Vasily Alexeev (1942–2011)

by Randall J. Strossen, Ph.D. | ©2015 IronMind

Vasily Alexeev—two-time Olympic gold medalist in weightlifting, holder of 80 world records in the sport, Sports Illustrated cover man, and a man once said to be nearly as recognizable in the international world of sport as Muhammad Ali— passed away yesterday, a little over a month shy of his 70th birthday.

Hail to the strongest of the strong, a personality and presence as outsized as his body—the incarnation of a giant from a children’s story: Vasily Alexeev.  May he rest in peace.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.
Hail to the strongest of the strong, a personality and presence as outsized as his body—the incarnation of a giant from a children’s story: Vasily Alexeev.  May he rest in peace.  IronMind® | Randall J. Strossen photo.

Former Cincinatti Bengals strength coach Kim Wood has talked about special men in the world of sports and Vasily Alexeev is certainly one of those in the strength world—people who saw Alexeev lift understood his greatness and ranked him on the shortest of short lists of the strongest men of all time.

Not generally known for his humility, Alexeev made a deep impression on Doug Hepburn, who, after being wowed by Alexeev’s 255-kg world record clean and jerk at the Montreal Olympics noted that the big man stopped to shake the hand, a finger actually, of a little boy—the latter act being the frosting on the cake for Hepburn.

Hepburn then told me how a brash young super told him (Doug Hepburn) that he didn’t really see what was so great about Alexeev.  Hepburn said he explained it like this:

You are pretty strong right now and suppose that you trained without a break for several years and everything went perfectly: you kept improving, your records kept going up and up.  After a few years of uninterrupted progress like that . . . you wouldn’t even be qualified to be the janitor in Alexeev’s gym.

Vasily Alexeev: May you rest in peace.                                            


The IronMind Forum: discuss this article, talk strength, get help with your training. 

You can also follow IronMind on Twitter.

Captains of Crush® Hand Grippers

The gold standard of grippers
This is the gripper that changed the world: 11 strengths.

Left-Turn Grippers

Left_Turn Gripper_news1
A new twist on grippers
If you think your left hand has gotten short shrift, meet IronMind's Left-Turn grippers.

Zenith: The Digital Fitness Gripper

New IronMind, the Zenith Gripper:
Bold looks, a different feelng and a new way to train for strong and healthy hands.


A new way to squat, dip, chin
ALight is all alluminum with no welds, nuts or bolts featuring beautifully crafted parts and portability on par with a bag of golf clubs.


SUPER SQUATS: How to Gain 30 Pounds of Muscle in 6 Weeks

A classic
The defnitive book on 20-rep squats, the mother of all bulk and power routines.

MILO®: A Journal for Serious Strength Athletes 
Universal power broker
We deal in kilos and meters, pounds and feet.

Strong-Enough™ Lifting Straps

IronMind: Strong-Enough Lifting Straps: Most popular" at WSM.  Proven daily by the world's strongest men.
Most popular" at WSM
Proven daily by the world's strongest men.

Expand-Your-Hand Bands

Say goodbye to tennis elbow
Prevent, eliminate or reduce tennis elbow and associated pains.  Simple, fun and effective.

IronMind: Tools of the Trade for Serious Strength Athletes . . . home of Captains of Crush Grippers, MILO, SUPER SQUATS, Just Protein, the Rolling Thunder, Mastery of Hand Strength . . .

Check out our Resource Pages for more information on grip training; Olympic-style weightlifting and weight training; and strongman and World's Strongest Man.