Kirill Sarychev Just Announced Two Brand New Lifting Federations

Kirill Sarychev has already made a lot of contributions to strength sports.

Easily one of the strongest living powerlifters, he currently holds the world record for the heaviest raw bench press of all time (738.5 pounds or 335 kilograms), has a world record total of 2386.5 pounds (1082.5kg), and he founded the World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF).

This morning he announced that he’s founding two new lifting federations: The World Equipped Powerlifting Federation (WEPF) and the World Armlifting Federation (WAF).

And their first tournament is in just three months.

If it’s not clear, “armlifting” is a term that refers to grip sports as they’re practiced in Europe and Russia. That means a focus on events like the hubcap lift, rolling thunder, pinch block, captain’s crush, thick bar deadlifts, and the Excalibur (or the Horn).

(Check out our interview with 67-year-old grip strength specialist Odd Haugen!)

It’s an exciting development, especially for fans of grip strength and strongman, though Odd Haugen pointed out to us that there are already two international federations for armlifting: the Armlifting Professional League (APL), and the World Armlifting Association (WAA). Haugen himself is hoping to launch the federation Armlifting USA in the future.

Equipped powerlifting differs from raw powerlifting in that the athlete wears a high-tensile suit or shirt that allows them to lift more weight than they would otherwise. Some athletes will tell you it’s like wearing a suit made of rubber bands, helping you to spring you back to a standing position.

When he announced the formation of the two new federations this morning, Sarychev posted a short interview on the WRPF’s Facebook page. It looks like it was run through Google translate or a similar service as some of it is unintelligible, but these are the main points.

The new federations will be helmed by Sarychev and his business partner Sergei Dluzhnevsky, and the first tournament will take place at the WRPF World Championship in October. (Effectively, the WRPF World Championship will also be the WEPF World Championship and the WAF World Championship.)

Sarychev said he won’t reveal the exact events just yet, but he did say the following. (Again, this isn’t a great translation, but it is what the WRPF posted.)

There will be a lot of new and interesting. It’s too early to show one’s cards.

I invite everyone to the World Championship. We will be glad to see new athletes, we will be glad to hear new names.

We hope that new stars will be on our platforms in amateurs, in order to subsequently glorify our country already on the platform among professionals. I think I will make a video later, in which I’ll tell you in detail about what to expect for all the fans of iron, not only in Russia, but in the world.

We’re looking forward to the video, but we’re really looking forward to the World Championship in October. It may just be the biggest grip strength event we’ve ever seen.

Featured image via @sarychevkirill on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

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 things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

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.

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