Meanwhile in Russia …
He and Kirill Sarychev recently sat down for an interview about his plans for the future and strength sports in general.
I suggest having this playing in the background while reading.
Thanks to Juri and Vadim who summed up the following from the interview below.
Misha is happy with the current state of weightlifting in Russia. Says best since 1992. He also seems to be in favor of Venkov’s nomination (Venkov replaced David Rigert as head coach). He said the positive impact is already there, particularly when it comes to athletes morale
On Strongman: He thinks that the weights in strongman are getting too heavy.
380kg Deadlift for reps is too much. He complains that they have to be at the absolute limit of human potential and this causes deaths (he did not specifically mention Mike Jenkins’s recent passing, but is probably referring to it).
He would prefer “crossfitty” weights like during the time when Mariusz (Pudzianowski) was competing.
He says he thinks in powerlifting the level is rising too and people start dying, but it’s not that public because of the community.
Further he realized he’s not 25 anymore and reduced his ambitions. For him that means that he thinks about starting in weightlifting master competitions and do more publicity work for strength sport etc. (Though he is on the start list for the Arnold Classic Strongman competition)
Translators Note from Juri: So my personal take on this is that he realized that he is basically not competitive in strongman anymore and with Jenkins’ death and his triceps tear (at 2013 WSM) he’s kinda pissed.
On the topic of powerlifting Misha suggests to reduce number of weight classes to 90, 100, 125, 125+. He also presents the idea of a Russian open (federation-independent) powerlifting championship where you have to meet some numbers to qualify… 400 deadlift. Kirill (with his 380kg Deadlift) is like: mkay.
This is followed by a long rant about how little money they get in powerlifting (or strongman) and some bashing of people who judge powerlifters/strongmen.
Then they discuss the topic of stepping over the bar now [in Russia stepping over the bar is frowned upon and regarded as disrespectful]. This is a serious topic for Misha as he likes this tradition.
He compared the stepping-over-the-bar rule with tons of other unwritten rules existing in Russian armed forces, etc (for example those who serve on submarines drink sea water and do some other shit upon their first submerging). Misha claims that is takes like 20 kg away if you step over the bar and jokes that this is the reason why Russia is so good in weightlifting and powerlifting.
Then he diverts to a rant about people going to the gym in flip flops and how he needs to fight this blasphemy.
Misha made a good comparison:
Walking around the gym in flipflops is like coming to a business meeting in black dress shoes with white sports pants tucked into socks
Here are some recent training clips from him (post triceps tear).
300kg Deadlift x7 (note he did 362kg x9 in his “prime”)
And finally this is the interview.
More Misha: His Interview Breaking Plateaus and Recovering from Inflamed Elbows