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My coach used to say: “Everything new is well-forgotten old.” A good coach is a person who is always seeking and trying out new training methods and their combinations. However, it doesn’t stem from professional uncertainty. The point is that the art of training lies in basing a program both on old and new knowledge and experience.  

Plenty of materials have been written and recorded about the Bulgarian method. There are arguments both for and against it. Despite all the haters, this method has brought a whole generation of Bulgarian Olympic champions and renowned athletes trained by Bulgarian coaches all over the world. 

Frankly, I have never followed the pure version of this method, but some of my teammates tried sticking to it during the whole preparation. Their impressions were killing. No doubt, there was progress, but this method does NOT work for everyone. 

My coach and I used to try out some elements in the competition period. My weak point was a rather big gap between the snatch and clean & jerk. And I was not stable in the snatch at all. Therefore, we shaped the preparation strategy, aiming to reach the highest capacity and psychological stability. It was important for me to warm up before the snatch quickly since I was often among the first to step on the platform. On the other hand, I used to complete the first attempt in the clean & jerk and then wait for 12-15 minutes before hitting the next weights in order to ‘grab’ a medal. Thus, I had to warm up several times.

To tell the truth, it wasn’t a natural thing for me, but the result of special preparation and training that my coach had adopted from Bulgarians.

The system of ‘waves’ or ‘attacks’ is quite popular in modern weightlifting, too. A legendary Kasakh coach Erzhas Boltaev has talked a lot about this method. His achievements in the Kasakh national team leave no further questions. Maybe you don’t know, but Erzhas has been the head coach of the Ukrainian national team since December 2021. Thus, I’m looking forward to huge results by our athletes at the Worlds. By the way, we had the clean & jerk bronze by Maksym Dombrovskyi at the Europeans, 2022, three weeks after he won the Junior Worlds.   

It is rather obvious that ‘waves’ and ‘attacks’ were used by such legends as: 

Ilya Ilyin, Kazakhstan

Ruslan Nurudinov, Uzbekistan, Olympic champion 

Akbar Djuraev, Uzbekistan, Olympic champion

Other athletes also use this method: 

Meso Hassouna, Qatar, Olympic champion 

Mohamed Ehab, Egypt, world champion 

I used this system as a fundamental one in my new training program – INTENSO CYCLE.

This release is to some degree an alternative to my hit 12-week program  MALE 2.0 due to some features:

  • 7-week duration: it will work well for athletes who have finished a whole training cycle (12-15 weeks), performed at a competition, and are now ready to ‘grow’ further results of a current background;
  • this program will be a perfect match for those who have completed a strength cycle of 4-6 weeks and now wants to reach a competitive physique;
  • the loads are rather aggressive and intensive, so everyone who is seeking a real hardcore and challenge – you are on the right way! 

Intenso CYCLE includes fewer exercises than the 12-week Male 2.0. A wide range of drills is useful when an athlete is just starting to develop their physique and needs versatile training.

The main purpose of Intenso CYCLE is to ‘break through’ a new result after intensive loads and realize the potential of the previous background.

The program consists of 2 periods:

  1. special preparatory - 4 weeks
  2. pre-competition - 3 weeks

The special preparatory period consists mainly of the snatch and clean & jerk complexes at 80% and higher along with heavy pulls and squats. The overall volume and intensity are high. Athletes should prepare themselves to train hard while being only partly recovered, which is a normal condition within this period. 

The pre-competition period has lower strength loads, but higher snatch and clean & jerk intensity. The goal is to reach a peak form right before a competition, recover physically and mentally. 

The weeks between 2 and 6 include the snatch and clean & jerk waves/attacks.

It means that after warm-up sets, an athlete increases the weight to 85% and higher, performs a single, decreases the weight by 15-20%, and goes for a heavy single again after 2-3 sets. The scheme consists of 3-4 such waves/attacks.

From my own experience, I can say for sure that such a training style is very tough, but it really helps not only to grow your result, but also to secure your competition performance. Developing such a background speeds up the recovery and teaches an athlete to cope with long breaks between competitive attempts easier both physically and mentally.


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