T Nation

8-Week Training Course


Has anyone ever used (or heard of) this program?


It appears to be fairly high volume and intensity, but is really focused on the comp lifts. I would guess Bulgarian inspired. Here is an example of Week 4:

Week 4 - Maximal

Day 1
Snatch Max; 1x1 @ 75, 80, 85, 90, 92-95%
Clean & Jerk Max; 1x1 @ 75, 80, 85, 90, 92-95%
Squat 1x2 @ 85, 87, 90, 92%; 1x1 @ 87, 92%

Day 2a
Snatch Max
Clean & Jerk Max

Day 2b
Squat 5x2 @ 85%
Snatch Pull 5x2 @ 90%sn
Clean Pull 5x2 @ 90%cj

Day 3
Snatch 1x1 @ 90-95%, 1x1 @ 80, 85, 90%
Clean & Jerk 1x1 @ 90-95%, 1x1 @ 80, 85, 90%
Front Squat 2-rep Max

Day 4
Snatch Max
Clean & Jerk Max

Coaching Notes:

Day 1: Work up to a max Snatch and C&J; drop the weight down then perform the described reps. Day 2: Load for the pulls are based on max Snatch and C&J.


It's definitely Bulgarian inspired... in fact this is pretty much the Bulgarian system if there was more squats, more days with maybe the power lifts (power clean and jerk, power snatch), and no snatch or clean pulls. This system doesn't really work all that well unless you are technically efficient and know what you are doing. Otherwise, this is a great way to go about training, and most people would benefit to train like this long-term. I say long-term because your lifts might actually decrease when for a couple weeks until your body gets used to do the pounding... afterwards, your will adapt.

I personally don't like training like this for two reasons. 1) I like all the accessory type of lifts, it keeps the lifting interesting and not monotonous, and it keeps me motivated. Plus I am not an expert at technique yet. 2) I like doing stuff for the upper body, because I don't want to look like a p*ssy. But with the Bulgarian system you have to lift that stuff to almost zero.



Dude, if you can clean and jerk 300+ pounds, you will have some beefy traps and shoulder and will NOT look like a pussy.


Its an 8 wk prep to a competition, not a training system so to say it could be Bulgarian if you just add more squats or whatever is wrong especially since youre only looking at the maximal week the poster put up.


Oooh... you are correct, did not know it was a prep for a comp. My bad.


Bullshit that you can't look like a pussy. Look up google image pictures of Boevski, Vanev, Gardev, Ivanov... the only decent looking Bulgarian from the 80s/early 90s was Petar Tanev. You may have some big traps, and MAYBE some good shoulders (not even that, it is dependent on your weight class and how you train), but you will NOT get a decent-sized chest/back/arms from just doing cleans, snatches, and squats.


Well, I guess we are going to have to disagree here. Will a person training O-Lifts have big arms and chest? No. But I think that people who can move large amounts of weight on those lifts look strong and powerful. They may not have the muscle size that bodybuilders do, but I really don't think that makes them a pussy.


Finished Week 2 today. So far, so good. Worked up to max in the snatch and clean&jerk for the 3rd time in 2 weeks which is more the I have maxed in the past month. Reading the other Bulgarian posts it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks with more frequent maxes.


I wouldn't care what I looked like if I could snatch over 300 pounds and clean and jerk over 400.


PB Andy a good olifter will have a huge back mate...all it takes is about 2-3 exercies in a whole week to do pull ups, dips, push ups, military press, bench press and thats covers all of your upperbody needs.

Dam f0cking right!



That rep and set scheme is definetley familiar... Michael Hartman is an extremely smart guy and he is a close friend and I believe a former intern for our own Glenn Pendlay. I personally like the format for an accomplished lifter... problem is most of the athletes who gravitate to a system or are searching for the "magic bullet" of training programs are often not ready for a program like that. Here is an excerpt from an article Glenn wrote recently after spending some time in Bulgaria with the Russian Junoir Coach. It gives a Russian perspective on the Bulgarian System. You can read the rest on the articles section at California Strength.

A Russian perspective on the Bulgarian system 22 Aug 2010

by Glenn Pendlay MS

My new friend Ruslev Khomenko, a Russian coach of Junior athletes, and I talked a fair amount about the Bulgarian system of training. When I first brought this up, I expected him to dismiss it as inferior to how he trained athletes. He did not do this, in fact he said it was a GREAT system, maybe the best. The qualification was this, it is the best, IF IT WORKS FOR YOU!!! In his opinion, it only works for some peopleâ?¦ and if you dont belong to this select group, you can still be a great lifter, you just have to try something else. His best results were 135/160 at 62kg bodyweight, not good in his estimation, and the Bulgrian system hadnt worked for him. According to him, some people get a real deterioration in technique when they train to max all the time, others, for whatever reason, get more and more effecient. Some people thrive on frequent squatting, some simply dont.

This strikes me as a common sense attitude. Do what works. The Russians believe their â??systemâ?? works for a wider variety of people, and doesnt produce as many injuries. But they, or at least Ruslev, agrees that the Bulgarian system is the â??idealâ?? for a person with no weak points.


Haha, it really depends on how much assistance work you have. Anywayssss...


My body doesn't need much assistance to put on some muscle...just a few exercises.



For what it's worth, I am going to follow Doc Hartman's 8 week comp. prep. cycle and (tentatively) lift at the masters' meet in Savannah, GA on Nov. 6/7th.

I ran into him on Glenn Pendlay's corner of the web, and he is going to follow my log.

Already going to alter it - and lift three days in a row this week - I have too - the Rush concert is this Thursday and I haven't missed a Rush concert in town since 1989 (yes geek). My normal week will be Mon, Tue, Thur, evenings, and then Saturday afternoon.

My log is over in the old fart's , er I mean the Over 35 forum.