The Aleksandr Fyodorov Short Story – A Synopsis
Who is Aleksandr Fyodorov (aka Alexander Fedorov) and where did he come from?
Aleksandr Fyodorov was born on May 6, 1978 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Although he is only 35 years old, Fyodorov is a retired International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) professional bodybuilder.
Before retiring from bodybuilding, Fyodorov earned his IFBB Pro Card after winning the 2003 European Amateur Championships.
In 2003 and 2004 Fyodorov competed in various Russian and European professional bodybuilding competitions, earning two top three finishes.
In 2004 Fyodorov was a runner up to Ronnie Coleman in the Grand Prix Russia competition. In 2005 and 2006, respectively, Fyodorov competed in the Mr. Olympia and New York Pro, but did not place in either one. Then again, it was during this time that Fyodorov was dealing with a torn pectoral muscle from 2003 as he was trying to compete from 2004 until 2006. The injury eventually forced him to retire from bodybuilding at an early age.
It’s been speculated by many fans that had Fedorov not suffered from such a serious pectoral muscle tear in 2003, he would’ve most likely won both the Grand Prix Russia competition and Mr. Olympia in 2005 and 2006, beating the greatest champions in the history of bodybuilding.
Alexander currently resides in Russia with his wife Natalia, and his daughter Veronica.

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How it All Began
Who can forget the Rocky movies? From Rocky 1 to Rocky VI they were all an outstanding showmanship of strength and sculptured bodies. In Rocky IV, Rocky, the Italian Stallion (Sylvester Stallone), travels half way around the world to Russia to fight Ivan Drago, to avenge his friend and defend the honor of his country. The film shows Drago as a huge, tall, thick, threatening looming shadow of a man.
This is how we imagine 25-year-old Fyodorov must’ve felt on October 31, 2003 – Halloween night - when faced with the large, 290-pound, celebrated and powerful six-time Mr. Olympia, Ronnie Coleman, during the annual Russian Grand Prix in Moscow. In comparison, Fyodorov is 6 feet 1 inch tall and 278 pounds.
When not posing, Fyodorov’s muscles seem to be hanging from the bones; on the other hand, as soon as they are poised, those muscles stand at attention like soldiers, with a tension so remarkable, they seem to be about to burst from their taught, glistening skin.
Fyodorov came in third in the Russian Grand Prix competition against a group of well-known and long-established bodybuilders such as Troy Alves, Art Atwood, Claude Grouxl, Johnnie Jackson, and Rodney St. Cloud.
This win by Fyodorov astonished and surprised many in the audience as well as the judges, who were suddenly whispering questions at each other, such as, “What…who is this?” “Where are you from?” “When and where will we see you again?” Bodybuilding fans were also asking themselves the same questions and wanted to know more about this mysterious titan!
A Young Boy with Big Dreams
As a young boy Fyodorov played football and studied martial arts, but his desire was to be a world class bodybuilder. Yet, when he was twelve years old, he could not complete one pull-up! That didn’t stop him. In 1992 young Fedorov threw himself into weight lifting, and by 1997 he was competing in the German Open with a group of his peers. Although Fedorov was very enthusiastic about bodybuilding, he needed to make money in order to pay the bills, and decided to get a job with a timber company. It wasn’t long before he moved up in the ranks and met the woman that was to be his future wife, Natalia. Not only had he found the love of his life, but his soon to be in-laws offered him a high-paying job with their company.
It’s been said that you can take the man out of bodybuilding, but you can’t take bodybuilding out of the man. In 2001, at the age of 23, Fedorov received a call from the Russian Bodybuilding Fitness Professional League which prompted Fedorov to pick up the weights once again and begin training for more bodybuilding competitions. When he returned to the stage at the young age of 25, Fedorov was still months younger than Ronnie Coleman when he first started competing.
Where it All Happens – The Gym
If you’re looking for Alexander Fyodorov's private gym, it might take some time to find. You see, the gym is located inside one of Russia’s largest graveyards and hidden from public view. The walls are caked with mud, and the equipment is at least 20 years old and rarely, if ever, cleaned.
So why does Fyodorov continue to use this gym? Because his father, Anatoliy Fyodorov, built the gym many years ago.
Anatoliy was born in 1952 and raised in Leningrad, known today as St. Petersburg. He worked as a bus driver, but was enticed into the world of bodybuilding when he met Vladimir Dubinin, a well-known and well-respected bodybuilder from Russia.
It wasn’t long before Anatoliy and a group of his friends pooled their resources together and built a gym in a poorly ventilated basement. That didn’t work out, so they moved the gym a couple of more times until finally settling in the cemetery, where Anatoliy was now working as a grave marker.
Though both men deny it, it's hard to envision that Anatoliy's love of bodybuilding hasn't factored largely into Fyodorov’s decision to pursue the sport as a career. Still, Anatoliy rarely watches his son compete; it's simply too emotional. He gets extremely worked up if he thinks Fyodorov isn't being judged fairly. Once he nearly had a heart attack.
Today, Fyodorov and his dad are still very close, and they still train daily side by side at the gym in the cemetery – the same cemetery that Fyodorov is very much aware his dad will one day live on only as a name on one of the stone markers.
So how will Fyodorov continue on? A journalist once asked him the same question, to which he replied, “Sometimes, being a champion means keeping your eye on the prize, no matter what.”
Fyodorov continues to keep his eye on the prize.

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