Friday, July 29, 2016

IWF: All Russian Weightlifters and Weightlifting Officials Barred from Rio Olympics

On July 24th, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Russian athletes will be allowed to compete subject to final approval of their International Federation (IF). Today, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), the governing body of Olympic Weightlifting, decided to ban the Russian Weightlifting Federation from having Athletes and Technical Officials participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Lifting is scheduled to start in just over a week.

That means there will be no Russian weightlifters or weightlifting officials participating in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

An excerpt from the IWF’s published decision is embedded below:

According to Article 12.4 of the IWF Anti-Doping Policy,

“If any Member Federation or members or officials thereof, by reason of conduct connected with or associated with doping or anti-doping rule violations, brings the sport of weightlifting into disrepute, the IWF Executive Board may, in its discretion, take such action as it deems fit to protect the reputation and integrity of the sport.”

The IWF Executive Board confirmed that the Russian Weightlifting Federation and Russian weightlifters brought the weightlifting sport into disrepute.

The Russian Weightlifting Federation had previously nominated eight athletes for participation in the games. After last week’s IOC announcement, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) was forced to withdraw Tatiana Kashirina (+75KG) and Anastasia Romanova (69KG) due to previous doping suspensions; both athletes had served and completed their previous suspensions prior to 2016. 

The remaining athletes on the Russian roster will also be barred from the competition. These lifters are:

  • Tima Turieva (63KG)
  • Oleg Chen (69KG)
  • Artem Okulov (85KG)
  • Adam Maligov (94KG)
  • David Bedzhanyan (105KG)
  • Ruslan Albegov (+105KG)

The IWF statement also implies more names associated with positive retests from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games may soon be released.

As of today there are 7 confirmed AAFs for Russian weightlifters from the combined reanalysis process of London and Beijing, while the second wave of Beijing reanalyses is not yet in a stage when the names and countries involved can be publicly disclosed.

*AAFs stands for “Adverse Analytical Findings” in relation to a positive doping test.

USA Weightlifting has already released a statement from CEO Phil Andrews commending the IWF board’s actions in response to doping violations that came to light this summer.

USA Weightlifting fully supports the brave and strong action taken by the IWF Executive Board, both in June and July, to protect both the ethics of our sport and clean athletes within our sport, and the pathway they are building towards a clean and level playing field for our sport.

To take the place of the Russian athletes, the IWF has reallocated the 3 woman’s spots and 5 men’s spots to the following National Olympic Committees.

Woman: Albania, Georgia, Macedonia
Men: Belgium, Croatia, El Salvador, Mongolia, Serbia

The post IWF: All Russian Weightlifters and Weightlifting Officials Barred from Rio Olympics appeared first on BarBend.

Brent Fikowski’s CrossFit Games Recaps Are the Closest We’ll Come to Competing There

Want to Try Strongman? Follow These Steps to Be the Best Rookie, Period

So your curiosity is piqued and you want to give strongman training a try, but how? Like anything other sport, you need equipment, guidance and the right attitude. I want to show you how you can find great people to work with and fit in from the start. You can apply the tips here to any group training situation, be it CrossFit, powerlifting, cycling or obstacle courses. You never get a second chance on that first impression, so start off strong!

Find a Location

While most sports have more local groups than you can possibly attend, Strongman is still limited in that regard. This comprehensive guide from Starting Strongman is most likely your best place to start. Hopefully you can find a gym within driving distance, and in larger cities you might even have multiple options. A dedicated person might be prepared to drive further than the closest group, depending on the gym and their goals. It was not uncommon to have guests visit my club after a two hour drive – and to be there on a regular basis.

Stone Loading

Call First

Due to the nature of the beast, many places have set Strongman training times and days. Often the equipment isn’t allowed to be used otherwise. Some of these groups meet at private homes or even from storage lockers so you should know that before you arrive.

What to Ask

A Strongman group or club is usually very tight knit but also welcoming of people with the right attitude. Ability often comes second to being positive. Find out if they are accepting new members, what the fees are, start and finish times and the typical level of ability. If it’s a high-level group and you are straight-up new, let them know and they will often make sure you are well taken care of. Just be respectful and listen more than you talk.

Follow the Unspoken Rules

  • A start time is not a suggestion. A group with a 10:30 start time usually warms up together at that time. This means don’t roll up at 10:30, saunter in, sign a waiver, pay your fee, get your shoes on and ask “what are we doing today?” by 10:45. There’s a rhythm, try to follow it.
  • Get into the flow of the progression. Most groups follow an order. Remember who you follow and be ready. Nothing is worse than repeatedly asking a rookie “Are you going or not?”.
  • Help load and unload the apparatus all the time. The veterans are most likely giving you a ton of free coaching. You should show some respect by doing the dirty work.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s your first day on the log and everyone’s working triples. You take 180 and struggle to make it for a single. When the log goes up to 200 either bow out or ask if it’s OK to work with a lighter weight. It might be, it may not be. But it’s definitely not cool to jump on the platform and nearly kill yourself with a weight you can’t handle. Every event day is not max rep day.
  • Ask for help. If you aren’t understanding an event, have a veteran help or watch till you are comfortable.
  • Try your best, always. Things like stones are very difficult and intimidating the first time. I’ve had new people take longer than they should to get ready for them, then not pay attention to the instruction, stand over it, attempt it for a microsecond, stand-up, declare they can’t do it, and walk off. This is a sure fire way to aggravate those waiting to go and who are in a serious frame of mind.
  • Clean up. Plates, tacky, stones, tires, and everything else that goes into a session needs to go back where it belongs. Pitch in when it’s time to go home and put it away.
  • If you are given advice, take it.
  • Thank everyone who was there and especially those that helped you.
  • If you say you are coming back next week, do it.
  • If the group uses community supplies like tacky, chalk and tacky remover, chip in or bring some for everyone to use. If they don’t, order your own.
  • Be a person who encourages others and that people want to be around.
  • It’s never a bad idea to buy a six pack for the guy or girl running the show week in and out.

All-in-all it’s important to add to the group and not detract from it. A strong group will better your performance immediately. A regular group often competes together or will support each other at contests. If you are an asset you can help them on their journey and they can aid you on yours. Now find your new team and get started.

Photo courtesy Michele Wozniak, Strongman Corporation. Athlete Danni Schwalbe.

Mike Gill is a retired 105kg professional strongman and currently a broadcaster for Strongman Corporation. He has a background in all weight disciplines and has competed in Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Weightlifting with a lifetime best 252 kg total. He can be reached for coaching at Michaelgill100 [at], @prostrongman on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, and on Facebook.

The post Want to Try Strongman? Follow These Steps to Be the Best Rookie, Period appeared first on BarBend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

International Weightlifting Federation Suspends 11 More Lifters After London Retests

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) announced today that International Olympic Committee (IOC) retesting of London samples has returned positive tests for 11 weightlifters. This is the latest in a series of announcements over the last three months announcing suspensions for lifters following 2008 and 2012 Olympic sample retests.

The findings — as indicated in the IWF announcement — came as part of a second wave of IOC retests for the 2012 London Olympic Games. While some in the international weightlifting community suspected suspensions from 2008 and 2012 retests were done, neither the IWF nor the IOC confirmed that was the case.

Information regarding previous suspensions from earlier this summer can be found here, here, and here.

The eleven lifters affected in this announcement are:

Intigam Zairov (Azerbaijan) (already suspended following Beijing retests)
Nataliya Zabolotnaya (Russia)
Rauli Tsirekidze (Georgia)
Almas Uteshov (Kazakhstan)
Svetlana Tzarukaeva (Russia)
Sibel Simsek (Turkey)
Iryna Kulesha (Belarus)
Hripsime Khurshudyan (Armenia) (already suspended following Beijing retests)
Alexsandr Ivanov (Russia)
Cristina Iovu (Moldova)
Andrey Demanov (Russia)

2012 Olympic medalists from the above list include Alexsandr Ivanov (originally silver in men’s 94kg), Cristina Iovu (originally bronze in women’s 53kg), Nataliya Zabolotnaya, (originally silver in women’s 75kg), Iryna Kulesha (originally bronze in women’s 75kg), Svetlana Tzarukaeva (originally silver in women’s 63kg), and Hripsime Khurshudyan (originally bronze in women’s +75kg).

For reference, all three original 2012 podium finishers in the women’s 75kg class (Zabolotnaya, Kulesha, and Svetlana Podobedova of Kazakhstan, suspended following an earlier retest) have now tested positive, and assuming their suspensions are upheld, each will lose their London Olympic medals. Lydia Valentin (Spain) will presumably become Olympic champion.

The announcement also means that, pending medal reassignments, Canada’s Christine Girard becomes the women’s 63kg champion, as both Maiya Maneza (Kazakhstan) and Svetlana Tzarukaeva (Russia) have now been suspended following London retests.

An excerpt of the IWF announcement — including which substances each of the lifters tested positive for — is embedded below.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 12.41.23 PM

A video of Ivanov’s performance from the 2013 World Weightlifting Championships is embedded below.

BarBend contributor Mike Graber contributed reporting to this article.

The post International Weightlifting Federation Suspends 11 More Lifters After London Retests appeared first on BarBend.

Rogue to Sell Equipment Used By Your Favorite Athletes From The CrossFit Games

America’s Strongest Nerds? Squats & Science Opens NYC’s First 24 Hour Barbell Gym

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Let’s End This Debate: Does Lifting Weights Make Women Bulky?

Russian Officials: Tatiana Kashirina and Anastasia Romanova Out of Rio Olympics

Who Will Become the Strongest Woman in the World?

On August 27 & 28th, Jacksonville, Florida will host the biggest Women’s Professional Strongman contest ever held. With a guaranteed prize money payout of $10,000 and Reebok sponsoring the event, you can be sure these athletes are training harder than ever and will bring their best to Prime Osborn Convention Center. As the Professional class is just a few months old, many people do not know who these amazing athletes are. I’m going to give you my picks for the ones to watch on these six events:

  • Log clean and press for reps
  • Yoke carry
  • Deadlift medley
  • Keg Load
  • Stone of Steel over the bar
  • Circus Dumbbell clean & press for reps

Lightweight Women (140 pounds and under)

Jessica Kite: This athlete hails from Bloomington, IL and is one of the fiercest competitors I have had the pleasure to watch. I’ve seen her live at 2015 Nationals and the 2016 Arnold World Championships and she’s always exciting to watch. She can always find one more rep and doesn’t walk off the floor before the time clock runs out. I expect her to do well on the deadlift medley and make the top three.

Leslie Hoffines: This mother of two earned her pro card with a second place finish at this year’s Arnold and is also the oldest competitor in the contest. Looking young and moving fast, she’s a definite threat for first place. Well rounded; she can press, pull and run, making her a solid athlete. First or second is a possibility here.


Rachel Pyron: This five foot tall competitor is never the underdog. With a laundry list of titles to her name she is no stranger to victory. She packs her frame with every ounce of muscle possible and sets a hard pace to beat. Living in Iowa has given her access to some great training partners and the great outdoors. I am certain she expects nothing short of first place and would be disappointed with anything less.

Middleweights (180 pounds and under)

This class is packed. It’s the largest in the contest and promises to be the most competitive.  Pound for pound these are the fastest and strongest athletes in strength sports. Don’t miss this class!

Danielle Schwalbe: This woman is possibly the best in the overhead events pound-for-pound in the United States, male or female. She sets a blistering pace on any clean and press event and with two in this contest she is going to dominate here. She struggles with the deadlift but I am sure she will have the ability to complete this medley. Always coming in a bit lighter than 180 lbs, her recent training videos are showcasing a more muscular and filled out athlete.

Kaitlin Burgess: The powerhouse from Texas is a killer at any contest. She’s got the ability to win any event she attends, she’s just needing the right opportunity and this could be it. If she stays consistent through the contest she could take the top spot.  She also has one of the best coaches in the country, Lightweight Professional Bryan Barrett who also coaches UFC fighter Johny Hendricks. She’s steadily improved under his program and this contest will give us a great progress report.


Kimberly Lawrence: The accidental middleweight pro. After getting ill prior to Nationals, this 140 pound athlete couldn’t make the cut and wound up in the middleweights. She won her pro status there and took that to the Arnold where she was victorious. Now filling out her frame in the mid 160’s she’s a solid favorite for SWW. Great on the keg, deadlift and stone, she is on everyone’s list as the woman to beat. The payout here and keeping her number one status will make her hard to beat.

I would be remiss to not point out Kristen Johnson and Canadian Allison Lockhart. Both athletes finished just off the podium at the Arnold but earned their invite to Jacksonville. Their online videos show them both hitting big deadlift numbers since March and are motivated to get a top three finish or their first major victory.

The Open (>180 pounds)

Julie Rader: A relative newcomer to the sport, Julie just missed a win at Nationals in 2015 by one rep. She’s powerful and agile and has her work cut out for her. I know that she has put in the work preparing for this contest and has improved on the Stone of Steel. She finished fourth at the Arnold this year and that makes her a threat to a podium spot at this contest.

Britteny Cornelius: Placing second at the Arnold means she is a serious athlete and she will be bringing her A-game to Florida. She has youth on her side and brute strength. She will need to be more comfortable on the stone than she was in March and look to be in a solid rhythm on the press events.


Kristen Rhodes: Never crowned but possibly the strongest woman ever to compete. There are no holes in her game except for an extended break from competing. She has won almost every contest she has entered and often leaves a large gap to second place. The smart money is on her taking first dominantly at this contest and then setting her sights on the new Arnold Women’s Classic in March.

As a bonus, the best 231lb men in the country will be competing for a Professional Card as well. There are at least 10 men in this contest ready to make that transition, so this promises to be a hard fought battle. I’d keep my attention on Pat Wilson as the odds on favorite. This young athlete has had superior performances since he began in the sport and has only been held back by injury. Whatever the outcome, this promises to be one of the best events in 2016.

Mike Gill is a retired 105kg professional strongman and currently a broadcaster for Strongman Corporation. He has a background in all weight disciplines and has competed in Bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Weightlifting with a lifetime best 252 kg total. He can be reached for coaching at Michaelgill100 [at], @prostrongman on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, and on Facebook

The post Who Will Become the Strongest Woman in the World? appeared first on BarBend.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Complete Guide to (Actually Enjoying) Your First Strongman Competition

“I’m pretty sure it’s here. It says on Google Maps; we are right on top of it.”

“Yeah, but I don’t see anything.”
“Maybe that warehouse right there?”

My dad and I are lost and trying to find where I am about to compete in my first Strongman competition. I’m nervous and being lost isn’t really helping.

What is a Strongman competition like? You may have watched events like World’s Strongest Man and thought it was incredibly cool (which it is), and upon hearing that amateur Strongman not only existed, but is growing rapidly, decided to do a competition yourself. You may be really apprehensive. You may not know what the hell you’re getting into. You may be right to be nervous. But only because it’s totally normal to nervous before you push yourself to do something new, exciting, thrilling, fun and a little crazy.

After more driving literally in circles around a few empty buildings and texting and calling my coach, we ascertain that we are, in fact, in the wrong location, and that the venue recently moved. So, we were kind of right. Google was wrong.

By the time we arrive, the parking lot is starting to fill. A young man in an orange shirt asks us if we are looking for the competition and points us to the designated competitor space. My dad makes a joke about him being too short for a Strongman contest. Classic Brennan Humor. Unfortunately for my friends, it’s genetic.

We enter a door in the side of yet another warehouse. There is a ton of space and I stand there for a moment, unsure what to do, until I notice the check in table.

“Hello! How are you?!” I announce myself cheerfully, attempting to both be cool and likable. I don’t know who’s who and because I’m incredibly nervous, I worry that I’ll accidentally be rude to a judge or something.

“Name?” the tall bald man man behind the table does not share my caffeinated enthusiasm.

“NAS Card?”

“Oh shit, no, uh…I need to buy one. Please.”

I had yet to purchase my federation membership card, a requirement for competing, whether you’re Novice or in the Open division. There are two Amateur Strongman federations, United States Strongman and Strongman Corporation. They both require membership of all competitors, and you can almost always buy that membership the day of. I’m in the Novice division, so I don’t have to weigh in. This varies. Some competitions have weight divided Novice divisions, depending on how many athletes sign up. This one has a Lightweight and Heavyweight for the Open Division, but not Novice.

I get my t-shirt, whose cartoon visage is headlined by the competition’s name.


Serious shirt for serious competitors.

One of the things I find incredibly charming about Strongman is that everyone is in on the spirit: contests bear grandiose titles like “Battle of the Thunder Gods,” “Clash of Giants,” etc, and trophies depict musclebound figures brandishing swords, barbells, the world itself; and other colorful variations on the theme of mythological strength and power. And it’s a few dozen regular-seeming people lifting, pulling, hauling and pressing odd and everyday objects in a warehouse in the middle of Pennsylvania. In Strongman, we take things that could be simply grueling, dirty and mundane and make them exhilarating, glorifying and heroically epic.

Strongman is the elevation of the ordinary to the sublime.

But please do not mistake the Strongman community’s love of the cartoonishly epic as arrogant posturing. People who Strongman (yes, I use it as a verb now) are some of the most friendly, positive and welcoming I have ever met. But I did not know that walking into my competition, even with my coach and dad there, I felt a bit out of place. So here are the basics to keep you on track at your first competition:

Where Do I Put My Stuff?

It depends on your venue, but generally speaking, you’ll be competing in a large gym, so it will be a free for all, with athletes and spectators seated together all over the venue. Typically I prefer to be close enough to the main “field,” that I can hear the Announcer/promotor call events and names. We had 2 coolers and all my gear. Comfortable and set. We forgot a lawn chair. Don’t forget a lawn chair.

Your Squad (Or Lack Thereof)

My father is an honest to god Boy Scout Scoutmaster, so if you can borrow my dad or someone like him, bring them. Having an extra someone to  grab water/food, help you gear up and generally support you can be really helpful. Get a friend, bring a gym-mate, someone who is going to help you through the day. Do NOT bring someone who is going to stress you out more.

If you’re going alone, I commend you! You can do it, and it won’t be terrible, I promise. Everyone is talking to everyone, and cheering everyone else on. People are bitching about their weight cut, sharing PRs, and asking each other where they got their sweet Batman leggings. Introduce yourself.

Find someone’s grandma to help you put on your duct tape on for stones, and you’ll be fine. Grandma will be thrilled. She might even let you borrow her tacky (a sticky paste commonly used to assist in stone-loading; you smear it on your arms and pray someone nearby has Goo Gone and Baby-oil for removal later), because she’s competing in Masters. You never know.

Bring the Kitchen Sink

If you lack my Boy Scout father’s supernatural preparation skills, pretend you’re packing for the Lifting Apocalypse. Bring. Everything. You. Own. Eventually you’ll figure out what you actually need in your kit and what is nonessential.


This is not a drill.

1. EAT/DRINK – Easily digestible carbs and protein for quick consumption.  I don’t eat a lot on comp day, though I force feed myself breakfast. I do bring my favorite energy drink, dark chocolate, bananas, protein bars, a gallon of water and gatorade. You don’t know if you’ll have access to a water-fountain or sink, so don’t bet on having easy access to refreshment.

2. TOYS – Foam roller, resistance bands, lacrosse ball and whatever else you might need to stretch, release, and warm up. You may need to do a little more movement prep than usual. How far did you travel? Did you sleep comfortably in that creepy motel?

3. GEAR – Wrist wraps, elbow sleeves, knee sleeves, shoes for deadlifting, shoes for moving events, shoes for pressing, soft belt, stiff belt, tacky, duct tape, chalk, scissors (they’re just handy). Don’t worry if you only have one pair of shoes and one velcro belt from Sports Authority – you have plenty of time to accumulate the dressings of a Strongman competitor. You don’t need all of these things necessarily, but if you have an extra belt and you’re not sure if you’ll use it, bring it. Having plenty of options for gear will help you feel prepared. In terms of immediate usefulness for beginners, wrist wraps and a medium stiffness velcro-closure belt are good place to start (both of which you can get at most major Sporting retailers).

4. CLOTHES MAKE THE COMPETITOR – Bring extra clothes. You’ll probably wear the designated competition shirt, but it could get super gross, so bring two shirts, one for potentially competing in,  and one for changing into later. Now it gets real: bring extra pants, underwear and socks, in case of high-rep-induced bodily fluid releases. It’s unlikely, but you do NOT want to be up shit’s creek without…well, you know. Those max rep deadlifts…

Stick to the Plan

Our 3rd event of the day was the Husafell carry (a large metal boxy implement that looks like a small coffin) for max distance. Unlike in training, we got to pick the Husafell off a block rather than pick it from the ground, which was helpful. This was an adjustment that seemed reasonable and like it would jive with my training. I did see some women carry it a little differently, (one hand under, one hand across, etc) and I debated switching my grip. I decided against it at the advice of my coach and did what I did in training.


My second competition. I had never trained this event prior to performing it. That’s Strongman, a lot of the time.

This can be tricky. The odds are that one of the events may be slightly different, or VERY different from how you trained it. Go with it. It may be that the Husafell is actually a sandbag. If it is a piece of equipment that you have never touched, don’t sweat it. Ask around, and also ask if you can warm up (there is often a designated “warm up” portion at the very start of the day and also right before each event, where the competitors get a chance to handle the equipment). When in doubt, ask other people how they are doing it.

Even if you have a total curveball like a changed event, keep to what you know as much as possible. Now is not the time to change technique. Your body and mind are going to be stressed out enough as it is, adding in something new to think about it is usually a bad idea. Stick to how you trained your event – experiment with a new technique next training cycle.

Ask Everything

There is a Rules meeting before the events start. Ask questions. Something I missed in Rules tripped me up during the max distance Husafell carry (you were not allowed to stop moving to adjust your grip – I just didn’t know, stopped, and that ended the event for me). Now is not the time to worry about sounding stupid – you’re new, it’s okay! Just ask. And pay attention to other people’s questions. Sometimes the event rules will be so carefully described you won’t need to ask, and that’s great. But don’t be shy if you need something clarified. It is all fair game.


Look how awkwardly long my t-shirt is. #BringScissors

If later in the competition, you want to ask one of the judges something, you should feel free, just remember to be polite and respectful. They are almost certainly unpaid volunteers helping out; it’s their weekend too and they are contributing their time to give the competitors a good contest. It’s no small task, and people will probably be haranguing them about scores all day, so be. Polite.

So What’s It Like?

It’s a damn good time, if you let it be, and if I had to give only piece of advice it would be to stay relaxed, have fun and appreciate the fact that you are competing. A lot of people never get the chance, or are too afraid. You have to decided to do something incredibly rewarding (and potentially nerve-wracking) and you should be proud of yourself and enjoy it.

The day will fly by, though there is often a lot of downtime between events, anywhere from 20-45 minutes or more, depending on the size of the competition. Watch the other competitors. Talk to people. Go for broke. Bust your ass. Have a great time.

Finally, there’s no Miss Congeniality award in Strongman, but being friendly rarely hurts. My first few competitions, I was too nervous and thought I needed to “Stay in the zone” all day, and not talk to anyone but whoever came with me. I would be walking around with headphones on, trying to psych myself up, glaring murder at the implements (as if the kegs cared). I still do that a little, but I’ve since learned that for me, talking, joking and making friends puts me far more at ease than being antisocial and thus, I perform better.  

If you’ve never competed in a sport like this, you may not know what works for you. Sometimes talking to other people about the events will make you more nervous. I personally avoid talking about the events too much. Casual conversation, walking around, finding a dog to pet (there’s almost always a dog at these things), light snacking, watching people who aren’t in your class (I love watching the middleweight men and the novice divisions), hell, read. Take your mind off yourself for a little bit. You have to find what works for you personally, but I really believe in staying as relaxed and calm as possible is the best strategy. Getting too worked up between events may wear you out.

My first competition I knew that I knew nothing, so during the actual events, I both took my time and paid close attention to detail. I didn’t think too hard, but I worked really hard and enjoyed it as much as my somewhat overwhelmed-self could. Every single contest is a learning experience if you let it be, and there is so much to learn, so savor it.

Your name gets called. Your judge asks, “Athlete ready?!” You reply “READY.” The judge says “LIFT!” And it begins. It will be over before you know it, breath and take your time.

First Strongman Comp

Photo Credit: Seth Miller

What is your first Strongman competition like? It’s a really good time. It is a long day and you will be very, very tired later, and may even have a fun post-adrenaline high headache like I sometimes get. It is nerve-wracking. It is spectacularly fun. It is a community experience. It is one of the best days of your life. It’s like a neighborhood cookout. Except with the thrill of personal effort and giant rocks. Enjoy it.

The post A Complete Guide to (Actually Enjoying) Your First Strongman Competition appeared first on BarBend.

Sohrab Moradi Snatches 190kg, Two Kilos Above World Record

Katrin Davidsdottir, Mat Fraser, and CrossFit Mayhem Win 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games

IOC: Russians Can Compete in Rio, But Ruling Keeps Out Prominent Weightlifter

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Aleksey Torokhtiy Hits 255kg Power Jerk in CrossFit Games Vendor Village

Call him a perfectionist, because 245kg was simple not enough. Just a couple weeks after hitting well over 500 pounds on the power jerk in training, 2012 Olympic gold medalist (105kg) Aleksey Torokhtiy bested his recent PR by 10 kilos — and he did so in the vendor village at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Yes, Torokhtiy is technically retired, but he stays in amazing shape while also providing an insane amount of free coaching content and advice to the international weightlifting community. Below is a video of Torokhtiy’s full session, which occurred in one of the demo rigs in the Rogue Fitness booth.

Is his 255 kilogram/561 pound list the heaviest power jerk of all time — at least, heaviest recorded on video?

The post Aleksey Torokhtiy Hits 255kg Power Jerk in CrossFit Games Vendor Village appeared first on BarBend.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Give Your Carbs a Makeover with Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Fries

Ahhh, the sweet potato. Whether you follow Paleo, Zone, or some variation on a macro counting diet, you’ve probably gotten very familiar with sweet potatoes. As athletes, the humble sweet potato exists to fulfill our carb allotment and give us the feeling that we’re eating something hearty and substantial.

That’s all well and good, but damn, I’m tired of the same old sweet potato preparation. Sweet potato mash is just so…one note. So, I set out to create a sweet potato side dish that was super easy, had textural variance, and would satisfy both a sweet and a savory tooth…MAPLE BACON SWEET POTATO FRIES. It’s a good day in the BarBend office when I get to come up with this stuff.

SweetPotatoFries (3 of 4)

The biggest problem with these fries is that they’re so good, it’s going to be nearly impossible to only eat within your allotted amount. The bacon fat will seep into the sweet potatoes making them extra savory, and the maple sugar will caramelize and bring texture to the dish. I suppose this is where following Paleo really comes in handy, because you can eat as much as you want as long as it’s Paleo, right?

Good thing this recipe is Paleo and gluten-free. 

SweetPotatoFries (1 of 4)

Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Fries
Serves 2
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

250 grams sweet potato (1 medium sweet potato), sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
100 grams of your favorite bacon (about 4 thin slices), finely chopped into approximately half inch pieces
1 tablespoon real maple syrup

SweetPotatoFries (2 of 4)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss sweet potato wedges with maple syrup and arrange on a baking sheet.
  3. Scatter bacon evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes, taking care to avoid large clumps of bacon.
  4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes are cooked through and bacon is caramelized.*

SweetPotatoFries (4 of 4)

Macro Breakdown Per Serving:

Fat: 10g
Carbs: 32g
Protein: 8g

*Note that because of the sugars in the maple syrup, you’re going to see more browning than you normally would. Don’t worry about the bacon looking closer to “burned” than you’re used to, that’s just delicious caramelization. It’ll taste great and give you that satisfying crunchy, candied texture. Your nose will tell you if anything is burning, not your eyes!

The post Give Your Carbs a Makeover with Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Fries appeared first on BarBend.

Jonne Koski Withdraws from 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Last Pair of Grips You’ll Ever Try: Victory Grips Review

Brent Fikowski Gives Rare, In-Competition Insight into CrossFit Games Rookie Experience

Olympic Weightlifting Entry List Released, But Who Will Win in Rio?

This morning the IWF released the preliminary start list for Weightlifting at the 2016 Olympic Games. As is customary for international competitions, I say preliminary simply because something always changes between the preliminary start list and the final start list at the technical meeting for all weightlifting meets. The Olympics are no different in this regard; in 2012 Russia withdrew Dimitry Klokov, Khadzhimurat Akkaev and Oxana Slivenko due to various injuries. All three were medal favorites going into the competition. We still have almost three weeks until announcer Richard Mason calls the first snatch attempt, but until then; here are some storylines to think about as we get closer.

Athlete Breakdown

The IWF provided a convenient breakout of the countries being represented by gender. A total of 260 athletes from 91 countries are entered into these games. The 156 men and 104 women represent an even 60/40 division of the sexes.

China has the largest team with 10 athletes going to compete. Forty countries have entered 1 solo athlete.

The youngest athlete entered is Bouchra Fatima Zohra Hirech, in the Woman’s 75+ KG category; her date of birth is August 22, 2000. Based on weightlifting years, she is 16 years of age; however, her actually birthday will take place after the Olympic Games finish.

The oldest athlete entered is Maria Alexandra Escobar Guerrero, in the Woman’s 58 KG category; her date of birth is July 17, 1980. Based on weightlifting years, she is 36 years of age.

The largest category is the men’s 85KG weight class where 25 men have been entered. The smallest weight class is woman’s 53KG weight class where 10 women have been entered.

Are the Russians Still Entered?

As of this entry list Russia, is still entered with 8 athletes, who all have won medals in recent World Championships. The last Russian Weightlifter to win a gold medal in the Olympics was Dimitri Berestov in 2004. Assuming the World Anti-Doping Agency is not successful in banning the Russian team, the athlete with the best bet to end the drought is 2015 Arnold Champion Tatiana Kashirina. Since winning a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games, she has won 3 World Championships, 2 European Championships, and every Arnold Weightlifting Championships that she entered (just one, but still noteworthy).

How Does the American Team Look?

The American team, on paper, looks very good. The best chances for a medal have to be Jenny Arthur in the 75 KG and Sarah Robles in the 75+ KG categories. At the 2015 World Championships, Arthur placed 7th behind 3 athletes from Russia, Kazakhstan, and China, none of whom are on the entry list. Robles placed 6th behind 3 athletes from China, Kazakhstan, and Thailand, none of whom are not on the entry list as well.

Based on the start list, Arthur and Robles look poised to have the best place finishes of any American weightlifter since Melanie Roach placed 6th at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Kendrick Farris will be looking to improve on his 10th place finish at the London Olympic Games in a very deep and competitive 94KG category.  

Morghan King will be one of 15 athletes in the 48KG category as she makes her Olympic debut in Rio.

Where Is Ilya Ilyin?

As reported in June, Ilya Illn has tested positive for a doping violation from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and is ineligible to compete in Rio. This would make the favorite in the 105 KG category Ruslan Nurudinov of Uzbekistan. He is the 2013 World Champion and 2014 runner-up behind Ilyin. In 2015 he had knee surgery, however he looked very strong at the 2016 Asian Championships when we last saw him compete, and on paper appears to be the favorite. While we will not see a rematch of Ilyin and Nurudinov this summer, it would be great to see a friendly competition this fall at Dimitry Klokov’s 2nd “Power Weekend” event in Moscow.

Can Lu Xiaojun Repeat as Olympic Champion?

Easily the most dominant performance of the 2012 Olympic Games was from Lu Xiaojun, as he won the gold medal by 19 kilos over his teammate the silver medalist. He followed that with a 2013 World Championship in Poland where he set World Records in the snatch and total. However he failed to make a clean & jerk in the 2015 World Championships and was one of several Chinese athletes to not post a total in that competition, which is unusual for a great team such as China. Hopefully the Lu of 2012 and 2013 glory will make his way to the platform in Rio and (most likely) end his career on a high note. If 2015 Lu is present, waiting in the wings is 2015 World Champion Nijat Rahimov of Kazakhstan ready to win a gold medal.

Will the Superheavyweights Be Exciting?

Yes! This looks to be the most exciting category in the competition as everyone who is anyone is entered, 23 men in all. The A session will be on Tuesday, August 16th at 7PM local time (6PM EST / 3PM PST) and this is a must watch for any weightlifting fan. Check out these names:

  • Behdad Salimi (Iran, 2012 Olympic Champion)
  • Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia, 2015 World Champion)
  • Ruslan Albegov (Russia, 2013 & 2014 World Champion)
  • Fernando Reis (Brazil, 2015 Pan American Games Champion)
  • Mart Seim (Estonia, 2015 World Championships Silver Medalist)
  • Gor Minasyan (Armenia, 2015 World Championships Bronze Medalist)

And 17 other men who will total in the neighborhood of 400KG (880lbs) or more.

Regardless of what happens in the next 16 days, the Olympics will be a great show and I hope all the athletes lift to their abilities. They have worked tirelessly for a lifetime to step on that platform and we hope there are many records set – Personal, World, and Olympic.

Featured Image: World Weightlifting YouTube

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

World Anti-Doping Agency Wants Russian Athletes (Including Lifters) Banned from Rio

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has already moved to ban Russia’s weightlifters from international competition, a sanction many assumed would take effect following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Now, amidst allegations of a Russian state-run testing scandal that allowed athletes to avoid detection for banned substances, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is recommending Russian athletes across sports be barred from Olympic competition.

And it appears weightlifting was among the sports most affected.

As CBC Sports Canada reports, Canadian law professor Richard McLaren released a report this week implicating testing labs in Moscow and Sochi in a massive, multi-year coverup. The alleged government-run coverup lasted from at least 2011 through 2015.

McLaren claims that, through a “disappearing positive methodology,” many positive tests were held back in order to protect doping athletes who might otherwise have been detected. The sport with the second most withheld positives, according to CBC sources?

Weightlifting, with over 100 disappearing positive tests during the investigated timeframe.

As far as mainstream media coverage goes, the track & field doping allegations are general receiving the bulk of coverage, and it’s through that category of sport that the supposed coverup first gained international attention.

Following the release of McLaren’s report, the World Anti-Doping Agency called upon the International Olympic Committee to ban all Russian athletes — and Russian athletics officials — from the Rio Olympics. Earlier this month, USADA (the U.S.A.’s anti-doping national body) CEO Travis Tygart openly requested Russian athletes receive an Olympic ban.

In the past several months, high-profile Russian weightlifters including Apti Aukhadov, Aleksey Lovchev, and Olga Zubova — among others — have been suspended from international competition following positive doping tests or retests. (Lovchev was suspended following the 2015 Houston World Championships and recently had his appeal overturned.)

The IOC has yet to make a decision with regard to WADA’s recommendations. A nation-wide Rio ban for Russia would keep numerous high-profile weightlifters out of the competition.

BarBend contributor Mike Graber contributed reporting to this article.

The post World Anti-Doping Agency Wants Russian Athletes (Including Lifters) Banned from Rio appeared first on BarBend.

5 Topics Worth Revisiting From the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course

Monday, July 18, 2016

How You Can Watch the 2016 CrossFit Games

The CrossFit Games start Tuesday, July 19th, and the competition is now in its tenth year. The event has grown from a quiet, backyard-brawl-esque event in Aromas, California, to the functional fitness world’s premiere test and spectator event.

The 2016 CrossFit Games take place at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, where the event has been held since 2010. Here’s how you can watch the CrossFit Games, which have Teenage, Masters, Team, and Individual competitions taking place throughout the week (the final event will occur the evening of July 24th).

In addition to the below, CrossFit will also be streaming some behind the scenes footage on Periscope and Facebook live.

In Person

If you’re in the Carson/Los Angeles area, some tickets to the event are still available through AXS. They include a 3-day package that lets you watch mid-week and a 6-day package that gives you access to events in the Soccer Stadium. Some events also occur in the StubHub Center’s Tennis Stadium; as far as we know, none of those tickets are still available.


The full schedule for TV and streaming can be found here, and we’ve also included it below.

The full Teenage, Masters, and Team competitions will be available through the WatchESPN app and YouTube. These are available to domestic and international viewers.

It’s worth noting the CrossFit Games often includes surprise event announcements and some events outside the StubHub Center, so the below schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Teenage and Masters Competition, all times PST
Available: WatchESPN and YouTube
Tuesday, July 19: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, July 20: 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Thursday, July 21: 9 a.m. to 4:50 p.m.

Team Competition , all times PST
Available: WatchESPN and YouTube
Friday, July 22: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, July 23: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 24: 8:30 a.m. to 6:40 p.m.

The Individual competition will be streamed on the WatchESPN app for US viewers and on YouTube for viewers abroad. It will not be available on YouTube for viewers in the United States.

Individual Competition, all times PST
WatchESPN (U.S.A.) or YouTube (International)
Friday, July 22: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday, July 23:  9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 24: 8:30 a.m. to 6:40 p.m.


Ten hours of this year’s Reebok CrossFit Games will be shown live on ESPN and/or ESPN 2.

Friday, July 22: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on ESPN
Saturday, July 23: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on ESPN2 and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on ESPN
Sunday, July 24: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on ESPN2 and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on ESPN2

Featured image: Anthony Topper

The post How You Can Watch the 2016 CrossFit Games appeared first on BarBend.

Who Will Become The World’s Strongest Man in 2016?

Olympic Legend Pyrros Dimas to Join USA Weightlifting As Technical Director

In a huge announcement from USA Weightlifting, it’s been confirmed that three-time Olympic gold medalist (and one-time Olympic bronze medalist) Pyrros Dimas will be joining the organization as Technical Director starting in mid-2017.

The official announcement details just some of the responsibilities Dimas will assume roughly a year from now.

Dimas will be supported by the right American expertise to help him succeed in his new role and will be involved in our international strategy, youth development, performance strategy, talent identification, performance funding allocation and coaching education, and will also be supporting USA Weightlifting’s fundraising efforts. Dimas will also act in a special advisor role to the CEO & Board of Directors on international relations matters.

Dimas recently returned to the weightlifting platform after 12 years — his last competition appearance occurring at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he took third in front of a crowd packed with Greek fans cheering on their country’s most celebrated weightlifter. In addition to his accomplishments at four Olympic Games, Dimas won three IWF World Championships and set over 10 world records in his lifting career.

Of course, Dimas hasn’t been away from weightlifting entirely during his retirement as an athlete.

The Albanian-born lifting legend — who has also been a member of Greek Parliament and serves on the International Weightlifting Federation’s Executive Board — has a history of collaboration with USA Weightlifting, and he hosted a Q&A session at the 2016 Nationals/Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City earlier this year. Dimas’ daughter acted as his translator during that event. Two of Dimas’ three children attend school in the United States.

The post Olympic Legend Pyrros Dimas to Join USA Weightlifting As Technical Director appeared first on BarBend.

Sam Briggs Solves Visa Issues, Will Compete at the 2016 CrossFit Games

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Big Man with the Bigger Spirit: Powerlifter Anthony Clark

We don’t know what you were doing when you were 16 years old, but Anthony Clark was bench pressing 600 pounds. Six years later, in 1992, he benched pressed 700lbs. One year after that, he broke his own record and hit 735lbs. At the Arnold Classic in 1997, he became the first man to 800 pounds. 

And you thought your 16 year old bodyweight bench was impressive.

For some sort of context, since we’re pretty sure most of us haven’t successfully budged 700lbs in any way, 700lbs is roughly the equivalent of a 16 foot long Nile crocodile or an average sized grizzly bear.

Of course, Clark himself was not a small man. Born in 1966 in the Phillippines, Clark measured in at 5’ 8” and 330 some odd pounds. Though he was known primarily for his bench pressing, Clark could also squat 1,025lbs and deadlift 748lbs. At one point, he held World Record total of over 2600 lbs. He also made headlines after pushing a 6000lb elephant in a heavy duty wheelbarrow during a strongman demonstration in Japan.

According to strongman Bud Jeffries, who as a teenager frequently worked with Clark, “Anthony was the biggest human I’d ever seen up close. He had a legit 25 inch arm. It was psychotic, like seriously. He drank like 15000 calories in protein shakes a day. He ate 5000 to 8000 in actual food and another 15000 in protein shakes a day. He was massive in a way that’s hard to describe.”

Clark’s lifting was sometimes controversial. He lifted equipped, with a two-ply polyester bench pressing vest, and was open about dabbling in steroids (though he said he stopped them at 22 years old, because “all they did was increase my blood pressure.”) He preferred to bench press in a reverse grip, so his palms faced inward instead of outward. Though he once hit 707lbs regular grip, he stopped training the regular grip in the early ‘90s. His preference caused many of his successful competition lifts to be overturned after the fact (including his historic 800lb lift), which frustrated Clark because he believed he was competing within the rules of the time.

Though his physical accomplishments are numerous, Clark’s purpose in life was to use his strength for the greater good of humanity. In his youth, he said he was a scrawny kid who regularly got beat up by his father. He tried to commit suicide three times, and it wasn’t until he started picking up weights that his life turned around.

Clark aimed to impart his life lessons on other kids in tough situations, so he frequently traveled around the country performing strongman demonstrations for underprivileged youths, often working with young people in and out of the prison system. He believed that throwing numbers at kids didn’t really get their attention, but “show them that Mom’s sedan can be moved all over the yard, and they snap to attention.”

Unfortunately, Clark struggled with heart trouble and was in an out of hospitals in his 30s. He passed away on May 22, 2005 at the age of 38. 

The post The Big Man with the Bigger Spirit: Powerlifter Anthony Clark appeared first on BarBend.

Aleksey Lovchev’s Suspension Appeal Denied, Responds with 215kg Snatch

Steven Maradona Makes 500 Pound Jerk, Joins Exclusive Club for Americans

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

CrossFit Games Announces 2016 Events for Teens and Masters

Adidas’ Leistung Lifting Shoe Is 30% Off Until Midnight on Amazon

It’s only available in Men’s sizes, and the offer expires at midnight (of July 12th). But if you act now, you can get a pair of Adidas’ Leistung weightlifting shoes for 30% off through Amazon as a Prime Day Deal.

The Leistung is Adidas’ top-of-the-line lifting shoe, and while its looks are far from universally loved (though reports suggests it looks much better in person), it’s still a light, innovative, and by most accounts quality weightlifting shoe. Much of that innovation comes in the form of its Boa Closure System, which replaces traditional laces with a tightening dial used to modify tightness and hold.

The Leistung has a heel hight of 37.8mm total and a heel lift of 24.8 mm. That’s a bit more of a heel lift than the Adidas’ Adipower model and Nike Romaleo 2 (both of which come in a little under 20mm of heel lift).

Most sizes of the Leistung are $225 on Amazon (and most other outlets, including Rogue), but today — and only today — Amazon Prime members can get them for $157.50 at checkout (although this can vary a bit by size).

While Adidas doesn’t seem to have the dominance it once did when it comes to weightlifting shoes in international competitoin, Leistungs seem to be the current shoe of choice for top lifters like Mart Seim (seen here doing crazy things in them) and Aleksey Torokhtiy (who, though retired, is still much stronger than pretty much everyone reading this).

The post Adidas’ Leistung Lifting Shoe Is 30% Off Until Midnight on Amazon appeared first on BarBend.

The 6 Most Creative and Ridiculous Pool Exercises We’ve Ever Seen

Affiliate Owner Spotlight: Derek Saltou of CrossFit Chiron

Kevin Foley is the founder of CrossFit HomeBase in Canton, Massachusetts. A military veteran and mentor to other gym owners throughout North America, Foley is dedicated to making fitness dreams accessible to entrepreneurs young and old. In this series, he sits down with CrossFit Affiliate owners to discuss the ups and downs of box ownership — including their tips for success.

First up: Derek Saltou of CrossFit Chiron (Mason City, Iowa)

CrossFit Chiron

Could you give me some background on yourself: Athletic, Career Path, Family, CrossFit, etc.?

I graduated from Mason City High School in 2007 where I played football, basketball and ran track! I went to NIACC for two years and ran track for awhile, and then quickly made the move to the University of Northern Iowa where I studied Human Movement and Exercise Science. I also minored in sports psychology and coaching!

While there I wanted to run track but realized that financially I needed to work! I began working at a gymnastics academy. I was taught the basics of gymnastics and then taught myself movements as I went along. There was a lot of encouragement for personal growth in education gymnastics in itself. I learned a great deal of valuable movements from this job. Along with this, I met a lot of amazing families. A family I was close to told me to give CrossFit a try, so when I finished up at UNI I did CrossFit workouts at our community college and fell in love.

Instantly I began studying, training harder, and eventually got my Level 1 Cert. I met my wife the weekend before going to get this cert. Crazy how life happens!

What is the biggest change you’ve seen in CrossFit, and how does it affect operating your box?

I try to focus purely on my clients. I know that when your focus is not on the bread and butter, it won’t spread right. We develop trust with our clients and focus on building relationships. CrossFit is phenomenal, but nothing outside of our community has affected us in a negative way.

CrossFit Chiron

What are the downsides of being an Affiliate? Upsides?

Health insurance, haha. Other than that it’s a dream job!

What system processes do you have in place to make your box run smoothly? Accounting, Member WOD Tracking, Membership Management, Retail, Reports etc.

We manage everything through WODIFY! It has been great for us and our members on a frequent basis. It’s like having a personal assistant.

What does your box place the most emphasis on in terms of training your athletes?

Technique, this should be KING in every affiliate. Strive for excellence by providing top notch training to put your athletes in the best position to deliver the best results!

Describe your weekly programming?

We hit as much as we can each week without over doing any movement. Too many programs out there don’t understand how to program.

We spread out our lifts throughout the week and leave the best movements for our Hero WODs on Friday.
The look at programming the same way I look at a stop light. We have “Green light” days, 100% days (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) “Yellow light” days, 75% but still put forth a good effort (Tuesday and Thursday), and “Red light” days, REST. Sundays are meant for rest and maybe some active recovery.

Explain your nutrition approach with your athletes? Is it a priority?

Nutrition is KING as far as the 23hrs our athletes spend away from the gym. We help transition them into a lifestyle change through the Lurong Living Challenge. We were two time Champs of the challenges! Lurong works diligently to plan a paleo meal plan bent on weight loss and increased performance throughout.

How do you on-board new members?

Personally, I feel very comfortable with my ability to command a class. We always break down movements regardless of who is all in the class. EVERYONE needs a refresher on movements. With that said we definitely place our focus on the newbies while also holding our vets accountable.

Is there Goal-Setting in place for New Members?

We send out an email explaining the importance of goal setting and using the SMART guidelines to establish the foundation.

The guidelines are: Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Short term is the best and more realistic. They can see success much faster.

What do you do to continue your education in fitness and business?

On March 22nd of 2015 I received my CrossFit Level 2 Cert at CrossFit Mayhem. Incredible experience, and I also had my Level 1 instructor Mr. James Hobart again!

My Level 3, along with a USA Olympic Weightlifting Cert, are in the works!

Advice for someone opening an Affiliate?

KNOW YOUR SHIT. Do not open up a place without years of study and schooling. You’re taking people’s health into your hands. They trust you to know the body inside and out. A gym is not a way for you to make money, it’s an opportunity to have an impact on EVERYONE! Take it seriously or don’t bother.

The post Affiliate Owner Spotlight: Derek Saltou of CrossFit Chiron appeared first on BarBend.

USA Weightlifting Officials Are Finally Getting Paid, & It’s a Huge Step for the Sport in America

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Triple Unders Are Coming (We Think)

Aleksey Torokhtiy Hits 245kg Power Jerk, Is Still Technically “Retired”

Ukrainian weightlifter Aleksey Torokhtiy has the most coveted title in his sport: Olympic gold medalist. And while the 2012 London Olympic Champion in the 105kg weight class is technically “retired” from international competition, he’s still incredibly active in the sport. Torokhtiy posts regular content online to YouTube and Facebook, including loads of free training programs and corresponding videos. Basically, he’s putting  his huge weightlifting brain online for the world to pick through. He’ll even (occasionally) respond to fans and followers directly on social media, giving them tips on form as well as words of encouragement.

Okay, but enough about that. Let’s get to his 245kg power jerk.

Yep, that’s a “retired” athlete (though still just 29 years old) going overhead with just 1kg less than the world record in his weight class (held by Ilya Ilyin and set at the 2015 President’s Cup with a 246kg clean & jerk — though Ilyin won’t be competing anytime soon…).

Next up for the Ukrainian coach and weightlifting “influencer”? (Yeah, that term pains us, too, but we can’t think of anything much better to describe him…maybe sport ambassador?) Jerking 250kg, which Torokhtiy has already started preparing for (and chronicling) in his next series of videos. Needless to say, we’ll keep you updated if he hits it.

And though he hasn’t officially committed yet, Torokhtiy is on the invite list to Dmitry Klokov’s second annual Power Weekend in Moscow this November. In case you didn’t catch last year’s Power Weekend, it’s an informal competition where active and retired lifters can show off their skills in less commonly tested training lifts, like front squats, hang snatches, and… jerks from the rack.

If Torokhtiy can keep it up, he may have a shot at taking that last event, even against some of the world’s strongest superheavyweights.

The post Aleksey Torokhtiy Hits 245kg Power Jerk, Is Still Technically “Retired” appeared first on BarBend.