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Bulgarian Bag in review

Bulgarian Bag in review


The Bulgarian Bag was initially developed to help Olympic-standard wrestlers in America to produce explosive power more effectively. Ivan Ivanov, a former Bulgarian Olympic athlete, was the wrestling coach who wanted to replicate pushing, pulling, bending, rotating, squatting, lunging, throwing and twisting movements with his athletes. 

Inspired by watching shepherds lifting lambs and carrying them on their shoulders as a youngster, in 2005 Ivanov created a weighted bag to mimic these dynamic and athletic movements. The Bulgarian Bag can now be found all over the world and is used by Olympians, professional athletes, CrossFitters, Special Forces personnel and regular gym goers with great success. 

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly light weights compared to whatever dumbbells you are using – the Bulgarian Bag is capable of chewing you up and spitting you out in no time at all. 

And that is precisely what it did to me. 

Having watched the accompanying DVD, which sees creator Ivanov explain the techniques of the most common exercises, I distinctly remember thinking “…doesn’t look that hard!”. 

Twenty minutes later I was eating my words whilst laying in a pool of sweat, attempting to persuade my limbs to help me back onto my feet. 

From an athletic perspective, the wide range of multi-directional movements is greatly beneficial – and who doesn’t aspire to be a tiny bit more athletic than they currently are?? However, the biggest ‘side-effect’ for me is the amount of grip work that the session provided. The better your grip the more you can lift when you are back using dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells, plus there are numerous well documented health benefits associated with improved grip strength. 

Tough. Effective. Versatile. Enjoyable. As if that isn’t enough there is a huge crossover into other areas of training and a lot of evidence to say that the Bulgarian Bag can help us live longer by sending our grip strength through the roof. What more do I need to say? 

Wolverson Fitness stock a range from 3kg to 34kg and provide a 2-year warranty on all items. The most common weights are 8kg, 12kg, 17kg and 20kg which is where I would advise you to start. 

With the current climate seeing many of us being forced to work out at home, in terms of finding a product that needs very little storage, is versatile, effective, won’t damage your floor, is great fun and only requires enough room to swing a large cat then you will be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Bulgarian Bag.