For years, there have been rumors of ungodly big lifts completed in Soviet training halls during the Cold War: Pisarenko’s 270 kilo clean & jerk and 280 clean; Yuri Zakharevich’s 300 kilo jerk (!). Then there are rumors of Hossein Rezazadeh hitting 270 in training in Iran, and Andre Chemerkin hitting a 290 front squat + jerk complex in the Atlanta training hall before the 1996 Olympics.

However, the only two verified 270 (or over) kilo jerks from the front rack — so far — seem to be of Ukrainian superheavyweight weightlifter Artem Udachyn and Armenian superheavyweight lifter Ruben Aleksanyan. Obviously, both were completed in training. We’ll get straight to the point; see below.

For reference, Udachyn tied for heaviest registered athlete at the 2012 London Olympics with British track & field athlete Carl Myerscough; they each weighted ~160 kilograms. He ended up not competing at those Games.

Udachyn competed on the international stage for nearly 15 years. He won the 1999 Junior World Championships in Savannah, Georgia, as a 105+, and his last international medal came at the 2013 European Championships in Tirana, Albania. We haven’t heard much about Udachyn in a couple years, but if he is truly retired, we hope he’s chilling on a boat big enough to hold his substantial frame.

The most recent 270kg rack jerk we’ve seen comes from Ruben Aleksanyan and was posted on the Instagram account of fellow Armenian lifter Aghasi Aghasyan in October 2016. We’re not sure exactly when the training lift was achieved. Aleksanyan finished 4th at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the +105kg weight class.

The other 270 kilo jerk on video comes from Russian weightlifter/strongman/powerlifter Mikhail Koklyaev. Koklyaev, Udachyn, and Aleksanyan put up big weightlifting numbers in competition, but their personal best clean & jerks on stage topped out around 250 kilos. Still impressive, but it’s clear from these videos both lifters had more in the tank going overhead than in the clean.

Here’s Mikhail Koklyaev‘s 270 kilo jerk from a seminar/exhibition five or six years ago. It’s an impressive lift, for sure, but one done from the back rack. It’s still probably the record for “Most Weight Held Overhead While Smiling.”

 

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BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com. In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and Fortune.com, as well as a contributor to Forbes.com, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day. David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.