Nicu Vlad

Nicolae "Nicu" Vlad (born 1 November 1963) is a retired heavyweight weightlifter from Romania. He competed for Romania at the 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996 Olympics and won a gold, a silver and a bronze medal. He won the world title in 1984, 1986 and 1990 and European title in 1985 and 1986 and set world records in the snatch in 1986 and 1993.[2] Between 1991 and 1996, he lived in Australia and competed for it internationally.[1] In 2006, he was elected member of the International Weightlifting Federation Hall of Fame.[3] He is still especially noteworthy for achieving the heaviest-ever snatch of double-bodyweight -- 200.5kg in the 100kg lifting in the 100 kg class.

Nicu Vlad
Nicu Vlad.jpg
Personal information
Born1 November 1963 (1963-11) (age 57)
Piscu, Romania[1]
Height181 cm (5 ft 11 in)[1]


Vlad was born in a family of three brothers and one sister in a village of Piscu in Galați County. His mother was a housewife and father worked for the national railway carrier Căile Ferate Române; he did not do any particular sport, but was a strong man weighing 100 kg at 172 cm height. After completing a school in Galați, Vlad moved to Bucharest.[4]

In 1990, Nicu and his coach, Dragomir Cioroslan came to the United States to train at various places around the country.[5]

Between 1991 and 1996, Vlad lived in Australia and competed for it at the 1994 Commonwealth Games and two world championships during this time. In 1996, he returned to Romania, but still has strong ties to Australia visiting regularly as his two children continue to live there. Nicu is married to the former rower Cristina Vlad.[4]

Nicu took up weightlifting in 1978 and retired after the 1996 Olympics to become a national coach. In 2001, he was elected president of the Romanian Weightlifting Federation, and in 2004 vice president of the Romanian Olympic Committee. He also served as first vice president of the International Weightlifting Federation.[6]

Romanian deadliftEdit

Owing to Vlad, the flat-backed, semi-stiff legged barbell lift (with a form similar to a deadlift) came to be known as the Romanian deadlift. He was seen by some American lifters doing the deadlifts in the Olympic training hall prior to either winning a medal, setting a world record or both. Since he is Romanian, the exercise got dubbed the Romanian deadlift, and that is the name most people know the exercise by.

As the exercise does not involve lifting the weight off the ground, it is not technically a deadlift, but rather a powerful compound accessory movement that strengthens the same muscles.[4][7]


  1. ^ a b c Nicu Vlad. Sports-reference
  2. ^ Nicu Vlad.
  3. ^ "Weightlifting Hall of Fame". International Weightlifting Federation.
  4. ^ a b c Mihai Mincan (9 August 2014). "INTERVIU Nicu Vlad: „Pe stadion mă aplaudau 110.000 de oameni. Şi eu aveam 20 de ani"" (in Romanian). Retrieved 27 May 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Lessons from Romania: Nicu Vlad at the Olympic Training Center". Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  6. ^ Nicu Vlad. Romanian Olympic Committee
  7. ^ Schmitz, Jim. "Jim Schmitz on the Lifts: Romanian DeadLift". IronMind. the “discovery” of the RDL was in my gym, The Sports Palace, in San Francisco in 1990 .. Nicu Vlad, of Romania .. proceeded to do this lift, a combination stiff-leg deadlift and regular deadlift, but actually neither. Someone watching asked what the exercise was he was doing. Nicu just shrugged his shoulders and said it was to make his back strong for the clean. Dragomir also said the same; it was just a lift that Nicu had developed for his back and clean. .. Someone taking notes asked what this lift was called. .. Nicu and Dragomir didn’t have a name, so I said, “Let’s call it the Romanian deadlift or RDL for short,” and every one agreed