In the past couple years we have seen a lot of people begin to squat everyday, which is very similar to the Bulgarian Method. There are even great resources for applying it to powerlifting such as The Bulgarian Manual, by Greg Nuckols and Omar Isuf. This pdf goes into depth about how one can apply this concept to the sport of powerlifting, however just because you can do it doesn’t mean that you should. I have tried the Bulgarian Method for Powerlifting, and I will be the first to say that it produces amazing strength gains in the short term. Over the course of a 2-3 months the program started to beat me up a little bit too much, so I decided to move on to other things.
There are a couple things that you need to understand about squat everyday:
- You work up to a daily minimum and if you feel good you work up to a max.
- You DO NOT psyche yourself up for this program. All of your squats are done without mental strain. If you ignore this then you will overtrain very fast.
I kept my daily minimum around 90% of my actual max for all my lifts and I used the sets warming up to 90% to gauge how the day would go. It is very important that you self-regulate on this program so that you avoid injury and overtraining.
There are a couple of ways that you can do this program as well.
- Competition style squat every session.
- Different variations over your microcycle.
I personally used the different variations version because it allowed me to recover between variations. The variations you use are obvioulsy dependent on what you have access to, so you can pick and choose what variations you use. However, you should understand that each type of squat has a different recovery curve. For example, my competition squat takes much longer to recover from than a front squat does. This is largely due to the amount of weight I can handle, as heavier weights take a larger toll on the body. All of this is explained in the pdf document, so if you’re interested in taking a deeper look then you should check out the Bulgarian Method.
The variations I used were high bar, low bar (competition), front squat and SSB. Despite what the name squat everyday implies, you do not have to go to the gym everyday. I did, but you can do this program as little as four days a week as well. In fact squatting four times a week is a sustainable frequency in some cases, where squatting seven days a week normally isn’t. I tried to sandwich my heaviest squatting days between light and medium days so that I would be relatively fresh when I went in. An example Week would look something like this:
Thursday- Low Bar
Friday- High Bar
Sunday- Front Squat
I ran this cycle for a few weeks and I actually made some pretty good strength gains, I increased my competition squat by 20 pounds, and had similar gains across my other variations. However, I noticed that anything past a few weeks wasn’t sustainable, which forced me to switch off to a lower frequency program.
One thing that I really liked about this program is that I had the chance for sport specific practice. The bulgarian method integrates benching into squat everyday, so I learned what my bench was under fatigue. Overall squat everyday/bulgarian is a good program to run for a short period of time, but I wouldnt’ recommend running it longer than eight weeks at a time.
- Increase Squat
- Sports Practice
- Drill Your form
- Ignores Part of Strength Building (75-85% range)
- Recovery can become an issue if things aren’t perfect
- If you don’t deadlift you lose your deadlift
Don’t just take my word for it though, give it shot for yourself and watch your squat go crazy. It’s a lot of fun to give a chance, so if you’re interested I would recommend it. We can use all the science in the world to make up reasons not to do a program, but you never know unless you try.
Until Next Time,