Aleksey Lovchev Hits a 200kg Axle Clean Thruster

The axle clean & thruster isn’t a move you see performed on stage very often, but Aleksey Lovchev probably just made a record in the lift. The twenty-eight-year-old Russian posted this clip of a lift he made at an event that roughly translates to “Theater of Strength.” Look at how darn easy that clean looked.

Yesterday at the performance in the “Theater of Strength,” one of the exercises was lifting the “Apollon’s Axle”.

This was my first 200 kilograms on this lift! Did you see that anyone would raise the “bar”? 😉💪🇷🇺

Seems like that “raise the bar” pun exists in Russian, too.

The thruster is a tricky lift to compare with the traditional Apollon’s axle because while thrusters can be more taxing on the lungs and cardio system than a clean and press, which at least gives you a few seconds to catch your breath in between the movements. But all that momentum also allows you to lift more weight.

[Learn the finer points of how to get the most out of your thrusters here!]

That’s why it’s a little disingenuous to call this “just sixteen kilograms off the world record” as some people are saying about Lovchev’s lift. That’s a reference to Eddie Hall’s record, but that’s an axle clean and press.

We did however recently see Lovchev make a 171kg Axle clean and jerk.

Aleksey Lovchev is currently serving a multi-year doping ban that’s scheduled to wrap up in 2019. The man made a mammoth 264-kilogram clean & jerk at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships in Houston, which was considered a world record until he tested positive for ipamorelin, a hormone growth drug. He was then disqualified from the 2015 WWC and the lift was nullified. (The record still sits at 263 kilograms, made by Hossein Rezazadeh at the Athens Olympics.)

The 2019 end date for his ban means he can’t qualify for Tokyo and it seems unlikely we’ll see him return to the international weightlifting stage. Meanwhile, he’s been keeping busy with strongman, experimenting with lifts like Apollon’s Axle and a log lift like this pretty solid 187-kilogram weight.

Maybe we’ll see him head to some strongman competitions in the near future. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy his acting turn as the star of this Russian weightlifting drama.

Featured image via @lovchev_aleksey on Instagram.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.