basically, the bulgarian method is used commonly to describe hitting a 1 rep training daily max, followed by back off sets. a good primer is here Bulgarian style powerlifting program (long post!) | Training blog
however, this not the only rep scheme to have benefits. i like having the freedom to pick and choose my rep scheme depending on how im feeling or what i feel like doing.
I typically rotate between "rep max/max effort" days and "volume days."
Rep Max Day/Max Effort
this day involves hitting a heavy "rep max" at a number from 1-5. these arent true rep maxes where you're grinding it out super slowly with terrible form but fast rep maxes with good form.
say for example, your 3rm of a lift was 405,
from here you can choose to either go for a new heavy 3rm (remember i stress these are training maxes and not grinders) or you can go to backoff sets. sample back off sets would be
etc etc, the possibilities are endless use your imagination and try to always increase the overall volume!
the other days i like more "volume" days. these are pretty much stereotypical 5x5 style workouts, however you can used ramped sets or straights sets. i typically keep these above 70% of my 1RM for my working set. common workouts
10x3 (my favourite...really really tough if you pick your weight correctly)
like i said, the possibilities are endless! use your imagination!
exercise selection: on a typical day i typically perform two lifts.
- some sort of squat, or some type of deadlift
- upper body compound (bench and/or overhead work)
Variations that i like
squats: front, paused, low bar, high bar,
deadlift: deficits, block pulls (dont really do these but ive heard good things), partial deadlifts, snatch grip deadlifts, high pulls, stiff legged, romanian
bench: close grip, incline (dont do these, but they are effective),
overhead work: strict press, seated press (don't do these personally, but effective), push press, behind the neck push press
tailor your exercise selection to suit your weaknesses or your goals
here are some sample templates!
powerlifting specialist. this is characterized by a heavy reliance on performing the competition specific lifts. for example, overhead work is not emphasized:
bench Press: 4x a week
deadlift: 2x a week
overhead work: 1x a week
back squat: 2-3x a week
front squat: 1x a week
the one i enjoy doing - i.e. wanna train for general strength and conditioning, get in shape. add in some farmer walks, tire flips, for a strongman template!
back squat: 3x a week
front squat: 2x a week
deadlift: 1x a week
overhead work: 2-3x a week (i really like push pressing, its fun)
conditioning tools that are useful for the lifter (generally speaking, any sport that requires coordination and/or explosive movements will help you lift by getting you in shape, increasing your coordination and power output)
- sprints and its variations (hills)
- strongman workouts
- any high speed sport, rugby, football, hockey, etc
- jumping sports: plyometrics, basketball, parkour
- gymnastics type movements that will increase the power of your core
- fight sports
conditioning tools that are NOT useful for the lifter
- long distance sssslllloooowwww running
the most important part of training this way is: train with experienced lifters who can critique your form, always consult skilled lifters for tips, tricks, coaching or anything. youtube is amazing for this. become a "student" of the sport