If you (like me at first) thought that after the many interviews Dmitry gave in the recent past, there wasn’t anything new we could learn about him, then you were wrong.
Thanks again to Sergiy Turchyn for translating. More “On Par” Interviews by Dmitry Klokov here.
Update: Beginning of Part 3 added below.
At first, Klokov talked about his business. He is going to produce pretty much everything for weightlifting and crossfit: bars, t-shirts, straps, shoes, etc. He also said that he has a very big project in mind but it is too early to hear about it.
He said how many weightlifters don’t know the price of themselves and agree to be underpaid in sponsorship contracts etc. For example, he mentioned that Apti was offered $1000 for a seminar and was very happy. Klokov replied that Apti should have raised it to $3000-$5000.
As for his training, he is always ready to lift 195+220. Why he doesn’t need the Olympic gold:
- He earns like 10 times more than he used to as a weightlifter.
- All of his current business connections may fail if he disappears for 1.5 years in training camps.
- He likes to lift and he does it every day. He doesn’t have to push himself to the limits to train for fun.
But he also mentioned April as the date for the final decision. Because going for the Olympics may be reasonable if all his sponsors agree on it and support him. In this case he will lift in Russian Cup and qualify for the national team.
He was saying bad things about sports authorities. They told him that he can compete in nationals and qualify for worlds/Olympics. He knows that this has never worked ever and there are many more shady things. But he is ready to stand against because he has reputation and fame, so they will have to listen to him.
He mentioned how after London they said a lot of horrible and false things about him to the higher authorities, so that they hate him now.
Overall, he just sounds like a businessman who knows his price.
He still cares about quality though. In a discussion about barbells he said that companies like Eleiko don’t need to prove anything because they already have reputation. But new companies often have cheaper price and better quality to get their place in the market.
In the same manner, everything he does now he is trying to do in the best way possible. He mentioned how his seminars were planned to last 6.5 hours but actually lasted 10-12 because he wanted each client to be satisfied.
About Sharing Contact Info
I share all my contact information including the phone number and email. People from another countries message me every day, but Russians don’t. Some wonder why I share all this info. I do because I am an open person.
There are numerous invites to commercial competitions coming to the Russian Weightlifting Federation. Many of them have no drug testing. Russians could just go, lift, and get like $5000. Unfortunately, such invitations often don’t reach athletes because of one person who handles the paperwork. That’s why athletes should give out their contact information.
Because of being open, I get many offers. Every single big company related to weightlifting has made some kind of offer to me. I was an athlete for so many years and nobody wrote to me. Now, when I sort of finished my career, they write me every day.
About the Seminars
We were sitting and drinking beer. All of the national team. Vasya Polovnikov says: “Dima, I was in America and they all want you to come. You, Akkaev, Apti and Ilyin. Will you go there?”. “Sure.” We said that as a joke, but in a few days they wrote to me from Italy and invited for a seminar. I agreed, so before the USA trip I already had some experience. Then our American friends planned the whole trip and we did it. After it I was working alone, without Vasiliy.
– Why without him?
It is business. We didn’t really earn a lot in the US. There were 5 of us. We got the same money I get alone, but had to share it. It’s just more effective to do it alone. It’s not like I let him down. We are just working separately. If, say, Apti wants to do a seminar, he can go ahead and do it. If they need help with contacts, I will help them. I have connections with the whole world.
I travelled across 26 countries in 8 months. I am so tired of sleeping in airports like a bum. Flights are often delayed. Right now it took me 36 hours to get here from Brazil. It was supposed to take 23 hours. Where did I sleep? Airports.
It is very hard. Yes, it is a lot of money. Really a lot. But it is hard. Sometimes there is no time to take a shower. There is no time to eat or sleep. I slept 4 hours a day. I came home after a seminar and took care of other business, such as my online training with 8 guys. Just this takes me about 2 hours a day. There is a lot of work.
I can’t really tell how long I will be doing seminars. It is a business and each business has an expiration date. One day it will transform into a different thing that we are preparing right now.
About the Olympics, Once More
You mentioned your plans for the Olympics. What if you get injured like the media told before London? What if you don’t show good enough results? Can you lose the interest of all the sponsors?
That can happen. This is why the question about the Olympics is so hard. My team and I have to consider every possibility to make the final decision.
About Travelling and Language
Why do I want to travel around the whole world? Sometimes I travel to countries that pay less if I have never been there. When you travel to a new country, people will talk to you, share the pictures in the social networks. You get more popular. That increases my price. Sponsors pay me more.
Why am I starting to talk in English? Because 90% of my viewers are not Russian. I don’t have subtitles because my videos are like a reality show. If I post a video, it was filmed either today or yesterday. There is just no time to make subtitles.
I have people who could do that.
Many athletes create their own websites. Do you plan to do it?
Why? I think social networks are enough. Want video? Go on Youtube. Want photos? Go on Instagram, VK, etc. Want to write to me? Use the same websites.
About his Company
I want to work hardPeople want me to do a seminar in Russia. Well, take care of it. Nobody wants to. I don’t have time. My wife is also busy [In the part 1 he mentioned that the core of his Winner company is his dad and wife]. I don’t want to recruit random people. I want to work with those I can trust. Guys from the national team all want to be directors and I don’t need a director.
I offered Dima Lapikov to be a part of my company. He doesn’t want it. Others are the same. Vasya Polovnikov wanted to sell supplements. I told him: “Here is an office, here is a warehouse. Go ahead and use it.” He didn’t want to.
Akkaev once told me that he likes me for always doing what I tell I will do. It’s pointless to sit and talk about millions. You need to get up and work your ass off for it. That’s why so many people want to be directors and authorities: you just sit there with paperwork, do nothing and get paid. Nobody wants to create anything. All athletes want to win something and then do nothing. I am not like that. I want to work hard.
About Crossfit Haters in Russia
I don’t differentiate between weightlifting and Crossfit. All those haters do. Powerlifting and bodybuilding used to be like that – a foreign sport in Russia. How did they start? Everybody denied them. A while ago you could get in prison for owning a bodybuilding gym… Now they are popular. Crossfit is following the exact same path.
It is a new foreign sport. Some people think that we should not develop it and develop our own weightlifting sport. Crossfit will become popular. You can’t hide from it. Why hate it if Crossfit can really help weightlifting? Look at America and Australia. There are much more weightlifters now thanks to Crossfit. The same will happen in Russia. Why do you hate it? Are you idiots?
About Crossfit Coaches in the USA
You know, there are many things I don’t like in Crossfit. I talk about them. The more popular you are, the more people listen to you. For example, these Level 1 seminars that make you a coach in 2 days. 2 days!!! In just 2 days you learn gymnastics, rowing, weightlifting, and everything else.
I attended one of such courses. The instructor knew me, so I could see the shame in his eyes when he was talking about weightlifting. He knew that it was their problem. According to Igor Zaripov, the same can be said about gymnastics. Crossfit is not a sport. It is business. Well, it is sport for athletes, but it is business for businessmen.
There are many injuries in Crossfit. They don’t have a gym culture. They throw plates everywhere. Look at our weightlifting gym and their Crossfit gym.
How can American coaches teach others if they know nothing themselves? They don’t have weightlifting in America. And they come to Russia to teach us weightlifting on Crossfit certifications!
There are only a few of weightlifting gyms in America. But really Crossfit and weightlifting gyms are the same thing. That is why I am trying to promote Crossfit. In Moscow there are 7-8 weightlifting gyms and 7-8 Crossfit gyms. However, Crossfit gyms have Eleiko equipment, new bars, platforms… And you can do the same exercises in there.
Berestov was saying that he couldn’t get the government fund weightlifting equipment for children … This is Russia, forget about it! Nobody will give anything to you for free.
It is business. Open your own gym; call it Crossfit if you need to. But this will be a place where one can Snatch, Clean and Jerk. And this person must pay for the gym. You must pay for weightlifting too, or you will have this old equipment that will cause more injuries! The authorities will not give money to maintain the gym.
You can go another way and attract sponsors. In America each gym has sponsors who pay the most money to maintain the gym: supplement, clothing, equipment companies that have their products in the gym. Just do the same! Stop dreaming about new weightlifting gyms being opened.
About Making Money as a Weightlifter
The problem is that everyone tries to market weightlifting as a sport. This is not right. You should promote each athlete individually. Just like I am doing right now.
Young guys don’t want to be weightliftersYou love weightlifting, but the general public does not know how it is different from powerlifting and bodybuilding. The general public will not like weightlifting, but they can like a person who is a weightlifter.
Young guys don’t want to be weightlifters. They want to be like Klokov, like Apti … People wanted to watch Rigert and Alexeev. They did not come for weightlifting, they came for Rigert and Alexeev. In light weight classes there was much smaller audience.
Suppose you are a company that sells supplements. You come to Chingiz Mogushkov and offer to be his sponsor. Where will he show your products? Nowhere. But if he is active in social networks and TV, then there are ways to market the product. You will pay him more or less depending on how popular he is in social networks.
Who is doing all of this? Nobody. When I come and tell them, they start but then slowly stop.
Just like this program “On Par”. I created it and someone can just copy me, or improve and make it better and get better audience. There are many issues here. You could film it in different locations, add videos about athletes, their photos, put in more video editing. I know how to make it perfect; I just don’t have time because I am doing it myself.
I am doing it myself because I don’t like to rely on others. I have nobody to blame for my problems. That’s why I don’t have a coach. This way if I screw up I can only blame myself. I don’t trust other people.
About his Future Plans
Next year I will organize a competition in weightlifting and Crossfit. Well, not really weightlifting. It will be a mix of all iron sports and will let all kinds of athletes compete among themselves. I have an idea, you will see it next year. I will start working on this when my equipment arrives.
About the Interview
Many will say that I am an egoistic moron. I already know what they will write in comments. However, I don’t care. We will see in 2-3 years. I will be laughing at people who hate Crossfit now. Because in 3 years my goal is to make Crossfit popular in Russia. And it will make weightlifting more popular. You can go into any Crossfit gym and do your Snatches, Cleans, and Jerks. Nobody would let you do them in a commercial gym. Stop hating.
First 20 minutes from commenter “wat”. (Come on guys, chose normal names please.)
Why do you put crossfit hashtag in everything you post?
First, because the term crossfit is googled so much more than term weightlifting. Second, many crossfit athletes understand they have no technique. Many crossfit coaches understand they have no technique. They watch pro weightlifters to pick it up! They understand crossfit is a cult and they know it does not provide relevant weightlifting knowledge.
You seem to curse a lot lately.
You can hear me cursing only if I do something serious! Complexes I post are VERY hard, and I cannot cut it out, and I cannot really control what I say. After the 140kg Barbell Frog Jumps I could not sit for two weeks. I could not even Squat with 140 kg!
Why did you open your channel?
Last july I understood I should treat myself as a show business person. I brought myself to sponsors. You need to do that, or nobody will ever know you exist. Our first Polovnikov-Ilyin-Klokov Videos were written before we shot them. The jokes we told were scripted beforehand tried to make them as entertaining as we could.
You moved from weightlifting videos to crossfit videos. Aren’t you afraid of losing the weightlifting audience? I personally stopped watching them cause I knew there will be more crossfit stuff.
There are more crossfit viewers than weightlifting viewers. I don’t really care. Obviously some weightlifters can lose interest. But there is time for everything. We are making a e-book about how to train, how to eat etc. It will be in English. I can give a lot of information, but I won’t give it for free. I can make a free seminar, but guess what, I don’t want to spend my weekends on free seminars, and people don’t come to seminars on weekdays.
I thought I was going to speak with a sportsman, but now I realize I am speaking with a businessman, a commersant.
Yes. 100% sure. My ego tells me “go back to the weightlifting, go back, take a title”. But I am very spontaneous and I follow what I decide. If I announce: “I’m going to be the best, I’m going to beat Akkaev and Ilyin, I gotta do my best to fulfill that. I am a man my word. But that is not good for me. So I’m going think ten times before I decide in April.
Right now I don’t want. I try to suppress the desire to compete. I am a 32 years old.
If I knew I got to be first, goddamn, if I knew I’m going to be SECOND, I would easily go. It is just too much work, too much competition, too many people don’t want me to go.
The rest is really boring, they mostly chat about nothing. Notable moments:
The video where I lifted girls on the beach actually became somewhat viral in Mexico and USA. Several TV channels asked my permission to publish it (not only in the context weightlifting: “how to pick up girls on the beach” etc).
“On par” is a “rip off” from a popular russian business TV show (‘business secrets’). I like business from childhood – I collected empty bottles when I was a kid and recorded music tapes for my friends for money.
What do you do to be able to sit so low in the squat position?
Nothing, I could do that from the beginning. Judo made me very flexible. I happened to touch the ground with my ass during the snatch.
He admires bodybuilders and says real pro bodybuilders know how to gain muscle/remove fat at least as good as weightlifters. Still he notes that “A lot of bodybuilding tips are simply nonsense.”
More Dmitry Klokov Interviews: