T Nation

Halcj Bulgarian and Beyond

Hello All!
I was planning to begin a log when I started my version of the “Bulgarian Method” for powerlifting, but have since picked up a bit of an injury (QL strain) which means I can’t start full training for a while (~2 weeks or less hopefully, as I pulled it over a week ago and it’s getting a bit better). I have decided to start the log now, as injury and recovery are surely as big a part of long term success as full intensity training anyway (!).
On that note, here it comes:

Statistics:

Competition Lifts:
Squat 182.5kg (~400lbs)
Bench 115kg (~255lbs)
Deadlift 202.5kg (~450lbs)

Training Lifts:
Squat 185kg and 180kg x 2
Bench 120kg x 3 (last week, very little arch due to injury)
Deadlift same as comp. (202.5kg)

Bodyweight: 88kg (~194lbs)

Height: 6ft

Birthdate: 1st Dec '97

Goals:
I am training for strength, particularly in powerlifting. I also play a bit of rugby, but my strength training is 100% powerlifting with anything else as GPP. More specifically, I would like to achieve a raw 600lb+ squat and deadlift and 350lb+ bench by the age of 18, with no limit on bodyweight but an aim of keeping bodyfat at no more than an approximate 15%. Of course, if I decide to move to equipped lifting, these will be raised accordingly. While I am not against PEDs, I am not going to use any banned substances in this time or in the near future.

Diet:
(fully logged on paper daily with set no. of calories met daily and recorded, macros tracked periodically to remain on track)
Maintenance ~4100kcal/day
Without going into too much detail (I am aware this is rather long), I am going to continue eating slightly above maintenance for this program, adding 300kcals/day when progress stalls. I will lower kcals on lighter days, increase on twice-a-day days.

Thank you for staying with me through all that detail ! Any input is welcome, I don’t mind discussion.

I am utilising occlusion training as a method of maintaining lower body strength.

Today:

Bench with legs raised: 3x70kg, 3x90kg, 5x8x90kg
Shoulder Walk Press-ups: 4x20
Rear deltoid raises: 4x12 (can’t risk doing rows)
DB Curls: 4x10
Occluded Step-ups: 20,18,16, (each leg)

As you can see, light training for now not to stress the back. I cannot convey the irritation !

Just an occluded stair walk today - 5 sets of 2min.
Back feels about the same. Damn. I would try some foam rolling and self-release massage, but last time it made it worse, so it must need more rest.

Today: General Strength/“BBing-style” Training

AM
Bench with legs up: 5x70kg, 3x90kg, 2x100kg, 1x110kg, 1x115kg, 1x117.5kg (happy with this w/ legs raised + no arch, went up smoothly)
Occluded 3 Stair Step-Ups - (focus on strong, powerful, and fast contraction of glute/hip/leg muscle on concentric, controlled eccentric) 4 sets each leg to failure.

PM
Occluded hamstring curls - 12,10,7,6
Occluded leg extensions - 14,10,10,8,3
Seated Machine Press - 10x60kg, 8x65kg, 6x65kg, 4x70kg
Seated Behind-the-Neck Press - 12x50kg, 10x50kg, 7x50kg, 3x50kg
Close-Grip Pulldowns - 4 sets to failure (careful form to protect injury)
Rear Deltoid Raises - 15, 15

I hate not squatting. At least I can do something, though; the occlusion training seems to work and my bench is feeling very good. Plus, for every week off squatting, my progress on resuming should be faster… I hope!

I have also ordered a Texas Power Bar to replace my cheap-ish one, as well as some knee sleeves for when I get back to squatting and the Metal black wrist wraps… Something to look forward to when I begin full lifting. It’s a shame I won’t be able to use the bar at the college gym as well though - I hate useless bars. Maybe I’ll have to carry it…?

GL with recovery. I love Texas power bars.

C4G

Thanks, I’ve done a few sets of 20 (squats) with the bar and it’s feeling ok, so hopefully not long now. When I get back to full lifting, I plan to set a limit at 85% of previous maximum for the first week and work up to a single with this then some back-offs at 70%.

I strained my QL almost a year ago. Its a helluva thing and took me a little while to figure it out. Foam roller did the same to me, almost couldn’t get up off the floor afterwards.

What I found best for me was a theracane. It’s very hard to access the QL on your own, you have to relax as best you can. If you lie on the floor with your knees bent, you can hook the theracane into your lower back and use the floor for leverage. Find the tender spots and work them as best you can.

I also continued to squat, as long as it was pain free, 2-3 days a week. Couldn’t deadlift for about 6 weeks.

Good luck

[quote]mahwah wrote:
I strained my QL almost a year ago. Its a helluva thing and took me a little while to figure it out. Foam roller did the same to me, almost couldn’t get up off the floor afterwards.

What I found best for me was a theracane. It’s very hard to access the QL on your own, you have to relax as best you can. If you lie on the floor with your knees bent, you can hook the theracane into your lower back and use the floor for leverage. Find the tender spots and work them as best you can.

I also continued to squat, as long as it was pain free, 2-3 days a week. Couldn’t deadlift for about 6 weeks.

Good luck[/quote]

Thanks for the advice/experience.

Bar has arrived - brilliant knurling and finish. Love it.
Good news with the injury too, seems a lot better - built up to 60kg squats today and was fine, so full training shouldn’t be far off. I will try to incorporate a bit more lower back massage and recovery work.
Rest today other than the squats, hoping to speed recovery. Bench etc. tomorrow.

Today

AM

Bench w/ legs raised: 3x70kg, 3x90kg, 1x110kg, 1x115kg, 1x120kg (very pleased this kind of weight is going up archless), 2x100kg, 2x100kg, 2x100kg, 2x100kg, 2x100kg, 2x100kg.
Explosive/plyo. Press-ups: 4x8
Rear Delt. Raises: 2x15

PM

Occluded Step-Ups with a 10kg bar: 15,15,15,8 with each leg (extremely hard, legs feel strong though)
Press: (light due to injury) 12x40kg, 2x8x50kg
Pull-ups: 3x10
DB Curls (strict): 4 sets to failure each arm with 12.5kg DBs
Squat: 4xbar (power bar), 4x40kg, 2x3x60kg.
Abductor Raises (supposedly help lower back for some)

Squats and presses felt ok, injury only noticeable with twisting or more real life movements (but still no heavy weight yet).
Hoping to build up to 140kg pain free in the next week or so, then full training within a few weeks if it goes well.

Hill walk and some bar-60kg squats + light stretches, otherwise a rest day. Injury the same - still a problem with certain movements, but a lot better than it was a week ago.
I really hope it can be back to normal in the next week or two, will have been 3 weeks on Tuesday; surely 4 weeks should be enough time to get back to full/almost full training? Time will tell I suppose… Just hope it’s not much longer, really frustrating.

AM

Squat: 4xBar, 4xBar, 3x40kg, 3x60kg, 3x60kg (still just sticking to a “rehab” dose of squats for now)
Bench w/ legs up: 3x70kg, 3x100kg, 4x2x110kg, 2x8x92.5kg
Pullups: 2x10
Upper Back Raises: 4x12

PM to come…

PM

Occluded Step-Ups (with a 10kg bar): 3 sets to failure each leg. Brutal.
Press: 5xBar, 3x10x50kg
DB Raises: 4x8
DB Curls: 3x11 e/a

Come on, QL, come on - you can do it!
Let’s hope.

Aside from this, I have made some progress in planning my Bulgarian-style training, and I now have even more confidence that it will be effective.

Just a walk and light massage today. Back is the same.

AM

Bench w/ legs up: w/u, 7x3x100kg
Upper back (top range of DB row with stomach on bench and opposite hand on floor): 3x10

PM

Leg Ext.: Build to highest weight for 3x10
Leg Curl: 3x8
Occluded Leg Ext.: 4 sets to failure
Occluded Leg Curl: 4 sets to failure
Seated Military Press: 4x5x 75kg, 2x10x55kg
Close Grip Underhand Pulldown: 4x12
Stretching, massage and general attempt at rehab.

Overall a decent day of training, shoulder strength is coming on and seems to be helping bench a bit (will definitely be using OHP in the Bulgarian-style program on the non-bench days, as planned). Considering getting a professional sports massage or ART to break down scar tissue, will look for someone decent in the area. I think the QL might be feeling slightly better today after the session I did.

Stretching seems to be helping a lot, injury improving at last! Let’s hope it goes completely in the next week if possible… If not then the week after… (!)
Rest, walk and stretching only today. Another day off tomorrow I think to make sure it isn’t aggravated, then begin progression into full training on Friday.

Progress at last, it seems! Rest day today, but worked up to a few squat sets with 90kg (up to 5 reps) and felt good. Slight pulling still there with certain movements, but stretching helps a lot. I hope to get to 140kg this week, then full training after that.

AM

Squat: Bar w/u, 3x5x60kg, 2x3x90kg, 2x2x110kg (Getting back, nearly there)
Bench no arch: 2x3x70kg, 4x5x100kg

PM

Hamstring Curls: 5 sets of 10-5
Squat: Bar for sets of 3
Leg Ext.: 5x11x highest setting (lol)
Seated Press: 3x6x75kg, 3x10x50kg
Underhand Grip Pulldowns: 5x6, 2x10
Squat: 5x3x60kg (still felt fine)
Stretches etc.

Hoping to get to the planned 140kg by Sunday or Monday, then I’ll start building up with squats + either bench or presses everyday (but sub-maximal weights) until I feel ready to start the Bulgarian set up properly.

Not much to report today, rest and a hill walk. Training in the morning.