Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Great Ivan Abadjiev

Many in the Olympic lifting and Powerlifting world have heard of the great Ivan Abadjiev (also spelt Ivan Abadzhiev), the man who broke all training boundaries to make Bulgaria THE weightlifting champions of the world. The thing is Ivan Abadjiev is an illusive man and there is not a huge wealth of information on him available.

Today Im going to try and pen as much information as possible for all those who have been salivating at finding as much information about this man as possible.

Ivan Abadjiev was born in 1932 in Bulgaria, at first he started out in gymnastics before moving to weightlifting. He got himself a name as a mad man in Bulgaria because he started weight training twice a day, but this paid off when he won the Silver medal in the Olympic lifting lightweight (67.5kg) category at the 1957 World Championships in Tehran.

After giving up weightlifting Abadjiev became a pen pusher for the Bulgarian sports committee grumbling all the time about the inferior training of the Bulgarian weightlifting team, this was until the weightlifting team produced poor results at the 1968 Olympics.

Although the sports committee in Bulgaria thought Abadjiev was crazy they gave him a chance to improve the Bulgarian weightlifting team, and this he did. In 1972 after training under Abadjiev utilising his twice a day training regime Bulgaria won three gold medals and three silver medals.

Up till the start of the year 2000 Bulgaria dominated the world of weightlifting with some lifters actually being able to lift three times their own bodyweight which opened everyones eyes across the globe given how small this country is (7.5 million people today).

Ivan Abadjiev is now an older man and not training people as he used to but this legendary coach still has many trying to replicate his training regimes for great success.

So what was Ivan Abadjievs secret training regime?

Abadjiev believed that training should be between 30 to 60 minutes with the average being 45 minutes, the reason for this is because this is when the testosterone in the body peaks and after this any training can reduce recovery time.

Here is a sample of the workouts he used to put his Olympic weightlifters you will see this is training multiple times in a day.

Session 1
(Mon, Wed, Fri)

  • 9:00-9:30 - Front Squat
  • 9:30-10:00 - Break
  • 10:00-11:00 - Snatch
  • 11:00-11:30 - Break
  • 11:30-12:30 - Clean and Jerk
  • 12:30-13:00 - Front Squat
Session 2
(Mon, Wed, Fri)
  • 16:30-17:30 - Clean and Jerk
  • 17:30-18:00 - Break
  • 18:00-19:00 - Snatch
  • 19:00-19:30 - Front Squat
  • 19:30-20:00 - Pulls
Session 3
(Tue, Thu, Sat)
  • 9:00-9:30 - Squat
  • 9:30-10:00 - Break
  • 10:00-10:45 - Power Snatch
  • 10:45-11:15 - Break
  • 11:15-12:00- Power Clean
  • 12:00-12:30 - Front Squat
  • 12:30-13:00 - Pulls