Lessons from the World’s Strongest Squatter

This past June we had the honor of hosting a seminar with Andrey Malanichev. Hailing from Russia, Andrey holds the honor of posting the highest total ever achieved in the sport of powerlifting through a 1,069 lb squat, 562 lb bench press, and 880 lb deadlift. For years he was untouched as the world record holder in the squat and he’s also deadlifted 900+ lbs in training. Needless to say, he’s pretty strong.


Andrey came to Kratos to share his knowledge about training and talk in-depth about his best lift, the squat. Here’s some of the biggest takeaways from the seminar:

  1. Always be mindful of technique. Andrey’s technique never breaks down even while lifting massive amounts of weight. This is typical of the competitive lifters from Russian and former Soviet states. When they begin practicing the big barbell exercises in their early teens (or even earlier), they’re not allowed to start handling heavy weights until their technique is perfect. Even as they grow stronger and advance as athletes, technique is never sacrificed for the sake of chasing bigger weights.
  2. Keep your training programs simple. Even at Andrey’s advanced level as a powerlifter, he follows very simple programs. He focuses almost exclusively on the basic barbell exercises and uses very few accessory exercises. No complicated set/rep schemes are used and he training just two or three times per week. When he begins to train for a competition, he starts training three to four months out with light weights and the weight gradually increases as he nears the competition with a straight-forward week-to-week progression.
  3. Eat a lot. If you’re serious about developing your strength, you gotta be serious about eating too. Andrey ate between 5000-6000 calories per day while in Chicago without any effort which is as much as some people eat in a week. It takes a lot of fuel to power a 1000+ lb squat!
  4. Enjoy the process. As tedious as training can get, be sure to enjoy it. Even after close to three full decades of consistent training, Andrey still enjoys lifting and competing. Building your strength isn’t easy but it should always be rewarding.

If you missed this summer’s seminar be sure to sign up for the next event with Andrey in January! This time around we’ll spend a full day covering all three of the basic lifts and Andrey will dispense even more wisdom. Sign up here and come prepared to lift and learn!

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