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Improvised Bulgarian Method For Strongman


Just a thought, something like 5x a week were you do 1 pressing move, 1 pulling move, and one lower body move, maximally, 5 days a week, with 1 event day.

Do you think Bulgarian would work for strongman? Just a thought. I saw somewhere on Marunde Muscle that Pudzian presses 3+x a week, and squats 3+x a week, not counting deadlifting or benching. That's pretty high volume, and it got me thinking about a scaled down Bulgarian method for SM, because no human can train 4 hours a day, 7 days a week, not even Mariusz (as far as I know).


What are your thoughts?


I've read that before. Looks cool. So long as you're able to recover from it, I see no problem in giving it a honest test run.


I think it could quite possibly fry you!

There's a massive difference in working up to a max single snatch or C&J than there is grinding out a max back squat, zercher squat, good morning etc. etc. depending on what exercises you do for each bodypart/movement pattern.

There may be a chance of getting away with it if you work to max efforts for different rep schemes, but I still think it would be too much if you are working to within gnats' whisker of failure.

Only one way to truly know though......


Well, I also forgot to mention that when using the real system, you progress up to max singles etc EVERY DAY, which remember, I'm only doing 5 days a week, not 14 times a week, like the true Bulgarian method calls for. It'll take me something like 6+ months before I train EVERYTHING at full throttle, so I figure I'll be well adapted.


Oh, I know all about the Bulgarian method. I've been a competitive weightlifter for the last 6-years. Those Eastern Europeans are crazy bastards who only need to live, eat, breathe, lifting.

Abadjiev wasn't called "the butcher" for nothing! A 100% maximum attempt on a C&J or snatch is completely different to a non explosive movement. All that happens on a failed sn/c&j is that the rate of acceleration drop below the minimum needed to allow the lifter to get under the bar, it's not that fatiguing on the CNS. A 1rm deadlift is a completely different animal.

Like I said, there's only one way to find out, but I'd try and make sure everything is optimum aside from training


I think you could make a program with speed/squat/pull, but I don't think it would be 100% conducive to strongman training, given strongman isn't a sport of natural movements like oly lifting, but instead a sport of full-body external load manipulation. Bulgarians don't use assistance, and therefore a day of event training for strongman would set you back in your maximal loads throughout the week.

In my understanding of Bulgarian methods, the workloads they put their bodies under is conditional. They squat maximally because your legs can work up to that work capacity, and maxing out on explosive lifts aren't fatiguing to the musculature it uses. But the powerlifts are different, as they're maximal strength, not explosive/speed strength. The only reason they max out on squats is because their legs can work up to that capacity, just like walking/running/standing. They don't deadlift with high intensity or bench/press every day, if ever. Not all movements are the same and therefore they must have different rules about volume/intensity of training, especially movements that are not natural patterns like squats. And really, Marius is an elite-level strongman and is not to be compared to lower level lifters.


Well of coarse he's an elite athlete, but he got there some how. This is simply an experiment, and I'm not gonna hit maxes right off the bat from day one, I would need time to recover!


Looking at the article it states that he works up to some easy explosive doubles and triples, not the 1rm that you'd expected to be included based on a bastardised variant of the Bulgarian method. Apart from those "easy" doubles and triples the rest of the workouts seem to revolve around quite high reps, numerous sets, done at pace.

I was reading a great article today on how the russian's used a lot of general physical preparedness training to make their athletes great all rounders and not specialists in 1 sport at a very young age. I'd imagine the Bulgarian's would have followed a similar "grooming" method. By the time they were training 2-3x day 7-days a week they have probably been building up to this for years, not months.


While, the Bulgarian system began with athletes that were already competing in the sport at the time, and working up to 14 sessions a week is very different from working up to 5 weekly sessions. None the less, I did only ask for opinions, so I have no reason to argue with it.


Don't get me wrong, I think it's admirable to try and implement an improvised training routine like this. most people (including me) wouldn't have the balls to try something like this for fear of overtraining. If you can control that element you might just have the most badass strongman routine ever


Thanks! I've already done this with the slower twich muscles, I've gone a month training back every day in the past, went a week training rear delts/bis every day. The thing is, after the second day, NO soreness or any sign of OT, and it usually took like a month back off to get them sore again. I am 16 with an 806ng/dl test level last time I check lol.


Whoa! Sounds like you might just have the constitution for this type of routine then.

I wish I'd started lifting weights at your age. I did muay thai from age 15-21 and used to fight at around 140lb. I could have been a monster by now. I've got a feeling you might well turn into one yourself!

Good luck with it


Thanks, I actually started at 13 (same age as Pudzian).


I remember Josh Broz had a proposed Bulgarian system for strongman, or atleast how he would train a strongman. It was similar to how he trains his Olympic lifters, but with the events trained two times a month and some grip work. He mentions it in a forum somewhere.

I'm really interested to know how this program works out for you, OP.