Meanwhile in Estonia …
Update: Mart Squatted 320kg x10!
Update: his 246kg Clean & Jerk at worlds + the Story behind the lift.
In this video you see 23 year old Mart Seim squatting 350kg.
He has been a weightlifter for 9.5 years now and was born into a very weightlifting friendly environment. His father (227.5kg C&J) and his grandfather were weightlifters too.
Stats: at 185cm Mart weighs in at around 141kg bodyweight.
A couple of month ago he injured his hand (partial tear in thumb and index), which prevented him from starting at the 2013 U23 Europeans in Tallinn.
But of course he did not sit around doing nothing during that time. Since then he lay emphasis on putting more kilos on his squat and training around his injury.
That’s why I decided to do a little interview with him. Enjoy.
Gregor: Earlier this year I linked to your 320 Squat & 310kg Deadlift Videos and since then your lifts have improved a lot.
Mart: Actually my record in March was 330kg (Front Squat was 270kg then). That was before the Estonian weightlifting championships [Mart did a 225kg Clean & Jerk here].
So since then it was only 20kg progress
Gregor: Still good progress in my opinion.
Mart: The progress was quite good, yes.
It’s easier to recover when you can’t do classical lifts.
His Wrist Injury & Rehab
Gregor: Right your wrist… How is that coming along?
Mart: It’s not bad actually. I did Push Press with 150kg already and it didn’t hurt wrists. But my shoulders are also nagging me.
Gregor: What was the wrist injury? Something fractured?
Mart: No fracture, but the soft tissue in between thumb and index finger. I don’t know hows it’s called in English.
Gregor: Anything fancy you do for rehab?
The doctor said it will heal in 2-3 months. Now it’s almost 2 months since it happened, so I hope it won’t take much longer.
But I already power snatched 130kg. So far only power snatch, because when I go deeper it starts hurting as the wrist position is a little different when you’re down.
Update 23.12.2013: After a week of getting back into full snatches Mart hit an all time PR with 177kg!
In 2010 I had a bad wrist injury. Then I didn’t compete for 7 months. Actually I hurt both hands now, but one was luckier.
I’m quite sure that if I hadn’t done wrist exercises it would be way more serious.
Gregor: Would these wrist exercises be something like wrist curls?
Mart: Yeah. I did it with 30 kg one hand easily 50 reps.
Gregor: Chasing the pump 😀 …
Gregor: I asked readers for questions and one was of course about training around injuries.
What precautions do you take in order to prevent/ minimize injuries?
Mart: Well, I do many exercises to prevent injuries.
Like shoulder,wrist, knee exercises and of course lower back exercises too. Similar to what Klokov does.
Gregor: Got a few examples of your primary exercises for this?
Mart: Oh boy my English is a little rusty, but I try.
For back I do planking exercises at least twice a week.
Mart: Yes, with a disk on my back
Mart: But not too heavy. Sometimes 25kg is ok.
Gregor: And for shoulders and wrists?
Mart: For shoulders I only do slow “Circles” [arm rotations in both directions, think swimming motion] with like 10 kg.
The Circles worked well for me. In the past when I did presses more than 3 times per week my shoulders started hurting, but ever since I did these they were ok.
Gregor: Coming back to the squat… So in march 330kg, how did you go about training from there? Any special rep /set scheme?
Mart: A week after I injured my wrist I started squatting in a pyramid scheme [Russian Squat Routine, get your Spreadsheet here], starting at 270kg.
That means I began with 2×6 [2 reps 6 sets] the first day. Two days later 3×6 and then two days from there 2×6.
So it looked like this; [reps x sets] 2×6,3×6,2×6,4×6,2×6 and so on.
I stayed on this program until I reached 270kg for 6×6 and that was heavy. After this I had trouble recovering.
After each set I was sure I couldn’t do the next oneMart: After each set I was sure I couldn’t do the next one.
But usually, when I am fit and within 2 months from competition, I only squat twice a week.
Gregor: That touches on another point I wanted to bring up. How do you deload?
Mart: Actually after competitions I always take a little break from classical lifts or I lift only smaller weights and try to get stronger in the Squat and Deadlift. So I can take the next step forward.
After 2013 Europeans I did gym for like 1,5 months to increase leg size and such. I thought it would make things easier when I start heavy squatting again. Maybe it helpd also.
Gregor: More mass = more power later on.
Mart: Yeah, when I did 330kg [in March] my leg size was 82 cm. Now [October] it’s 87 cm.
Gregor: You need new pants then haha
Gregor: How do you think your increase in Squat strength will impact the classic lifts?
Mart: Well the bar goes lighter when you’re stronger of course. But apart from that it helps me in the mental aspect.
I know I’m stronger than I was before and that makes easier to lift bigger weights.
Gregor: How about Pulls?
Mart: At the moment I don’t know. I didn’t do pulls lately because my wrist didn’t let me.
Now this week I will start training pulls and back again. I tried deadlifts last week and did 310kg, which was my personal best from March. But Pulls I didn’t do for a month.
Now I try to bring my Deadlift up to something similar to my Squat.
Gregor: When you did the 270kg 6×6, where did you think was your squat then?
But after 6×6 I was tired for 9 daysMart: At least 330-340kg. But after 6×6 I was tired for 9 days.
Mart: The plan was to do 285kg 5×5 next.
Monday I did 6×6 [with 270kg] and Friday I tried 5×5 [with 285kg].
I did only 2 sets, one with 5 reps and another 4 and my legs were exhausted.
Then next training I did 2×6 again. After that I just went up and did 2-3 sets with 300kg.
Next I did a week in the 300s. That week I did the 320 for 2 reps. The same day I did 300 for 5 reps and tried how 320 feels.
But I always kept 270kg for 6 sets of 2 as a rest day.
Next I did the 320kg x5 on Monday and then on Friday I did the 350kg
I’m quite sure that by Friday my legs weren’t fully recovered from Monday.
Gregor: Probably not. So 360kg coming soon?
Mart: Maybe before March. I don’t think I will go up any more.
Now I squat twice a week with one day being lighter Front Squats and the second day will be some sets with 320kg.
So previously I squatted 3 times per week and now I start training pulls 3 times per week.
Pulls & Deadlifts
Gregor: do you plan the same pyramid approach as with the squat?
Mart: Actually, no.
I do different pulls.
Gregor: Different how?
Mart: Well, I do
- lower back pulls like Klokov’s Snatch Grip Pulls, using back only.
- Clean first pulls, up to a little above knees only
- Clean Pulls
- and of course Snatch pulls also, but no big weights here
Gregor: and reps / sets?
Mart: Up to 5 sets and 6 reps, but not with Clean Pulls as they need speed.
Those sets/ reps are only for Deadlift and First Pull to above the knee.
If I can manage 340-350kg deadlift I hope I’m ready for 245kg Clean and Jerks in Europeans.
Before the U23 Europeans in September I thought I was ready for 240kg.
I did a 220kg Clean and it was so easy.
Gregor: 245kg would be fantastic. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. Do you want to give any shout outs?
Mart: I would like to mention my food supplements sponsor www.ifit.ee. It’s the best food supplement shop in Estonia. Without good supplements like these I’m quite sure I couldn’t recover from training.
Another thank you goes to the Estonian weightlifting committee, which gives me and some other athletes stipends.
Gregor: Great, as a final word I would like to thanks Jürgen for submitting the 350kg Squat video without which this chat would not have taken place.
Update 01.03.2014: At the 2014 Estonian Nationals Mart got a 180kg Snatch and 233kg C&J.