Skip to content

My experience with the Bulgarian(ish) method

For the past 7 weeks, I have been doing the following:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Squat and Bench Press
3 reps @ 40%
3 @ 50%
3 @ 60%
3 @ 70%
3 @ 80%
1 @ 85% (Daily Minimum)
1 @ 87.5%
1 @ 90%
1 @ 92.5% (Daily Maximum)
Back Off Sets (optional)
2×3 @ 85% of Daily Max

3 reps @ 40%
3 @ 50%
3 @ 60%
3 @ 70%
3 @ 80%
5×1 @ 85%

There were only 2 weeks that I couldn’t fully commit to all 4 squat/bench days, but real life is what it is.

– A lot of practice: Doing this many reps every week has helped me nail down my form to a point where I do the same thing every time whether I think about it or not, or even when I’m tired, sore, etc.

– Confidence/comfort is up: Hitting heavy singles 4 days a week makes getting under heavy weight seem like just another day. For example, squatting over 500 always mentally hit me in a negative way. Simply seeing a number that started with 5 put me in a position where I would get too conservative, or start making excuses for missing in my head before I even got under the bar. Having done 500+ 4 days per week for multiple weeks has me looking at it like it’s no big deal now. I walk up to it thinking “no way I miss this”. I get under the bar, walk it out, squat it.

– No regrets if you miss a day/have a bad day: One of my issues with most common programming is that if a day went poorly, I would either beat myself up over it mentally, or push too hard physically (sometimes causing injury). I would dwell on it until I could repeat that workout, usually once per week. With this, having a bad day was no big deal. I knew I would be doing the same thing 4 days, so one of them being “off” didn’t matter. Lifting related stress went way down.

– Recovery: Took over 2 weeks to get fully used to the frequency. During those 2 weeks, I really had to make sure sleep and food were on point.

– Real life: This type of programming requires a solid commitment for it to be effective. During this training block, I had to help with an office renovation, and we had some summer obligations that I had to work around. The past 2 weeks were especially brutal, and I had to miss some workouts (ended up doing 2 S&B days and 1 DL day each week).


I think this type of programming is a perfect segue from a hypertrophy based block into a peaking block. Volume gets reduced, but is not limited like in a peak. You also still get the benefit of heavy singles to maximize the potential of the muscle gains made in the hypertrophy block.

My next meet isn’t until August, so I won’t really know how much this helps my total until then, but so far the results are very promising.

Bench Press:
Here are my 3 attempts from April. 280, 303, 314

Here is 295 from yesterday morning

I don’t have a squat video from this week, but here is a comparison video from 6/13.

I’m up to 502.5 for my heaviest, and it goes up just as smooth or better than 500 did 2 weeks ago.

Final Thoughts
I will definitely be doing this program again. My next meet after August won’t be until April. I’m going to do a fairly traditional powerlifting based program for about 20 weeks, then do this for 8, followed by a 4 week peak.

Published inMisc Fitness

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *