August 15, 2011
Today, during my morning workout, I thought it would be a good idea to take “Bulgarian jumps” while front squatting. A “Bulgarian jump” is a phrase that my friends and I jokingly use for only adding 25kg. plates to a barbell. Naturally, these workouts don’t usually last more than a few sets. One or more of us will usually sit down and watch from a resting bench, barking in our best Bulgarian accent, “More Reds! More Reds!” This is meant to imitate the famous weightlifting coach, Mr. Abadjiev, from the most likely fabricated story of when he toured the US Olympic training center.
I really don’t care whether stories like this actually happened or not. To me, stories should represent more than just fact or fiction. Storytelling is an integral part of weightlifting culture probably dating back to when man first began lifting things for fun. Just as the epic poems Beowulf or Gilgamesh were passed down through verbal tradition, I love hearing old timers talk about modern day lifting heroes who lived and walked the earth back when they were still in the iron game. A good weightlifting story should accomplish at least one of a few objectives:
1) It should entertain. Duh, it’s a story. Stories suck if no one wants to hear it.
2) It should inspire. Stories of clutch lifts, personal record attempts, foreign training halls, coaches, great battles between two or more lifters, or impossible feats of strength all are great sources of inspiration.
3) It should be about real people. Whether it was a PR attempt that you or your friend made after accidentally misloading a bar or a famous lifter smoking or drinking between sets, having names in your stories adds to the drama. ”The old Russian lifters used to . . .” is ambiguous and takes away from the truth that the storyteller may or may not actually know. Had you said, “Back when Vasily Alexeev was training . . .” the story would now have some weight behind it.
So the story goes that Coach Abadjiev was flown out to Colorado Springs to assess the facility and the training program of the resident Olympic lifters. He spent the entire length of the trip without saying a word to the coaches, who by now had surely began to worry that they had wasted their time and money flying this man over. Before they left, the American Coaches asked him, “What about our facility? Our program? Why aren’t we more successful?” To this Abadjiev replied, “My friend, your program is fine. In Bulgaria, we have more reds on the bar.”
Fact? Fiction? I don’t care. But in Bulgaria, they use more reds.
Snatch: I worked up to a nice and easy 130kg. This is the 1st time that I’ve hit this since Nationals. I’m getting my rhythm back on my lifts, which is nice. Then I hang snatched 100×5.
Clean and jerk: hit 140. Missed 50. I adjusted my grip and stance slightly. We’ll see if it works out or not.
F. Squat: 70kg, 120kg, 170kg. Done.
Clean and jerks: took it to 2 singles at 140 and one miss at 150. Went back down to 100 and worked back up doing 1x clean, 2x jerks (with the second one being rack behind the neck). I took these up to 140 again.
Press: Took it up to 100kg. Missed 110 and then did a Benbata set of 20 at 50kg.
Glute ham raises, pull ups, etc.