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Thread: Interview with Jiri Orsag (CZ) after the ban (23.Oct.2014)

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    Interview with Jiri Orsag (CZ) after the ban (23.Oct.2014)

    The interview was taken on 23rd of October 2014.
    Original article: http://kulturistika.ronnie.cz/c-1997...vy-mustek.html

    The translation might not be 100% but believe you'll get an idea.

    Interveiw with Jiri Orsag. 'Even bottom is a good place to bounce off from.'

    Jiri Orsag didn’t have an usual talent for sports. He didn’t like a ball and wasn’t friends with football (soccer), nor with other sports. Weightlifting on the other hand, was his cup of tea.
    He touched the barbell for the first time in year 2000. After 7 years he brought a bronze medal from the junior championships. The year after, he has been accepted to the Center of Sport (ministry of interior of Czech republic) as a professional weightlifter. Promising results were following, including a successful competition at the London Olympics. People talked about Jiri as one of the greatest weightlifting talent.
    Everybody was waiting what else this native of Znojmo could achieve when all his fans were struck with a crushing news. Jiri Orsag was found positive for doping. A two year ban.
    In few moments from a fan favorite athlete, he was an outcast and drug cheat. He lost his job and so he returned home to Valašsko, where he tries to live how he can.
    He’s not whining, nor regretting. He’s working hard and still dreams his olympic dream.

    Jirko, I remember like it was today when i heard the news on radio that you’ve been positive for doping. How long is it? A year?

    Today it’s exactly a year and a day. I am banned since 23rd of September 2013.

    It must have been a huge fall. How were you holding up then?

    Think that after all quite good. I knew about people who went through something similar, from different reasons (sometimes really from stupid mistake with a supplement), there was a possibility that something like this can happen and it happened. And of course I was not well with it. You are put down, but after time I tell myself that even bottom is a good place to bounce off, so I go along further.

    You come from a little village. How were the locals after the news?

    Quite good. People I know and those which opinion I respect were listening to my explanation. I don’t care about opinion of people, I don’t know. If I should be worried about who thinks what about me, my head would be like a balloon. Some close people who ask me and I explain them even say: “We are your fans, you’ll get back.” So I have support.

    What was the substance they found and what are the effects?

    It was tamoxifen. Everybody says about it’s effects something else, but it should be a substance which should help restore normal testosterone production and should enhance effects of some other banned substances, while other substances were not found in my sample.

    Do you know how the tamoxifen got to you?

    I don’t know and it was not investigated whether it was from some supplement. It was at the end of the preparation phase when everything was going low so I didn’t have any new, not open, packs (supplements). When I would let test some of the open ones they could say “Who knows what have you poured into it.”. But even if something was found, it wouldn’t help anyway. It would only cost money, courts and only thing I would achieve would be that the disqualification would be a half year later and I would suffer in the end more.

    How did this affair changed your relationship to weightlifting as such?

    I would say not in anyway. I layed off for a half year for kind of health rest because the last years I was going from training camp to another training camp, going for max all the time. There was no time for rehab of nagging pains which were dragging along. When something hurt I took painkillers or got an corticoid injection and off we go.

    Was it a relief after the training drill or did you miss it after a while?

    I had quite lot of free time when those two trainings a day were not there. (Laughs) However then you try to find how to fill the time because you have your stereotype that he is suited to and suddenly there’s nothing. Sometimes I had a huge desire to go to a gym, just to workout but I always told myself “no, only after January”. So I got back to training in half of January but I was anxious since December. When someone persuades himself to go to the gym, I had to persuade myself to not to. (laughs)

    Because of the ban, you, as a professional sportsman, have lost the opportunity to not only compete but also your job. Where have you found your living?

    It was hard. I got a degree from police academy and lot of people wondered that I don’t apply when they are looking for people but it’s probably not for me. I still like to train. It costs lot of time and money but I believe that I invest in myself and not to nonsense. I was living from my savings, I had some part time jobs and also I made a trainer course at Pavel Provazek. So now I have a certificate of bodybuilding and fitness instructor so I try to make my living in this area. I work in Rožnov in Fitsport, which is fitness gym with perfect equipment, sadly no weightlifting is possible there.

    So you don’t have to coach weightlifting you can work as a conditioning coach too.

    Of course. Thanks to the course I started to think and train differently. I applied the new knowledge on myself and started to go more into the gym. I even tried a little diet on myself and I lost 12kg of weight.

    That’s not a little diet but full diet! How did you do that?

    Classic. Meat, rice, vegetables. I had counted the amount of protein and carbs. I followed training with lot of sets and reps and also cardio.

    Cardio? Did you enjoy this different style of training than you are accustomed to?

    Well, I did quite a bit. (laughs) It was a good experience. It’s different when you try something on yourself than just read about it. Also the real life differs lot of times. For everybody works something different, because everybody is bit different.

    Having 12kg less must be really evident. How were you feeling and how did it reflect on your performance?

    Even if I was competing in the superheavyweight I was with about 128-130kg the lightest. I went down in the diet to 115kg. Right now I gained a bit again so I have 118kg. Of course it showed on my strength in the beginning, but I trained only with light weights for the first two months and was just playing with it.

    How it was to touch the barbell after half of a year?

    Heavy. I felt like I was just starting with weightlifting. The movements, technique… First few weeks it was all foreign. When you don’t ride a bike for ten years and when he starts, he will go, but he won’t be confident. It’s the same with barbell. You need to become familiar with it again.

    How did your body react? Was it relaxed and ready for training or it was tough?

    On one side it was very heavy, I felt pain everywhere, but it was because I was not used to it. I started slow and basically first month and a half I was going just to a gym to get firmer. That was coming fast, muscle memory works. Quite fast I got into such form that I could start some heavier trainings. When I tried technique for the first time in March, I immediately snatched 150kg. It was a bit shabby and on the first look not that nice but I did it.
    Last edited by matej.polak; 02-26-2015 at 01:09 PM.

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    You train alone so you don’t have anyone to check your technique. Do you think that you can judge your attempts correctly?

    I can say that right now I am able to tell whether I have a mistake somewhere. I don’t say that I can correct it right away, it’s not that easy to focus on that when you are on heavier weights, but I try to watch it and I feel whether I am in front or back, whether it’s shaky or I am in front on my toes. Simply I feel whether it’s not like it should be.

    How many times a week do you train now and how is going your performance?

    I train 3 times a week in a gym. When it comes to weightlifting I don’t train 8-9 times a week as I was used to, I lift 3 times a week but I got to a 185kg snatch, which is 5kg below my competition best. In clean and jerk it’s worse. I can lift 220kg, that is 20kg below my personal best but perhaps that’s the lower bodyweight, moreover my legs are 10cm smaller than I had in my top form. Also my back is not the strongest because my hips are painful. It’s not like I cannot train, but for example I can’t deadlift from 250 up, I have to go with 200-210kg to keep really nice technique and not get to the pain.

    Do you have some training plan or it’s just about going to lift or exercise?

    I don’t have any specific training plan at the moment. I have some system in my head which is however very simple. I come, I do snatch, clean and jerk, do squats and that’s it. Then I go to the gym for some accessory workout. The only thing I have a system for right now are the squats which I do 3 times a week in the frame of a Russian routine of 6 weeks.

    What is this routine about?

    You squat 3 times a week. For the first three weeks you do one weight with 6 sets. During those three weeks you change only the number of reps. In the next here weeks you go into intensity. I am at 230kg and it’s last week of volume so today I will go 6x6 squats with 230kg.

    Jirko, where do you take the motivation for such heavy trainings without the vision of competition?

    I will have a competition and I know exactly when. I would like to go to the world champion ships next November so I train for it. I would love to go to Olympics but I have to have two international competitions before that. For me it results in the worlds to be my first competition which I can catch, the next one should be Europe 2016, which is qualification competition before Olympics. These two are the only international competitions I am able to catch. It can’t be other way.

    Do you think that it is possible to well prepare yourself in the conditions you have now?

    I see it for more than 3 times a week even if it’s a lot for me when I have to make a living along. I will make the time even if I would have to train till 10 in the evening. I don’t care. I always say that if you want, you will always find the time.

    How far before the worlds you have to train seriously?

    At least half a year before, because I have to adapt to higher training volume. Now when I have heavy training on Monday and Wednesday I am really tired on Friday. I am not accustomed to train that much so I will not be able to regenerate. I have to start slow and gradually get to two phases and again higher training volume.

    Jirko, are you prepared that when you get back you will be much more tested and looked after and that you will carry the mark forever with you?

    I think that after all I went through I am ready for absolutely everything. Otherwise I don’t know, what is the idea of people but I am looked after even now. It doesn’t matter that I am banned I am monitored the same as I was in the national team. I got a control just three months ago.

    How? Why when you don’t compete?

    Because they know that I want to get back and such are the rules.

    The engine of your endeavors is evidently the Olympics. Is it because it is the pinnacle of every athlete or you liked the London that much?

    Both. Olympics belongs to my biggest sport experiences. Maybe it’s because that I am not used to such audience where thousands of people are watching and waiting what are you going to show them on the platform. Also because of the tracksuit it’s evident that you didn't came just for watching so when you are walking in the city everybody wants to take picture with you. Such attention brings you excitement, so I want to experience this one more time.

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    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    Looking forward to reading this later. Thanks for sharing!
    Currently reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

    Just Finished Reading: City of Thieves by David Benioff

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    Member deeby's Avatar
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    good read, thanks matej

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    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    I don't know if I buy his story, but the rest is very inspirational.
    Currently reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

    Just Finished Reading: City of Thieves by David Benioff

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFF View Post
    I don't know if I buy his story, but the rest is very inspirational.
    I thought the exact same.

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    Training with no coach and putting up those numbers? Damn.

    And 6x6 230kg... lol that's insane.

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    On his facebook he posted a 200 push press pb, and i believe I saw some videos of him snatching 190kg. He says that his snatch numbers are consistent with what he was doing before his ban but clean and jerk is down quite a bit.

    After the ban he took about 6 months off, and was pretty much just lying around not lifting at all. In that time his legs shrunk by about 10cm (he was quite happy about this as he can now actually buy jeans which fit him!) and he was also able to let his wrists heal up.

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