View Full Version : Bulgarian methodology

Chris Morris
10-19-2011, 08:27 AM
Has anyone used the Bulgarian train to a daily max in Sn, CJ, and SQ everyday? How did it work for you? I am thinking of giving it a go. I am 29 so we will see how recovery is just want your experiences

Greg Everett
10-19-2011, 10:15 AM
I have done it and have used it with a few athletes in various forms. I think most people can manage it if the volume is kept low enough, but that doesn't mean everyone will thrive on it. I would suggest moving into it gradually and getting a bit conditioned to it before you try (or if you're going to try) do a legit daily max set up.

Something like:

Mon/Wed/Fri - sn/cj to heavy single; fs to heavy single, back of 2x2

Tue/Thu/Sat - sn/cj to 80% for 2-5 singles; fs 70-80% for a couple singles or doubles

Or on Tue/Thu/Sat you can do power sn/cj instead.

If you can handle that for 3 weeks or so and feel good, then you can experiment w increasing the volume. For example, you might do 2 squat sessions on Mon/Wed/Fri, e.g. heavy single, then your sn/cj, then heavy single and some back off sets. Or if your squat is already much stronger than your sn/cj, you can throw in more sn/cj volume by adding more singles or even doubles after you work up to your max and keep squats to singles only.

Matt Foreman
10-24-2011, 08:20 PM
Greg is right on about easing into it very gradually. You have to remember that the true Bulgarian program is designed to push the limits of human endurance. Even with the best possible restorative measures available, the Bulgarian program is still beyond what many athletes can tolerate. If you're going to give it a try, especially at 29, be very careful and take it slow on the increases.

Pat McElhone
10-27-2011, 03:41 AM
Was the Bulgarian Bulgarian system really about trying to lift max loads daily, or was it about constantly competing? The athletes were always fighting with each other to get to stay in the athletes hall and not have to go back to their ordinary lives?

I think it was a daily competition that pushed lifters to lift heavy loads and developed a very competitive mindset. Without this environment of competition, are you really doing Bulgarian?

Greg Everett
10-27-2011, 09:23 AM
There was certainly an element of competition among lifters, as there is with any good program. If lifters aren't competitive, they won't thrive in sport. I've heard Abadjiev say that he often invited spectators to watch training to simulate meet conditions and force better performance, but that/competition aren't the elements that characterize what's considered the Bulgarian method - that's training max and near max singles very frequently. You'll never be able to define it perfectly because it was never exactly the same thing, as Abadjiev was constantly refining it. He's now coaching about 40 min from us, and a former lifter has come here full time. Their programs are basically front squat to heavy single, then 2x2 back off, snatch to heavy single, CJ to heavy single, then front squat to heavy single with 2x2 back off. However, when one was in more of a learning stage, he had her do pulls occasionally. Another sometimes does rack jerks. I know a former one from his first time here did overhead squats. He also plans intensity variation day to day - I've been shown a weekly programs that had numbers planned for each lift, modulated up and down day to day, which goes against the daily max idea in a sense, but really all he's doing is predicting what the daily max will be and giving goals.

I think it was Steve Gough who said with regard to the Bulgarian method, there is the letter of the law, and there is the spirit of the law. You can get a lot done with the latter if that's what you choose to do.