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


Helpful Mobility Suggestions

Here is a post by Brent that he wrote for his training blog. You can find his site HERE. Everyone here at 70’s Big loves Kelly Starrett, and Brent probably wishes Kelly was his dad. Go to for a daily mobility video.

I started out with a shitty overhead position and 0 degrees internal rotation. Couldn’t get the bar behind my ears without hyperextending my lumbar spine. Couldn’t keep the bar close in the snatch because I had 0 internal rotation. Benching often hurt.

I’ve always leaned on a lacrosse ball to roll on sore spots on the anterior capsule of my shoulder joint, but the 3 mobs that I did early on that helped like, 30-40% were:

1.) Drive humerus towards back of socket, lateral distraction, external rotation. This is the least painful of what I did. I still do this for bench prep and sometimes front rack prep.

2.) Restoring rib/scap/external rotator movement, lacrosse ball between t-spine and scap, reach overhead, then freestyle to whatever hurt and roll on them until they hurt less. This caused spasming in places I wasn’t touching early on, was really tight apparently. See also this informed free-styling.

3.) Internal rotation stretching. Buddy stretch was super legit early on, these days I rely on band around shoulder with extension/adduction as a mainstay.

Some other things that helped me pretty significantly were:

Double lacrosse ball to t-spine, this was one of the last pieces to legitimizing my overhead position.

– Rolling on the external rotators that wrapped around the humerus, i.e. lateral part of the shoulder and then towards the front. Had to get in creative positions, but I think this helped with some generic shoulder tightness that affected my benching and overhead position. See informed free-styling video regarding periscapular regional death above.

Rolling on pec minor/pec insertion. Made going overhead easier. May have helped with internal rotation?

Hip flexor/quad stretch. Couldn’t go completely upright until my 3rd or 4th exposure, but this definitely legitimized my hip extension in the snatch and clean.

– Anything involving external rotation of the femur with hip flexion. My deadlift feels a lot different now, in a good way, feels like I’m utilizing more musculature in the movement. Squat bottom position feels more legit. I used to feel tight before but weak coming out of the hole, now I feel looser but stronger driving out of the hole. Improving end range function means greater force production?

– Most recent addition has been banding the elbows together, get a wide-as-possible supinated grip on a pull up bar, then slowly load the movement with a neutral spine. Absolutely noticed a difference snatching today. Gonna try it before a heavy jerk/overhead press day and see how it feels.

Submitted by Chris W.

Something that Kstar and other sources/people have mentioned is you can’t address mobility in isolation; i.e. if your shoulder function sucks, you can’t just do shoulder mobs and expect to get a lot better. Have to address movement as a whole, shoulders and hips are analogs to each other, I don’t fucking know, I just do every mob ok? My life fucking sucks and I am taking it one step at a time to try to make it better. Sometimes that means laying on a lacrosse ball every night. Other times it may mean wrapping a band around a limb or perhaps asphyxiating yourself while masturbating, while injecting nandralone.

Another guideline is, “you have to find where you are tight.” The mobs that helped me may not help you that much, but you may discover shit that really hurts to do that might be related. Do the shit that really hurts to do.

There’s probably shit that I don’t even know that I need to address. Basically I check the site and do the mwod and if it hurts or is difficult for me to do, I incorporate it on a regular basis.

[edit 9:13pm 4.23.11] – I was asked to link the mobs that I like to do. Really the best thing to do if you are looking for shit to do is test/re-test, which Kstar generously has for each mob that he posts a day. If your shit sucks for a certain test, do the mob. I’ve provided my history and how I approached my particular problems. In all honesty, I’d probably see a lot more benefit if I could see a PT of Kelly Starrett’s breed and get guidance from there. I move better now, but there are still some gaping holes in how “healthy” I should be.

Strength Training Is Love

When the 70s big gang went to USAPL Raw Nationals earlier this year, I met a girl there named Becca. She was a pretty lady lifting in the women’s session, and I was paying a lot of attention to her pretty much as soon as she entered my field of vision. I was paying so much attention to her that Justin had to remind me, “You realize you’re currently at a meet, right?” as he was pacing me through my squat warm ups.

Many of you won’t be surprised at my response – “Irrelevant, I can squat 200k in my sleep. First attempt will be ez pz.”

“It is a chore to be your friend,” Justin said.

Justin would use that line a lot throughout the weekend, like when he asked me how he could get my adrenaline going before my third attempt lifts:

“Just tell me I’ll never see her again.”

“Thin ice, Brent Kim. Thin ice.”

To add to the fact that this chick was pretty, she was also a competent lifter with some solid mechanics. I asked her what she finished with after her squats, and she told me that she didn’t know – her parental units, who were handling her, wouldn’t tell her what she was lifting on the platform because she has a habit of over thinking the weight. But when she went in blind, and just methodically repeated what she did in the warm up room, she performed well. I knew instantly that I loved everything about her. She finished with a 286lbs squat, 171lbs bench, and 303lbs deadlift in the women’s 181lbs class. I was sold. Didn’t think I could ask for digits because she was with her parental units, but Justin encouraged me to tell her about 70s big – “Do it or I’ll do it for you” – and I would try to stalk her on facebook. I would ultimately fail, and feel that I would never see her again, but she ended up finding me and after a month or two of chatting decided we should hang out.

We’re a pretty typical, gross couple now, i.e. holding hands in public, which I think is awesome, and we decided it’d be a pretty cool date if I came to lift in Maryland’s state powerlifting meet with her.

I ended up not being able to lift with her because of the 60 lifter cap, and I was a guest lifter so in-state lifter entries take priority over mine, but I still went to see her and help out at the meet.

I loaded and spotted for probably a third of the meet, which was a fair amount of work, partially because a lot of state records were being broken at this meet and there was a fairly strong talent pool present, but pretty satisfying at the end of the day when it was all over. This is the first meet I’ve ever been to in which I did not lift. Met quite a few people from 70sbig, and you can hear all about their exploits in the comment threads of previous posts. Most notable was something that JMOvechkin said to me as I was passing by, “Spotting isn’t a sport,” which I thought was FUCKING awesome.

His brother also asked me if he should take his third deadlift attempt, after rating his second attempt at 501lbs to be a 9/10 difficulty.

“You’re asking me if you should just stop at your second attempt?”


“Uhhh I’m never going to tell you to not take a third attempt, but I’m reckless. Quitting isn’t a sport.”

“Yeah,” he answered, “And I’m not a quitter.”

Boom? Boom.

He ended up pulling 507lbs for his final attempt of the meet.

Becca, who was the main motivation for me being at the meet, also produced a strong performance despite not making weight by 2lbs. She dropped 11lbs in about a week, but started cutting too late. Throw in about a hundred other factors that would screw with her preparation in the final days leading up to the meet, and things didn’t look good. She ended up lifting as an extra, but would break some PRs despite horrendous rest and recovery.

I asked her to type a write up for her meet experience, but she declined and asked me to do it instead, so –

She went 9 for 9, and squatted 281lbs pretty easily. Her squats were iffy in the weeks leading up to the meet so her step-dad and coach was conservative here, but she PRed by 11lbs in the bench press with 182lbs, and 17lbs in the deadlift with 320lbs. I loaded and spotted all of her attempts and it was pretty sweet to watch my girlfriend wreck shit. She brought some intensity into her third attempts, which is apparently rare – Becca says that she’s never made noises when she lifted, but she was pretty fierce, especially with her third attempt bench and deadlift. Her efforts would earn her best lifter. I’m pretty proud of her, and seeing her commit to every single lift reaffirmed that I like everything about her. Watching her on the platform reminded me why my heart yearned for her in the beginning. You can tell a lot about a girl from how she performs under the bar at a meet.

It would have been a lot cooler if I was lifting at this meet, but can’t really complain that I still got to help with keeping the meet operational. “Giving back to the sport” is pretty pretentious and sentimental, and Brent Kim doesn’t really do sentimental, but generally speaking, raw powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting wouldn’t survive in the US without a lot of volunteer effort. Running meets is a lot of work, and in Olympic weightlifting it’s pretty common that meet organizers lose money with the event. But the athletes need to compete, and someone has to put in the money and hours and not expect to get very much in return. It was a good experience to be on the other side of things, “the strength training community” means a lot more when a bunch of powerlifters work together to run a meet.

In short, strength training is love, quitting isn’t a sport, and help your fellow man.

Delta Command out. (When I called Justin to let him know I would be writing an article for the site, I told him, “Hunter Two-One this is Delta Command, we’ll be taking over operations on the battlefield until the situation’s been brought under control.”)

“I’m feeling reckless.”

Editor’s Note: In case you can’t tell, this is another post by Brent. Oh, and it’s PR Friday so post your PR’s to the comments or update everyone on your training.

Chris Riley is a man of captivating words. Chris has always been very creative with language. We’ve mentioned it a few times before on the site – instead of saying “I need to wash my hands,” Chris will say, “I need to wash my gripz.” Instead of asking if he can taste or try something that you’re eating, he’ll ask, “Can I flavor that?” or “Do you want to flavor this?”

He also has an interesting way of insulting people. According to Chris, a “Todd” is someone who fucks everything up but doesn’t realize he is a total fuck up.

Brent: The Arkansas Razorbacks are a bunch of fucking losers. They couldn’t make a touchdown if the goalie was a paraplegic.

Chris: Goalies are in soccer, Todd.

Brent: Ooh KAY.

There are some other colorful terms that Chris is fond of using, but I don’t think they’d be appropriate to share here, but if you’d like to know more, call me, we’ll talk about it (<– this is also one of Chris’s sayings, often said in the middle of a conversation).

Oh, and the infamous WHAT ELSE ISN’T A SPORT that some of you may have seen in some of the comment threads actually originated from a night during which Chris had been drinking. Mustache Mike (not to be confused with Big Mike, who you’ve all been acquainted with) ascertained that figure skating wasn’t a sport, and Chris grew increasingly agitated as he interrogated Mike about what else wasn’t a sport.

Mike and Chris are currently training partners at WFAC. They follow a Texas Method-style program, with a volume day on Tuesdays, a light day on Thursday, and an intensity day on Saturday. Mike has observed that almost invariably, Chris comes into his Saturday workouts with the odds stacked against him. He got drunk Friday night, or he has to train in a hurry because of work, or he doesn’t eat an optimum amount of pre-workout calories because life gets in the way.

Chris, however, is a competitor.

Chris and AC are similar in that when they commit to something, they put all of themselves into it. It’s why AC gets so intense that he’s brought to tears before a 3rd attempt squat. Chris is the same way. Fight a +17lbs PR 650lbs deadlift for like 10 seconds and make it to above the knee? Ooh KAY. When Chris commits to a lift, he’ll throw everything he has into the effort, and if he fails, he’s gonna go down swinging for the fucking fences.

One particular Saturday, Chris went into the workout under shitty conditions, as usual. He takes his last squat warm up and decides to load 545lbs on the bar. He’s not sure how many times he’ll squat it, or if he’ll even be able to squat it at all today, but before he gets under the bar he turns to Mike and says one of his new trademark lines –

“I’m feeling reckless.”

And then he squats it for a PR set of 5.

Mike and I have agreed that Chris is a fantastic training partner. It’s hard to find someone who trains as hard as he does and has the raw desire to BEAT ‘EM. He’s overcome setbacks and has only gotten bigger and stronger. His performance is consistently excellent. Whenever I train with Chris, my motivation fucking sky rockets.

I’ll have what he’s having.

60% of a bull’s mass is in his traps.

Hey guys, Shrugthug here.

Let me go off the record in saying this –

I don’t actually think my traps are that big. Well, they aren’t big ENOUGH. I admit they are disproportionate to the rest of my body, sure, and they are probably one of the only remotely visible pieces of evidence of the fact that I lift weights. The bottom line is I weigh 175lbs and this just isn’t a significant amount of mass in general.

But as you all know, I am aggressively working to rectify this.

Justin and I have had several discussions about the need for me to develop more muscular bodyweight, particularly in my upper body, but basically, it’s generally been agreed that I need to fill out 85kg with some quality weight, and eventually 94kg if I’m planning on doing anything cool.

There have been disagreements between us about how I should go about adding that mass though (paraphrased):

Brent: so i want to get more yoked, man

Justin: Oh yeah? What are you planning on doing?

Brent: probably some shrugs, Bill Starr style. i want bigger traps

Justin: (sigh) Your traps are big enough. You have the traps of a 215lbs guy on a 175lbs body. Maybe you should hit some other areas.

Brent: what do you mean?

Justin: I don’t know, maybe the rest of your upper body OTHER than your traps?

We’ve had some other disputes regarding this.

Brent: look, all i’m saying is, i don’t see why there’s a problem with me wanting to be yoked like a bull

Justin: There isn’t, but a big yoke requires the body of a bull, not a calf.

Well, here is my response to THAT:

Shrugging for 17 reps isn’t really standard ops for me. It was kind of a special day since I was training at the WFAC with Mike, and I wanted to get a PR set of 10 in. I typically have been doing these shrugs for a top set of 5 once a week, but I wanted to have some fun. I wasn’t counting reps; I think I was more concerned with telling myself I WANNA BEAT ‘EM. BEAT EM. BEAT EM. BEAT EM! with each rep. I figured at some point that I’d done about 10, and so I did two more “just to be sure.”

I asked Mike if I got 10. He said, “Seventeen. Close though.”

As my friend Chris says, I was feeling reckless.