T Nation

Polish Weightlifting in the 70's


poland, eh?
70's, eh?
is this shit for real or is it monty python?
an attempt to mislead the opposition?

1 of about 10 of them (haven't viewed the rest yet).



Many of those exercises are beneficial to strength athletes - i wouldn't call fake.


Fascinating video -- very 1970s.

It's not fake; it's too well done for that. The first video espouses the idea of general physical preparation. You see this emphasized a lot in Soviet training doctrine: namely, the idea that athletes should have a general base of conditioning and skills, and that this base should be maintained. Not surprisingly, the Poles, too, adopted this approach.

One thing that comes across from this video is how these Polish weightlifters are pretty decent all around athletes: they move quickly, efficiently, and with grace.

Poland had (and has) a decent weightlifting tradition. But it may be worth remembering that Bulgaria, a country even smaller still, was about to amaze the world with its weightlifters, and the hallmark of the Bulgarian approach was specialization.


It's parkour for weightlifters!


Well, I watched the rest of the vids and it isn't a joke. It is that the documentary starts out with the GPP training and doesn't get to barbells until the third clip. It was just how they were lined up in order of height. I mean come on!! How that that be for real lol. It was really interesting, actually. Some cool stuff about how they used to do bar path analysis before modern computing in the seventh clip. a bit odd in places because the translator seems to get ahead of the Polish narration.

I wondered where it was historically in relation to Bulgeria... Thanks for that.

They also had an interesting way of choosing the next generation of weightlifters (the last few). These kids were overhead squatting the bar pretty well and had never squatted before. Damn. Chosen for speed and agility and never mind strong. Interesting. Speed under the bar was impressive.


Great video. I found it very inspiring.

Thanks for that, Alexus.


I remember hearing that iran chose rezazadeh based on vertical jump.

I personally think the stuff in the first few videos should be more done by children who can't yet lift a lot of weight so they might as well do that stuff as they won't be too tired from the weightlifting training.


yeah. i know one club in Aussie does mostly gymnastics with under 18 weightlifters (having looked at their program for noobs). that was why it was interesting for me to see the 'grown-ups' doing it. the tree hugging stuff was what got me wondering about monty python. but trees and oxygen etc etc. kinda makes sense... and it was the 70's. heh.

i've heard that (while a little controversial) people tend to think Oly Lifting is helpful for improving vertical jump, sprinting, explosive power generally. i had wondered to myself whether the converse might be the case, too in that improving vertical jump, sprinting, explosive power generally might be helpful for improving Oly Lifting. Guess that was at least part of the idea here.

It didn't say how many hours per day they did their running / tree hugging / swimming etc compared to how many hours per day they spent doing weightlifting. maybe it is just something they did once per week or maybe it is something they did more regularly. dunno.

guess the order of height thing was more about order of weightclass. be a bit much for the heavyweights to follow a pace set by the lightweights, I guess. and height would go with weight if they are at least partly selected for ideal levers...


I'm sure they would help with weightlifting... but not as much as weightlifting :wink:. AKA ivan abadjiev



Not only are they real but you will see, when you watch the rest of the videos, that their technique was more advanced then, than ours is now. U.S. (and many western)lifters started to fall behind back then and have never fully recovered.

And, the all-around training was and is, standard procedure for many European ahtletes, especially early in their careers. It is part of a well-thought out program to make sure which athletes might be the best for which sports and that they are all fully competent, athletically before they specialize.