The Bulgarian Bag Training is a dynamic, challenging training modality that delivers fun, highly functional and effective workouts that can be used for a variety of training goals and programs.
As one of the first Bulgarian Bag coaches to qualify in the UK I have coached hundreds of people in their use and how to obtain the most out of this unique training tool.
I first became aware of Bulgarian Training Bags through Wolverson Fitness who were the first major distributor to bring this training tool to the shores of the UK.
The Brains Behind the Bag
Ivan Ivanov is the brains behind the Bulgarian Bag and was the Head Coach of the USA Greco Roman Wrestling team at the United States Olympic Education Center.
Ivan wanted to develop piece of equipment that could be used to improve the physiological characteristics associated with the demands of Greco Roman Wrestling. Strength, explosive power, muscular endurance, grip strength and total body conditioning.
Training with a Bulgarian Bag is vastly different to what most have experienced and is incredibly challenging both physically AND mentally!
The design and shape of the bag means that when the bag is span, snatched, thrown, pushed and pulled the body must work as a complete synergistic unit. Just as nature intended!
Bulgarian Bag training carries a number of significant benefits:-
- Bulgarian Bag Training is an incredible tool for fighters due it its effect on explosive power, grip strength endurance and total body intense conditioning.
- Bulgarian Bag workouts can deliver a powerful effect on the metabolic rate much like kettlebells meaning greater potential for fat loss.
- Bulgarian Bags are awesome for targeting the rotational plane of movement – something that makes this tool unique. Spins (round the world) and arm throws are the two main rotational exercises.
- The rotational nature of the spin and arm throw carryover well to any sport that uses a rotational movement – think golf and racket sports.
- Bulgarian Bags deliver a totally unique workout that is challenging and FUN!
- Due to their construction Bulgarian Bag training is suitable for beginners and advanced trainers alike.
- Bulgarian Bags complement a wide range of other training modalities. Classic movements such as the spin and arm throw complement barbell and kettlebell based workouts perfectly.
Both athletes and recreational fitness enthusiasts alike can benefit from Bulgarian bag training.
My Own Experiences with Bulgarian Bag Training
I use Bulgarian Training Bags frequently in my personal training and group training sessions.
My favourite ways to use the bags include:-
- Throwing a light bag between a number of people as part of a dynamic progressive warm up.
- Use increasingly explosive movements prior to heavy lifting to upregulate the central nervous system.
- Work Capacity – Completing a specific workout in a given time frame or as much work as possible in a given segment of time.
- You go I go where one trainee works while the other rests before switching.
- The use of rotational movements such as the spin and arm throw to complement kettlebell based training sessions.
Bulgarian bag training is suitable for men and women alike and bags come in sizes ranging from 3kg to 34kg. Most females do well with a 5 or 8kg bag to start and in my experience can happily progress to a 12kg bag.
A good weight to start for males is 12kg and can move comfortably to a 17 or 19kg bag for a savage workout. The heavier bags above 19kg are for stronger/larger athletes and can deliver some truly brutal training sessions!
Here is a link to purchase Bulgarian Bags in the UK.
Bulgarian Bag Workout Ideas
The Spin Test
10 Spins each direction
10 Push Ups (hand on the bag, chest to touch the bag every rep)
5 rounds. A strong time to aim for is sub 3min 30.
Hell Fire 500
20 Spins Left
20 Spins right
20 Back Squats
10 Arm Throw Left
10 Arm Throw right
10 Vertical Power Snatch
10 Travelling Push Ups Over the Bag
Complete 5 rounds for time.
1000 Rep Challenge
40 spins (20/20)
20 Strap press
20 lateral bag hops
20 ground to over head
20 jump lunges
10 vertical power snatch
20 arm curls.
20 Power snatch
5 times through for time.
Bulgarian Bag Training carries a significant challenge and if you are looking for a new kind of workout or are a fitness professional looking to offer something that little bit different then look no further!