Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Bulgarian Method – It’s for Normal People Too (guest post)

The Bulgarian Method – it’s for normal people too (and it’s not as bad as you think)!

-By Martha Munroe

I’ve read a number of articles online from weightlifters trying out what they call “The Bulgarian Method” of weightlifting and reviewing what their experience was like. For those of you not in the know, the Bulgarian Method is a system of training for weightlifting developed by Ivan Abadjiev for the national weightlifting team in the 1970’s and 80’s. During his career he produced 12 Olympic champions, 57 world champions and 64 European champions. The reputation of the Bulgarian system is that it is brutal – lifting to max everyday, often several times/day, with very few assistance exercises. The verdict of many people testing this out is that it’s unsustainable, dangerous, and can’t be done without steroids. My personal experience with the Bulgarian method has been very different from that.

My coach, from my first introduction to weightlifting, is Alex Varbanov, one of Ivan Abadjiev’s champion athletes and an excellent coach in his own right. When I first started, I took Coach Varbanov’s 2 day coaching course and got to see with my own eyes a copy of his training plan from the height of his career (and by the way, he has standing world records and has the 7th highest Sinclair score of all time). Shortly after, when coach Abadjiev was in Toronto, I did a semi-private lesson with both coaches. But my true “Bulgarian Experience” began when I signed up for a 2-week long Train like a Bulgarian training camp in Bulgaria with Coaches Varbanov and Abadjiev, as well as another Bulgaria legend Coach Ivan Letchev.

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Sciatica: Facts, Symptoms and Treatment

Are you suffering from sciatica? Know all about it here and find how to reduce your pain. Sciatica is defined as the pain caused in the lower extremity resulting from irritation of the sciatic nerve. The pain of sciatica is felt from the low back that is the lumbar area to behind the thigh and can radiate down below the knee. The root cause of this pain is irritation of sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in body. It begins from nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord in the low back and extends through the buttock area to send nerve endings down the lower limb.

1.      Causes

While sciatica is most commonly a result of a lumbar disc herniation directly pressing on the nerve, any cause of irritation or inflammation of the sciatic nerve can produce the symptoms of sciatica. This irritation of nerves because of an abnormal intervertebral disc is referred to as radiculopathy. Apart from these reasons, other causes of sciatica include nerve irritation due to adjacent bone, tumors, internal bleeding, pregnancy, infections etc.



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Tis the Season to Give Back to the Fitness Community (Guest Post)

I am actually a bit nervous offering up fitness advice on this man’s Blog. I am a runner, yet I am not sure I can run fast enough to escape the wrath of Josh Hewett should my words turn out to be rubbish. I do know some Karate, but there is no chopping your way through those Hewett warrior arms.


Take a look for yourself. Click back a page or two within the Top Form Fitness Web site, blog, tweets and Face book video archives… we have enough outstanding strength and conditioning  counsel to keep us going for a decade (or two).

This had better be good.

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Priorities of Function (Guest Post – Frank DiMeo)

For more than twenty years before I transitioned to the world of strength and conditioning; I was heavily involved with martial arts training. There was a very distinct progression of how we learned and trained. The priorities of function were adhered to and a very strong base of foundational techniques was established.

For instance, the front kick was learned and practiced long before a back kick. A back kick would practiced long before a spinning back kick was learned.


In strength and conditioning, the priorities of function are also extremely important. The main reasons for this are to invest your training hours wisely so the return on your investment is a solid base of strength and correct technique. If a person cannot do a full ROM bodyweight squat, he has no business trying to do a squat with a barbell. The human tendency is to be very impatient, and that can sabotage your progress and possibly lead to an injury.

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