Smolov: Squatting out of my comfort zone!

What on Earth is Smolov?!

Alright guys, I’m sure many of you are sick and tired of seeing my squat posts WITHOUT any info on what exactly I’m even doing! Well if you are wondering what on earth “Smolov” is (I’m sure you’ve seen the hasthags…), and why I’ve been doing it, I’m here today with answers!

A few months back, I decided my booty needed a boost…something to build and perk. After 4 kids, it was more of a pancake than anything, and ONLY my favorite, super-tight yoga pants could give them ANY shape at all. Ladies, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I call them my magic pants…they magically created a cute booty out of nothing ;). Anyway, a good friend of mine (along with our husbands) pointed out that if I want a butt (Brazilian, please), I need to squat, squat, SQUAT!!! She sent along this pretty intense, but incredibly effective program for me to take a look at.

At first glance, I was terrified…squatting high volume 3-4 days a week (think heavy weight, lots of reps, and lots of sets) just seemed insane to me. Especially for a girl that maybe squatted heavy weight every few weeks. And when I say “heavy weight”, I mean “comfortable heavy weight”…so in reality, not heavy weight at all. To be totally honest, the thought of my smaller frame stuck under a heavy load of weight has always scared me just a bit.

Scared of what?

I was terrified of squatting down…and not being able to get back up! I’ve always kind of had “chicken legs” and had just convinced myself I wasn’t made to lift heavy weights. How nuts is that??? That’s the kind of thinking I coach people through…and I was sitting there allowing this thinking to dictate my strength and power!!!

After reading through every link I was sent and really digesting the program, I decided it was “go” time. If I truly wanted that “squatters butt”, I knew I needed to squat! At the same time, I realized it was beyond time for me to take my own advice and face my fears…and put some REAL weight on the bar.

HeidiPowell_Smolov

So for the past 6 weeks, I’ve been squatting religiously according to the plan. And I must say…I can very proudly present THREE amazing results:

In just 5 weeks of working the program (to the “T”, I must add), my back squat max increased by 20 lbs. My max 6 weeks ago was 145 lbs (feeling really heavy); my max this week was 165 lbs (feeling rather easy). I know I can squat more too!
Clearly, by #1, you can tell this: I feel SO much more comfortable under a heavy load. Thanks to facing my fear 3-4 days a week, squatting heavy-loaded barbells no longer terrifies me!!!!!!! Success!!!!! #ActionConquersFear
Surprisingly, my deadlift max ALSO increased by 16 lbs…and I didn’t perform one single deadlift the entire 6 weeks! Smolov helped train and grease those neurological pathways (aka my body’s electrical wiring) to be able to handle heavier loads all-around…not just with the back squat. My deadlift max went from 219 lbs to 235 lbs!
And my most exciting result is that I AM getting a perkier, slightly bigger butt!!!!!!! YAY. Now it’s time to maintain this bad boy until bikini season…and beyond ;).

Keep in mind, there are several reputable programs out there…Smolov is just one of them! For those interested, you can learn more about this Smolov Squat Program here (http://www.lift.net/workout-routines/smolov/). Before you even consider this though, PLEASE heed my warning: this is a very high volume squat program for experienced squatters ONLY. If you are not yet an experienced squatter with excellent form and a decent amount of comfort with barbell squatting, you should not try this. Please consider starting with the basics: learn how to air squat with proper form. Once you have mastered the air squat, you can move on to a weighted squat, but you SHOULD obtain qualified coaching for safety. Improper form on a back squat can wreak havoc on our bodies. If you aren’t ready for this program now, don’t worry…keep working on the basic squat and your time will come!

For those that are ready…enjoy!!!

Questions, comments, or personal experience with Smolov (or another program)? Post below!!!

Xoxo,
Heidi

Additional reading on Smolov: https://www.jackedfactory.com


28 Comments

  1. Holly - November 10, 2015

    Yes! I’m so glad I found another female who went through this program, I am curious what your 1RM was at the conclusion of the program? I am on day #2 (1RM is currently 200lbs – I’ve been at it for nearly a year and a half!!) and I’m hoping for at LEAST a 50lbs increase by week 13. Also curious if you did a weight and body fat analysis before and after and, if so, what the results were? I’m starting at 5’7″, 153, 22.5% BF. I couldn’t care less if I gain weight as long as the BF stays the same or gets lower!

  2. Belén - October 25, 2015

    Pointless post you didn’t even explain what Smolov is.

    • Team Powell - October 25, 2015

      Hi Belen: There is a link to the Smolov program at the end of the post where you can get additional information including how to adapt the program to your own fitness level.

  3. Sergey Smolov - March 1, 2015

    Привет, Хайди! Очень рад, что тебе помогла моя программа!)

  4. Brittney - February 20, 2015

    I am on day 5 of the SMOLOV program and am loving pushing myself. I wondered what you did in combination with these for your workouts? I want to make sure I don’t kill my legs, but I want to get in enough cardio too. Also, did you use any weight for lunges or just body weight?

  5. Brooke - February 19, 2015

    Hi Heidi- I have recently started this program but I am just wondering if you do weights on the lunges in week 1 of the introductory.. Thanks!

  6. Megan - February 4, 2015

    I was hearing and seeing a lot about the Smolov program – so I looked into it and saw the same warning you gave, “this is for experienced squatters…” I consider myself experienced, but I still felt like I needed to start somewhere a little less intense – enter “StrongLift 5×5” The same Website I was directed to for Smolov stated that, unless you are experienced or already squatting extremely heavy weights, it’s best to start with StrongLift 5×5, progress to Madcow 5×5, THEN progress to Smolov. I’m in my second week of StrongLift 5×5 and am loving it so far – doing crossfit or other HIIT style workouts on my off days. I’m excited to see what kind of progress I’m capable of 🙂

  7. Breanne - February 3, 2015

    Hey! Great post Heidi! I also commented on your IG post, but figure you get too many notifications to keep up! 2 questions…
    1. How does this fit into the rest of your week in terms of working other body parts. Can you squat and then move on to you’re normal back workout for example?

    2. I have checked both sites you provided and see they both recommend lunges for the 3 says following days 1-3. Are these body wright or weighted lunges? And are there specific rep schemes for the plyos?
    Thanks, did day 1 this morning and really like it. :
    Bre

  8. Jasmina - February 3, 2015

    I was wondering what is Heidi’s starting weight on this program? My back squat it’s 145 same as hers, I would like to know what weight do I need to start at. I would love to increase my back squat weight.

    Thank you!

  9. Alina - February 2, 2015

    Heidi, Chris, do you guys work with neighbors too? I’m in Scottsdale with my family and would love to love 50 lbs and get fit for the summer. Love the show, we watch constantly. My kids love it too! Totally hate my legs and arms! Any advice?

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      Hi Alina: Chris and Heidi aren’t taking on clients due to their heavy filming schedule, other obligations, and young family. I do hope you understand. This is why they’ve put all the tools they use in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” for all of us to use to reach our goals! The book contains their complete nutrition and exercise program, and it will teach you everything you need to know and do to achieve your own transformation! Learn all about it here: http://heidipowell.net/9060/how-to-begin-your-transformation-journey-step-by-step/. You can do this!

  10. Jessica - February 2, 2015

    Thank you for this article and your honesty! It’s always encouraging to here how fitness professionals themselves overcome self doubt. I would love to try this program but currently I am about 11 weeks pregnant. I have a decent background with strength exercises, though I am about 20lbs over the weight I wish I was, especially being pregnant. Do you have recommendations for strength plans to keep me strong and cardio to keep my endurance up (though it doesn’t take much for me to be out of breath!) Thank you!

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      Congratulations on your pregnancy – that’s so exciting! It’s best to work with your healthcare team on any exercise program while pregnant since they know your health history and can help you make any necessary modifications as your pregnancy progresses. We wish you the best!

  11. Jackie - February 2, 2015

    i SO wish I could do this and get a better shaped butt! I’ve had a hip replacement and arthritis/osteoporosis in my spine/hips and a chronic regional pain syndrome.. So do the best I can with leg press, weighted glute raises, single leg squats etc…But alas cannot get those glutes really shaped 🙁
    It’s disappointing. Would love to heavy squat!!
    Was a bodysculpting trophy winner 10 years ago.. Oh well, we do what we can hey 🙂

  12. Angela - February 2, 2015

    Would love to see before & after pictures 🙂 Love watching you & Chris on TV & instagram. Shows all your hard work & healthy eating pays off! You look great!

  13. Allison Astacio - February 2, 2015

    Hi Heidi!! I’m a huge fan of you and Chris!! How did you get over your fear of squatting heavy?? I have the same fear. I can squat 30lbs heavier when I have someone spotting me but when I’m on my own I freak out. I’m afraid of the same thing, not being able to get up. I would be able to do so much more if I overcame that fear. Thank you!

  14. Lyndsey - February 2, 2015

    I have been watching your squat videos throughout this process and I just clicked on your air air squat page for your demo. But I have to ask, when watching your weighted squats video, you go way lower than 90 degrees but then in an air squat only go to 90 degrees or chair-level? I am confused on which is correct. I have always heard butt to knee-level. Any advice or explanation?! TIA!

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      The air squat is kind of the beginning squat. As you get stronger, it is okay to go below 90 degrees as long as you make sure your form is spot on.

  15. nicole @ just live it - February 2, 2015

    Hi Heidi!! I am such a huge fan of you and your hubby!!! :). I’m so excited that I just found your blog. I have a two month old, and I’m only 5 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. That being said, it’s been awhile since I had an exercise routine (and I was about 10-15 pounds over my ideal weight when I first got pregnant). So I’m looking for exercise tips and motivation to get myself back into shape!! (As for squats, I desperately need to start doing them. Ha ha). :). I can’t wait to read more!!! And I wanted to say ‘hi’ and that I’m a huge fan!! You and Chris are inspiring so many!!!!

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      Congratulations on the new baby – that’s so exciting! You might want to check out the exercise part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” The entire program (cardio and strength training) is laid out for you day by day – all you have to do is follow it! Learn about the basics here: http://heidipowell.net/9059/all-about-exercise-2/. You can do this!

  16. Laura - February 2, 2015

    Gosh I wish I had a flat butt, so crazy that us women always want what we don’t have!! I am so conscious of my big butt and am always worried that whatever workouts I do will make it even bigger. But it’s encouraging to read a post about you wanting to build yours makes me feel that I should embrace what I have! Thanks babe! X

  17. Millie - February 2, 2015

    What exercises are good for a person with a knee replacement?? Squats are to hard on my knees,,,,

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      You’ll want to work with your healthcare team to put together a program that will help you reach your goals but keep that knee safe and healthy. You might discuss the exercise part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life,” with your team and see what modifications they’d make. You can do this!

  18. Ashley - February 2, 2015

    You are truly such an inspiration. Within the past few months I’ve been getting into working out after having my first (and only baby) who recently turned 2! It’s because of you that I realized I CAN have a great body at any age and shouldn’t look back to high school as my peak. So thank you and I hope I can start this program soon!

    Also, what are these amazing, butt lifting yoga pants you speak of?? 🙂

  19. Sarai - February 2, 2015

    How can I build booty without going to the gym and having a weight bar to help? I like squats but what can I do to help at home?

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      You can do squats, lunges, and some others…you might want to check out the exercise part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It’s a complete cardio and strength training program, and every day is outlined for you. Learn about the basics here: http://heidipowell.net/9059/all-about-exercise-2/. You can do this!

  20. Carole - February 2, 2015

    Wow, good for you! Can I ask you how I do that with a hand injury? I am turning 50 this month *on the 19th* and I am not over weight, but I am NOT in shape either, including my backside, I would love something I can do, that will help perk it up. I also need help with the arms too….So, basically firming up in general. I am 5’4″ & 125, so would like to firm up and lose 10lbs….

    I look forward to your input! Keep up the GREAT work!

    On a different not, my son, who will be 28 this year, needs Chris, how does he apply for Extreme Weight Loss? He is 6′ 4″ and well over 400lbs and needs a BIG change….Thanks again for any info! 🙂

    • Team Powell - February 2, 2015

      Check out the exercise part of Chris and Heidi’s carb cycling program in their book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life.” It’s a complete cardio and strength training program, and every day is outlined for you. I’d suggest you discuss it with your healthcare team so they can help you make any necessary modifications until your hand injury is healed. Hope you heal quickly!

Leave a reply