Alexander Fedorov, the Physique that Shocked the Bodybuilding World

The 10 training principles that helped a skinny Russian kid expand into a legend



He has never been one to stick to the same exercises and techniques for workout after workout. Instead, he regularly switched up all sorts of variables, including exercise selection, exercise order, rep schemes, and intensity techniques. “I never do the exact same workout for a muscle that I did the time before,” he said. “I don’t want to have the same results, so why would I do the same workout?”


Many bodybuilders split their thigh training into separate quadriceps and hamstring sessions. The argument for doing so is simple. These are both large body parts and are crucial to contest success. Furthermore, if you hit hams after quads in the same workout, you may not have the energy and intensity to give both sides of your legs the barrage

they need to grow. Fedorov carried the leg breakup as far as possible by putting three days of rest between sessions for quads and hams. This is especially significant because the one thing even his toughest critics conceded about him during his 2003–06 pro years is he had superb legs. His hamstrings from the side were arguably the greatest of all time. And he always gave hams their own 13-set session far away from quad day.


During five of his seven workouts (biceps, hamstrings, back, triceps, and quadriceps), Fedorov did an exercise that worked his left and right sides separately. To do this, he even incorporated the aforementioned unique exercises, one-arm low-cable rows and cable leg adductions. “Whenever possible, I want to include an exercise that lets me fatigue each of my two sides alone,” he stated. “Your left and right sides are never exactly the same in terms of strength, so if you include a one-arm or one-leg exercise, you knw you can push each side to failure during those sets.”


He switched it up when he hit delts. His shoulder workout consisted entirely of supersets. Each of his three superset combinations was focused on a different deltoid head. Dumbbell front raises paired with underhand shoulder presses targeted his front delts. Dumbbell side laterals coupled with medium-grip upright rows

worked his medial delts. Both of these duos had the added benefit of pre-exhaustion because he did an isolation exercise before a compound exercise. Finally, cable rear laterals teamed with bentover dumbbell rear laterals hit his rear delts.


At 25, Alexander Fedorov met and even surpassed his goal when he held his own with Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler in his pro debut. But his career appeared to end disappointingly just three years later. Now he's returned to the pro competition circuit. After eight years away from the stage, he’s aiming higher. Victory. - FLEX