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.


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 ( 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!!!


Additional reading on Smolov:

28 Responses

  1. 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 πŸ™
    It’s disappointing. Would love to heavy squat!!
    Was a bodysculpting trophy winner 10 years ago.. Oh well, we do what we can hey πŸ™‚

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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!!!!

    1. 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: You can do this!

  6. 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

    1. 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!

  7. 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?? πŸ™‚

  8. 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?

    1. 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: You can do this!

  9. 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! πŸ™‚

    1. 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!

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