(Originally posted March 22, 2014. See Updates)
Meanwhile in Russia …
Still only 19 years old Artem Okulov gets a 190kg Hang Snatch!
Update: I asked Artem about his weight. He was 88kg in the video!
Update: Jump to the interview below.
Just for reference: the 94kg Snatch World Record still stands at 188kg.
Also watch his 180kg Snatch at age 17.
Update: Artem answered some fan questions on vk.
Thanks to Vadim Nikolajev for translating it for us all.
Q: Are you planning to compete at the junior weightlifting world championships in Kazan this year?
Artem Okulov: What do you think? Of course I will! 🙂
Q: Are there any injuries bothering you?
Artem Okulov: At this moment, thank god none. [Update: Since the interview, Artem had to undergo treatment for a herniated disc.]
Q: Are you going to compete in European Championships this year?
Artem Okulov: Unfortunately no…This is due to me joining CSKA, meaning Central Sports Army Club, because I am currently serving, I cannot make a new passport, but my old one expired at the time I joined CSKA. So I ask to be understood and forgiven.
Q: What attracted you to weightlifting?
Artem Okulov: Hmmm… What attracted me to this engrossing sport was my father Maxim Okulov, even when I was in kindergarden I went to the gym with him and watched those unreal weights that he lifted and I got hooked. That is how I started lifting weights, and I started training properly when I was 7 years old.
Q: Who do you see as the main rival for the spot in the national team in your category?
Artem Okulov: Of course the main rival – is Apti Aukhadov, but there are other strong guys who I like to compete with, those are Dmitry Khomyakov, Albert Sayakov and Adam Maligov.
Q: Are you ready to battle Apti Aukhadov at the worlds? When are you moving to 94kg category?
Artem Okulov: I think I’ll try to battle with him. No, it’s early for the 94kg category, first I need to realize myself in the 85kg category.
Q: What is your height?
Artem Okulov: I am not very tall, 165 cm. [Gregor: somebody add that to his wikipedia page. Update: thanks to whoever did it]
Q: How do you recover from training?
Artem Okulov: The most important is sleep. I personally need to sleep deeply before a workout and a big part of my recovery are supplements, like BCAA’s, Nitrix etc.
Q: What exercise would you not recommend to do at all?
Artem Okulov: That is a tough question. There is an exercise called Half-Jerks [Video here]. I think there is no point to it… But I think everyone has a different opinion on them. Or Front Rack Holds – I don’t like, but every athlete is individual in this aspect.
Q: Who is your best friend at at the team practise sessions? Do you have a girlfriend?
Artem Okulov: I don’t like categorizing my friends, but there is a friend who is very dear to me – Dima Khomyakov. I don’t have a girlfriend currently.
Q: Not too long ago you snatched the world record 190kg, did the weight come easy to you?
Are you preparing for any competitions in the near future?How intensive are you training sessions currently?
Artem Okulov: The 190 was actually easy, not going to lie 🙂 The next competition are the junior worlds in Kazan. I’m preparing for them. My training sessions right now are very intensive, because I am working on getting more quality weight.
Q: Which weightlifters of the past or future inspire you the most?
Artem Okulov: To be honest I never had an inspiration… with the exception being my father, when he trained with me.
Q: Do you keep a training log? Do you analyze preparations for competitions? Do you think about training sessions, analyze them?Do you do it yourself or the does the coach do it?
Artem Okulov: I do keep a training log, every athlete should have one! I’ll say it this way, there is periodization for every preparation period pre-competition, the coach does this aspect, but the coach also takes into consideration how I feel, so you can say we work together! It is very important to analyze preparations for competitions, because preparation done badly can lead to bad results! Experienced it myself!
Q: How do I get shoulders like yours?
Artem Okulov: Maybe it is my genetics,but there was a time where I did a lot of pressing exercises: like Standing Press, Push Press, Bench Press.
Q: What lifted Total would satisfy you currently?
Artem Okulov: 390 currently would totally satisfy me 🙂
Q: In which category and at which age did you achieve the norm Candidate of Master of Sports?
Artem Okulov: I was about 46kg and 10 or 9 years old at the time.
Q: If the Russian Federation did not supply you with the needed things for training (gym, salary, etc) for which country would you like to compete at the worlds and the Olympic games?
Artem Okulov: I’m apologizing for this answer beforehand, but I don’t think I could just leave Russia like that.I would do everything to prove that I am worthy of being payed and respected, and even if that didn’t work, I don’t think I would leave Russia.
Q: What is your personal best in the back squat and front squat? If that is not a secret of course.
Artem Okulov: I don’t Front Squat because my back injury starts to bother me, but my back Squat is 270 x2, I wasn’t allowed to do more. [Update: He has done a 290kg Squat since then]
Q: Hello Artem, please recommend me the best exercises for chest, shoulders and lower back. Thank you in advance.
Artem Okulov: (by Vadim: cleaning in russian is “lifting to the chest”) If you meaning lifting to the chest then do more cleans. If you mean training the chest, then of course the bench press. What strengthens the shoulders are Push Press from the front, these train explosiveness and strengthens the shoulders.
The back – is my strong point. When I couldn’t even tie my shoes, I did standing Good Mornings and Deadlifts. The deadlift especially is why I have a strong back.The Romanian Deadlift (RDL) works very well for back also – in my experience.
Q: How do I gain weight?
Artem Okulov: For two years I couldn’t get to 85kg, the most I weighed was 82.50, but then as I aged and my weight jumped up. I started to eat like a pig 5 times a day 🙂 Eat more near night time, if there is any room left in your stomach then add some protein powder.
Q: What exercise do you think are necessary?
Artem okulov: I think necessary are Pulls and Presses.Because overall strength/physical attributes – is a very big part of succes. But you have to work with every athlete individually on movements and body parts.
Q: Do you plan to compete at the olympic games in 2016?
Artem Okulov: I aspire to and will do anything in my strengths to compete in Rio!!
Update: 180kg x2, because why not?
Notice Apti in the background there?
Yep Apti and Rinat Kireev (I think) are mirin’
Love that he’s wearing a Hawkeyes shirt.
Wally Broccoli says
He and Apti continue to impress me. Russia’s got good 85 and 94s so far.
Yeah.. WR lifts. Daily affair. No problem there.
What the fcek?! So impressively easy. Love the feet, so fast. Is he an 85 or 94?
I have not heard anything official about that. SInce he’s not on the Europeans start list it could be that he is also moving up.
Thanks Gregor. I think they should keep Apti and Artem in separate classes. These younger Russian lifters are going to dominant. Especially keen to see what happens when Khomyakov increases his body weight.
Apti is gonna get so owned by Artem! Soory Apti, this kid is taking over your throne.
Apti’s problem is that he is not a very strong puller. He makes up for it by being lightning fast under the bar, and you can see this clearly by the fact that he catches the bar at the absolute top of its path, at the same time as his ass almost touches the floor. However, while Artem may overtake him in the snatch, Apti can stand up with and jerk anything he can pull onto his shoulders in the clean and jerk. In this sense he reminds me a bit of Kakashvilis: he barely pulled the bar higher than his hips, but was lightning fast under, and overhead… Power.
And rumour has it that he had problems with his back in 2013 WWC, which is why he struggled to pull the bar to his shoulders in the clean. Both of them has flawless technique though; seemingly never misses for any other reason than the bar simply being to heavy; always catches the bar perfectly and stands up immidiately.
Friends, yes, Okulov is young and strong, and Russia has high hopes for him. But let’s keep this in perspective. Last month at the Russia Cup (a mere four-hour drive from camp Chekhov), where it is rumored there was no drug testing, Okulov missed 168kg in the snatch and barely jerked 211. He has short fingers, making a full snatch from the floor difficult for him. Notice that he used straps for the lifts in these videos and, as one reader claims, he is overweight.
88kg (3-4% over) is basically perfect weight and off the top of my head that was his first competition after having time off after getting 3rd place at the worlds (by snatching 172kg and completing a mistimed, but “comfortable” 209kg cnj…). He’s hot on Apti’s personal bests but is not there yet.
Agreed, 88kg is not grossly overweight, but my main point was not weight. My point is keeping these videos of Okulov in perspective, which is a gentler way of asking whether it is possible that Apti can be “owned”. Considering that Apti nowadays lifts 387kg on a bad day in international competition, the only way to “own” Apti is to match or beat the world record (i.e., 394kg). Maybe Okulov will achieve that, but these training videos do not prove it. Incidentally, videos of Apti’s personal bests in training are not available online.
An englishman would say : this was ridiculous! 🙂
Either “This is ridiculous!” or “That was ridiculous!” present vs past tense
Thank you Englishman 🙂
Incredible lift. I believe the 94 snatch record will go this year though. Something about the 85 record being so close tells me 195 is coming in a year or two.
Alexandr ivanov is the clear favorite I would say. Just hasn’t put forth his best effort when it counted it seems like. Who else could do it? Artem?
Artem Ivanov that is*
I think he’s even better than Apti.
Artem is by far one of my favourites to watch so maybe I’m biased, but awesome interview Gregor! Huge thanks to Vadim for the translating too.
I found the bit about the squats really interesting. Both the fact he doesn’t really front squat and that he’s limited (by coaches I assume) in the back squat. Does anyone know why they would limit somebody’s back squat purposefully? Injury prevention? Allocation of training time?
T Bone says
I believe it’s essentially about diminishing returns. If he can squat 270×2 his legs are clearly strong enough and there is really no need to emphasize increasing his max here. I think most of the top tier lifters do this to prevent any injury that may be incurred by increasing gains on a lift that after a certain point would have minimal effect on increasing competition lifts. If you think about it, if Artem can get 225 to his shoulders he probably can squat it fairly easily, so now the problem becomes getting the bar to that point which would be where pulls come into the mix. Anyone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here… that’s my 2 cents.
I did not understand the fact that he does not front squat because of a back injury, but there is no problem to back squat?
These Russians must come out of their momma’s womb snatching 100kgs. My word, how impressive is this? 190 hang at 19 years old?