Andrey Malanichev Squats 1,069 Pounds for a New World Record (in Wraps)

Russian powerlifter Andrey Malanichev is arguably one of the greatest athletes his sport has ever seen. Malanichev generally competes raw with wraps and in federations that utilize a monolift rack, so while his accomplishments are difficult to compare directly to those of IPF lifters like Ray Williams, it’s easy to see Malanichev is clearly one of the world’s strongest men.

Heading into the BigDogs Pro this past weekend in Australia, Malanichev held the WRPF World Record raw squat with 1,058 pounds and the total world record with 2,502 pounds. And while other top names struggled a bit at the Big Dogs meet, Malanichev was in fine form, building on his own massive numbers to increase both his records and take home first place.

First, he hit a massive 485kg/1,069 pound squat to establish a new best mark. Video embedded below.

Another angle of the record lift is embedded below.

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The big Russian followed that up with a relatively conservative 255kg/562 pound bench press and then pulled 400kg/880 pounds in the deadlift to set a new World Record total at 1140kg/2,513 pounds.

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Malanichev made eight lifts on the day, missing only his first bench press attempt at 240kg.

Malanichev absolutely demolished the competition and ended over 90 kilograms ahead of his next closest competitor. American Shawn Doyle — relatively unknown to many due to his lack of social media presence and reserved demeanor — finished in second place with a 1047.5kg total.

Chad Wesley Smith finished in third place with a 1,030kg total.

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Samantha Coleman Deadlifts 600 Pounds, Joins Handful of Women to Do So

This past weekend, United States Strongman held their annual Pro Women’s Worlds in Louisville, Kentucky. Samantha Coleman was among the attendees made a big splash with her 600 lb deadlift. Coleman is now one of only a handful of few women who have hit the 600+ lb club with her deadlift. The deadlift was pulled strongman style, where hitching and and straps are allowed; however, Coleman did not use straps on this lift.

2016 has proven to be a great year for deadlifts; if you remember a few months ago in July, Eddie Hall set a strongman record by pulling 500kg.

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Coleman’s deadlift is now part of a seriously impressive resume. This past July, Coleman set the world record for the UPA 198+ Women’s wraps & no wraps category with a 661 lb squat.

And if Coleman’s deadlift and squat weren’t impressive enough, she has a 391 lb bench press, which was recorded this past July at the UPA Relentless in Minnesota. At this event Coleman was ranked as the Best Lifter for the women’s raw category. It’s safe to say Coleman is in the upper tier of strong women. Coleman is a powerlifter, whose best meet total is 1,559lbs/707kg total, and she only recently began strong(wo)man competitions.

Another noteable deadlift worth another watch is Becca Swanson’s 672 lb pull from a few years back, done in powerlifting style without straps or hitching. Becca is arguably in a class of her own and for years was billed as the strongest woman in the world.

Regardless of the weight being pulled, both lifts are impressive and have us wondering if Coleman and Swanson are the only two females to deadlift 600 lbs or more in competition. If you have videos or know of any other women pulling 600 lbs or more, we’d love if you commented below or hit us up on social media.

Feature image from @colemanstrong Instagram page

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Going Old School: Inside the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongman Banquet

On Saturday, October 29th, I attended the 33rd annual reunion dinner for the Association of Oldetime Barbell & Strongman (AOBS) at the Marriott Hotel on the grounds of the Newark/Liberty Airport. This was my third year in a row attending the event, however I was joined by first time attendees Nick English (a BarBend writer) and David Tao (BarBend’s co-founder), strength sports enthusiasts who I had convinced to check this event off their bucket list.

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The AOBS is a group of people, very similar to Nick, David, and myself. They have an appreciation for strength, fitness, and training. Whether their favorite sport is Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, or Strongman, everyone has an appreciation and mutual respect for the hard work that goes into that sport. More recently, functional fitness has become a craze the world over; if that is your sport, you also would be welcome, because that takes a lot of hard work and training to have success as well.

Strongman Clubs

Shane Herzog performing with strongman clubs at pre-dinner demonstrations

The main portion of the event was a dinner and awards ceremony that honored two men for their lifetime achievements in strength sports. This year the honorees were legendary Strength Coach and 2004 USA Olympic Weightlifting Coach Gayle Hatch and boxing legend Evander Holyfield, the Cruiserweight and Five-time Heavyweight Champion of the world.

Prior to the reception, there were demonstrations performed by stars of oldetime strength. The master of ceremonies for this spectacle of strength was Chris Rider of Coney Island Strongman; he is an internationally-known performing strongman who holds world records in license plate, phonebook, & tennis ball tearing. Other performers came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.

Oldetime strength consists of many exhibits that originated in tourist resort areas, such as Coney Island or the Jersey shore. These events included:

  • Tearing a deck of playing cards in half
  • Tearing a phone book in half
  • Bending a horseshoe
  • Bending an American penny (which is thicker than a Canadian penny)
  • Bending a 10 inch wrench into a bracelet
  • Twirling clubs and sledgehammers with their wrists

I was fortunate to talk with Professional Strongman Sonny Barry, who at 71 years old bent a 10 inch wrench into a bracelet in less than two minutes. He informed me that a lot of the work is performed with your hands, wrists, and forearms; if you do not practice the exercises regularly, you are going to lose the ability. At his age, he is still bending iron several times a week.

The main portion of the evening consisted of the awards ceremony. Artie Dreshler, AOBS President and former World Record holder in the press, presented Coach Gayle Hatch. Coach Hatch is a pioneer in the world of Collegiate and Professional Strength Coaching. His weightlifters have represented the USA on three Olympic Teams and 12 World Championship teams.

In collegiate football, his protégés have helped produce 8 BCS National Championships football teams. He is a member of multiple Halls of Fame, including the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame, USA Strength and Conditioning Coaches Hall of Fame, and the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. Over his career, he has been a leading advocate for the abolition of drug use in the sport of Weightlifting in the US – and he got results.

Evander Holyfield introduced by AOBS President Artie Drechsler

The second honoree of the evening was Five Time Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield. His presenter was Tim Hallmark, Holyfield’s long time strength and conditioning trainer. During Holyfield’s prestigious career in the ring, he won a bronze medal in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California. In 1986 he became the World Boxing Association (WBA) Cruiserweight World Champion, then moved up to heavyweight in 1988.

Most people do not know that he credits much of his outstanding success in boxing, and his amazing longevity in the sport, to weight training. He was an active competing professional up until a few years ago, and well into his 40s. Weight training was a frowned upon activity by many uninformed boxing trainers. However, the evidence Evander amassed may well help to turn the tide in boxing.

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Honoree Gayle Hatch with renowned weightlifting coach, administrator, photographer, and announcer Denis Reno

The evening was finished off with another exhibit of strongman displays. A platform was set up in the rear of the ball room, and athletes took turns with feats of strength, different than what had been performed earlier in the day.

Strongman Steven Weiner performs a “Frankenstein Lift” with over 700 pounds

Coach Hatch had brought some of the athletes he coaches in strongman and they performed log presses, farmer’s carries, and deadlifts. A group of longtime strongmen from Eastern Pennsylvania proceeded to take the festivities to another level. They wheeled out car engines, large stones and even fire hydrants and proceeded to lift them up and show off their strength.

Weiner performs a one-handed lift with a fellow strength enthusiast across his back

Needless to say, if you are a strength enthusiast, this is an event you need to attend next year.

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Programming Corrective Exercise in Weightlifting and Functional Fitness: A Coach’s Perspective

Corrective exercises play a vital role in the long-term health, development, and overall success of training clients and athletes. One role of a coach is to prepare their athletes for optimal performance while foreseeing potential issues and addressing those concerns through various solutions. Like stretching, corrective exercises can often take a back seat during hours class sessions, as coaches program increased volume and/or conditioning segments to enhance the overall effectiveness of a strength/hypertrophy/metabolic phase. Due to those time constraints, athletes may find themselves neglecting and/or under-performing corrective exercise altogether, which can set both coaches and athletes up for disappointment and potentially sidelining injuries.

In this article, we will discuss the role of corrective exercises in weightlifters and functional fitness athletes, and how coaches can better program them into every group training session.

A photo posted by Aaron Jahn (@muaythaischolar) on Oct 28, 2016 at 5:51am PDT

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What are Corrective Exercises

Generally speaking, corrective exercise can be any movement that promotes and “corrects” a particular movement fault, muscular imbalance, and/or potential injuries due to lack of passive range of motion, mobility, stabilization, or a combination of the three.

Why Do Corrective Exercises

The importance of corrective exercises within a training program is to promote sound movement patterning, enhance injury resilience, and ultimately allow athletes to continually train at increasing intensities and training volumes to promote continual athletic development.

How to Choose Corrective Exercises

Determining what corrective exercises to program within a training session can be a challenging task. With infinite options and individual limitations of your athletes, coaches should systematically address the most common issues that correspond with the specific movements of the day. 

How to Program Corrective Exercises in a Training Session

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Since the purpose of corrective exercises is to correct poor movement patterns and/or promote increase range of motion, I have found it best to program these prior to work sets. Corrective exercise “circuits”, often performed after the dynamic warm up have been a very beneficial component to my athletes in our weightlifting club. Coaches and athletes can include these movements prior to beginning strength and power lifts, or even in alternating between unloaded barbell drills throughout warm-up sets. The key here is to allow athletes to perform these in non-fatigued states, as these movements often are challenge quality (not quantity) movement patterning which may take focus and intense coaching to help the athlete achieve favorable results.

How to Convey Corrective Exercises to Athletes

The ability to convey the importance and outcome of corrective exercises to your athletes can highly influence the effectiveness of the movements. Coaches need to have a full understanding of how to correctly perform and coach the corrective exercises, and be able to differentiate between athletes who are correctly performing the movements vs those who are simply going through the movements. The ability to recognize common compensation patterns in overhead positioning drills (for example; lumbar hyper-extension and internal rotation potentially caused by poor shoulder mobility) will allow coaches to promote quality movement that can make their athletes healthier, less injury prone, and increase performance.

Additionally, coaches need to have a full understanding and have the ability to convey that to their athletes. The best way to have athletes buy into corrective exercises and attack them with the same mental focus that is needed for a 90% 1RM back squat is for them to see corrective exercises as  performance enhancing solutions.

Sample Corrective Exercise Format

This is the format that we use during Union Square Barbell Club sessions. Following a team dynamic warm-up, we will split the class into two groups; the first group will perform the following corrective exercise “circuits”, while the second group will perform plyometric jump training. After completing, they will switch, and then proceed into unloaded barbell drills and warm-up sets.

Clean & Jerk Correctives (2 sets of 40 seconds on: 20 seconds off)

    • Weighted Thoracic Extension: 40 seconds
    • Cossack Squat: 40 seconds

A video posted by Mike Dewar (@mikejdewar) on Aug 24, 2016 at 3:39pm PDT

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    • Lat and Tricep Mobilty and Movement: 20 seconds per side
    • Scapular Circles: 40 seconds

Snatch Correctives (2 sets of 40 seconds on: 20 seconds off)

    • Pallof Press: 20 seconds per side
    • Thoracic Side Lying Openers: 20 seconds per side
    • Shoulder Reach and Lift Drills: 20 seconds per side
    • Arm Bar: 20 seconds per side

Final Thoughts:

The infinite combinations and practical applications of corrective exercises allow for coaches to determine the most suitable format to administer corrective exercise within a training session. By conveying the intended outcomes to athletes will further increase the effectiveness of corrective exercise within a training sessions, and can further promote injury resilience and increase performance.

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Featured Image: @muaythaischolar on Instagram

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Fight Bad Driving Posture with This Car Mobility Routine

Disclaimer: Always prioritize the safety of the road and follow all local laws related to driving. These exercises are intended to be performed prior to driving as well as at the conclusion of a trip, not while the car is on, in motion, or in traffic.

Do you commute by car?

Then chances are you are doing your body some harm.

In working with clients who commute by car, we always ensure a bit of extra prep work based on the crushing effects of sitting in a vehicle, such as tight hip flexors, rounded forward shoulders, low backs, and neck stress.

Any trip over 45 minutes should warrant a break, if possible, to get your body moving and healthy.

The one piece of advice I have to encourage while you drive is to set your seat up in an ergonomically ideal position (rule of 90s – 90 degrees at your non driving knee, 90 degrees at your hip/torso angle); this should allow for the freedom to maximize safety as a driver but minimize the forward head posture that many of us fall into when driving. Remember that head rest piece on your chair can be used as a piece of feedback to facilitate improved posture.

Bad car posture:

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Good car posture:

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Here are a few basic stretches you can perform to minimize the negative effects of driving a car.

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1. Open up your shoulders and get your head through to get that blood flowing and stretch out your spine and shoulders

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2. To undo some of that forward head posture and rounded forward shoulders, open them up with this stretch for the chest and fronts of shoulders.

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3. Rotate to the side with this arm stretch by giving yourself a big half hug!

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4. Rotate the other way to open up that tight shoulder and get a little spine twist for a bonus stretch.

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10 Lessons Learned from a College Strength Coach

When it comes to high school, collegiate, and professional level strength and conditioning, there’s always a constant goal in mind; improve athletes in the best, safest, and quickest means possible. One of the hardest parts of becoming a strength and conditioning professional at these levels is developing your training style and voice. In most cases, the only only way to do this is by experience and lessons you learn along the way.

To help provide guidance, I reached out to a young strength professional who’s worked with college and professional level teams. John Larson is an M.S. Candidate, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and USAW Level 5 Sports Performance Coach.

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Image from @newyork_citystrong Instagram page 

Larson attended Hofstra to finish his M.S. in Sports Sceince while working as a volunteer intern coach at West Point. After Army, Larson went to The University of Alabama to work as a  volunteer graduate assistant coach and finish his Master’s. Post Alabama, Larson got hired as an assistant Sports Performance Coach for The St. Louis Cardinals. Larson left the Cardinals and worked as Manhattan College’s Director of Sports Performance for a year. Currently, Larson is working as a Strength Coach for LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds.

Clearing Up Misconceptions

Jake Boly: Before diving into the lessons you’ve learned as a coach; I have a quick question about college strength coaches. Do you feel as though college level strength coaches get somewhat looked down upon in the strength industry?

John Larson: I can certainly see that. I think there might be a few reasons for this and one of them has to do with time constraint. We (college coaches) only have a finite amount of minutes in a week to actually train and coach movements at a team oriented standpoint, so any type of individual attention to imbalances, weaknesses, and asymmetries can sometimes get overlooked. Secondly, especially in college football, from what I’ve noticed, a lot of programs bring on football players or former players to their staff. While this isn’t always a bad thing, if someone isn’t properly trained to coach athletes at this caliber, there can be a learning gap, especially with an increase in future injuries from lack of fundamentals.

Boly: That all makes complete sense, now let’s dive in; what are 10 lessons you’ve learned thus far in your training career?

1. Show You Care

Larson: No athlete cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. A strength coach is different than a sport coach, getting to know your athletes on a personal, professional level helps bring out their best. The trust they instill in you will help bring positive results.

2. Less Is More

Larson: There’s only so much time in the day you get with your athletes. Focus on developing the fundamentals and quality movement patterns to provide the best result and avoid long-term injury.

3. Create a Why

Larson: Anyone can put kids through a workout, but know why you’re doing every aspect. When you can demonstrate the carry over from your training and their sports, this creates a synergistic effect in the effort they give.

4. Communication Is Key

Larson: Communication in the gym setting is key to optimal performance. You need seamless communication between the head coach, athletes, and athletic trainers, doing so will bring about the best results.

5. Reach Out and Follow The Best

Larson: It’s important you constantly research and become well versed in your practices. Watch and learn from the best in the industry and create your own personal touch. For example, some professionals I follow are, Senior International Coach Marc Vasnov for weightlifting, Scott Cochran for gym culture, and Richard James for sprint tech. Never stop learning, complacency is lack of care.

6. Create The Culture You Want

Larson: It’s essential to build a culture that wants to come in, build each other up, and reach new levels. A lot of coaches don’t realize that they’re not only the coach, but the gym leader as well. If you come in and display that pushing each other is cool and fun, then that culture will carry over to your athlete’s work ethic.

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Image from @newyork_citystrong Instagram page 

7. Practice What You Preach

Larson: There’s no shame in admitting when you’re not perfect or well versed at something, that’s okay. Although, don’t put something you’re shaky in yourself into a program. This can not only lose some trust in the athletes, but put you in a bad position. If you want to use something, learn and become an expert first!

8. Olympics Weightlifting is a Skill/Technique Movement Pattern

Larson: When applicable try to avoid haphazardly programming Olympic movements. You need to fully understand the movement patterns before teaching them. Seek guidance from real weightlifting coaches and learn every aspect of the lift. An explosive jumping jack while yelling, “jump and shrug,” is not how Olympic weightlifting should be used or cued.

9. Take Care of Yourself

Larson: This job is going to mentally and physically push you. We work long days, are underpaid, and often don’t have a social life out of work, but we do it for the love – not the money. However, it’s important you take care of yourself. When you’re off your game or strung out, this can carry over to your athletes. Know when to say when and take some personal stock in yourself.

10. They’re Not Your Athletes

Larson: This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned thus far. We’re an annex to the head coaching staff. Every piece of information head coaches provide, along with Athletic Trainers should be fully acknowledged and taken into account for your training. You’re a bridge, not an end all be all.

Feature image from @newyork_citystrong Instagram page

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USA Weightlifting Announces Reno to Host First American Open Series Event

In an announcement posted on October 28th, USA Weightlifting (USAW) announced the inaugural event of the American Open Series will take place next March 16-19 Reno, Nevada.

Earlier this month, USAW released qualifying totals and details on the points scoring system for the 2017 American Open Series; the 2017 season will be the first under the new system and competition schedule, which culminates in the 2017 American Open Finals (previously referred to as the American Open).

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Two more Series-level events will take place leading up to the American Open Finals, though exact locations and dates have yet to be announced for those competitions.

From the announcement:

The American Open Series I will be held at the Reno Sparks Convention Center while the attached Atlantis Resort will serve as the competition hotel. Reno’s StoneAgeFuel Barbell will assist athletes attending the event.

The deadline to register is 2PM Mountain Time on February 22, 2017. The qualifying period is February 19, 2016-February 19, 2017. This information along with qualifying totals can be found by clicking here.

Reno, hosts of the 2015 American Open Championships, is the first host of USA Weightlifting’s new American Open Series. The American Open Series is designed to provide an opportunity for all age and weight categories to gain more platform experience across the year and an opportunity for those who no longer meet raised totals on our traditional competitions to still compete at the national level. There are three American Open Series events leading up to the 2017 American Open Championships in Anaheim.

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