Last Update  On April 18, 2012
John Broz's System, Ivan Abadjiev And Daily Squatting

by Rusi
Squatting everyday has become extremely fashionable these days. The main reason of course are the results of John Broz's athletes - mind blowing squats and Olympic lifts as well. There is no doubt that whatever they are doing - it's working. But there is one question everybody is asking - Is this stuff for me?

John Broz's athletes are squatting everyday. At least the advance lifters are. Everyday they go up to a max attempt for that session and then perform dozen of back off sets at about 90+% of their 1RM for that day. The advanced lifters do this daily. Of course Broz's athletes got to that level very gradually and going from one weekly squat session to seven sessions a week will cause a lot of problems.

John Broz's system is a variation of the so-called Bulgarian system made popular by the most successful coach in the history of the sport - Ivan Abadjiev. However behind all the medals won by Ivan Abadjiev there are oceans of tears and I'm not talking about tears of joy. He used to literally torture his lifters. Stefan Botev, Olympic bronze medalist from Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996, revealed quite shocking facts about how it feels to train under Abadjiev. The lifters had 3 (three days) of rest for the entire year. They were free on December 31st, January 1st and 2nd and that was it. No more. Only lifting. One day Abadjiev actually said the following: “Boys, let's train on December 31st and celebrate New Year in the training room. We will buy cake and if somebody loves you they will come here.” The training usually started at 8 a.m. and quite often the lifters had to train after midnight.

Of course you are going to say:” But what does this have to do with John Broz? He does not torture his lifters.” While this is true his training method is quite similar although not as extreme as the one used by Ivan Abadjiev. Similar system will not work for you and for me. It's designed for lifters who can dedicate 100% to their training and can think only about it while following an extremely strict regimen. Also a lot of  anabolic steroids and other drugs are taken in order to recover from all the brutality. There is no other way. The body can only handle so much naturally.

Also there are quite a lot of problems associated with the Bulgarian system. According to Stefan Botev he was able to witness plenty knee and shoulder dislocations, complete tendon tears and more.  All because of the high volume of the workouts. So my question is why amateurs would ever look into that kind of training. Below are my reasons why the Bulgarian system is just not worth the trouble at least in its pure form.

1. Too much injuries. At some point the Bulgarian training method becomes more of a selection method because...some grow old and some die young.

2. Results can be obtained using less stressful systems. There were may lifters who did not train with Abadjiev and yet they won titles. Yoto Yotov is one of the Bulgarian lifters who had serious conflicts with Ivan Abadjiev and was able to win dozens of medals without following the Bulgarian training method.

3. Most people do not have a good coach to show them how to gradually build up to the level of work required by the Bulgarian training method.

4. You don't have to squat everyday in order to become a squatting machine. Kirk Karwovski, Ed Coan, Doug Furnas, Mark Chaillet and many other lifters squatted over 800lbs raw  training the squat once a week.

5. Most people don't have the time or daily access to a training facility in order to perform their work.

6. Quality over quantity.

7. Regular people probably won't be willing to take steroids or other PEDs.

While the Bulgarian system has produced some really good results non-professional athletes have no business playing with it because of possible injuries and ever regression due to the extremely high volume.

“Bro, John Broz says people are undertraining rather than overtraining? Working out every day prevents injuries because the muscles are tired and cannot contract as hard. That saves the joints from being hurt due to their slow recovery time. U mad bro?”

Some people may be undertraining but squatting every day will sure as hell kill any amateur in 2 months top. Injuries do not help progress. As far as tired muscles preventing injuries to the joints why not just try this - get so tired that you can't walk. That way you will avoid getting hit by a truck because you won't go out. Please, get serious here. The joints may recover slowly but having well rested muscle does not cause injuries. In fact I would even say that quite a lot overtraining injuries can be avoided if a few days are taken off when needed. Many powerlifters perform each lift once a week. I doubt they suffer injuries because of not squatting daily.

You wouldn't try to emulate Bruce Lee's training if you were just starting out as a martial artist. You wouldn't try to copy Mozart if you can't read music....etc. so way bother killing yourself when similar if not better results can be achieved without the trouble following the training regimen of full time professional athletes?

“John Broz says that all you have to do is overcome the “dark side” on your way to becoming a champion. Come at me, bro.”

I know what kind of dark times John Broz is talking about. I use to experience it when I was a skater. I used to skate every day for 2-4 hours during the week and about 16 hours during the weekend. Guess what? I was constantly tired. I would usually wake up tired and beaten to the ground. I was so tired it was insane and usually a single day off would make me feel really good and help me perform much better than constantly training while trying to satisfy a somewhat sick ambition. I recommend that you take a break when the dark times come. Otherwise they can become really dark. Also there is no way that a person with a full time job can ever afford to have “dark times” as dark as described by Broz. Let's keep it simple and don't complicate things more than we have to.

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