The Bulgarian Method

Essentially, this method is a high intensity, high frequency training plan. I’ll leave it to Greg and Omar over at Strengtheory to explain the finer points and nuances. But in a nutshell, it is a training plan that focuses on two lifts for 8-16 weeks. During this time, you may do a few other lifts mixed in with your daily training, but mostly you just do those two – usually squat and bench or some variation of squat and press. In my case, I am doing front squats and overhead press four times a week. I am choosing to do a lower frequency plan because I am old (ripe old 40 years now) and have ankylosing spondylitis. I need to move often, but I have my limits.

The idea is to focus on a minimum weight (your daily minimum) that you can do regularly, and slowly build that up over time, while pushing heavier weights (daily maximums – NOT your 1RM) when you feel up to it. The key is to only push heavy while moving it fast. You want to avoid grinding reps or missing reps. If you want more detail than that, I highly recommend that you head over to Strengtheory and pick up the materials on Bulgarian Method. You’ll be glad you did.

I am choosing to do this training plan with front squats and overhead press because it will greatly enhance my upper back and shoulder strength. And also because these two lifts are old school and awesome, and doing them drastically accelerates beard growth. That’s what I heard.

I have done four sessions on this method now, which means I have done four front squat and overhead press workouts. Both exercises are done in the same session. I can tell I will have to work hard on this program, and that is good. I feel like I picked good daily minimums. I can get them each day and not feel wiped out from it. This is important, because there will be days when I feel slightly less Hulk-like. On the days when I am feeling really good, I push much heavier, and that allows me to test progress and push the limits.

Right now, my daily minimum for front squat is 255, and 155 for overhead press. I think I will bump them up just a bit next week if all goes well. I’ll be posting any significant progressions right here on the blog.

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