Watch Olympic Gold Medalist Aleksey Torokhtiy Make His Transition Into CrossFit

At BarBend we always love when elite athletes try out different forms of stength sports. For example, Max Lang, a 77kg German weightlifter “suffering” through a CrossFit® class and giving his thoughts about it. In an odd way, it makes the rest of us feel a little more human, seeing even the elite athletes out experience similar struggles we all feel.

Aleksey Torokhtiy, a 105kg weightlifter from Ukraine who took gold in the 2012 Olympic games with a 412kg total, recently gave CrossFit a try. Currently, Torokhtiy is retired from formal competition, but he still remains active with strength sports.

This past summer in July he hit a 245kg and 255kg (561 lb) push jerk at the CrossFit Games, which is possibly the heaviest ever recorded on video. Torokhtiy has now posted four videos on his YouTube channel of his CrossFit journey, and honestly, we’re hoping he continues to do so.

Part One

The first video features Torokhtiy discussing his transformation from weightlifting to functional fitness. He’s joined by CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Dmytriy Melkinov and taken through a normal first day Melkinov’s gym.

Melkinov takes Torokhtiy through a series of assessments such as pullups with chest hitting the bar, handstand pushups, and toes to bar. 

Part Two

Part two of Torokhtiy’s video series involves Melkinov taking him through a workout that he’s told to do at a comfortable pace. Needless to say, it appears even a comfortable pace is somewhat of a struggle for the Olympic champ.

The whole video involves Torokhtiy making faces that are far from enthused and energized through the workout.

Part Three

For part three, the workouts begin to pick up in intensity and Toroktiy’s first task is 10-minutes total of pull-ups (even minutes) and handstand pushups (odd minutes). Next is a front squat at 10 reps x 10 sets, performed at 100kg (which Toroktiy points out is probably 40-50% his 1-RM).

After the squats – Torokhtiy mentions that in Olympic weightlifting reps never go past 4-6 – as he struggles to catch his breath. The final exercises are a 3×3 complex with 25kcal row, 20 burpees, and 15 box jumps with no time limit. I’m not sure why, but there’s something about watching gold medalist Torokhtiy do multiple burpees that’s so satisfying.

Part Four

In my opinion, this was the best video yet. It involves Torokhtiy working on rings before doing a crazy amount of strength endurance for his legs. The first exercises are a 12-minute EMOM of toes to bar and ring pushups (dips). Not going to lie, I think I may be a little better than Torokhtiy at ring dips.

The second part of the video is the best of all the videos yet. Melkinov and Torokhtiy work to set a 20-rep max for walking lunges. They stop the assessment at 120kg (264 lbs) and the quad pump Torokhtiy has by the end of it is ridiculous – I’m honestly jealous.

After the lunges, Torokhtiy comments that he feels as though, “tomorrow his butt will tear off.” If that volume wasn’t enough they finish with a 30-minute assault bike ride, which concludes the video.

When will these videos end? We’re still not sure, but from the looks of it – Torokhtiy is making some great progress in his transition to the CrossFit world.

Who knows…maybe the 2018 CrossFit Games are calling Torokhtiy’s name.

Feature photo from Aleksey Torokhtiy’s YouTube Channel

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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