My conviction that Alexeyev's priceless experience will not be lost was strengthened when I saw that at the end of 1976 he conducted a trial get-together at the Podolsk sports base to train the young heavyweiahts. I won't try to describe in depth Alexevev's method (he has written about it in his dissertation as a science degree candidate) but I'll explain the reason for its great effectiveness.
Usually the athletes lift barbells and then immediately drop them. This takes several seconds. According to Alexeyev's method, the sportsman finds himself under the weight for a period of two or three minutes. The entire organism must sustain this prolonged effort, as the athlete completes several consecutive exercises without letting go of the equipment. The weight of the barbell is relatively light, but the varied work with it affects every muscle cell.
By the end of the two-week session, all Alexeyev's students had increased their bodyweights as a result of muscle growth and at the same time they'd increased their abilities. Here is what Sultan Rachmanov said: "At first I trained in mv own way. I didn't believe that Alexeyev's advice would help me. Now I believe ... My shoulders, my back, everything is filling up with strength. There is this to consider. Not everything will come my way, but I'll take the most important! (At the USSR championships in Karaganda, Rachmanov, who up until then had not been a 400 man, became the third prize winner with the distin- guished sum of 420 kilograms. In the fall this athlete took the USSR record in the snatch. And who is to know, perhaps he will be the successor to the glory of the hero of the Munich and Montreal Olympic Games!)
Each of Alexeyev's students noted that thanks to this unusual system of working they have acquired a good amount of self-confidence in their own strength. Yes, and I too have noticed with what incredible ease the athletes picked up the 160-kilo barbell in the snatch at the end of the training session.
The 1976 annual Heavy Athletics ran a detailed article which Alexeyev called "The Experience of My Training.' In this first scientific publication of the strongest athlete, the author refutes some unsound (although they've existed for ten years) methodological concepts about how to develop strength in athletes of the heavyweight class.
He writes: "In the first years I trained according to the accepted methods. But then, from 1966, I decided to significantly increase the size of my training weight. This immediately brought results. By the end of 1967, I had gained 32.5 kilograms in my triple sum total and by the end of 1968--42.5 kilograms. For athletes of the superheavyweight class, the average rate of growth had by this time significantly increased."
Vasili includes a great variety of exercises in his training. "Besides exercises in the-· snatch, jerk, or press, pull and squats, I have used many other exercises with the barbell and weights. Bends with the barbell on the shoulders; bends with the barbell on the shoulders while Iving on the 'horse' bracing one's hips, with the legs secured; jumps with the barbell on your shoulders; press on crossbars with weights; bending and unbending the arms in the elbow joints; squats on one leg; throwing the bar upward and behind; and other exercises. In addition, in the first year of the time span analyzed, these exercises consisted of, on the average, 360 lifts in the preparatory period and 158 lifts during the competition period. In the second year, correspondingly 841 and 506 lifts, and in the third 880 lifts a month."
From The Science of Winning.