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Aleksandr Karelin was the best and most feared Olympic wrestler ever. He was feared because of his power which enabled him to lift his opponents off the ground and suplex them to the mat much to their horror. He was heavily drug tested and never failed a single test. He was very dedicated in his training and it showed. This was written on his website sometime in 2006:

About my trainings

I train myself 6 times a week. Usually on Mondays my mornings begin from running. I run in the pine forest in the suburb of Novosibirsk. My usual morning training goes on for an hour or an hour and ten minutes. The distance is a little more than 10 km. My evening trainings on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday constitute a work on a mat with sparring-partners. Wednesday is the day free, but we, wrestlers, have a very specific rest. We play wrestling basketball. It looks like American football, but we don’t use protective ammunition and throw a ball to a basket to get points. On Saturdays we play football (soccer). This is my usual regime. Trainings become more intensive during period of preparation to Russian, European and World championships and Olympic Games.

All in all, my wrestling trainings take 8-10 hours a week and more. However, everything depends on my condition and an opinion of my trainer Victor Kuznetzov who determines a plan of trainings and loads.

As I mentioned, running is a very important component of my exercises and trainings. Crosses help me to do my shape better. Special effect can be reached during series of trainings at the mountain sports bases. Good breathing is the component of a success for any athlete. Experienced wrestlers know that oxygen starvation can be a wrestler’s weak spot. This sense is very unpleasant.

I visit an athletic hall regularly. The base of my trainings is the method of Victor Kuznetzov. Such exercises as a press in horizontal position, exercises with dumb-bells for biceps and triceps are usual types of a physical load. It’s very important for Greco-Roman wrestling to choose a right weight of apparatus. Usually a load is chosen to allow sportsman to do 2 or 3 ‘approaches” with the maximal number of reiterations (12-15 times) each. And a weight of the final “approach” is more to be able to do 8-10 reiterations rightly.

I have no a diet because I never had extra-weight problems. In spite of it I have no the habit to overeat. I like tasty meal. I go to small restaurants and cafes to try national cooking of the country where I am. However, to me the Russian cooking is the most acceptable one. I prefer natural food. I change my regime of eating during Orthodox fasts. But it is not a reason for somebody’s anxiety. I have the wonderful book about feeding during fasts. This book contains about thousand of recipes of the tasty and healthy-giving dishes.

Except Greco-Roman wrestling I attended to skiing, basketball and heavy athletics. My trainer Victor Kuznetzov opened the world of wrestling for me. We have been working together for 19 years.


Aleksandr Karelin Suplex




More about him from same website incase your interested:



Alexandr Alexandrovich Karelin. Born on September 19, 1967, in Novosibirsk, Russia. He graduated from Novosibirsk Motor Transport Technical College and Omsk Physical Training Institute.

He earned a degree of Candidate of Pedagogical Science after writing a dissertation “Method of a carrying out of contra-holds from bend throws”.

In 1981 year he started to be engaged in Greco-Roman wrestling in wrestling section of Novosibirsk Electrical Engineering Institute. His constant trainer is Victor Kuznetzov.

Alexandr Karelin became an Olympic champion three times: in 1988, 1992 and 1996 years. He won Europe championship 12 times and Russian championship – 13 times.

In 1997 year Alexander Karelin was rewarded with the highest award of Russia – Golden Star of Russian Hero for his great services to his homeland. In September 1997, A. A. Karelin was recognized as a Man of the Year in Novosibirsk, and in July 1998 he was given the title of Novosibirsk Honorary Inhabitant.

A. A. Karelin takes a place among the 25 best world athletes of 20th century. There are such famous persons in this “list” as Pele, Larisa Latinina and Muhammad Ali.

In 1995, Karelin begins to work in Administration of Federal Fiscal Police Service as a leading specialist of the Physical Defense Department. He lives and works in his native town Novosibirsk. In December 1995 Karelin was given the rank of colonel of Fiscal Police Service.

On December 19, 1999, A. A. Karelin stood for a member of the State Duma (low chamber of the Federal Assembly). He received 80 000 votes (26 % from total number of voters who took part in the elections in his electoral district in Novosibirsk). According to the law, after the elections A. A. Karelin send in his resignation from Fiscal Police Service.


About my attainments

I don’t think that I have attained all I could, or I would hang my wrestling jackets on a nail. I suppose you’ll be agree with me that it will be right to count medals and titles and sum up my sport career only after finishing of my setting out on a "big mat".

These days I am preparing to my fourth Olympic Games. I am training in the national team according to its plan. Therefore I, like other favorites in each category, have understudies (or, if you prefer – rivals) who want and are possible to take my place in the team. The right to protect the colors of the Russian flag at the Olympic Games and world and European championships can'’ be handed down. Candidate-members of the team Russia pass through many trials, but this selection is elite one. Only the best of equal sportsmen can get the right to represent their Homeland at extra-class tournaments.

Olympic Games are the most prestige competitions in the big sports world. It’s honor to take part in Olympic Games. It’s more honor to become a winner or prizewinner of this forum where the best athletes of the planet get together. Some sportsmen manage to take part in the Olympic Games only once. I have luck to experience this bright and emotional sports festive occasion three times. Now I am a candidate to go to Sydney to take part in my fourth Olympic Games. My participation       in the Games will depend on the definitive decision of the Trainer Council. If my Mother country will entrust me I’ll strain every my effort to correspond my feelings and senses to expectations of my compatriots and many foreign funs and supporters. The Olympic Games are closer, the more letters and cards are sent to me with the best wishes. Such intent attention obliges me to meet the requirements. Because of that, for the last half of the year my constant trainer Victor Kuznetzov and I are occupied with solution of the only task – how to approach to the main starts of the four years’ having a good fighting condition. On the other hand, Olympic Games connect modern athletes with Antic Heroes. This competition is the priceless cultural heritage of our civilization like works of the famous ancient Greek philosophers and Acropolis.


Aleksandr Karelin


About injury

I understand that after European championship in 1996 in Budapest observers regard my sports career in the aspect "before and after injury". I don’t think that this injury became some borderline in my sports career. First, it’s happened because all rehabilitate treatments were carried out under control of professional doctors. The high-class sports doctor Valery Okhapkin became an author of the unique method of rehabilitation. Secondly, on the first stage of rehabilitation only my trainer Victor Kuznetzov helped me to find right exercises for recovering my muscle. Also he created the base for more hard work (in an aspect of loads) before Russian, European and World championships and Olympic Games in Sydney. Thirdly, I had no the thought to leave wrestling at all. I sensed an unanimous support of my relatives, friends and comrades-in-team. It turned out that everything is reparable; it needs only to have a wish to work. Of course, on the World championship in Wrotslaw in 1997 year I wrestled as first time, but won. It was a hard victory. First of all, wrestling is a getting over difficulties. If you can “gather your will in a fist” and endure a pain – you can count on a fortune’s good graces.


About rivals

Usually my constant trainer Victor Kuznetzov speaks about my condition because I am a result of his training method. I consider that I am close to the ideal condition because I could win the championship of Russia and cope with big loads according to training plan of the national team. Thanks to my discipline (I didn’t miss trainings) I could prepare myself to the championship of Russia. The national championship took place in only two weeks after the State Duma elections. I couldn’t miss this competition. In another case I wouldn’t have a moral right to pretend on a taking part in European championship. There are good wrestlers in the super-heavy weight in Russian team. They are young fellows with arrogance: masters of sports Yury Patrikeyev, Alexey Tartabarin and Alexey Kolesnicov.

The most part of my life, for 19 years from 32, I wrestle. They would write before “Wrestling made a man from unknown Novosiberian boy Sasha Karelin who is known in the whole world”. That’s right. Wrestling became my favorite occupation. I enjoy it very much because such wonderful peoples as my trainer Victor Kuznetzov, Olympic champions Mikhail Mamiashvily, Shamil’ Hisamutdinov, Mnatzakan Iskanderyan and 5-time world champion Gogi Koguashvili work near me. They are colleges and friends who candidly love Greco-Roman wrestling and try to transfer their feelings to associates. I am proud of my being a representative of our home classical wrestling training.

Last years a youthful fervor and heat can be read on the faces of my rivals. My opponents don’t know fatalism. Because of that each of them want to become an author of a sensation and dreams to win. Some of them even loudly declared the period they need to defeat me. Russians have no such rule to promise before competition. We prefer an action to words, maybe because we don’t spend our forces for long talking and team Russia leads on European and world championships and Olympic Games. It’s not necessary to be afraid of a defeat. It’s necessary to think how to train to evade such trouble. And only ones, who can tear themselves away from a captivity of binding emotions, can become champions.

From another ones a fear can do likeness of waxen dolls. Think over, do I need to be afraid of something if I carried out all trainer’s aims, if I won all my rivals in the test-fights, if there are three holds which I can apply to any rivals? What do I need to do be afraid in this case? Maybe my own shade? A psychological stability is the one of the components of a victory. Self-confidence can be reached by hard work “on a mat” and in the training halls.

16 athletes will take part in Olympic Games in the weight-group up to 130 kg. It’s necessary to give a special attention to the wrestlers who are trained according to the Russian method. I can name them: Bulgarian, the champion of the European championship in 1997 year and prizeman of Olympic Games Sergey Murejko; Cuban, Olympic champion in Barcelona in the weight-group up to 100 kg Gecktor Millian. The US team can bring a surprise because there is a rather sharp competition at US national championships in the heavy weight-group. Generally, all rivals are not from a hospital bed; all of them are worthy of respect. It seems Sergey Murejko is the most inconvenient opponent. In the present Olympic cycle we met three times: at the World championships in Wrotslaw and Athens and in the final of the European championship in Moscow in 2000 year. These three duels were finished with the equal score 2:0 to me. My victory is the best commentary of my shape and training.





The interview by Konstantin Kruglyansky.

Director of Novosibirsk Regional Karelin’s Fund.