Good luck to all who about to start competing in Rio.

All these recent anti-doping scandals and media trips into the dark corners of sports  can be a distraction from the essential part of any sport – training and competition.   Watching how athletes are getting ready to the main meets of the sports lives, I do this excursions to my past – remembering my teachers, teammates and the legends of the sports we always learned and got inspiration from.

Here is the exercise widely popularized by Vasily Alexeev in the 1970s.

Alexeev was a super talent, highly successful super heavyweight  and a peculiar personality.

He trained alone.

Very few were allowed to attend his training sessions. Stories were told about special lifts and equipment that Alexeev invented to improve his results. Sometimes we were able to get a glimpse of these lifts.

Some were rather doubtful in terms of their usefulness. I always thought that photos of Vasily Alexeev doing cleans in the Don river were more of a publicity stint than actual lifts to be used in training.

Some were really helpful. We really loved this back bends shown in the attached video.

I always listed it in my training diaries as “Alexeev’s bends over the vaulting horse”.

Imagine how disappointed I was to find out much later that it was called hyperextensions and invented before Alexeev was born.

I am not sure if he really developed it from scratch or borrowed the concept from some magazine or something he saw during his lifting career in the gyms abroad.

Regardless of the name of the inventor, I found it useful and learned it from Vasily Alexeev.

Just some memories and happy lifting in Rio!



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