Kirill Sarychev is one of the most influential powerlifters of all time, but he’s no hybrid athlete.

The man who holds the world record for the heaviest raw bench press ever (738.5 pounds, or 335 kilograms) was recently training with his good friend and travel buddy Dmitry Klokov, and we just had to share this video of him demonstrating why he’s not much of an Olympic weightlifter.

His upper arms are just too thick and dense to hold the barbell in a clean.

“That’s it, I can’t put the bar further, it won’t lie down across my shoulders,” he tells Klokov.

“So what, that’s fine,” he replies. “Andrey Chemerkin, he was the same way. 240kg, will rack itself across your shoulders.”

“I’m sure it’ll rack itself, and break me while it’s at it as well.”

[Do you have trouble holding a stable front rack position? Try these 5 drills!]

Sarychev is a bench specialist in part because his short upper arms are well-suited for benching.

When you get to the level of world record holding athletes, you start to notice that many of them are naturally gifted with bodies that lend themselves to their sport. Krzysztof Wierzbicki, for instance, holds the record for the heaviest IPF deadlift ever made, and he has some of the longest arms, relative to his body, we’ve ever seen. Naim Süleymanoğlu has the highest Sinclair coefficient of all time, and his proficiency at weightlifting has been linked in part to his long torso and short arms and legs.

Of course, that’s in addition to the face that these are some of the hardest working athletes on Earth. And Sarychev’s body may have been made to bench press, but he’s still able to deadlift 380kg (837.8 pounds) for three reps.

Anyway, that clip of Sarychev trying to clean a barbell? It’s taken from this 12-minute long video of Sarychev’s back workout, which is definitely worth a watch for any fan of powerlifting — or any fan of Dmitry Klokov, since it takes place in his gym and he gets a decent amount of screentime.

Casual fans might be a little surprised to see the English subtitles, but lately Sarychev has been making an effort to put high-quality subtitles on more of his videos, which is great for his international fans. Head to his YouTube channel for more shenanigans.

Featured image via @sarychevkirill on Instagram.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.