The Bulgarian weightlifting system encapsulates for more than daily maxes. Along with it comes an attitude, a style, a flair, a contempt for heavy weight. It makes sense, therefore, that one can be ‘unbelievably Bulgarian’.

Watch Bulgarian Hristo Hristov lift in the House Straps from the 2021 World Championships training hall.

House Straps |
Unbelievably Bulgarian |

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  1. Hey I just want to say, I love your vids and I love watching them. Your mainly the only person I watch bc I do weightlifting myself and hope to do Olympic weightlifting one day. Much love to you

  2. The logo on the T-shirt says 'Повече тегло' which in Bulgarian is associated more with bodyweight rather than lifting weights. 'Повече тежести' is the expression that we use for 'more weights'.

  3. Please take this criticism constructively but your videos are becoming un-watchable for me at this point. As a weightlifting fan this is very frustrating. To use back to back titles of classic weightlifting videos of the past and have mediocre, short and boring videos in which you ramble on and come across as a sleazy car salesman is not a good look for the sport. Youtube is a cesspool of shysters out to make a buck and you seem to be next in line.. Keep in mind 'hookgrip made videos of far better quality and made them free for all.

  4. Hristo's wikipedia says "In 2021 he competed at the 2020 Summer Olympics in the 109 kg category. He could have won a bronze medal, but referees rejected his successful last attempt on 222kg clean and jerk."

    I love that last sentence. It sounds like a complaint. But really, anyone weightlifter who made an attempt and failed could have won any medal… shoot, why not say could have won gold. LOL

  5. I think technology and cultural changes between the 1980s and 2020s means that Bulgarian system can never be what it was even in Bulgaria.
    Even in countries much poorer than Bulgaria, every kid has smartphone and social media now. They have an endless input of distractions and potential desires because of all they are exposed to.
    Even for the kind of young athlete who would've ended up in weightlifting , doesn't a sport like MMA seem far more appealing? with more glamour, excitement and money?
    I think even eSports and twitch streaming is probably more likely!
    or better still to avoid anything competitive alltogether if the aim is financial security. Start one of countless other hustles.

    For the very fact that today's Bulgarian lifters will be looking at Instagram & tiktok between sets, or even after training, it isn't the same as it was.
    In the 80s and 90s these athletes would have no opportunity to think about anything other than lifting.

  6. Based on what I've heard from others, I think you hit the nail in the head with the Bulgarian system being much more than just a training program consisting of daily max singles.
    For context, Ivan Abadzhiev, as the coach for the Bulgarian weightlifting team had the power to select from a wide pool of already developed athletes who then, would be put into this extremely arduous training regimen with the sole goal of achieving golds in international competition.
    There was little in the way of athletes' development – either you endure the system and yield results, or you're out.
    A little interesting side on the idea of auto-regulation as it pertains to the Bulgarian system:
    According to Max Aita, who have trained under Abadzhiev, the athletes had their own version of auto-regulation through what they called "Krushka."

    Often, Abadzhiev would sit in the middle of the training room and watch the athletes train.
    Many athletes would load the barbell unevenly – the side that's visible from Abazhiev's view would be the correctly loaded, while the other side is loaded less. They then, would proceed to position themselves off-center to account for the imbalance. All this effort to do less than what's prescribed without getting busted.
    For the English speaking audience who want to learn more personal in-depth into the Bulgarian system, I highly recommend Max's take. Very insightful stuff.

  7. You'll never hear someone say "повече тегло". It doesn't sound right in the context of weightlifting. Още тежест/и, повече тежест/и. "И" is used for plural. Works with or without it.

  8. Any good Ukrainian athletes footage in the archive? Might be a good time to post and help people with sharing donation links 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦

  9. Seb, in the 80s the Bulgarian weightlifters used to wear socks with a green and red strip near the top so it looked like the Bulgarian flag. Would buy a pair of these if you made them through WH.

  10. They way people are commenting about tattoos you'd think they are watching this content as pornography rather than for what it is (just some dudes lifting heavy weights).

  11. Seb, do you believe the claim that 70 tonnes daily of work was performed by athletes under Abadjiev? If it is true that the Bulgarian system was characterized by greater training intensities, by the inherent tradeoff between volume and intensity (and the observation that highest workloads are achieved by arbitrarily 60% workloads rather than those approach 100%), how can this even cursorily appear true?

  12. I don’t doubt that every athlete abadjiev trained was on steroids, all the Bulgarians of course, even the ones trained elsewhere like hysen pulaku and Ian Wilson.

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