Big Beyond Belief Manual

Hey t-men, I was just reading an advertisement in the June 2002 Issue of MM (I know, but my subscription is yet to run out) for a book called “Big Beyond Belief Manual”, Serious Growth III. This book was written by a guy named Leo Costa. It has some serious claims and testamonials, which if they were true I would gladly shell out the $54. Supposedly this guy found out a Bulgarian training method that blows everything else away.
Has anyone read this book or heard of his methods? I would try it if it was worth the money. Please let me know of any information on this. Thanks guys.

Early in my training career, I ordered the Big Beyond Belief Manual I. This program sucked. First of all, it has you working out like two -three times per day. Additionally, the volume is way to high for a natural trainer. It’s funny at one time, Tom Platz was also an endorser of this product. I recently talked to Tom while he was squatting at my gym. I asked him if he still follows this system. He said no way, it’s way to much volume know that he’s done competing.

Search through the T-Mag archives, Charles Poliquin basically says in one of his Question of Strength articles that this program sucks.

don’t buy it - i bought and tried it 5 years ago and while it was an interesting read it was more hype and great marketing than an effective long term workout. short term, less than 4 weeks, well nearly anything works. you will be MUCH better off starting on issue 1 of this website and not stopping until you are done. you will get so much more out of what you read here - and save your 54 dollars to put towards mag-10 or any other biotest supplement. trust me, i do not even own that book anymore, or the videos that were “second-sold” to buyers of the book.

It is basically just HIT. It is a good program to try if you have been on a high volume program for a while. But you can probably find a good HIT program somewhere else for FREE.

Try ‘Overtraining Beyond Belief’, tried this a few years ago (pre T-Mag days) and had zero gains. It may have some applications to those on serious amounts of gear but for us naturals it’s useless. Try any program on this site instead and you’ll see better gains.

I’m sure someone will now say that they got ‘Hoooge’ on this program but for me and a few mates it was a complete waste of time.

Nuff said.

I tried this program when it first came out in '90 (I was 18, that’s my excuse). It was originally called Bulgarian Burst training (or something like that). Bascially, it’s a stupid attempt to adapt Bulargian Olympic lifting training to bodybuilding. It’s a terrific way to overtrain. You work out 2-3 times a day, 6 days a week. It’s similar to the old bodybuilding routines that have you lifting 2 hours a day, six days a week, but with the 2 hour workouts broken into 2-3 30-45 min sessions. Each body part is worked three times a week, except a different rep scheme is used each workout (e.g., M 10-12 reps, W 6-8 reps, F 3-4 reps). At least that’s what the program was originally. Most people who are impressed by references to Bulgarian weightlifters usually do not know the first thing about Olympic lifting. If you really want to learn about the Bulgarian system and how it compares to other programs for Olympic lifting, spend your money on The Weightlifting Encyclopedia by Arthur Drechsler.

I can’t really agree with the above posts.

Yes, you will overtrain on this program.

BUT, some phases of the program are structured in such a way that you’re MEANT to overtrain. Read the manual again if you didn’t get this. There is a specific purpose as to why you need to overtrain at certain times and although I don’t want to go into discussion of why that is so, I can testify that the program worked for me when I followed it to the letter.

I did it when I was in college and I gained 13lbs in 6 weeks. I also continued to gain for weeks after but at slower rate.

Also, they (Costa and Co) were the first ones (that I remember) to suggest taking carb+protein shake right before and after the workout - something that helped me tremendously for recovery. That was over 7 years ago so they definitely knew something.

So, while I agree that the program cannot be followed long term (it’s downright brutal), a few months on it can definitely be beneficial.

However I also should add that t-mag has better and more sound programs posted here so at this point I’d much rather do EDT or 5x5 than Bulgarian Burst training.


I tried BBB a few years ago and got fantastic gains. I used the 4x a week and the 6 x week once a day program, but never the twice a day program. My bench went from 295 to 450 and squat from 365 to 545 in a little over a year. I ate around 3700 to 4000 cal a day,and have never even seen a steroid. The program works, but only if you have superior recovery ability in my opinion. I think overtraining is pretty much overrated myself…

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Thanks for the info guys. The only thing is that the ad says it is a 4 days/week for about 45 min. I think I will skip this book though. Thanks guys.

Costa has obviously refined the program since it was first published in 1990. But like the others have said, you’ll get better training advice on this site for free.

Ive done Poliquins approach to training for almost 10 years from rapid hypertrophy protocols to GVT.
I must say, Ive given this program a serious go for about 8 weeks before the natural canadian championships in 2012 and it worked wonders, I placed 2nd in the country for Bodybuilding and put on more muscle in 8 weeks than I have any other time.

If you can handle the volume and recover ultimately then this program works great, I also used the 6 workouts a day 2xs daily for only the last 4 weeks but started with only 1/day.
Kcals were around 2650/day at 190lbs

Wow! I can’t believe allow the negative feedback! In my experience this still one of the most powerful training systems around!

First off let me say that you have options on the level of training you want to commit to! 4 days a week, 6 days a week or 6 days twice a week! I first used this program when a friend & I ordered the program back in 98’ & it’s been my training bible ever since. Before I started the program I had lost a lot of my size going from 200 lb to 185lbs. I followed the principles with a strict discipline! In 3 mos. I went from 185lbs to 210 lbs training 6 days a week once a day!

My endurance, strength & power went thru the roof, using only free weights, routinely squatting 645-700lbs, Benching 375lbs, Incline dumbell press 130lbs , curling 80-100lbs dumbells, pressing 80-110lbs military dumbell press! Dipping 240lbs, dumbell row 120-180lbs, weighted pull ups with 185lbs strapped to me! 19 years later I still apply the BBB principles of training! 8 years ago I recovered from a back injury where I couldn’t walk for a year.

I credit BBB for giving me the mental & physical toughness to endure this very difficult setback & make a full recovery without surgery or drugs! Last year on my 46 birthday I did a 700lbs squat, the first time since my injury weighing only 200lbs! 19yrs later I’m still going strong & still in incredible shape! If anyone has any questions email me! I’m not affiliated with BBB or Optimum Training Systems in anyway. I’m just someone who has applied these principles at a very high level for almost 20yrs!
Randy White ~


The negative feedback towards Big Beyond Belief is very unfair, simply put if you’re not disciplined enough to stick with any of the BBB workout programs, they obviously won’t work.
However based on my own experience, the BBB manual is by far the most straightforward and to the point guide for some serious muscle gain. I followed the two work out per day six days a week for three months and I achieved muscle gain something fierce! When I started, my weight was 218 lbs. with a bmi of 29%
After three months I’m at 228 lbs and my bmi is 26% (not really changing my diet all that much) So IT DOES WORK!

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