, having a big bench will increase your street cred like no other lift ever could.

In our culture of instant-gratification, the popular fitness programs are the one’s that promise big results quickly. These simply don’t work. In this world, to be truly successful at anything, you need to put in the man hours. Hour after hour of hard work polishing your craft. This is especially true when it comes to weightlifting. To make continuous gains you must be willing to put in hours, no – YEARS of hard work. Sadly, the vast majority of people aren’t willing to do this. But I know your different. You wouldn’t be reading this on The Handbook of Gentlemen Living if you weren’t a badass ready to take control of your life. So, read on and learn how to implement Smolov–the intense Russian lifting program–into your routine.

Smolov Jr.

Smolov Jr. is a shortened version of the original program, Smolov for squatting. Smolov is a downright hardcore program designed by Russian master of sports Sergey Smolov. The original version is a 13 week program, consisting of four phases, that can boost your squat by 100 pounds. In more recent years, this program has been modified to work for bench press. As opposed to the original, Smolov Jr. is a condensed 3-week program that is guaranteed to give you some of the toughest sets of your life.

Who should try Smolov

Smolov Jr. should only be utilized by people with adequate training experience (at least a year). Doing Smolov Jr. early on is not warranted. This is because in early stages of your “training-career” it is still very easy to progress on linear programs, which Smolov Jr. is not. Smolov Jr. is an advanced program focused on shattering plateaus and leaving impressive gains in a short period of time. But those results come with a price tag: hard work.

The details

Smolov Jr. will require you to bench FOUR times a week for three weeks. This is literally maximizing the amount of volume that your body can take. Thats why the program is so short. It goes like this:

  • Day 1: 6 sets of 6 at 70% of your 1RM (one rep max)
  • Day 2: 7 sets of 5 at 75% of your 1RM
  • Day 3: 8 sets of 4 at 80% of your 1RM
  • day 4: 10 sets of 3 at 85% of your 1RM
  • Each week you will ad 5 – 10 pounds to all your sets

For a Smolov Jr. calculator click here


For Smolov Jr. I recommend the “see food” diet. Just as with any extremely intense program, your body will be craving calories. I don’t want to say eat whatever the hell you want, but do it. You will need to seriously increase you caloric intake per day; don’t worry about gaining fat because your body will be converting all of those calories into fuel. Also as a rule of thumb, try to consume 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Creatine may also be beneficial.

Accessory work

Personally, I would refrain from any other upper body work. you can do some lower body work, definitely squats. Many people have done Smolov Jr. for bench and squat simultaneously and seen great results.

Expected results

Running one cycle of Smolov Jr. can easily boost your bench by 15 – 30 pounds. Not too shabby for three weeks. For the killers out there, there is also another option. Run two cycles of Smolov Jr. back to back with one week rest in between. This will be extremely tough, but like anything else in life, you get out what you put in. People that do two back to back cycles can expect an increase of 25 – 60 pounds on their bench!

If you think you’ve got what it takes to survive Smolov, give it go and let me know how it went! If you have any other questions feel free to comment on this post.

Mr. Studly signing out.

Mr. Studly

Mr. studly is a man's man. When he is not blogging, he spends his days enjoying good food, great movies, and wonderful women. Mr. Studly is a fitness enthusiast and avid party-goer. He is the senior writer for You can contact Mr. studly with questions or post ideas at

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