Crossfit Inspired Bulgarian Bag Workout

Published by Jason Narog on

Bulgarian Bag Workout

The Crossfit community put together something called the Team 1776 WOD a few months back that I was intrigued by. Being that we’re in the middle of a pandemic I had no one to team up with so I took the idea, modified it into a kettlebell routine (and changed a few things here and there) and did it solo. Not for 1,776 reps because that would be crazy, but I did a good number of reps and spent about an hour on the grueling routine. Now I’ve decided to modify again and turn this into a Bulgarian Bag routine, cuz, why not?

Original Crossfit Routine in a team of 3

  • Kettlebell Swings (53/35 lb)
  • Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • Air Squats
  • Push-Ups
  • Burpees
  • Pull-Ups
  • Sit-Ups
  • Row (calories)
  • Double-Unders
  • Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
  • Ball Slams (30/20 lb)
  • Dumbbell Push Press (45/35 lb)

They have conditions listed and for some reason I remember thrusters being part of it (looks like a different Crossfit group had the thrusters included – Crossfit Kaze) but we’ll run with what I just copied and pasted from the link above for now.

I don’t know why but I hate push presses, potentially because I had to learn (and struggled with) the kettlebell racked strict press. The push press lets you cheat in my opinion as it becomes more of a bouncing movement than a strict “how strong is your core and the actual pushing muscles” maneuver.

So here’s my Bulgarian Bag variation. No team, the number of reps and rounds are totally up to you.

Bulgarian Bag Super Conditioning Workout

  • Swing Squats (main handle grip)
  • Squat Jumps (bag on back)
  • Bag push ups (you can perform either an incline push up on the bag or wear the bag on your back like a backpack [arms go through the strap handles])
  • Bag Burpees (same options as above)
  • Bag Overhead Press (strap handles, behind your back)
  • Bag Sit Up to Press (side handle grip)
  • Suples Spin (main handles)
  • Side to side jumps over bag (throw it on the ground after the spin)
  • Bag Thrusters (side handle grip)
  • Snatches (main handle grip)
  • Bag Strict Press (side handle grip)

Now that I’m seeing the wall ball stuff the snatch portion of the program could be replaced with tossing the bag up into the air and catching it. Adding in a squat to the catch would give you more lower body work as well.

The Suples Spin replaces rowing, which is fine because they’re both cardio endurance type activities. Rowing probably gives a bit more back / lat work, but the spin will give you a total body workout and show you what parts of the body need some extra attention.

Jumping over the bag is my replacement for skipping rope and I’ve combined box jumps / air squats into one move – squat jumps. My biggest complaint about the Crossfit workout is the amount of equipment / gear it requires – a kettlebell, box, pull up bar, rowing machine, jump rope, wall ball, a wall you’re comfortable throwing a ball at, potentially a different ball for slamming, and finally dumbbells. That’s 7-8 pieces of equipment.

Long Live the Bulgarian Bag

The Bulgarian Bag variation requires 1. The behind the back press replaces the pull up, still targeting at least similar if not the same muscle groups. If you’re worried about doing a behind the back overhead press you can always replace this with a bent over row. With 3 different grip options of the bag there’s a lot of variety on how you want to perform even the bent over row (grabbing both main handles and rowing into the body, holding the middle side handle on one side then rowing up, using the strap handles instead of the main handles in position 1.)

Even my kettlebell variation still had 3 pieces of equipment – the bell, the jump rope, and a rowing machine / treadmill. Ivan Ivanov knew what he was doing when he made the Bulgarian Bag. Give this routine a try and holler in the comments if you need an explanation of any of the moves described above.

If this routine proves to be tough on the body afterwards, read up on delayed onset muscle soreness.

Categories: Routines