Meanwhile in Russia …
Dmitry Klokov was again guest on Andrey Skoromniy’s “Body Time”.
Unlike his other recent interviews this Body Time episode is again more focused on training and exercises. Read the translation of his first appearance on the show here (has info about his Stiff Legged Deadlifts and more).
Once again big thanks to Sergiy Turchyn who translated this (translation below).
More Interviews with and by Dmitry here.
Front Squats & Stretching
[4:30] Elbow Warm-up for Front Squats.
Stretching: 7 min before and after training. Don’t stretch for 30-40 min. Stretching means very small muscle tears that is not good for recovery.
[6:00] About Front Squats.
He does 10 Squat sessions in 3 weeks. Out of 10 leg training days, 7 would be Front Squat, and 3 would be Back Squat. This I do because Front Squat train the same angles you need in the Snatch, Clean and Jerk.
Andrey Skoromnyy: Bodybuilders use Front Squats to train quads. With Back Squat you can cheat and use your glutes to take load off the quads. In Front Squat you have no choice but use your quads.
[7:30] One of the reasons why you may have knee pain is wearing wrong weightlifting shoes (Nike).
[8:40] Vova Smorchkov, a world champion, liked to do Front Squats with hands forward. He squatted 250 kg this way. This was to prevent upper back from rounding.
It’s better to do 240kg with strict, than 250 with bad form.Best Front Squat of Andrey is 240×6 (a lot for a bodybuilder).
[9:50] I am trying not to bounce at the bottom. Why lie to yourself? It is better to do 240 with strict form than 250 with bad one.
[10:51] Here is how I wrap my knees. I am not sure if it’s the right way, but it’s how I do it.
There are two goals of knee wraps: keeping the knee warm and supporting the ligaments. We are not powerlifters and lifting more weight with knee wraps is not our thing.
I don’t use knee sleeves because they make you will sweat more, so that calcium and sodium will leave your body and this is [bad]…
I wrap under the knee first. This is the only thing my dad did in his competitions. Unlike him, I also wrap above the knee, because I tend to injure myself in this area when I am trying to make weight. I do not wrap around the knee itself, because I want to feel my legs during the lifts.
This is all I do. I can wear the wraps for the whole day and they will not bother me. They will even be dry when I take them off because the material does not make me sweat.
Andrey: Dima, tell us more about the negative phase of your squat. Why are you going down so slow?
Dmitry: This is actually the first time I am hearing about the “negative phase” terminology. Why am I squatting slowly? It is very important. When you Clean or Snatch, many people just drop under the bar. When you do it, the barbell crushes on you.
To prevent this you should catch it higher and slowly go down. Many cannot do this because their muscles are not used to this. They drop fast and bounce in the Squats. You should go down in a controlled manner, fight the urge to drop. This is also very useful for the Jerk. When you dip, you need to fight against the bar, so that you do not go down too much.
[21:00] Liquid chalk demo.
[22:00] [Sergiy’s note] This looks like a typo. It should be 220 kg. The plates are the same as on 22:50.
On Back Extensions
If we are holding weight in front of us, our back is rounding a little bit. If we do Back Extensions with rounded upper back, we will do the same in the Snatch, Clean and Jerk. So, never hold the weight in front of you. Also, don’t grip the barbell too far or too close. [Demonstrates the proper position at 25:05 and following, Watch his Hyperextensions with 80kg here]
I always recommend two sets of 10 with small weight before training.
During the day most of us round our back when we sit. We need to make the back upright for the training session and Back Extensions are a good warm up for that. At the end of the training session you should do them as an accessory exercise.
Comparing Weightlifting Shoe Models
Here are three most popular weightlifting shoes: Nike, Adidas, Reebok.
Their goal is the same: stability. Ideally, the heel should be wider than the front side. I always tell people not to Squat in regular running shoes. They are not stable. It gives you difficulties with proper technique and higher chance of an injury.
All shoes have similar heel height. Except Nike. Nike has a higher heel. It may benefit some people, but it is bad for most of them.
People who squat in Nike shoes may experience more knee problems because their knees are more forward. Nike is a good choice for people whose center of mass tends to be too far back. If you lean forward too much, then don’t use Nike. That’s it. All other differences are just cosmetic.
Squat Jumps make us fast again
On Squat Jumps
[33:30] [See them in action here]
We do this exercise after Squats.
When we Squat we “kill” our speed. Squat Jumps make us fast again. Weight is not important here, speed is. I personally use 55 kg in this exercise. It must be an explosion.
When you jump up, you should point your toes down. If you are doing it right, the feet vibrate when they are in the air because they are relaxed. I usually do sets of 10. Don’t drop down after the jump.
A regular question about Rio and the same answer as always. Not even going to include it here. [read more about his plans here]
Q: How to be big/healthy and strong? [big and healthy is the same word in Russian]
If you mean big and strong, just work hard every day and care about recovery.
If you mean healthy and strong, then it is impossible to be both healthy and strong at the same time.
Q: Can you tell us about herniated disks?
I think each person who lifts weights seriously has them. The first option is to stop lifting and stay healthy. If you want to compete, then you have to train your back and possibly have a surgery.
A lot of guys in the national team have herniated disks. They either had a surgery or are planning to do it.
I personally have not been examined for them. I am sure I have them too. When I stop training I get some problems with my back, so I am sure something is not right.
However, my case is not severe such as, say, Akkaev’s [read about it in Akkaev’s Interview on ATG]. He didn’t feel his leg before London Olympics. I personally saw him dragging his leg to the dining room. This is a serious problem.
Q: I often have back pain, what should I do?
You either have weak back, or bad technique. Do Back Extensions.
Lower back muscles will not cure injuries, but they take load off the back. This is why my back does not hurt when I train.
Q: How does doing Crossfit impact your training?
I like Crossfit. It is new kind of exercise for my body, so it feels good. Weightlifting feels good too, but in a different way.
Of course, it negatively impacts my weightlifting. I feel good in the Snatch. However, Cleans and Squats are a lot harder. But I don’t have to squat 300 at the moment and be in the best shape, so I can do Crossfit for now.
Q: How to make my parents understand that supplements are not harmful?
WADA has a list of banned substances. It has everything that really works, even a little bit. If protein and creatine are not on the list, then they are not harmful. This may also mean that they work much less effectively than banned substances.
Q: Are you happy?
I have never felt unhappy. Even after London I was happy. Because my family supported me. If your family is alive and healthy, everything else is much less important.
Q: Tell us about your education.
As any athlete, I had distance education. My major is a basic coach. However, when other weightlifters read magazines with naked women and played computer games I read business magazines and was thinking about life after retirement. So, I had a lot of education outside college.
Now I don’t read at all. No time.
To learn English, I mostly learned from practice.
Q: Why do you have a beard?
I have never used a razor to shave. They said I would have irritation. Thus, I shave using hair cutting machine that does not shave everything. In addition, girls say they like to kiss me because my beard is soft.
Q: What to do if you are not motivated to train?
In the national camp I would think about others. You wake up late, at 11 am. You decide to sleep in. At 11:30 you start hearing barbells being dropped and you start thinking why you are at the training camp. If you want this, go train. If not, go home.
Q: What person is an example for you?
Nobody. There are many extraordinary people in each field. However, only a few become successful in several fields. Of course, the easiest example is Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was always an idol for me. Not as an athlete, but in general. Nobody else has reached success in three fields.
Q: How to avoid knee and back pain in Squats?
This was the topic of this video. Proper technique. Don’t drop down (divebomb).
Also, use accessories such as wraps and belts. Not everybody needs a belt, though. Of course, if you squat 400+ kg you do.
But these 70 kg guys who squat 100 kg… I personally decided that I don’t need a belt and I just train my lower back and sides [not sure how they are called]. I don’t train abs so much.
Moshe Mahlof says
im loving these,so much info.
thank you =D.
Interesting comments from Klokov on the Romaleos. I have them and do notice a tendency to end up on my toes on very heavy squats/cleans as my back beings to fatigue. The obvious solution is to train my back more (and I am), but it does make me wonder if the heel is not the most ideal for me. On the other hand, if you read Broz’s shoe reviews (which are excellent and extensive), he claims to have measured the pitch of the Nike and the pitch of the Adidas heels to be 8% and 7.8%, respectively–which is practically negligible on paper.
If it works for 90% of Chinese lifters, I’d take that particular comment by Klokov with a big pinch of salt. The same goes for his opinion on knee sleeves (calcium and sodium loss – really? just take vitamins) and wraps. Everyone’s gotta find what works for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to his seminar when he comes to town next weekend and I know I will learn a ton, but I wouldn’t blindly believe everything he says.
I'm Castor Troy says
I do agree with what you just said, being a Romaleo user has not given me knee problems, although my center of mass for the most part is like what Klokov said, in the back part, I still go through certain days where I would lean a little bit forward especially on heavy days. Also, from all the documentaries that i’ve seen regarding chinese lifters (who have been using Nike’s for quite some time), it seems as if no one complains about their knees, back (posterior chain) yes but knees no
Correction to translation. He does 10 squat workouts over 3 weeks, not two.
Can someone explain me what does it means: “Don’t drop down (divebomb)”
These are “divebomb” squats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa_edowfYzs where you don’t really decelerate the weight by muscle strength. You’re using your legs like a spring for the turnover. It is said that it makes best use of the stretch reflex (I doubt it)
These are squats without the divebomb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3gkFt8wquw where you decelerate and change direction by using your muscles. Healthier for your knees. I may add that this is disputed, however most coaches agree on that including the weightlifting power houses China and Russia.
Milko Tokola is a beast