by Dennis Mitchell
There have been many men who claimed to be the worlds strongest man. Vasiliy Ivanovich Alekseyev was born January. 7,1942 in the village of Pokrovo-Shishkino, Soviet Union. During his reign as heavy weight world and Olympic champion he was the world’s strongest man. He was never a small or sickly child. At the age of 12 he was working as a lumberjack, and at the age of 14, he stood 6′ tall and weighed 200 pounds. He started training with weights at the age of 18 under the guidance of Rudolf Plyukfueldor, his first and only coach. Most of his career he coached himself. He stated that he had no set program, trained when he wanted to and how he wanted to. Often his workouts were quite unorthodox.
In 1970 he competed in his first world championships, held in Columbus Ohio, U.S.A. At this meet he became the first person to clean and jerk over 500 pounds (501.5). In 1971 he continued setting records, setting 27 world records. He continued setting records, and winning a total of eight world championships and two Olympics. Over the next seven years he set a total 80 world records, including a 1,322.76 pound total (600 Kg.) In his prime he stood 6’1″ tall and weighed 357 pounds. His best lifts were, a 521.39 pound press, a 418.87 pound snatch, and a 564.38 pound clean and jerk.
After his competition days were over he coached for a while but soon left this. Alekseyev passed away November 25, 2011, at the age of 69, in a Munich Germany hospital where he was being treated for a heart condition.