Hey Aleksey, Tell us your story, how did you get into weightlifting?
I started weightlifting at 14 because of my competitive nature. I went with my friend to the gym class and when I was asked by the coach if I wanted to take this more seriously I said “hell no”. Then a few months later my friend started showing promising results and was congratulated in front of the whole class. Now we know we can’t have any of that, so I had to start weightlifting properly as well. 😉
What does it feel like to win an Olympic Gold Medal?
Imagine what happens in your head when for 12 years you train 10 times a week, when you work towards an idea, a goal, your final destination. Something that you lived and breathed twenty four hours a day and in one moment you hear, “that’s it, here it is” Done…
What did a typical training week look like for you when you were training for the 2012 Olympics?
My typical training regiment was from 8-10 training sessions a week, scheduled rest, scheduled food…. Have you seen the movie “Groundhog Day” ?? Imagine being in that movie for years and years.
I have to say that sometimes a person needs to go to extremes to understand themselves and truly reach a different level.
But schedule wise, on top of the training sessions, we had one to two swimming session, one to two massage or hydro massage sessions for recovery. Oh, and each training session was roughly from one and a half to two hours.
Do you personally prefer the Snatch or The Clean and Jerk?
I would have to say that the Snatch for me is like Russian Roulette, its a 50/50 move, you either have it or you don’t. The Clean and Jerk on the other hand is a combination of moves which gives you a chance to correct yourself. But don’t forget that during the competition there are no favorites, you have to love both since the score is a culmination of the two.
What are your three favourite exercises for strengthening the back?
By far Hyperextentions are my favourites.
Good mornings plus squats (you can find this exercise on my youtube channel below), and I’d have to say the back squat and front squat when performed with a proper angle.
What common mistakes do you see people make when they are new to weightlifting?
The main mistake I see which is really scary is when people try to break world records during their first workout (I think people forget that they don’t live in a videogame and you don’t get a second chance if you drop the bar). That’s the main mistake.
Everything else that I see is normal, its absolutely ok for everyone from the very beginner to the world record holder to have mistakes, this is how we learn and progress!
If no one made mistakes we would all lift 1000 kg.
What 3 accessory exercises have you found useful for improving the Snatch?
Snatch balance, Snatch Overhead Squat, and actually for this particular move I developed my own sequence to help me train for it, the #TOR_COMPLEX But my trainer always said “If you want to have a great snatch all you have to do is do a lot of Snatches” So please, take your barbell, get in front of the mirror and practice, practice, practice.
How often do you program pure strength (squats, deadlift etc) work into your training?
NO 1. When you work exclusively on strength, you lose speed, when you work exclusively on speed you lose strength.
In Olympic Weightlifting we must always maintain a balance between the two!!! That’s why its a really bad idea to focus on one without the other… PS This is the second mistake of beginner athletes. In Oly we work on our strength doing dynamic movements which in themselves combine squats and deadlifts, etc.
What should a good warm up involve?
The main thing I can tell you about the warmup is this: It should always involve the body part and movements that will be done during the main workout. Its pointless to stretch your shoulders if you’re going to be doing box jumps, if you understand what I mean? Also, please keep in mind that the cool down part after the main workout session is just as important for recovery. My usual warmup and cool down takes roughly 30-50 minutes (together).
What do you think of CrossFit as a training method?
Crossfit is an amazing idea and I love the fact that it got so many people into fitness. The methodology of multifunctional fitness is great for general well being and if done properly gets amazing resuts. The only downside I see is that sometimes the coaches aren’t up to a certain standard and that’s when I see problems. The coaches qualifications and the experience they should have is a MUST!!!
How many calories do you eat daily in order to support your training?
This question should be asked of my dietitian. She writes my eating schedules and diets according to my training needs. But due to a very busy and tight schedule with my seminars worldwide, sometime I don’t have any choice but to eat whatever I can find.
What is your main hobby outside of weightlifting that you love to do?
Video blogging and painting. Although it seems that even these two things are related to weightlifting, I can’t seem to get away from it 🙁
Describe your perfect day?
Training, beach, family, oops lost my phone.
Thanks for your time Alexsey. Where can people find out more about you?
- Aleksey Torokhtiy: Zimbio