Workout Routines

Everything You Should Know About the Bulgarian Method

Gain more muscle and improve your strength in less time.

barbell bench press

How to Incorportate It

To start, I recommend cutting down the volume on the accessory movements and focus on building your routine around big movements — bench press, squats, deadlifts, and shoulder press. Once the volume is reduced on those accessory movements, slowly increase the amount of frequency you're hitting each lift. Remember: take your time building up to the increased volume and frequency; too much too soon will result in overtraining and possible injury. Hit each lift twice in one week, slowly building up until you’re hitting the main lifts three to four times per week. The same goes for your volume, build it up every lift.

Olympic Weightlifting

If your goal is to compete in Olympic weightlifting, then focus on improving your lifting form and adding more weight to the bar. 

Beginner 

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    • Front squats
    • High pulls
    • Clean and jerk
    • Snatch
Each exercise: 3 sets, 12 reps

Intermediate

Start after completing three months of the beginner program. 

  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    • Snatch
    • High pulls
    • Clean and jerk
    • Front squats
Each exercise: 3 sets, 15 reps

Advanced

Only do this if you have one or more years of Olympic weightlifting experience. 

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    • Snatch
    • Clean and jerk
    • High pull
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
    • Front squats
    • Overhead squats
    • Back squats
Each exercise: 4-5 sets, 10-15 reps

 

Powerlifting

Powerlifting is like weightlifting, you need to learn the importance of excellent exercise skills. The goal here is too improve the bench press, squats, and deadlifts.

Beginner 

Lifter with up to six months of lifting experience.

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench Press
Each exericse: 3-4 sets, 5 reps 

Intermediate

After three months of following the beginner program with up to nine months of training experience.

  • Monday, Thursday
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench press
Each exercise: 3-5 sets, 10 reps
  • Tuesday, Friday
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench press
Each exercise: 5-6 sets, 5 reps

Advanced

After three months of following the intermediate program.

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench press
Each exercise: 4 sets, 8 reps
  • Tuesday, Thursday
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench press
Each exercise: 3 sets, 5 reps

Saturday

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Bench press
Each exercise: 2 max sets, 3 reps

 

Bodybuilding

In bodybuilding, it's important to focus on isolation movements to help bring up every body part. But we shouldn't just be focusing on isolation, hone in more on improving your strength in big movements. Remember that a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle. 

Beginner

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
    • Bench press
    • Squats
    • Deadlifts
    • Standing overhead press
    • Bicep curls
    • Pullups
Each exercise: 3 sets, 12 reps

Intermediate 

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
    • Squats
    • Standing overhead press
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench press
    • Dumbbell bicep curl
    • Chin-ups
Each exercise: 5 sets, 12 reps

Advanced 

  • Monday-Saturday
    • Deadlifts
    • Bench press
    • Squats
    • Standing overhead press
    • Close grip bench press superset with barbell curls
    • Pullups superset with dips
Each exercise: 3-4 sets, 6-12 reps

Note: rest times will vary, depending on intensity. Beginner programs should be around 45 seconds while advanced programs should be around two to three minutes. 

For all routines, perform one ab exercise of your choice, and perform the ab exercise first, to help engage and activate all of the core muscle. Perform four sets of 12 reps. 

It's Worth the Effort

The Bulgarian method is not an easy program to emulate, but when done correctly, it can dramatically increase muscle size and strength. The first two to three weeks of the program you will be sore and tired; this is your body adjusting to the stimulus. Once your body has adapted, it will compenssate with more muscle and improved drive in the gym. 

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