The Best Kept Secret of Olympic Weightlifting

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3 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    Mr. Abadjiev’s methods are completely practical. I interviewed him about training in early 1997 and he spoke on and on about training, but, if you are not Mr. Abadjiev you will not coach like him.

    • achidlovski says:

      Hi Peter:

      Absolutely! It’s a practical methodology considering how many Olympic and world champions followed it.

      I am not questioning the effectiveness here. I am not even leading to the performance enhancers side of sports.

      It’s just that all methodologies have some paper trail – books, articles, text books, scientific studies. It was especially big in the Eastern Block countries where sports disciplines were run by the state and all sports guru of Abadzhiev’s caliber authored tons of materials like this.

      And today we just have a word of mouth materials – interviews, some training plans here and there… The best kept secret?



  2. Peter says:

    Hi Arthur,

    When you ask: “the best kept secret?” you easily pull the strings of every lifter out there. Everyone believes there is some secret or magic elixir that could make him a champion. Then they look for a scapegoat to blame for keeping this secret hidden.

    Let’s look at the big picture. Countries like the USSR and China had millions of registered lifters to work with. Obviously if one doesn’t become a champion, another will. Their sheer masses gave them an enormous advantage. Bulgaria however, often beat these countries…with an entire national population of only a few million. They only had handfuls of athletes to work with, not millions. How did they do it? It was a system based on sheer elitism. They had a very strong sport talent selection program. That’s right, it was all genetics. The “genetic wonders” were ushered into sports like weightlifting at that time. Only a small number are born to push the human limit. If it was based on a secret, Krastev’s 216 would have been surpassed by another Bulgarian super. People don’t realize that there are just so few born like that. People also don’t seem to realize that the world record stopped progressing around the late seventies to late eighties because humans can progress but only within the capability of human beings, and the general human limit has been approached if not reached. The human can improve but only within the capability of the human being. A human will never be as strong as a horse, and a horse will never be as strong as an elephant.

    Now, with this elitist talent selection system, there was a supply of genetic wonders for Mr. Abadjiev to work with, in other words, people with the genes necessary to produce elite results. He knew training very well with years of experience as an athlete and as a coach. But he also had something many don’t…intelligence. He had to be there to see the training and react with pointers, rest intervals, training programs catered to each athlete’s specific needs as he saw fit. These are things you can’t standardize on paper, there’s a slightly different approach for each elite athlete and it takes a coach like Ivan Abadjiev to make it work. He would look for himself and figure out a solution for each circumstance.

    From what I remember, his main theory was “sport specificity”. If you want to excel at any specific contest of physical ability and do the best with what nature gave you, then you only practice that specific movement.

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