Bulgarian Bag as my Ultimate Training Tool

Gym no more

People love going to the gym for various reasons. Among other things, gyms provide:

  • Equipment

  • Space

  • Social interactions

Obviously, once the pandemic hit us hard, most gyms around the world got closed, and the overall amount of activity dropped, since people got confined to their homes with the remote work arrangements.

This is when the search for home workouts and corresponding tools skyrocketed to the point where you could get your hands on a pair of kettlebells, and if you could, it would cost you 3 x of what it normally does.

How did Suples Bulgarian Bags come around?

Being a BJJ academy owner and coach my concern, after we stopped in-person training, was about keeping my team active during the prolonged lockdowns. We did a lot of bodyweight workouts for the first few months, but then inevitably people started drifting away, as those didn’t provide enough excitement to go beyond several months.

As a big advocate for kettlebells, I tried to urge people to get on them as the next step, but even those who managed to grab some in local stores and online quickly got discouraged, because kettlebell lifting is a highly technical discipline and, in my opinion, requires a VERY good coach who specialises in kettlebells (ideally - with a background in competitive kettlebell sports). I am not a kettlebell coach of such caliber, so it became quite difficult.

Then along came a couple of Bulgarian Bags sent by the man himself - coach Ivan Ivanov, and it was love at first sight. I’ve been training with the Bulgarian Bags nearly every day since that moment.

Why I like the Bulgarian Bag so much

First of all, when you grab a real Suples Bulgarian Bag, you know that it’s a serious piece of kit and is built to last. That alone makes you want to train with it, because otherwise it almost feels like all that goodness is being wasted!

The Bag is also rather intuitive and a lot more forgiving than the kettlebell. And while without proper technical training on the bag you probably aren’t extracting its full value, it is still A LOT of fun, challenging, and most importantly - safe. Drop it, hit yourself with it, it is unlikely to cause any damage to you or your surroundings. This is the reason why I like to have it in my gym, and a lot of people - in their homes. You don’t need to worry about damaging your floor or your kids accidentally hurting themselves with it. The Bag also takes up very little space, and looks pretty cool to have around!

The range of dynamic exercises and the sensations you experience doing a well structured Bulgarian Bag training are the closest thing I’ve felt to a competitive grappling session, and of course this is appealing to me big time, being deprived of contact sports for many months.

No other single tool that I’ve trained with could challenge me in so many domains:

  • General strength

  • Cardio

  • Power

  • Coordination

  • Grip strength (so important for grapplers)

  • Mental toughness

On that last point. It really helps to have some form of coaching/guide/defined program in place which will keep you accountable. There are some workouts, where the Bag will make you want to give up.

When I eventually got to doing a certification course with coach Ivan Ivanov, it concluded with what’s called a match protocol workout. Oh my! I distinctly remember thinking that that was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. I’ve since completed it multiple times, each one better and more efficient than the previous one.

Are the Bulgarian Bags going to be come as popular as kettlebells?

I’d like to think so, but also I will put a massive amount of effort into making it happen via Bags & Grit. Part of me, of course, enjoys it being a relatively unconventional piece of equipment, but I really think that Suples Bulgarian Bags are severely under-utilised in complementing various sports (like it does with BJJ for me), and for general fitness purposes as a super versatile home workout tool.

Hope to see you on this journey with us!


If you already have a Bulgarian Bag, consider grabbing our detailed instructional course here. In this course, I am digging quite deep into Bulgarian bag techniques and combinations, which will help you get the most out of you Bulgarian Bag! I would always recommend learning in-person from a certified Suples Instructor closest to you. But this is the next best thing!

We are also doing a cross-promo, where you get 10% OFF the instructional, if you already purchased a Suples Bulgarian Bag from us, or 10% OFF the equipment, if you purchase the instructional first! Do the math and see what works out better for you!

For Bulgarian bag workouts - subscribe to our YouTube channel, there is a ton of material + a ton more coming.

If you have any questions - get in touch via this site or on social media. We will be happy to help!

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