February 17th, 2016

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The Best Kept Secret of Olympic Weightlifting

Bulgarian weightlifting is trouble today.

It’s no longer a phenomenon to follow in the sport of Olympic weightlifting.

Ivan Abadzhiev, the mastermind behind formerly famous Bulgarian weightlifting school, is an official outlaw in the world of Olympic weightlifting.

The trip from Hall of Fame to Hall of Shame was quick and painful…

But I am not about this now. I am not about ethics and politics in sports now.

What always puzzled me that after decades of being in the top of the world,  there are no publications about the Bulgarian training system by the authors of system.

The U.S. weightlifting was one of the dominating schools  in the world from the 1940’s ro 1960’s. The “father of American weightlifting” Bob Hoffman published the  “Strength and Health” magazines with hundreds of articles and training plans available for lifters.

The Soviet weightlifting had hundreds of books and articles dedicated to Olympic weightlifting. Russian training gurus Arkady Vorobyev and Alexey Medvedev wrote dozens of textbooks and manuals on Soviet weightlifting methodology, organized international seminars and published various fiction and non-fiction books about this sport.

It is a well-known fact that Bulgarian weightlifting revolutionized the classic Soviet approach to weightlifting training. Soviet authors intentionally or unintentionally didn’t write much about Bulgarian methodology. Bulgarians themselves  kept it all under the hood.

There are no official publications, books, manuals with training plans, new concepts and approaches.

How come?

It always puzzled me.

How come the whole phenomenon of Bulgarian weightlifting has no printed materials? Just numerous results in the weightlifting tournaments and record books.

Obviously, Ivan Abadzhiev was a talented and ambitious person. He didn’t shy away from publicity ant spotlight of mass media. With all this said, there are no books or articles on weightlifting training methodology written and published by the great coach.

With all these said, it is the Bulgarian methodology that most world class lifters follow nowadays. Everybody seems to use streamlined training approach (high intensity training sessions with maxing ups in each session, using mostly singles and doubles, with minimization of supporting lifts and emphasize on classic lifts…) We do hear about these bits and pieces of Bulgarian schools but still there is no main book or bigger picture for the point of reference.

Perhaps, I am missing something here.

Perhaps, it is the best kept secret of Olympic weightlifting.



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Suet Delight For Woodpeckers


Our little fellas woodpeckers seem to really enjoy the suet in the backyard feeders.

It doesn’t matter whether it is raining or snowing, cold or warm, these hard workers keep eating the suet in the wired cages.

This one was captured on camera last weekend.


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Does the Size Still Matter?


Another blast from the past…

The bench shot of my dreamteam, my favorite hockey team Dinamo Riga in the season 1980-81.

Coach Vladimir Yurzinov. Players waiting for their shift on the ice. Backup goalie Vladimir Bystrov.

Now it is a live TV broadcast from the game. There is a hilarious monstrosity of a TV camera size behind the bench.

Those are the cameras that were used back then for studio and sports broadcasts. Pretty big, huh?

Back in the 1990s when I worked as a TV cameramen, the cameras were three times smaller than this one.

Does the size still really matter? :-)


The original photo reproduction is a courtesy of

the WorldHockeyClassic.RU online collection.