Lifter Highlight: Andrei Belyaev

Hey guys, this is Honey Badger reporting.

I actually read about this on the highly esteemed forums, but there is apparently a niche meet held in Russia in which lifters invited to the Super Cup of Titans compete for highest total irregardless of their weight class, so you have guys like Andrey Belyaev at 220 going up against Andrey Malanichev at 275.

The entire meet roster is full of badasses obviously. See Malanichev squatting 450kg/993lbs with a belt + knee wraps. Note that he misses it on his 2nd attempt and retakes it for a 3rd to get three white lights. lol?

Rules at Super Cup of Titans are the same as IPF, complete with walking the weight out of the rack and back in, stringent depth standards, and single-ply gear.

Before I go on, let me clarify that relative strength is irrelevant. A “double bodyweight squat” isn’t a big deal if you weigh 150lbs (or in my case, 164lbs ……….), and comparing the fact that a lighter lifter lifts “relatively” more than a heavier lifter is fucking asinine and pathetic.

One of the standouts in this meet, however, would be 220lbs Andrey Belyaev, who placed 3rd in this meet despite being the lightest contender. See the results here. Let me point out that the difference between Belyaev and the typical bodyweight-multiple wannabe is that Belyaev totaled fucking 1100kg/2420lbs in single ply and is also an insanely strong raw lifter:

Also, Belyaev may have been the lightest contender but at like 5’8″, 220lbs isn’t necessarily “small.” He’s fucking jacked like a motherfucker.

When it comes down to being reality, you don’t have to put the addendum, “and I only weigh xxxlbs” to your lifts if you are actually strong. If you are like Belyaev you can say “I deadlift 380kg/836lbs raw” and that’s the end of the discussion. Everyone nods their heads and says “yeah that’s pretty legit” and nobody has to add “… for your bodyweight” to make you feel better.

A short interview with Belyaev, his coach, and his family.

Take away points relevant to us:

1.) Everybody can be strong in their own gym, but result must be shown in competition. Fuckin’ A.

2.) No matter what place he takes at the tournament, he will stand. Who fucking gives a shit if he will be the lightest contender at a meet. Come at him, bro. Fuck excuses. If you go to a meet, go to fucking compete.

3.) He won a lot of titles in 2010 after leaving the IPF, but results were too far from ideal. Going to meets isn’t about placing when there are 3 lifters total in your weight class, and it’s not about being a big fish in a little pond. No one cares about a $5 medal you got because you just showed up. It’s about achieving the best competition results you’re capable of posting. Challenge yourself. Strive to get better. This is probably the most important thing you can do as an athlete. Titles, trophies, and medals couldn’t be more irrelevant.

Belyaev’s lifts at Super Cup of Titans:

[spoiler]936lbs squat

661lbs bench

826lbs deadlift


27 thoughts on “Lifter Highlight: Andrei Belyaev

  1. Belyaev is the best in the sport right now, but I’d like to point out that the Pretty Strong post had 30 replies, and the Justin in a speedo post had 41 replies.

    Well played sirs.

  2. brent made some good solid points.

    i love the youtube commentators who always say “WOW GOOD LIFT! I GOT XXXLB @ XXXLB body-weight, is that good?”

    seriously, who gives a fuck. just lift.

  3. I wish I didn’t have to add ‘at xxx’ bodyweight, but a 180 lb squat sounds like a warmup unless you know I weigh 105 pounds. I will be unbelievably excited if I can ever get to a double body weight squat.

  4. Cool videos.

    Question for the group: What brand of shorts fits squatter’s legs? I’m having a hell of a time finding a pair that will fit my legs without buying a pair that’s way too long.

  5. Hi Justin, awsome vids!!

    27 years old, 5,7 88kg

    want to compete ASAP!”!

    Current lifts:

    Squat 3×5 155 kg
    Bench – injured
    Deadlift – 150 1 x 5 after injury

    I sent you a post a couple of weeks ago about pain in my shoulder when I bench, you asked me to figure it out so here goes:

    I get Chronic pain in my left shoulder and left trap only when I bench. When I hit 80kg the pain starts to come. (the heavier I go the pain gets worse) I feel that my bench press form is very good and I have Ripp ro thank for that.

    I was on the TM method previosly and reached 110 kg 5×5 bench untill I pulled my back out whilst deadlifting. I am now on SS working everything back up.

    The pain gets worse the more sets I perform, the pain lasts for about one minutes and then completly goes. It does not hurt on any other exercise. Im not sure if it is a posure problem as I have not been doing much rowing at all.

    I can mail you vids of my lifts if this will help you.

    Any advice will be great.

  6. I don’t think 200+ lb. guys are in danger of losing their recognition in strength sports to any of us “little” people. I don’t understand why you would get all pissed off because bodyweight relative to lift or pull or weight moved is noted. More jaws will drop when a 250lb man benches 450lbs than when a 150lb man benches 330lbs, every single time, as rare as either event would be at most gyms in the US.

  7. I really disagree with the point saying relative strength is asinine and pathetic. No, it’s not. It’s simply a way for people of smaller stature to compete in strength athletics. Otherwise guys who were just born smaller would never have reason to bother entering a competition. There’s no way a guy who is endowed to only ever be 5’4″ is ever going to squat 900 pounds, even if he can get his bodyweight up to 220 with low fat. However he might squat 600, and that’s damn impressive. One thing I that I find attractive about competitive lifting is that it gives ANYONE an opportunity to improve themselves to the point that they can be judged based on the performance that someone their size is capable of.

    MOST sports don’t give a shit about relative strength. The scoreboard on the basketball court doesn’t care how many shots the short guy made. The football coach doesn’t care how much a guy’s relative strength is; he just wants to see tackles and touchdowns. In the realm of strength, competitions like World’s Strongest Man are just that–world’s strongest. Not world’s relative strongest. The winners are always super tall and massive.

    Under the logic that everyone should compete against one another regardless of body size, men and women should compete in the same matches. Since distinctions based on genetic are pathetic. That’s asinine.

  8. I love that the 2009 Raw Worlds were in Rostov-on-Don. Dodgy place. My ancestors are from around there. Cossacks, mostly. Scary folk. (That goes for Russians in general, though.)

  9. BW matters, a little, but is not worth arguing about. Example: I did a small push/pull meet last weekend that used the Wilks formula for placement. I finished 12th (of 19). Had it gone by straight lifting numbers, I would have finished 7th. Does it matter? Hell no – I just need to get a LOT fucking stronger, and so do most people on here.
    FYI, I did 285/525. The winner did 405/600…with ease, irregardless of the fact that he weighed .2lbs less than me.

  10. @Maslow Men can become heavier men, women can’t grow testicles (well, in most cases).

    Speaking of Malanichev, I vote that he gets inducted into the 70’s Big HOF for being big and strong as fuck, and displaying badassery and his lack of fuck-giving by deadlifting 880-ish an hour after this:

  11. Great videos, but am I missing something? Why was Malanichev’s 2nd lift no good? I watched it a couple of times and it appears every bit as deep as his 1st. In fact it was deeper than his 3rd lift.

  12. Weight classes are frankly a bunch of bullshit. To me they’re just a way to allow more people to be “winners”. Almost everyone who lifts just wants to be stronger and more muscular. Dieting like a ballerina to slot into a class with weaker opponents has nothing to do with this. At all.

    2 Things are True in a lifting competition:

    1. If someone lighter than you out lifts you, they are a better lifter.
    2. If someone heavier than you beats your Strength:Weight, they are a better lifter.

    If neither of these are true, you should medal at that meet.

    Here’s an example of what’s wrong with weight classes:

    If a weightlifter cuts to the 77kg class and totals 240 for 1st place, did they really deserve a first place performance if a 62kg lifter managed 241, 2 69kg lifters did 255, an 85kg lifter 275 and a 105kg lifter 328?

    Relative strength is not completely useless, it matters in climbing, gymnastics and ability to accelerate. But lifting barbells is about the weight on the bar and the %BW croud should figure that out.

    A substitution to ease the transition to comparing lifts like a man is (weight lifted) – BW. I press 30# over, deadlift 300 over. This index doesn’t punish muscular bodyweight gain the way Strength:Weight does. 5lbs on your shoulders and arms gives you far more than 5lbs on your press.

  13. Goddamn. Andrei Belyaev is my new hero. As a smaller guy myself, seeing someone who’s 4″ taller and 11 kg heavier than me and getting totals like the bigger guys is a real inspiration.

    Like what his coach says in the interview, “…when Andrey Balyaev competes with such monsters of 130-150 kilos bodyweight and gains nearby equal totals as them, this is honour, prestige”.

  14. Andrey is in fact, the man. I believe he also weighed in at 98.15kg, not the full 100kg his ‘class’ allowed… now that being said it looks like he is HUGE if he did weigh in at either 98 or 100kg.

  15. I lol when people get offended by what Brent says. I guess they all don’t believe “if you aren’t on drugs, you’re not trying.”…

  16. maslow,

    the post may have mentioned a niche meet in which there are no weight classes, but it is not pushing for the abolition of weight classes

    relative strength IS irrelevant, at least in the context of lifting weights, because 1.) if you are competing in PL/OL, it is within a weight class 2.) strength does not increase directly with bw 3.) comparing lifters across different weight classes is done more accurately with Wilks/Sinclair or algorithms such as the ones Antigen provided


    you basically just asked me “y u mad tho”

    i’m just saying no one gives a shit about someone who is 170lbs squatting 340lbs. i don’t think this is an unreasonable statement. squatting “double bodyweight” doesn’t really mean anything. if someone at 170lbs squats 500lbs, that person would be considered strong irregardless of how many multiples of their bw 500lbs is, because 500lbs is almost universally a pretty sizable amount of weight to squat

    i think bw does matter to a small extent. i.e. Belyaev is a fucking G for coming in 3rd despite being 220lbs at Super Cup of Titans. Boevski squat 550lbs high-bar at 151lbs which is insane. i mean there’s a bunch of examples of lighter lifters doing insane shit but again, strength isn’t directly proportional to bw, so it’s just hard for me to give a shit about someone using a 2.5x bw squat as a standard for anything. strong will be clearly strong without having to calculate a bw multiplier

  17. oh and simonsky

    yes i miss on occasion. i dunno what you mean by “tearing up the gym,” the plates are iron and rubber coated and the floor is heavy rubber, and if i miss it’s not from all the way overhead, at worst it’s the bottom of a snatch, and usually i can still decelerate the bar from overhead while it’s coming down

    i try to focus more on power snatches if i’m using iron plates, as well, and then finish up the workout with some easy squat snatch singles

    c+j is easier, i don’t think i’ve missed a jerk with iron plates, though it was hard at first jerking anything heavy because i also had to lower the weights to my shoulders. if you push press, that helps with that part.

    anyways man

    it helps if the staff at your globo gym gives even less of a fuck than you do. i’ve only been asked to wipe the chalk off the bar i use, and that was like once

  18. If you are shorter than 6ft tall and/or weigh less than 220lbs, go Google “Ed Coan” and “Kirk Karwoski”…then proceed to motivate yourself.

    I have to do cleans and snatches with iron plates at a Globo Gym as well. I feel I could improve on my max clean if I was allowed to drop the weights. But since I cannot drop the bar I keep the weights lower and do more repetition work.

    I never go heavy on snatch (ha!) mostly because I’m afraid of hurting any one using the machines behind me should I miss at the top and dump it behind me.

  19. Maslow – if a lifter is 6′ tall and 220 they may actually have a harder time lifting heavier weight than the 5’5 guy who weighs 200. Longer arms, legs and torso means more space to move through for a rep. So being the 5’5 guy has distinct mechanical advantges due to a better anthropometry that makes the lifts naturally easier to do. This is why relative strength can be considered irrelevant. The 5’5 guy is stronger, but lighter, his strength may be affected my anthropometry but its not relative to his build, because someone of the same build could be much weaker and never reach the same totals. Programming and discipline is all that makes the difference in the end realistically. At least that’s my highly valuable(lol) opinion on the issue.

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