After the Konstantin Konstantinovs interview, Mike Israetel interviewed Mikhail Koklyaev for JTS Strength.
Together they recap Misha’s career.
More: Past Misha interviews here and here.
- boxing at age 11, 1 year training
- Soviet Union collapsed
- switched to Karate, instructor was an didn’t know what he was doing
- saw Arnold Schwarzenegger film, and decided to that he wants to be like him
- was tall and skinny
- started weightlifting
- diet wasn’t right, didn’t eat enough
- “if I’m not growing in size, I’m going to put on weight on the bar and try to get as strong as I can”
- 1994, age 15, worked as loader for food trucks during the summer, did 125 + 155
- became so good that the city paid a small stipend
- age 16 silver medal at Russian junior nationals with 150 + 177.5
- 1996, won Russian teen nationals, 155 + 187.5 national teen records
- now member o the national team national team, met David Rigert who inspired him much
- stood before the decision to be a professional sportsman or join the army
- 1997, age 18, 179 + 190 at jr nationals
- became more and more skeptical of authority, which caused conflicts with the weightlifting administration
- became more independent
- 1998, he felt like he didn’t belong to the weightlifting family of Russia, felt like an outsider
- weightlifting family ,like the army, requires you to shut up and do as you’re told
- age 20, 190 + 232, at the time he was “lifting for bad reasons”, he thinks the reason you should train is for yourself. at this point in his life he was lifting to prove it to other other people
- met his future wife, realized there is a life outside of lifting
- 2001, productive training year, then had injury in hip muscles, went to a competition anyway and bombed
- when he snatched 200 for the first time, all the politics went away for a second, when you are that good, people leave the politics aside
- 2003, Snatched Russian record & European record, with 210 snatch, got a small apartment as a gift (his biggest prize)
- 2004, last chance meet, needed to get into shape quickly, Hinting at drug use (“methods” that make you gain & lose quickly)
- at the 2004 Russian Olympics qualifier he took first place, beat Chigishev with 205 + 245, Chigishev didn’t total
- federation, decided that he won’t go, no Russian +105 at Olympics, this year
- never took his lifting problems home, “family life is like clean water, you don’t mix it with dirty water”
- 2004, at a local sports day in town, he got asked by Elbrus Nigmatulin (Russian strongman) if he wants to join train with him
- Manitoulin teased him about weightlifters not being ready for strongman
- took part in a team strongman comp
- went to the gym 3 times a week to do weightlifting, to keep strength, and 3 times per week he did strongman technical training, nobody knew about it, he didn’t regard it as a true sport, because strongman is not Olympic
- April 2005 he won all six events of the Russian strongman championships
- Vasily Alekseyev on how to become strong: “Don’t let anyone interfere with your training”
And just to prove that he is the best all around strength athlete of our time, here is Misha with a 900kg Total done in 37 seconds 😀
Easily the all around strongest man in the world in at least the past decade. Anyone have examples of someone who can compete with the top in powerlifting, weightlifting and strongman?
Mark Henry still has the highest super total of all time… He’s also lifetime drug free and has the highest drug tested powerlifting total of all time
I used to think Mark Henry being billed as the strongest man in the world was just a WWE gimmick until I looked up his records. His lifting career is really staggering. Not only the numbers but his age and being drug free as well, its truly fascinating.
drug free sports existed till the 50’s.
MIke BF says
It is extremely hard to believe that anyone with a 400kgs total is PED free. Its just not very safe or healthy.
And his 400kg total as a superheavy is not nearly close to Koklyaev’s numbers, he got 448kg in a 2011 comps.
I’d still love to see Mark Henry do some seminars, or just post a nice Snatch and C&J videos on youtube, he seems like an awesome guy
Yeah but Henry switched from PLing when he was 20 and trained Oly for 6 years, Misha was Oly lifting for like 15 years before he got his total… I put Henry in the same debate as Kaz and Z for strongest human ever, he was a hugely powerful guy and so young and gigantic, I hate that he went to wrestling… And I’m not having a steroid debate
Ronny weller snatched 210 at sidney olimpics already. Cannot be european record in 2003.