Igor Lukanin Interview (and 215kg Push Press)

Igor Lukanin Weightlifter

Here is a quick Q&A with Igor Lukanin.

He was kind enough to answer some of my random questions in between training sessions.

Subscribe to his YouTube Channel – ilukanin if you haven’t already.

Also, if you know someone, that knows someone,  who is in the position to set up a sponsorship for Igor please contact me.

PS: If you have more questions for a the next Q&A (which I know you do) just leave them in the comments and vote which ones you like best.

Who are you?

Hi, I am Igor Lukanin, a super heavyweight weightlifter from Russia. I was born in the town of Sochi, Russia and have 2 sisters and 2 brothers.

Age: 26 years (born 1986-05-29)

Weight: around 124kg, Update: 132kg (November 2012)

Height: Igor is 193-194cm

Personal Records

  • 205kg Snatch, 245kg Clean & Jerk
  • Front Squat 290 kg
  • Back Squat 340kg
  • Deadlift (Snatch Grip: 354kg, Clean Grip: 368kg)

At the moment I am looking for sponsors and a country to lift for.

How did you get into weightlifting?

My father, Vladislav Lukanin (not to be confused with my cousin, also named Vladislav Lukanin) is a weightlifting coach and master of sports in weightlifting. You could say that going to the gym with him was unavoidable.

When I was 6 years old, my father first took me with him. After some time, I started to train along with the other trainees of my father. So being 26 this gives me 20 years of training experience.

Who was your inspiration as a kid?

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What does a typical day look like?

I train 2 sessions per day. I wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast. Then it’s time for the gym.

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After session #1, which is usually around midday I eat lunch and take a nap.

I always eat what I want, but meat products and vegetables are given priority.

After my nap it’s time for training session number 2.

By the way, each training sessions lasts for 2 to 4 hours. So this is pretty much my full time job (and hence I need sponsors).

After session #2 it is time for Dinner, which is usually followed by a  massage / bath / sauna.

If time allows I will use the evening for a recovery walk. Usually 5-10 km.

My favorite recovery method however is a good portion of healthy sleep!

So you always train 2 sessions per day?

Always! Except when something is very hurt.

A tip: When something hurts – still do the exercise, but with less weight.

If the pain is very strong, it is better to give the muscles a little more rest and recover. At this time, do other exercises, such as squats.

Do you have a complete rest day?

I try to rest on Sundays.

Can you give us a general outline of your programming?

I never plan the exercises that I will do the next day. You never know how your body will feel tomorrow.

However I have a general plan. I try to break the workouts into groups with different focus:

  • Legs
  • Back
  • Arms / shoulders
  • Complete Exercises, meaning the Olympic lifts

Who is your favorite lifter these days?

My idol is my friend today Ilya Ilin. I always watch his performances and heartily rejoice his victories.

What is a good piece of advice you got in the past?

Never give up. Whatever sport you choose, you need persistence.
Never give up. Whatever sport you choose, you need persistence.

Many years of training is what it takes to do well in any sport.

What music do you listen to while training?

Nothing special. I usually listen to the radio that is running in the background.

What is one of your greatest strengths?

I am stubborn. I set goals and I reach them.

What is one of your weaknesses?

I was not happy with my performances in a powerlifting meet in 2010. I was weaker in the bench press (my bench is around 200kg and I do not train this movement) and as a result I came in second place.


To be honest, I have no time for hobbies. Weightlifting is my life. Gym takes up most of my time. Add the nap time and 5-6 meals and the day is over.

Next international competition we will see you at?

In 2013 will participate in the European Championships in Spain.

To finish it off here is an exclusive training clip for All Things Gym.

215kg Push Press

215kg? With ” I’ll Be Missing You” in the background? Imagine what would be possible with some Metal or Russian Training Hall Techno!

  • jake

    How does Igor train his Squat and other powerlifting movements? (Push Press/Press instead of bench). Does he train deadlifts specifically, or just get his pulling from the ground through the specific lifts? Also, do you train pulls? How do you train your olympic lifts? always to a heavy single, or multiple rep?

  • lifter99

    strong dude, just curious as to why he is in need of sponsers doesn’t the russian fed/gov support athletes of his caliber?

    • GregorATG

      As of 2011 Igor does not lift for Russia anymore.

      • Dustin Oranchuk


  • Everett

    Insane pressing power. It’s cool that he also does some PL movements–and apparently competitions as well.

  • sporting

    I think we just found our next “internet lifter” to cheer for :)
    I enjoy training videos like this and if you could relay the message please tell Igor that we are appreciative of it.

    • GregorATG

      Message delivered and a big “thank you for the kind words” back from Igor.

  • Isaac

    That’s bizzare he doesn’t lift for Russia. Doesn’t he out-total many heavier and older SHWs on Russia’s team? Maybe he just wants to continue living with his family and enjoying personal freedoms rather than the more locked down environment of the team.

    • GregorATG

      It is simple. There is too much competition for a spot at the Olympics. This is Igor’s ultimate goal.

      • Isaac

        It can’t be that simple. Assuming those are his comp lifts, he would be objectively better than what a guy like Chigishev is capable of these days, and at a much younger age and a few kilos lighter. Either he hasn’t managed to hit those lifts in competition or he has some personal reasons he doesn’t want to lift for the Russian team. I don’t think its a matter of competition because he’d be the #2 or 3 SHW.

        • grambo

          He would be behind Lapikov who looks amazing (once he comes off suspension) and Albegov, and also less competition proven. Don’t get me wrong, excited to see his videos and that he is getting his name out there. I hope he finds sponsors and can realize his dream, and continues sharing his training with us.

          • Isaac

            ahhhh Yes I forgot about Lapikov, that does throw things off a bit. I have a feeling Lukanin will have no problem getting private sponsors or lifting for Ukraine/Kazakhstan, neither of whom have a lot of shws.

  • D

    He trains two times a day, i would like to know more how he trains. I want to train more but have a hard time to get squats and deadlift in the same week. Its not the time, its after either one of those exercises my body is real tired. And he trains 2 times a day? Would like to know how i can do the same! I want to go to the gym every day but i stay home some days because my body is so tired after heavy squats and deadliest. Anybody knows how he trains 2 times a day please tell me!

    • Dustin Oranchuk

      do you have a job? are you on drugs? are you a naturally gifted athlete?

      if the answers are “yes” and “no” and “no”, then training twice/day everyday is probably not a good choice.

      • D

        Well yes, no and i think so i do 300 in deadlift and weigh 100 kg, i think thats over average.. He probably don’t do heavy programs all the time, he must do some assistance exercises or lighter days. And i think it would be interesting to know what, so i can maybe get som new ideas and change my training some..

  • Joe

    How tall is this dude?

    • GregorATG

      Igor is 193-194cm.

  • Rm

    HyIm superheavy weightlifter, Im about 197cm and 136kg. Training for 4 years, best results 162,5kg snatch and 200kg clean and jerk just recently. Im saying that because I think and by videos clearly see that Igor is over or around 190cm and only 125kg of bodyweight. There is no question that he needs to gain bodyweight to improve his result. By my opinion he should gain over atleast (10-15kg in preparation for Rio 2016) of quality bodyweight to improve his results because there is no chance to compete with guys with 150-160kg bw in cnj. I saw him in europeans 2009 (he did zero) and he had similar bodyweight, so my advice to him is to gain quality bodyweight or he will always lose by not so good cnj.The place where the videos are filmed is in Serbia, I know the coach of that gym, he is allways with no shirt . He have funny stories about the old days, Bulgaria, USSR and anabolic generation. :))))) Who would not want to train and learn from Igor.
    Godspeed Igor

  • yahnniemeng

    He would look good in a USA uniform

  • Joe

    What advice does he have when trying to put on quality weight? Does he alter his choice of exercises?

  • Chris

    Could start a internet fund for Igor? How much a month would he need to make his life a little easier?

  • Charlie

    The 215 push press was too decisive to be his limit in that lift. I’d say maybe 230. 200kg bench press—without training it? But his arms were made strong from overhead lifting else he could not have done it. 50kg more with training. We are so impressed by Russians and we should be but it should be noted the US has seen some strong men also like Scott Norton, who strict PBN (heels on the floor and no knee movement) 465lbs at the Colorado Springs Olympic training center. He was also maybe 70 pounds heavier than Lukanin and BP around 677. I doubt any super from Russia, Germany or Iran today could duplicate Norton’s PBN and he’d have flattened them arm wrestling. But men who are past their peak get much less interest.