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hey need to have a superior energy systemdevelopment and must be able to operatein an anaerobic environment for extended periods of time to handle the rigors ofthese high intensity environments.

PERSONAL HISTORY The SEAL exPerience For the tactical athlete, when conducting platoon workup or being operational,what impact does"fitness"or "functional fitness" really have on operationalreadiness? Operational readinessdoes not rely only on physical preparedness, but many other componentssuch as:mental preparation;self-confidence; being self-aware(which is different from self-confidence); skill development (such as shooting or navigation); tactical proficiencies(mission planning); and the ability to operateunder pressurein

stressful situations.

All thesecombined complete the gamut of the requirementsneededto survive when youte out in the field. So, if we really look at it, the physical fitness element plays only a supportive role, being the part that allows us to operatefrom a solid platform or baseofsupport, but ultimately, it is the mind that is the athlete. I served over two decades in the U.S.Navy,with 18 as a Navy SEAL. And I wasnl done when I retired. I headed over to the Naval Special Warfare Physical Training Centre in Coronado,California to act as a NaTySEAL Instructor, training the men in BUD/S who would go on to becomeSEALs. My experiencesin training physically, mentally, and emotionally,both and on and offthe battle fields,aswell as in training 1000'sof BUD/S studentsgivesme a unique understanding of what it means to take people to the edge and beyond, testingphysical 1 strength,muscleendurance,

aerobicand anaerobic capabilities as well as mental toughness. I've been there,done that, and I ve seenit all. SEALsand SpecialOps get the opportunity to use all kinds ofunique, expensive,and cutting-edgeequipment. One perk was that we field-tested tons ofproducts beforethey hit the market - shoes,watches, artillery, fitnesstools... you name it, if it was something pretty cool, we probably had our hands on it. fust a couple ofyears ago after leaving Coronado, I was looking online for some options on grip training when I discovered what I wish would have been available when I was on the teams- the Bulgarian Bag. We never got the opportunity to test this baby out, but if it had been available to us, it would have been a total game changer in the way we trained and prepared.

HISTORVOF THE BULGARIAN BAG Basedon traditional roots My partner, Ivan Ivanov, invented the Bulgarian Bag around 2005. He is a former Bulgarian Greco-Roman Olympic athlete, and at the time was working as the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling coach at the Olympic training centre in Marquette, Michigan. Ivan was inspired by his native Bulgaria, where shepherdsoften carry weak lambs and goats around their shoulderswhile tending their herds. For centuries, shepherdshad shown offtheir strength by using sheepand small bulls for various events during local festivals. Ivan based the design of his tool on the body of a bovine and saw its use as a modern interpretation of the old tradition. He was looking for a training tool that would allow his Olympic wrestlers to improve explosive actions and dynamic movements

involved in pushing, twisting, swinging, pulling, bending, rotating, squatting, Iunging, and throwing in a safeyel effective manner.

BROADER APPLICATIONS Although the Bulgarian Bag was initially designedfor Olympic classwrestlers,it has come to be adoptedby fitness trainers and professional athletes for its ability to increasemuscular endurance,' grip strength and provide a transition from traditional training methods to nontraditional. Through a unique collaboration between Ivan and me, we founded the International Bulgarian Bag Confederation(IBBC). The IBBC has grown to be respectedfor its ability to provide high quality education and support for Bulgarian Bag enthusiastsand athletes around the world. In order to truly understandthe benefitsof training with the Bulgarian Bag, firll comprehension can only be gainedthrough education.Usersneed to gain an understandingofthe "\{hyr" and "Hows" behind the biomechanicalbenefitsof this innovative,movementbasedtool. Traditional training methods are constantly being researched;theories are adapted and adjusted to suit the Bulgarian Bag. To obtain superior results with your training, you must apply physics,kinesiology and physiology principles to movement, strength development, development of superior joint specific muscle endurance,and metabolic rate increases. With knowledge of how to manipulate these variables you ll be able to have better carryover to practical applicationand performance increases,particularly with the correct techniques in the development of force with the Bulgarian Bag.

The Tactical and MMA Athlete: Bulgarian Bag Applications  

This article asks the questions, "Who is the Tactical Athlete?"The tactical athlete is anyone who engages in high-risk/ high demand operatio...

The Tactical and MMA Athlete: Bulgarian Bag Applications  

This article asks the questions, "Who is the Tactical Athlete?"The tactical athlete is anyone who engages in high-risk/ high demand operatio...