With the Clean Health Training For Strength Sports Boot camps with Charles Poliquin and Dmitry Klokov quickly approaching Clean Health senior coach and IFBB Bikini champion Tatiana Prokofyeva got the opportunity to sit down with Dmitry recently this June in Russia for an interview on what these seminars are going to be about and of course a little bit more about the man himself!
CH: Dmitry, your father was an Olympic weightlifting champion. What was his best piece of advice to you when you started to compete in the sport?
DK: When I just started my career as a professional athlete and weightlifter, my father used to say… “Do more cardio”.
CH: More cardio? That is interesting coming from a weightlifter… Why?
DK: Exactly… I thought my dad was crazy to make me run. And he always continued, “When I was young, I played volleyball, basketball and ran everyday. I was active. I recovered twice as quickly as athletes now. The bulk of athletes now are computer slaves!” I couldn’t understand him before, however since I started CrossFit I can feel the difference. Of course my weightlifting results dropped a little as I do more reps and more cardio, but my recovery has became so much better.
Now days I perform some CrossFit stuff along with heavy weight training sessions regularly. I keep cardio and CrossFit elements as a compulsory part of my training from the beginning of my competition preparation and then I cut it our three months before the comp. Basically I teach my body to recover quicker, adapt to new stimulus faster and I utilize my body in a more efficient way.
Before I didn’t know these things, I was just lifting heavy all the time. Now I understand that you have to learn new things from other sports. If you are weightlifter you should check out powerlifting, CrossFit, bodybuilding etc.
The barbell is a tool for all of us, so I believe that if you want to become stronger… then train to become stronger using not only the disciplines of your chosen sport. An example would be if you want to snatch 100kg, set your goal for a snatch grip deadlift at 150kg and then a conventional deadlift at 200kg, and then you will snatch 100kg as a warm-up! All too often I see athletes whether it is CrossFit or weightlifting not focusing enough on simply lifting heavy to create that overall base strength which with my seminars I am trying to change.
CH: So the “Training For Strength Sports” boot camp series sees you and legendary Strength Coach Charles Poliquin teaming up together. Whom is this series targeted for?
DK: Anyone who wants to get stronger and powerful at his or her chosen sport… In particular weightlifters, CrossFit athletes, powerlifters and those in strongman competitions will benefit from this seminar along with personal trainers looking to learn how to get themselves or clients strong.
Technique with strength training is so important because with the proper technique it will allow the weightlifter to lift more and CrossFit athlete to lift faster and safer. For example in weightlifting, if you perform a jerk incorrectly, you will lose stability in the final phase. It looks like you are trying to hold weight, but you can’t. So you lose points and can lose the whole competition because of this.
When you perform the same exercise incorrectly in CrossFit, you lose seconds and just as importantly you will lose energy. In short correct technique can save your health and bring about better results in competition. This is something that I will be focusing on heavily with all those who attend these seminars with Poliquin and myself.
CH: You have competed in competitions for many years now, what is the most important aspect of your training in the lead up to these events?
DK: For me now the number one thing is safety. Previously, it was important to become stronger and winning, now it is all about safety, how to avoid injuries and how I can recover quicker. Competing at the professional level you push yourself to the limit and injuries happen. In the past I cared only about world records, now I care more about my health.
I am a huge advocate for whole body exercises and heavy compound lifts like the squat, deadlift and bench press. Russian training systems utilize them a lot in order to develop maximal strength for our athletes.
Dmitry at a recent seminar this April 2014 demonstrating a 300kg deadlift, he attributes his superior maximal strength with the big three lifts as a big reason why he has done so well in weightlifting!
Meanwhile the Bulgarians, Turks and Kazakhs don’t like training in this manner. For example they don’t do deadlifts or any of the barbell row variations… They mostly practice the Olympic lifts only. Therefore they have huge legs, but disproportionally small arms! However Russian weightlifters are totally different… just look at their arms, they are huge… like mine! (Smiling)
CH: Are there any special aspects of your diet, or supplements that allows you to recover quicker and train harder?
DK: When people ask me about my diet, I reply that I follow an intuitive diet. It means I eat what I feel like. If I know that during my training I will need more energy I eat something rich with energy, so more carbohydrate heavy.
Basically I structure my diet according to my training. Even if I don’t have a strict plan I need to stay in a good shape as people used to see me in a good condition and I have to maintain this form. Currently I don’t train as much as before so my diet changed accordingly. If I eat too much I will turn fat like a Russian bear! (Laughing)
CH: You currently run a lot of seminars around the world. Please tell us a bit more about what exactly you are doing different to other coaches our there and why people should attend your seminars?
DK: There are a combination of reasons why my seminars have proven so popular around the world and that is simply because I am not only lecturing… I am performing! This is the main difference. I lose about 2.5kg during each seminar as I not only show the students correct technique for the Olympic lifts and all their accessory exercises but I also train with my students, correct their mistakes and motivate them.
I work together with them and I give it everything. Sometimes I return home with a sore throat, and my wife asks me if I’m sick. I love to share my energy.
I must provide a spark to my students; they should feel my energy and get into the training. If they are unable to extract this energy and switch on by themselves, then I need to give it to them. I can set my mind on within 2 seconds however not many people can do it. If a person is not able to do it, you may show him something a hundred times, but he or she will never feel the exercise. My goal is not only to explain to them how to lift correctly, but to motivate them.
CH: Indeed having attended one of your seminars you have so much energy. I know that aside from seminars, training and your TV presence in Russia you have also released your own fitness-clothing brand Winner. How do you find the time to do all of this?
DK: A lot of people tell me that I do too much instead of pursuing one goal. This is not true. I work only on one brand, which is “Dmitry Klokov”. People thank me after each seminar because I was able to give them something that they did not had before. They believe in me and this is the most important thing. It means that my brand is getting more popular and credible.
CH: Are there any people you would like to work together or learn from?
DK: I would like to meet CrossFit athlete Jason Khalipa in person. Lots of people compare me with him and I have been told a few times that I look like him I had to search more info about him.
Apart from him I am super excited about the Training For Strength Sports Boot Camp seminars that I will be doing together with world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. I am looking forward to learning from him not only new ideas on training methods but also his coaching and teaching style. I have heard from numerous sources that he is an excellent coach and I am sure that with our combined approach it will make these semi-private seminars in Australia and Canada something very special.
CH: Finally, what would you like to wish those who are following you?
DK: There is a well known wisdom that I like to express with my own words to my students and those whom I meet which is… “Demand the impossible, and you will receive the maximum”… And of course safe training!
CH: Thanks Dmitry!
We are looking forward to having both Dmitry and Charles lecture during this tour, which covers Montreal, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Just 32/110 spots remain and they won’t last. Check out this link and REGISTER HERE!
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