The Bulgarian Method of Weight Lifting

The Bulgarian method of weightlifting is a popular method used by weight lifters and gym enthusiasts across the world. This method is a brilliant way to gain more strength.

The Bulgarian method always had a mysterious air around it. It was believed to be used by weight lifting champions in the Olympics for gaining absolute strength.

However, the truth is that there is nothing mysterious about this one. It is in fact one of the simplest techniques for weight and strength training. Weightlifters across the world commonly employ The Bulgarian method.


What is the Bulgarian Method?

The Bulgarian Method of Weightlifting

The Bulgarian weightlifters won lots of medals in the Olympics during the eighties when they were coached by Ivan Abadjiev. His style of training has become known as the Bulgarian method of weight lifting.

The method involves multiple training sessions a day. A session will typically last for 30 minutes. Each session focuses on one compound lift, such as the snatch, clean and jerk, push press, etc. The athlete would work up to an absolute max for each lift, six days in a row. This style of training is sometimes called the “Squat Every Day” method. Abadjiev would continually push his trainees to set new PR’s.

As you might imagine, recovery is extremely important with this program. Injury is a persistent problem with such strenuous training. If you’re on a national weightlifting team, you can take advantage of things like free soft tissue therapy and supplements. If you don’t get paid to train, you may want to think twice about taking on the full version of this program.

The routine was tedious and strenuous (and might cause a mental breakdown if you try it), but it guaranteed fantastic results. The beauty of the Bulgarian method is that, with some modification, you need not be an experienced weight lifter to do it. Just about anyone with the time and discipline can master this technique.

The Creator of the Bulgarian Method

The Bulgarian Method of Weightlifting

Abadjiev won the first Olympic medal in weightlifting for Bulgaria in 1957. He served as the head of the Bulgarian Weightlifting Federation from 1968 to 1989 and again from 1997 to 2000. Abadjiev became known as the “Pope of the Barbells” for his outstanding success as a coach. He produced 12 Olympic champions, 57 World champions and 64 European champions during his stint as head coach.

How does the Bulgarian Method ensure promised results?

When a person is subject to a definite amount of stress for a prolonged period of time, they get used to that stress, and the stress becomes stimuli. The body then adapts to handling that stimulus and tries to gain more strength to compensate for the stress. In sports, the key to success is understanding the skill that each takes and honing them through continuous practice. This is what Abadijev did to his team and that is what the Bulgarian method is -understanding the skills for weight lifting and honing them through rigorous practice.


What is the basic information you need to have for the Bulgarian method of weight lifting?

The Bulgarian method requires a lot of discipline and consistency. In this technique, in order to achieve desired results, you need to take up each movement and make it perfect. Which means that you would need to invest a lot of time in each. It is through practice that one becomes and expert and perfects each movement.

The Bulgarian method requires that the athlete works up to an absolute max each day, focusing on sets of 1 rep. Dr. Mike Zorurdos has done great work in adapting the Bulgarian method to his training for power lifting. You can find his videos on YouTube. He offers seminars on strength training which I highly recommend.

The Bulgarian Method of Weightlifting

Max Aita from Juggernaut Training Systems ( has a great video about his experience with the Bulgarian Method:

How you can use the Bulgarian method in your training.

If you don’t think you’re quite ready for a Bulgarian style of training, you can try the ever popular 5×5 method. I talk about that in my post “A Great Strength Program for New Lifters.”

As always, thanks for reading,





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