Arkady Vorobyev

Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 by John Wood
Arkady Vorobyev took an interest in weightlifting while serving in the Russian Navy during WWII and it led to a hall of fame career. Vorobyev was one of the most dominant lifters of the 1950’s, taking gold in two Olympic Games (1956, Melbourne, 1960, Rome) five World Championships (1953-1955, 1957-58) and five European championships (1950, 1953-1955, 1958). Vorobyev set 16 World records over the course of his career. He went on to become a noted strength researcher and his “Textbook on Weightlifting,” written in 1978, is thought of as a modern classic in the field.

Novak’s World Record Press

Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2014 by John Wood

A look at the great soviet weightlifter Grigori Novak’s World Record standing press of 315 pounds (at 5’3″ and a bodyweight of only 181 pounds!) This would have been in 1949 in a meet in Moscow. Novak’s career was marred by an elbow injury which necessitated an operation – you can tell his left arm is a bit “off” here.

Alexeev’s Unusual Training

Posted on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by John Wood
The Russian Champion Vasily Alexeev is one of the greatest weightlifters who ever lived. One of Alexeev’s most unusual training techniques was to practice his cleans in waist-deep water. This famous shot was taken of Alexeev as he trained in the Don River in Mother Russia. Unconventional… but certainly effective: Alexeev set the first of his 80 world records in 1970 and was undefeated for the remainder of his career which also included two Olympic Gold medal winning performances (1972, Munich and 1976, Montreal).

The Russian Hercules: Ivan Poddubny

Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2011 by John Wood

Ivan Poddubny

Ivan Poddubny was one of the greatest of the Russian Strongman /Wrestlers (of which there were many). He was born in a small village and worked hard jobs even from a young age.
After some training, he joined the Russian circus, performing feats of strength and wrestling all comers. The sash he is wearing in this picture is most likely from the 1908 World Championship, which he won by defeating his friend Ivan Zaikin. This was his fifth World Championship title. Even to this day, Poddubny is still a well-known sports hero in Russia and several big wrestling tournaments bare his name.
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Author: John Wood. All contents, including images and text, copyright © 2005-2019 by John Wood and Thunderdome Media Inc. Not to be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. We will most likely grant permission but please contact us if you would like to repost. IMPORTANT: Equipment and books, courses etc. pictured in blog posts are generally not available for sale unless specifically noted.