Squat Calculator

*Base increases are generally between 5 and 10 lbs depending on feel and progress.

Strong legs make better people. And if you’re looking to significantly increase your squat strength with a structured, time-tested program, you’ve come to the right place. Above, we’ve assembled three major squat programs — Smolov, Smolov Jr., and the Russian Squat Program — into and easy-to-use calculator and spreadsheet that produces custom programs based on your numbers.

How to Use the Squat Calculator

To start for all programs, enter your current 1 rep max squat in the box labeled “Current 1RM” (top of the spreadsheet) in pounds or kilos; round to the nearest whole number. If you’re doing the Smolov program, you’ll retest your squat during the sixth week (end of Base 4). That new value should be entered into the box titled “New 1RM Test.”

If you’re doing Smolov Jr., you can decide your own base increases using the fields labeled “Base 2 Increase” and “Base 3 Increase.” These are set to 10 and 5 lbs by default.

Once your values are entered, enter your email in the box below the spreadsheet and submit; we’ll send you a document with your full program! For Smolov, you’ll want to revisit this page after the Base 4 testing to get your new values.

Notes on the Programs: Smolov, Smolov Jr., and Russian Squat

Barbell Squat
Barbell Squat

The Smolov and Russian Squat programs were originally designed for back squats, but we’ve seen people successfully adapt them for a number of other lifts; these commonly include front squats and bench press (we wouldn’t necessarily recommend any of these templates for the deadlift). Smolov Jr. was originally designed for the bench press, but we’ve also used it to great success with squats. When doing any of these programs, they should be your primary (and in most cases, only) dedicated strength work for the movement pattern you’re training (so if you’re squatting, you won’t be needing much or any additional work on leg strength).


One of the most famous squat routines around, Smolov is also perhaps the most intense. The program is spread across 13 weeks and five general phases: Intro, Base, Switching, Intense, and Tapering. It was originally attributed to Russian coach Sergey Smolov, though there’s some debates over its origins and whether or not Smolov actually exists. It gained a lot of popularity in the West in 2001, when Pavel Tsatsouline published it in Powerlifting USA.

It’s not recommended you attempt the Smolov squat program if you’re new to strength training. There are several different versions of Smolov available online, with the most variation occurring during the Switching phase. The version above (that includes squat negatives, power cleans, and speed box squats during those weeks) is one we’ve had the most success with, though user experience may vary.

Smolov Jr.

Smolov Jr. is a three-week, abbreviated version of Smolov that originally gained popularity for quickly boosting bench press strength. Like Smolov, it is intense, but doesn’t require the 13 week commitment. You’re still squatting four days per week, so don’t underestimate the program, and we recommend not attempting this on untrained legs.

Russian Squat Program

Also called the “Soviet Squat Routine,” this is one of the more common squat programs used by Olympic lifting coaches in the past decade or so. It involves squatting three days per week for six weeks, and every other session is based around 6 sets of 2 at a standard weight throughout the program. The first three weeks focus on building volume with that starter weight (80%), while the last three weeks gradually decrease volume and increase weight/intensity. This is one of our favorite programs for athletes who have some training under their belt and are looking to take their leg strength to the next level. Generally, it is considered less intense than the above two programs, but it’s still a challenge for most athletes.

Learn More

This squat calculator is designed as an easy resource to determine a program for you; deciding which program to pursue may require additional research. We’ll be producing more resources and personal stories with these squat programs in the near future. In the meantime, there are excellent write-ups on sites like StrongLifts, All Things Gym, T Nation, and Dragon Door that we’d highly recommend checking out. Individual experiences with these programs will vary, and be smart — while these provide a challenge, some people will likely respond better to a significantly lower volume of training.