While in Poland Nat (hookgrip) and I got the chance to visit team Astana (basically the best male Kazakh weightlifters) in the Olympic training center in Spała.
We attended both their morning and evening training session. Because some of the guys were preparing for competitions we were not allowed to film everybody (we saw some great lifting though).
We were allowed to film Ilya Ilyin, Vladimir Sedov and Zhassulan Kydyrbaev though.
Below the videos is a quick write up of our trip.
Update 23.08.2015: Ilya’s Deficit Snatch Grip Deadlifts without Hook Grip.
During lunch he said he is doing all kinds of deadlift variations right now. Coaches have him do this one to improve his grip which in turn should help improve his Snatch.
Update 10.07.2015: Ilya going for 155kg x3 … wait no, let’s make that 2
Update 02.07.2015: Ilya doing a Clean Complex with 180kg.
Clean + Clean + Split Jerk + Power Jerk + Slowmo
Update 01.07.2015: Vladimir Sedov and Zhassulan Kydyrbaev’s morning and afternoon training.
Update 28.06.2015: Ilya snatching 160kg. The heaviest weight for him that day.
Update 26.06.2015: Ilya snatching 150kg for a double.
Update 23.06.2015: Just a glimpse of what the training hall atmosphere was like.
It’s all about finding a good balance between joking around and focus 100% on the task at hand, which is what everybody on the team is able to do. (Song is “Beatbox”)
Here it is, Zhassulan Kydyrbaev’s full Afternoon session. 20 minutes of lifting with lots of slow motion.
- He works up to 160kg x1 Snatches twice (with no extension snatches in warm up)
- then he has to do 2 “attacks” up to 190kg C&J; that means 170 2+2, 180 2+1 and 190kg 1+1
- and he finishes the day off with squats
Update 19.06.2015: Zhassulan with a 170kg 2 Cleans + 2 Jerks Complex
Update 19.06.2015: Zhassulan’s 160kg Snatch in Full Speed and Slow Motion.
Update: Here is Ilya’s afternoon session filmed by Hookgrip.
Ilya snatches up to 160kg, Clean & Jerks up to 180kg.
He then proceeds to do grip work with Snatch Grip Deficit Deadlifts without hookgrip. He goes up until he fails 170, 190. His coaches think that his improving his grip will improve his overall snatch performance.
At lunch Ilya also told us that he started to do deadlifts (in all variations), whereas before that deadlifts weren’t really a concern of him.
PS: Germans, if the video is blocked for you, unblock it with a proxy service.
Here is the 11 Am training session. This was a light session to get the week started.
Zhassulan had 4 sets of 2 reps 200kg Squats, 125 kg Snatches and 155kg Clean & Jerks on the menue (see training plan photo below).
And Here is Ilya’s Morning Session as filmed by Hookgrip.
How we got there:
During Junior Worlds we saw that lots of lifters from Team Astana (basically the best male Kazakh weightlifters like Vladimir Sedov, Zhassulan Kydyrbaev, Almas Uteshov, Rustem Sybay, Denis Ulanov, Kirill Pavlov, Ermek Omirtay, Vladimir Kuznetsov and more) were training in the Polish Olympic Training Center in Spała.
Right away Nat suggested that we should visit them. A couple of days later Ilya also posted on Instagram that he is coming to Poland.
Nat messaged Toishan Bektemirov, one of Ilya’s coaches, and asked if it was okay for us to drive up there and take photos and video of the team. He gave his OK.
So now we only needed the OK from the Poles. And who better to ask than the president of Polish weightlifting, Szymon Kołecki, himself? Luckily he also said it was no problem.
Sunday arrived and we jumped into my
Tesla Model S 2001 Volvo and drove from Wroclaw to Spała. 2 hours 40 minutes later we arrived in a very small town in the middle of nowhere in the Polish country side.
At the reception everything went surprisingly smooth (thanks to Monika who called the hotel the day before and told them that an American and a German will will arrive the next day).
We checked in, got our Wifi passwords and by pure luck ran into the Kazakhs who were sitting in front of the hotel. Sunday is their day off from training, so they headed to McDonald’s in downtown Spała.
Here is a map of the whole complex.
Next we headed to our room to set up the ATG & Hookgrip headquarters.
Lunch was served from 12 to 15:00. You could choose from a couple of different kinds of meats. veggies, potatoes, buckwheat, rice and salads.
After a quick walk through the town we headed back to the hotel and explored the facility.
The rest of the day consisted of working in the hotel room, dinner in a pizzeria, and more working.
The next day, Monday, we almost missed breakfast were it not for the kind lady behind the counter who let us in after they officially closed the buffet.
Then it was time for the first training session (11 AM, watch the video at the top of this post).
We headed to the training hall and slowly one lifter after the other entered the hall and started to warm up and stretch.
Ilya arrived a little bit later. When he did, everybody came up to him and fist bumped him. You could feel that they all look up to him.
It should be pointed out that the team works great together. The hall was filled with a positive atmosphere (lead by Ilya dancing and joking in between sets).
Oh and everybody stepped on the scale before workout. Ilya weighed in at around 113 (with shoes and clothes). His next competition is will most likely be the president’s cup in Grozny in December.
Ilya getting a pre workout massage.
Kirill Pavlov and Zhassulan looking at the training plan which was pinned next to each lifter’s platform before the session started.
Close up of the training plan.
See for Monday afternoon it says: Snatch up to 160 in 2 attacks. “3,2,1” means “do 140kg x3, 150kg x2 and 160kg x1”.
2 attacks means do all that twice.
Translation from Sergiy:
- Back Squat 200 4×2
- Snatch 125 4×2
- Clean&Jerk 155 4x(1+1)
- Snatch 160 2x(3,2,1)
- Clean&Jerk 190 2x(2+2, 2+1, 1+1)
- Front Squat 210 2x(3,2,1)
Tuesday AM: rest
- No Hook Grip Snatch 120 5×2
- Deficit Clean 140 5×2
- Snatch Pull from high and low deficit 170 5x(1+1)
- Obliques 40 4×10
- Front Squat 180 4×2
- Muscle Snatch 100 4×2
- Lower Abs 4×12
- Snatch 150 2x(3,2,1)
- Clean+Push Jerk 170 2x(1+3, 1+2, 1+1)
- Back Squat 230 2x(3,2,1)
- Medium grip overhead press from the bottom position 65 4×4
- Muscle Clean 110 4×3
- Jumps 4×7
Thursday PM: banya/sauna
- Front Squat 190 4×2
- Snatch 130 4×2
- Clean&Jerk 160 3x(1+1)
- Snatch 165 2x (3,2,1)
- Clean & Jerk 195 2x(2+1, 1+1+1, 1+1)
- Front Squat 215 2x(3,2,1)
Saturday AM: rest
- Clean grip overhead press from the bottom position 65 4×4
- Deficit Clean Pull 200 5×3
- Dips 25 4×8
- Upper Abs
After his session I even got Ilya to do the #ohpchallenge !
After training everybody went to cryotherapy, which Nat and I couldn’t resist to try. So we quickly bought our cryo gear (headband, gloves, shorts, mask and socks) and went into a – 110°C room for what felt like 2 or 3 minutes.
After that we had lunch together in the cafeteria.
Here is a photo of Ilya’s lunch. That is all he ate after the 11 AM session. No meat. Only buckwheat, Potatoes and a salad. He said he doesn’t count calories or macros, he just eats. Also he weighed in at 113kg this morning (which clothes/shoes).
Live tweeting @ilyinilya1 's lunch from the Spała training center pic.twitter.com/7wrWDsyVYa
— hookgrip (@hookgrip) June 15, 2015
Coming up next: the 5PM training session with more videos and heavier lifts.
awesome, love this stuff.
Love it! Great stuff all around. Keep up the good work!
just curious but is 3,2,1 definitely 140×3, 150×2, 160×2, as opposed to 160×1?
That was a typo, forgot to change it here in the post. it’s 160kg x1 of course
great Gregor, do you have the other weeks of training? It looks like that they are in the beginning of the cycle.
Nope, they just gave the athletes the plan for this week.
Tell us more about Ilya’s diet, please.
There is not much to say about it. Ilya doesn’t eat meats and doesn’t count calories / macros. He just eats.
No meat whatsoever?
Is Vladimir Kuzneitsov, Kirill Pavlov, Denis Ulanov and Rustem Sybay competing at asians?
Rory Taylor says
Awesome vids Gregor! did Ilya and Zhussalan and Vladimirs programs vary much? in terms of exercises?
I have not checked the others programs
good post, thank you
Just saw the 2 morning sessions, for some reason though the afternoon video isnt there at all.
It’s there , as an embedded facebook video. maybe you have some scripts blocked that prevent loading the player.
I embedded the youtube video now
The food is very poor. Only enough for a small child
Thank Gregor. Great stuff.
For anyone who is interested to read in more detail about the training of team Astana look here:
“Scientific – Methodological Aspects of Training the Kazakhstan Select Team
Ivan Sivokhin, Alexei NI, Enver Turkileri
Translated by Andrew Charniga, Jr.”
Ilyin and co. aren’t under Ni and Turkeleri anymore and if you compare the plans they don’t match at all.
you are right, Ilya is not under Ni and Turkeleri coaching, but I think that there is not much differences between the training plan of Astana team and the national team.
Thanks, but honestly I don’t care that much. The article was interesting to read, but I don’t understand why people try to deciver the training plan of Ilyin. Do you guys want to adapt his training?
I certainly don’t! Just wanted to make a note for those who find this later. Wasn’t meant as a critique of your link, which is of course interesting. 🙂
Thanks for the write-up Gregor, really appreciate it! Great stuff.
german hang says
Thank you very much for your concerns about german visitors! Luckily we can watch the vid without any restrictions.
Greetings from germania!
Is “Team Astana” just a casual way to differentiate or is there now an actual Astana weightlifting team similar to the cycling, football etc. teams?
Ilya Ilyin is a member of the “Astana Presidential Sports Club” (see wiki). Ilyin calls it “PPSC – Presidential Professional Sports Club”. It’s a form of sponsoring and marketing for the capital city/brand “Astana”. The money comes from a national welfare fund.
Since Ilyin is the central figure of some kind of “subteam” of Kazakhstan weightlifting (he left the national team and founded his own) the people around him probably benefit from the sponsoring in some way too.
However, the name “Team Astana” must be Gregor’s idea 😉 Probably with the cycling team in mind (Astana Pro Team).
Team Astana is not my idea. Ilya calls it team Astana too (he doesn’t call it Presidential Professional Sports Club when talking about it). It’s just shorter.
Ah, okay. I was willing to give you the credit 🙂 I was refering to his YouTube videos (the good old days, lol), where he used that description.
Edit: Is there a chance you can get your hands on their training playlist?
Huntington Hayes says
Just wondering why they are choosing to train in Poland?
I think szymon kolecki invited them, last year they also got invited
Cant wait to see some videos of ilya getin back into heavy weights a couple months from now.
Guillermo Bujanda says
Gregor just wondering what camera’s do you use on these trips?
Or all of the above!
All of the above