Olympic Weightlifting gym in Toronto offering weightlifting group & personal coaching, seminars and international weightlifting training camps



I had the trip of a lifetime

I had the trip of a lifetime when I went to Bulgaria for a two-week weightlifting training camp with Alex Varbanov.

(Niki Darbyson, NCCP Certified Weightlifitng Coach, Ontario Weightlifter)

It was an incredible two weeks-coach Varbanov helped me perfect my form on the snatch and clean and jerk, but most notable for me, he helped me figure out why I was injuring myself.  I took away so much personally, and it made me a better coach too.
Seven years ago I never could have predicted that I would be a weightlifter, let alone a weightlifting coach who gets to learn from coaches like Alex Varbanov. And the best part–when I wanted to start my own non-profit teen weightlifting club back in 2012 (Lift Huron) they advised me on the unique nature of coaching teens. They are truly some of the most helpful mentors I’ve ever had. They’re awesome, and if you get the chance to go to Bulgaria with them, take it! It really is an incredible experience. Thanks for being game-changers in my life, Alex and Irina!

I really learned a lot

The course was awesome and I really learned a lot.  Based on my experience with Olympic lifting courses, in general, I don’t feel that courses are a good place for beginners to start.   

My recommendation would be to lift with an experienced lifter (you really need a 1 on 1 mentor for this stuff) to learn the basic lifts and after that to go to a course to learn to teach/coach the lifts.  

The course was very well organized and gave cues for perfecting lifts (that are already passable).  It also gave some good ideas on how to train Olympic lifting for competition and how to get stronger or correct your lifts.                                   

Tom Stoltz(Level 4 Trainer & Assistant Fitness Manager, GoodLife Fitness Mt. Pleasant and Davisville)

It was a fantastic course!

Getting what I would consider as individual attention from someone as accomplished in the sport was incredible. The training ideas, tips and techniques have been invaluable in my training since then. My mental approach to lifting has definitely improved a result. Also, I really enjoyed the personal stories and history of the sport. I am not a personal trainer and I would recommend this course to anyone interested in improving their Olympic lifting.                                 

Happy Holidays, Jason

5 highlights

5 highlights for me:

1) A very through Technique focus seminar.

2) A strong Practical Application focus (Instruction for Periodizing a 12 week program design for competition)

3) Learn from a World Record Holder and Proven Olympic Champion.

4) Take your personal as well as Client workouts to the next level by introducing Olympic Lifting into their program design.

5) 80 % of the course was practical demonstration and physical application vs. 20 % theory.Get Ready To Lift!!!This was an excellent course. I truly enjoyed it and would recommend to all PT’s – beginners or veterans.                                                                                                  

Daniel Rao –Fitness Manager – Toronto Delisle

Varbanov School Certification Course

“I am a beginner to the world of weightlifting, having only a limited exposure to the Clean & Jerk and the Snatch through CrossFit. I signed up for the Varbanov School Certification Course hoping to increase my understanding and abilities in performing the olympic lifts, and will admit that I was svery intimidated by these complex movements. 

Alex and Irina were wonderful coaches and were able to communicate the basics of the Olympic lifts in a way that made them seem simple, and not the least bit scary. I can’t count the number of little tips and pointers that I picked up over the course of the weekend, all of which have proven to be extremely valuable. By the end of the weekend, I had managed to add 20 lbs to my Front Squat PR… the little things do make a difference! 

Beyond that, there was extensive discussion surrounding coaching and programming for the sport of weightlifting, all of which was very new to me. I enjoyed these conversations, and learned a lot that I’m sure I will be applying in the future. In the end, I got everything I was looking for out of the Varbanov School Certification Course. It was a fantastic way for a beginner to get a thorough introduction to weightlifting, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anybody with an interest to the Olympic lifts.” 

Grey Thompson

Varbanov School of Weightlifting cert course

I just did the Varbanov School of Weightlifting cert course and I HIGHLY recommend it. The Varbanov’s are incredible coaches and people!

Carlo Celotti – Strenght and Conditioning Coach and Holistic Nutritionist

Fell in love with weightlifting

Fell in love with weightlifting all over again. Thank you Coach Alexander Varbanov Alexandrov!” 

Tania Tetrault Vrga – Founder & Head Coach -CrossFit Winnipeg

CFW coaching staff

“As many of you know, the CFW coaching staff spent this past weekend with Coach Alexander Varbanov and his family, as well as Tyler Touchette from Cornwall for an Olympic Weightlifting seminar.

A little bit about Alex: has set 10 world records in his competitive career, including a 382.5 kg Total (Snatch + Clean & Jerk) at a 75 kg bodyweight. For those of us who can’t quite grasp that feat when measure in kilos, we are talking 841 lbs in two lifts for a man tipping the scales at less than 165 lbs. He holds an Olympic Bronze medal from 1988 in Seoul, and is considered by many to be one of the top lifters of the 20th century. His wife Irina, who is a weightlifting referee herself and helped translate when Alex spoke Bulgarian, accompanied him. Also a huge part of weekend was watching his twelve-year-old son Nicky demonstrate the lifts. Involved in the sport since the age of six, Nicky competes in the 45 kg weight class and shows both incredible speed and athleticism, as well as maturity beyond his years. Not to mention strength. In one of the last sessions of the weekend, Nicky was demonstrating a max effort front squat. He matched his PR… of 225#! To respect his personal privacy, we will not post pictures or video to the website, but ask one of the coaches to show you some video of his lifts. You will be floored. Read the whole article Takeaways from the Olympic Lifting Seminar with Coach Varbanov by Quinn Taylor

“You see there are many people who believe they understand this sport and even more so the ‘Bulgarian Method’, but the truth is – they don’t.. They will tell you different of course, but why not just listen to someone who’s been involved, competed, dominated, and coached in the exact system. Kind of a no brainer. Coach kept it simple and worked nonstop to make sure everyone understood ‘the basics’.” Tyler Touchette (Caveman Strong) Here is the whole text about coach Alex Varbanov Seminar hosted at Academy of Lions in Toronto.

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