Mikhail Koklyaev Made a Full Music Video for His “Stolen Dance” Song Cover

Russian weightlifter/powerlifter/strongman Mikhail Koklyaev has a seriously impressive resume already. He’s a six-time Russian national weightlifting champion, a superheavyweight with a career snatch PR of 210 kilograms (463 pounds) and a clean & jerk of 250 kilograms (551 pounds). We’ve also seen him jerk 270 kilograms and he probably has the heaviest one-arm snatch we’ve ever seen on film at 110 kilograms (242 pounds).

In fact, even calling him a “weightlifter” seems like it’s selling him short. He’s a profoundly impressive cross-sport athlete who has won seven gold medals in the Strongman Champions League and a gold medal in the 2012 World Powerlifting Congress European Championships.

We could go on (and on), but today we want to draw attention to a lesser known talent of Koklyaev: the man loves to sing.

We came across this cover of the hit Milky Chance song, “Stolen Dance,” on his YouTube channel, and knew we had to share it. Importantly, Koklyaev didn’t just post a clip of himself singing into a fuzzy laptop camera — he produced an entire music video to accompany this very Russian, very awesome cover. (Which naturally found a way to include him pulling a broken down car with a harness.)

We know that when the strongman starts singing 15 seconds into the video, you might be a little shocked. Why he decided on such a gravely, throaty singing voice is a mystery to us because to be honest, he’s a really good singer. We know because, of course, we jumped down the rabbit hole of his YouTube channel to find out that he’s pretty darn good at singing while playing the guitar. (He says he composed the song below, but he hasn’t given it a name.)

And he can play piano. (This is an old Soviet song called “The Three Tankers,” or “The March of the Soviet Tankists.”)

And he’s not half bad at the accordion, either. This is one of the few videos he has posted with an English title: “Melody of my soul.”

[Do clips of singing weightlifters scratch you where you itch? Check out Olympic gold medalist Matthias Steiner’s pop ballad here!]

Koklyaev, who has deadlifted 400 kilograms (881 pounds) raw for three reps, has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and tens of millions of views on his YouTube channel, and while it’s almost entirely in Russian, any fan of his definitely has to see this hilarious English language commercial for his mobile game.

Unfortunately, the game isn’t available in the United States. It appears that for English speakers, there’s a lot about Mikhail Koklyaev that will remain a mystery.

Featured image via Михаил Кокляев on YouTube.


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I’m a journalist and content producer with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My resume includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first ever health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.