Olympic Champion 2012 Aleksey Torokhtiy shares the story how he had to stop his career after his first Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing, as he couldn’t support his family from his sport.
He outlines how he believes his career consisted of 99% failures and what ultimately allowed him to claim the Olympic title.
In this interview Aleksey Torokhtiy discusses
- His darkest moment and how he recovered from that moment
- His best moment
- What advice he would give his younger self
- The habits that make him a successful athlete
- His morning routine
- How he prepares for important moments
- The strategies he uses to overcome setbacks
- His role model
- What was the best advice he received and who gave it to him
- How does a typical training day look in the life of Olympic Weightlifter Aleksey Torokhtiy
- Where you can find out more about Aleksey
Christian: Today I am joined by no other than Aleksey Torokhtiy. For those who don’t know who Aleksey Torokhtiy is, Aleksey is Olympic champion 2012 in Olympic Weightlifting, the category of 105 kilos.
Aleksey is now spreading the word of Olympic Weightlifting around the world and provides seminars and workshops where he teaches Olympic Weightlifting.
And a special thanks to Aleksey, that he agreed to do this interview. He was a bit hesitatnt before, as he believes his English isn’t good eneough. I think his English is definitely good enough.
Aleksey: Thank you so much.
Aleksey’s darkest moment
Christian: In your life as an athlete, what was your darkest moment?
Aleksey: That’s a good question. My darkest moment was after my first Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing. I had to stop my career and needed to find another job to support my family.
I was a manager and I tried to fill beer. But it was a good time to think and evaluate, it was not fun, but it was a good experience in my life.
After my first Olympic Games, I had to stop my career, because I needed to find a job to support my family.
Aleksey’s best moment
Christian: What was your best moment?
Aleksey: The best moment was the year after the Olympic Games 2008. As I just outlined, after Beijing Olympics 2008, I decided to stop my career and tried to find something new to support my family. It was a big problem, and I tried to find a new job.
One day I got offered a sponsorship, the sponsor said: “I will give you money, you just train and have good results.”
I started to train again, and five months later I lifted new personal records.
I competed in the European Championship and I lifted new records. I won in Clean and Jerk, and I placed second overall.
This was the first time when I started to realize that I can compete with the world’s best athletes.
For me, it was like a shark who smelled blood. I started to understand that it is possible for me and I can do it.
I started to realize that I can compete with the world’s best athletes. It was like a shark who smelled blood.
Christian: That’s interesting. 2008 you were 22 and you decided to stop your career at such a young age
Aleksey: I decided to stop, not because there was anything wrong with me physically, but because I had a young family who I had to take care of financially.
In my country, you only make money in weightlifting if you are number one. I was number 11, so I had to find another way to make money to take care of my family.
In my country, you only make money if you are number one. I was number 11, so I had to find another way to take care of my family.
Aleksey’s advise to his younger self
Christian: If you could go back in time, like 10 or 15 years, and you meet the younger Aleksey Torokhtiy, what advice would you give yourself?
Aleksey: It would be like the butterfly effect, where if that were to happen, it would change my life completely.
I would advise my younger self to study English, Spanish and Portuguese and to enjoy everything I do in the future, that’s it. I think I did things correctly in my life.
I think I did things correctly in my life. I would only advise my younger self to study English, Spanish and Portuguese and to enjoy everything I do.
Christian: That’s good if you can look back and say you did everything correctly.
Aleksey’s success habits
Christian: What are the habits that make you a successful athlete or a successful person?
Aleksey: We spoke about this in the seminar today. You need to find one thing and you need to focus on that one thing.
If you’re always trying something new then you could be wasting time, and sometimes that can be expensive. So, find one thing that you like and do it.
People usually try to find something difficult, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, you can find something that is not difficult.
Of course, every path has both good and bad, so you need to work hard, follow the path and focus on one thing.
You need to find one thing and you need to focus on that one thing. You need to work hard, follow the path and focus on one thing.
Christian: You have proven it with your results.
Aleksey’s morning routine
Christian: Do you have a morning routine or any routine that you’re using?
Aleksey: Yes, but it changes from time to time. Right now, I have a different routine than the one I had when I was an athlete on the national team.
If I don’t train in the morning, I lose my day, so that’s why I need to train in the mornings, and after that, I feel very good mentally.
Christian: What time do you train in the morning?
Aleksey: Usually from 9:00 to 11:00.
Christian: And you get up at what time?
Aleksey: Around 7:00/7:30.
Christian: What do you do from 7:00 to 9:00?
Aleksey: I have breakfast. I also need time to commute from my house to the gym. Sometimes I play with my son and take him to kindergarten.
If I don’t train in the morning, I lose my day.
How to prepare for important moments
Christian: How do you prepare yourself for important moments?
Aleksey: When I’m preparing I try to visualize, so that I feel more comfortable. I try to create the same situation in my mind.
For example, if it’s a competition, one day or two days before I try to visualize everything including the warm-up area, how I will do my warm-up. I also visualize the platform, how I will be on the platform, what I will see, what I will find, how I will feel, everything.
Visualizing the small details helps me to prepare, that’s why one or two days before I try to analyze all of this and try to visualize all of this in my head. And when it happens, it will not be a new situation for me, it will be a situation that I created in my head and it will be easier for me to perform.
I visualize everything, the warm-up area, how I will do my warm-up. I also visualize the platform, how I will be on the platform, what I will see, what I will find, how I will feel, everything, so when the big moment comes I have been there before and it will not be a new situation for me.
How Aleksey overcomes setbacks
Christian: How do you overcome setbacks?
Aleksey: In my career, I’ve had 99% setbacks, and in my opinion, it has helped me to grow and to work hard to get it right and keep the focus.
In my career, I have had 99% setbacks, and that has helped me to grow, to work hard to and keep the focus.
Every time when we have success, it helps us to relax. But if you don’t have very good results it keeps you going, and you understand that you need to work harder to have good results, so every time it pushes you forward.
Christian: Setbacks are part of the success.
Aleksey: Yes. So, in my opinion, it’s very good to analyze. Of course, it’s easier to speak about this after one year, two years.
While it is happening it is the best way to stop and just to analyze and say, “Okay, we have this, what can we do?” Because in five years and ten years it’s easier to speak about it is a good push. But of course, it’s hard while it is happening.
Every time you have success, you relax. But if you don’t have success it keeps you going. You understand that you need to work harder to get the success you want.
Aleksey’s role model
Christian: Who is your role model, and why?
Aleksey: Maybe it’s not a good thing, but I don’t have a role model. I like different things in different people, and I try to combine all of those and follow them, but I don’t have a role model.
Christian: But so far, who is someone you like, or the quality of someone you like?
Aleksey: There a few people from my country, not necessarily famous people, but some people from business, some people from the sport, some people who have a good family and try to combine work and family together and make it work very well. So, it’s not one person in particular, but it’s a lot of people.
And it’s not possible for anyone to be perfect. If you like someone, there are also qualities that you don’t like that person as well.
I don’t have a role model. I like different things in different people, and I try to combine all of the good things for myself.
The best advice he ever received
Christian: What is the best advice you received, and who gave it to you?
Aleksey: This may be funny, but it was advice about CrossFit. I tried to do CrossFit and after three months of doing it, I put a video on Instagram. Someone made a comment about this video, “Aleksey, you can snatch 200 kilos, and not everyone in the world can do this, only a few people can do this. And you do push-ups like a beginner. You’re not the best at this, so maybe it will be good to continue to do snatch.” It was funny, but it was real because after three months I understood that my body is too big tall for the CrossFit.
I tried to do CrossFit and I put a video on Instagram. Someone made a comment “Aleksey, you can Snatch 200 kilos, and you do push-ups like a beginner.” So I thought to myself, maybe it’s better to continue to do Snatches.
A typical training dayin the life of Olympic Weightlifter Aleksey Torokhtiy
Christian: How does a typical training day look for you, both now and also as a professional athlete?
Aleksey: When I was a professional athlete, training was very regimented and every day was the same, it was almost like in the movie Groundhog Day. But, that is the path that I found, and that worked for me.
On the national team we had a lot of guys who visited the team and after two months moved back because it was so hard, or it was difficult for them to focus. That’s why, if you have found something and you understand how it works and you like it, you should follow that one way.
In the national team, we had a lot of guys that joined the team and left after two months again. For them, it was too hard and they couldn’t focus. That’s why, if you have found something that works, focus on that one way.
Where can you find Aleksey Torkhtiy
Christian: Where can people find you?
Christian: Great. Thanks for your time.
Aleksey: Thank you for your questions, those were good questions.
Christian: Thank you. Thank you for the wonderful seminar today. Anyone who is interested in improving his Olympic lifting technique, you should seriously consider Aleksey Torokhtiy to come and give a clinic, we had a great seminar. Thanks a lot.