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Monday, November 5, 2012

Winning can be done drug free ...and I intend to prove it

A week ago, we had our Risto HQ edition of the Soviet Seminar, and, to paraphrase, the question came up, "Is it impossible for US lifters to be champions, because don't all the other countries take drugs?".

I really hate this question so much.  For example:  would you walk onto a soccer field and ask a coach if the USA rarely wins the men's World Cup because everyone else takes drugs?  Doesn't that sound ridiculous?

The other reason I hate this question is because it implies something that is NOT TRUE. It falsely implies that you must take drugs to be a high level Olympic Weightlifting athlete.  The reason why the USA hasn't won medals at the Olympics -consistently- is because we do not have a training system, and we do not have a qualifying system that rewards improving athletes.

According to Dr Herrera, he has produced drug-free world champions, while they were training under him - including Colombian and Cuban athletes.  What he says is the secret is Hard Work, intelligently designed.  For a drug free lifter to succeed, they must do high volume with a strategy.  The average US lifter probably does half the repetitions I do in  a week.    Hell, I just turned 30, and I'm just getting really good at this sport, and this coincides with some major overhauls in my training ( ok, ok, it's also good genetics , I'm only doing 1,000 things at once vs 10,000 things at once, and I halved my normal work commute, Alleluia!! ).

A recent article by Dr Herrera on Alexeev, details how he went from a no-name lifter to the lifting Icon of the 70's.  If you look at Alexeev's results,  for SIX LONG YEARS, he was NOT at the level of elite athletes in the world.  In 1961, Alexeev was told him he was not good for lifting because of his mediocre results. From 1962 to 1966, his results did increase as a result of his bodyweight increases and not his lifting.

However, in 1970 -71, Alexeev broke 26 world records.   He continued to break world records until 1977. So, his six years of mediocrity followed with 7 years of unmatched dominance.  Further, what he totaled in 1977 is still very competitive for Russians lifting in 2012.  In 1976, he clean and jerk 256kg, which is more than what the Olympic Champion in 2012 did.

What type of programming allowed him to break world records for 7 years -- high volume. And, when I say high volume, I mean a whole lotta high volume.   He found that anything less than 1200 rep's per month was a waste of his time.  His programming holds many similarities to Dr Herrera's Soviet system.

On the contrary, athletes who use drugs do a high intensity program- and you've probably noticed the parade of "popped" athletes, particularly, from places who tout maxing out a whole lot. For the clean athlete, a high intensity program is not a long term solution to success; it's a long term plan for injury. Finally, doping leads to negative side effects: the Soviet Union had an experiment with athletes in non-doped and doped training programs, and there was a special hospital just to treat the side effects of  the doped athletes.

Doping exists in weightlifting because of bad coaching.  High intensity and drugs is not a training system; it's what people who don't know how to manage training loading do in countries with poor anti-doping and recovery systems infrastructure and -- which is especially why you see athletes from third world countries get popped.

Ok, so if you're not connecting with my paraphrase of Dr Herrera's knowledge of how people have won without drugs and it was better for their health --and you think I'm all rainbows and unicorns in this post...then think about this....

Look around you.  How many people do you see on facebook and youtube squatting as much as an Olympic Champion weightlifter.  I would guess that most of them aren't on drugs, just by shear odds.  There's a lot of people in our country, who have adequate leg strength and Never materialize into an elite lifter.  This all traces back to clean athletes doing bad programs.

Once again, just on the odds, even if only a small percentage of the really strong people in this country had genetics for Olympic weightlifting, we would still have more medalists.  Just look at Kendrick Farris, he gets drug tested every 2 minutes and has been seen lifting world record level weights on youtube.  Perhaps, with some technical and training adjustments, world championship medals could become a reality.

Look at Tara Nott, she won the Gold for the USA at the 2000 Olympics, and she must have gotten drug tested a whole lot living at the US Olympic Training Center (ohhh yeah, most people fail to recognize that the last US Gold medal won in weightlifting was Tara Nott (Cunningham) and not Chuck Vinci's Gold in 1960).


You know why we don't have more champions in USA weightlifting: we don't have a training system.

Ok, well, I have a training system ;)

------------------------------------------------------------

References:
Risto Sports Soviet Certification, Dr. Alfredo Herrera, October 27, 2012
http://www.efdeportes.com/efd159/bases-del-sistema-ruso-de-levantamiento-de-pesas.htm

3 comments:

Big Tom said...

This is absurd.

Just because an Olympic athlete passed a drugs test does not mean that they haven't used PED's or infact that they are even clean at time of testing.

To suggest that drug use in any strength and power sport or any other sport for that matter at a high level is anything other than day to day normality is either naive or takes the reader for an imbecile.

When will people see that improved coaching, foam rollers and protein powders do not equate to year on year record breaking.

HGH, Insulin, EPO and synthetic testosterone are the main contributors to an exciting and profitable modern Olympic games.

Yes you still need an incredible work ethic, diet, training environment, coaching and of course gifted genetics but drug abuse is a normal and important facet of modern sports performance and a seemingly taboo subject which is not understood by the media reading public.

Brandon Green said...

Hello

In Powerlifting USA magazine i saw a 70' s pharmacological plan for what i think was a thrower from the Eastern bloc. I knew the guy that wrote the article. In any case it was a very logical adaptogen/steroid protocol that covered about 1/2 the year. David Rigert has admitted that members of the national team when he was lifting were at least part of the year on drugs. What we lack primarily is the ATHLETES. They are in the NFL and NBA. Yes we lack a SYSTEM. That in my opinion
is SECONDARY.

Anonymous said...

naive

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