It’s about his three weeks in the summer of 1990 training with Romanian weightlifting legend Nicu Vlad.
He is said to be the “most technical weightlifter of all time”.
Among his accomplishments is the 200.5 kg snatch world record in the former 100 kilo bodyweight class.
But the article teaches more great lessons. Such as training attitude, the whole mental aspect of weightlifting.
Not being afraid of missing lifts and approaching heavy weights with a clear and focused mindset.
After his normal warm up, snatching 70, 90, 110, 130, 140, 150, and 160 with ease, he put 170 on the bar. We were all shocked to see him miss the 170, but then he repeated the weight a few minutes later and made it easily. He jumped to 175 and missed the weight behind him twice, and then jumped to 180 and missed that weight twice as well. Most of us were wondering what in the hell was going on, as he was clearly in good shape and strong enough to make these weights. I will never forget what he did next.
He loaded 185 on the bar. This time, as he stood in front of the bar preparing for the lift, he stood motionless, tilted his head back and closed his eyes in the famous Vlad-concentration pose we had all seen him strike on the platform at the Olympics and world championships. He had not done this before any of the other lifts of his workout, and the gym went completely silent. After ten seconds, he reached down, grabbed the bar, and nailed the easiest, strongest snatch of the day.
And if you’ve ever wondered how the name Romanian Deadlift (RDL) came about, it…
He would regularly do this exercise with 250 kilos or more, and he even did a personal record set of 300×3 at the end of the camp. Somebody in the gym asked Nicu and Dragomir what the exercise was called. They said that they did not have a special name for it, and so one of the American lifters suggested that it could be called a “Romanian Deadlift” or RDL.
Here is a clip of Nicu Vlad and Stefan Botev from an IronMind 1993 Heavy Metal in Melbourne Training Hall DVD
Nicu Vlad winning the Snatch with 190kg at the 1989 World Weightlifting Championships
and 222.5kg in the Clean and Jerk for the second place.
Nicu Vlad at the 1984 Olympics with a 205kg clean and jerk opener.
Nicu Vlad 185 kg Snatch 1985 Europeans
Nicu Vlad 215 kg Clean & Jerk 1985 Europeans