The Bulgarian Bag was invented by Ivan Ivanov at around 2005.
Ivanov, a former Bulgarian Greco-Roman Olympic athlete, was working as a
U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling coach at the Olympic training center
in Marquette, Michigan and was looking for a training tool that would
allow his wrestlers to improve explosive actions and dynamic movements
involved in pushing, twisting, swinging, pulling, bending, rotating,
squatting, lunging, and throwing.
Ivanov was inspired by the tradition of shepherds performing strength
acts with sheep and goats on street fairs in his native Bulgaria. The
shepherds were often forced to carry lambs and weak sheep around their
shoulders when they were wandering with their herds, and were showing
off their strength at festivals. Ivanov based the design of his tool on
the body of an ovine and saw its use as a modern interpretation of the
Although the Bulgarian Bag was initially designed for Olympic class
wrestlers, it came to be adopted by fitness trainers and professional
athletes for its ability to increase muscular endurance and make weight
training more versatile. One of the first advocates of the
Bulgarian Bag outside the Olympic wrestling circuit was fitness
specialist and retired Navy SEAL Stephen Nave. Along with Ivan Ivanov
they formed the International Bulgarian Bag Confederation to educate the
public and offer advanced instruction to individual consumers, personal
trainers and fitness establishments.
shape of the bag created by Ivan Ivanov is designed to achieve both
upper and lower body training.
- Training with the bag is designed
specifically for building strength and overall conditioning by
performing high intensity repetitions with short rest intervals.
- The number of repetitions for each
exercise can be anywhere from 15-30 per set or 30-60 seconds per set
with only 10-15 seconds of rest between each set.
- The sets for each exercise can range
between 2 and 5. Remember, bag training is not about lifting it only
few times per set, it is about pushing through when you are tired and
fatigued. (This is my special recommendation for athletes that have
set high goals within their sport)
Below are the most coming exercises when
building explosive power with the Suples Bulgarian Bag.
Spinning the bag to the right and left,
power snatches, shoulder throw imitation or baseball swings, throwing
the bag over chest - body lock throw imitation, body twists and a few
Long jumps, squats jumps, lunges,
jumping over the bag sideways, scissors with the bag, swing squats,
sprinting with the bag on level surface or on a incline like bleachers
When training for explosive power, you
want to perform 3 to 5 sets of 12 to 15 reps per exercise, with 1 to 2
minutes of rest between sets.
Using the bag during
The bag can
be very helpful as a warm up before physical activity, especially before
weightlifting. Some of the best exercises for loosening up your muscles
are: Spinning the bag, bend over-good mornings, body twists - left to
right , squats, lunges among others.
Based on ability and level of
preparation, each coach or athlete can custom design workouts to
maximize user potential.
1: Heavy Duty Inner Tube (Larin Passenger Tube).
1: 50lb bag of sand.
Heavy Duty Zip Ties
Contractor Cleanup Bag
This has to be one of the easiest pieces
of equipment that I've made (along with sandbags).
Simply cut a small section from the
inner tube (including the nipple).
Roll one end of the inner tube up (start
from the inside out) and zip tie it to create a handle. I
prefer to run a piece of duct tape over the zip tie for added
security and abrasion resistance.
When using a fine material like sand, I
prefer to stuff a contractor quality trash bag inside of the inner
tube to prevent leakage. Fill the bag with sand and tie and
tape it. (When filling my bag, I continued to weigh it until I
came up with 35 lbs.)
Roll, Zip, and Tape the other side of
Some of the plans that I have seen for
these bags use a bunch of tape on the handles. I prefer the
rubberized feel of the inner tube. Great training tool!
The Bulgarian Bag (Suples.com)
Bodyweight Exercise of the Month!
It's a new year, and I'm starting
to run low on ideas for my customary monthly bodyweight
exercise! So since I recently picked up a
Strength Apparatus (USA) I thought that I'd take this year to
feature some of the many outstanding suspension exercises that
can be performed on the USA (or other suspension tools).
I figured the suspended pushups would be as good as place to
start as any. They are probably one of my favorite
suspension exercises and the additional shoulder stability
required by the straps really add to the excellent chest burn
and stretch. As with many of the suspension exercises,
the closer you get to horizontal, the more challenging the
exercises become due to the increased percentage of your
bodyweight you will be using. This makes the exercise
possible for most levels of strength and fitness since
beginners can start from almost a full standing position.
Target: chest, shoulders,
(pectoralis major, deltoids, triceps bracchi, rectus abdominus)
the appropriate handles of the USA to provide you with an
angle that you can handle for 8 or more repetitions.
Grip the handles and plant your feet firmly on the ground or
sturdy chair, bench, or box. Keeping your body as
straight as possible as you lower down and up for the pushups,
focusing on stability and control of your hand/arm motion
throughout the range of motion.
I figured this
would be as good a time as any to hit an article on
motivation. After the holidays, there's a good window
of opportunity when people are much more receptive to
improving their fitness and diet, due to the guilt of
gluttony peaking at the New Year's Eve celebrations
Work Hard - Play Hard is a good motto... but since we just
got done with the whole "Play Hard" portion... You know what
list of exercise benefits is impressive, it is apparent that
just hearing about them does not assure consistent exercise
compliance in most individuals. Research suggests that
50% of persons starting an exercise program will drop out
within the first 6 months (Wilson & Brookfield 2009).
How people view
themselves based on past experiences and current reality
soundly influence their physical activity choices.
Self-perception plays a major role in whether people will
start exercising, and it may impede some individuals from
beginning a program... even if exercise has been recommended
for medical reasons. Fortunately, these self
perceptions are modifiable, especially with social support
and encouragement from others (including exercise
start an exercise program, there are additional factors that
come into play that affect the motivation to continue.
Research designs designated the following major categories
as those affecting participation and adherence to
and Biological Factors - Research shows that men are
more involved than women in physical activity.
Moreover, being overweight and/or obese consistently proves
to be negatively associated with exercise adherance.
Psychological, Cognitive and Emotional Factors - The
primary psychological factor associated with exercise
adherence is a person's confidence in her or his ability to
do exercise and be consistent with workouts (self-efficacy).
Ensuring that a program involves exercises that the person
is able to perform successfully is important to bolster
their self worth.
Attributes and Skills - It appears that there is a
positive association between a healthy diet and exercise
adherence. Affirmative health related outcomes that
people detect and appreciate from exercise program are a
principal catalyst to exercise compliance. The key,
however, is to acknowledge that truly realizing these
healthy outcomes often takes months from the start of the
program. Positive feedback and knowledge of actual
fitness gains also play a large factor in confidence and
Cultural Support - Numerous studies show that social
support from a significant other or meaningful friend is
highly associated with exercise adherence. Working out
with a personal trainer, participating in group fitness
activities, or having a workout buddy can increase this
support and keep things moving.
Environment and/or Physical Activity Characteristics -
Easy access to exercise facilities, as well as the
satisfaction with the actual facility, appears to enhance
exercise adherence. For some people, watching others
exercise also helps to motivate them to continue their own
It's easy to
come up with barriers to exercise (excuses) and some can
certainly be valid. However, you will often find that
if you try as hard to come up with reasons to DO IT, they
are just as easy to come up with as your excuses as to why
you can't! Make time, not excuses!
Fitness Journal, Jan.2011
It's Go Time!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Oh, I'm sorry, I
didn't mean to be so loud. I know that there are a good
portion of you out there that might be moving a little slow
after the New Year's celebratory events
J And why not... 2011
is done and here we are in 2012. Whether you had a good
year in 2011 or a bad one... a new year is a mental checkpoint
where you can start fresh and make changes to put yourself
back on the right path, or up your game by setting new
If you're looking
for a place to start, think about what you did last year...
what you were happy with... and what you think needs to be
changed. Whatever change you decide upon, be realistic
in your approach to ensure that it is something that you can
stick with. Don't set yourself up for failure.
Also keep in mind that most changes that you want to make
should be things that you can do "from now on"... not just
until you reach your goal. Goals should just be a rung
on the ladder... not and end point. When you reach that
rung, you set your sites on the next one, and the next one!
So how about some
commitment? Register now for that run that you've been
talking about doing, join a team for that bike ride that you
keep putting off for "next year", and for Pete's sake... throw
away the rest of that Halloween candy already! It's
gonna be a GREAT year!
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you really want to do something you'll find a way. If you
don't you'll find an excuse"
Great collection of Bulgarian Bag exercises from Joe
Hashey at Synergy Athletics.
youtube of the month -->
Bulgarian Bag Exercises