Bulgarian Training Bag

This one little bag can totally work your ENTIRE body.


Created by Ivan Ivanov, a decorated Bulgarian wrestler that was asked to come to the U.S. after retiring to assist with developing Greco-Roman wrestling here.

As anyone that’s ever wrestled or grappled knows, that type of combat is EXTREMELY exhausting. From his training in Bulgaria, Ivan new that throwing dummies and bags were a crucial part of conditioning the athlete for competition. He was unable to find the unique bag he used in his home country so he made up some imitation bags. After seeing the difference they made, he had a more substantial bag made up, and thus, we have the Bulgarian Training Bag.

When I saw this, I thought “what a fantastic piece of equipment – how much?” Well boys & girls, let me be the first to tell ‘ya, this ain’t no cheap bag here – I took the liberty of adding S&H;
XL = 50lbs. ($269.99)
Set of 4 below ($554.99)
L = 37lbs. ($215.99)
M = 26lbs. ($175.99)
S = 17lbs. ($154.99)
XS = 11lbs. ($143.99)

After seeing that, I figured if he can make imitation bags, then so can I. Building one of these was a no-brainer. Of course it doesn’t have the fancy straps indicating it’s weight, or the extra handles for holding it from the other side, but I get a super workout none-the-less. Not to mention the fact that the homemade ones can be as heavy or as light as I want them. For less than $10.00 I can have an entire set of these. Let me show you.

Credit to Matt Wichlinski ; the only thing I did different was getting an inner tube from the tire shop instead of purchasing one.

Supplies needed for the homemade Bulgarian Training Bag
1) Inner tubes, size is mostly irrelevant, as long as it’s not too big – I went to the local tire store and they GAVE me 4. Granted they were used but still in good enough condition for my purposes. I can go back for more if I need to.
2) Zip Ties
3) Duct Tape
4) Sand – $5.00 total for (4) 5 gallon buckets full. That much sand will make many bags.
5) Scissors

Homemade Bulgarian Training Bag

Cut the bag to size. I’m not sure what size tube this was but I think it was close to a 13 or 14. In the picture below you can see how much I cut off.

Next, fold the end shut and place a zip tie far enough up to have hand space. If you like, you can go ahead and wrap the duct tape around the end as well.

Now it’s time to fill the bag with sand. I used a small hand held garden shovel (seen in the top picture) for filling the bag. The weight of the bag is the critical part. Although it can be undone easy enough, it may be a good idea to weigh the bag on your home scales before closing it up. If you find that the bag you just made was too heavy or too light, no sweat, it’s easy and cheap enough to make another. Before long, you’ll have a whole set. This one weighs 33 lbs. (the small one on the “homemade equipment” page weighs 15 lbs. It’s made with the left over piece from another tube)

Zip tie shut, tape the handle, and start swinging! Easily done in 15 minutes.


  1. rodell says

    Where did you purchase the inner tube? I’ve been trying to purchase them online but no luck. I went to a website (gemplers) but told me that they don’t sell for that purpose. Weird response from customer service, I just told them that i’m making a weight bag. Any advice is well appreciated.

  2. enda says

    great idea. Deffinatly making a few of these for our gym. It might be a good idea to wrap it in fabric aswell. Just to keep your clothes clean. The rubber from those inner tubes can be dirty enough. I wonder would an old trouser leg work. Or Maybe a few layers of medical ezywrap tubular bandage.


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