It seemed that we know almost everything about Evgeny Prudnik. He works in the theater, sings well and dances. But how does he manage to combine all this?
Evgeny, how long have you been doing arm wrestling?
- Since March 2005. 14 years. During this time, I won six world championships, and I have more than 100 medals in total.
There is some confusion with your anthropometric data, let's clarify, what are your current biceps, forearm, and total weight indicators?
- Maximum biceps size was 49 cm and weight was 108 kg. The forearm is about 47. I always have a forearm that is almost level with the biceps.
Did you practice any kind of sport before armwrestling, and if so, how long?
- Since childhood, he was engaged in acrobatics, from 6 to 9 years. From 9 to 11 in swimming. From 11 to 15 - judo. Complied with the standards of the candidate of master of sports in swimming, but I didn’t get documents. I won the military training competition already in high school, although I was engaged in swimming in my childhood. In judo, I won regional competitions, but did not get to a high level, because I switched to learning. And all this time since childhood I worked on the horizontal bars. Dad showed me different exercises when I was a child, but I didn’t have the strength at that time, and when I did, he explained the tricks right on me.
What pushed you to armwrestling? As far as is known, it was at the university.
- I moved to study in Dnepropetrovsk and just went to the gym. There was a guy who was involved in weightlifting, then it was together with armwrestling. The guys arranged armwrestling competitions between faculties, and my colleague from the faculty invited me to fight. In my childhood I also tried to pull like everyone else after watching Sylvester Stallone: I was 9 years old, and I pulled with a 15-year-old boy. Everyone was cheering for me, but it seemed to us that we could not move from the spot. I remembered how Stallone made a “cobra” at the movie, and I thought that I had to do the same, but I just opened and closed my fingers and I won! Although then it seemed that I had done just such move as Stallone, and it gave me strength. So, at the competition of the faculty there were three categories, and in one of them the champion of Ukraine in armwrestling pulled, and in the second, another guy who was also in armwrestling, and I won him. And I was also surprised that the champion of Ukraine beat a guy who was twice his size. It seemed to me that he was made of iron, could not believe that he was so strong. A couple of months later I was invited to more serious competitions, I trained for a week before them. Then he took third place in the championship area. Then I had a weight of 78 kg. And on the Ukrainian nationals I came third too! But I thought that it was undeserved, and I got on easy rivals. So I went through the first season in the sport.
How do you build the training process, are these planned long-term trainings or more intuitive training?
- Intuitive training. It depends on my condition. If I have an exercise that is new for me, then I try to load my hand to the maximum to get used to the movement and memorize it, then I just give rest, and then work on it again. So I was preparing for different championships. But if the exercise stops working already at a high level, then I give myself rest and recover.
What is your attitude to general exercises, do you think you can increase the strength indicators in general exercises such as the bench press?
- I started doing bench press just before the Top-8 because of interest. Reached the mark of 160 kg for 5 times. I decided not to test myself at the maximum weight for one repetition in order not to get injured.
What is your attitude to training sparring, how often they pass, how hard you try to give all the best to them?
- Usually I do not have such strong rivals, therefore, to spar a pack at the very end of the training, when I’m almost exhausted.
Can any athlete come to your training sparring matches?
- Yes, I'm all for it.
Do you train alone?
- Yes. Nobody controls me at training; otherwise, I’m not getting anything. I do not like training schemes. I train intuitively, at will. If I feel that, for example, the power exercise is not going, I splite it differently.
You cured your shoulder injury with fasting. And what other treatment methods did you use before?
- They put a blockade in my shoulder, exercise therapy, massage, just injections, then they said that nothing would help but an operation, but I decided to try fasting. It was a psychological test. It is very hard, but also interesting, how people live without food. But there was a need for it - to heal injuries. On pure interest I would not have try it. At some point you become very sorry for yourself, the body tries to persuade you to eat.
How do you feel about king’s move? After all, 10 years ago you tested it at the European Championship against Pascal Girard.
- I have a double impression. On the one hand, this technique requires excellent control. For hands, wrists, this is a technical challenge. On the other hand, it is strange to use an elbow that can’t be unbent.
Who do you think is the best armwrestler of all time, and do you have an idol?
- I always looked at John Brzenk. Always watched his fights and wanted to pull like him.
How long does it take to work, and how much is left to workout?
- All the time goes to work and a little for workout. It is good that there are still rest days, otherwise I would not have time to do anything at all.
Does the tournament schedule sometimes overlap the performance schedule?
- It happens. And now it happened like this, I have to have a performance on April 7th, and I was only one actor in this role. But I informed the management about the competition in advance, so they could find a replacement.
Do you have plans to do more movies?
- Yes, but you need to spend a lot of time and effort on casting, seek out roles, and then it may turn out that you do not fit. I have time just for theater and armwrestling, but I would like to act in films. This is a more financially rewarding job. I already starred in Russian films, and in Ukrainian serials, and even in an Israeli TV series in English. I played there a pimp who came to his employee, and she turned out to be dead. I take out a gun, and the superhero of the serial manages to take it from me and pushes me into the closet. While I fly into the closet, this hero grabs a pillow, reloads the gun with his heel (!) and shoots through a pillow at me. Glue-on-foam soaked in paint was glued to my head, and I slide down the closet, leaving a trail of blood behind me. While we were rehearsing, the main actor did everything brilliant, the pillow and the gun with the heel. After the blank cartridge was inserted into the gun, the hands of the actor began to tremble, he could do nothing. We made it again and again, and again. Nothing. Then the director offered to get the cartridge, to play, and then put the sound of the shot during the production. All agreed, the double was excellent until the moment the hero fired. And when the shot, it turned out that the cartridge was in place. The sound was so loud that I thought that my eardrum had burst! I was surprised and indignant, I even wanted to ask what the hell, but in order not to retake the scene anymore, I just flew into the closet and diligently pressed my head with foam to the wall...
Tell the funniest situation associated with armwrestlng.
- I'll tell you how I knocked myself out. This, of course, is not very funny. It was a backstage fight, I was pulling toproll. The seizure abruptly breaks down, I stamp my fist in the face, lose consciousness and fall under the table. At the same time, my left hand grabbed the handle so tightly that I just hung on it. I wake up, my arm is up, I hang, people lift me, my blood is flowing. In general, a very "funny" story.
Do you have a hobby? What do you do in your free time from work and training?
- There is. One time, I did tricks. And at first I showed them to adults, and they did not believe me. I was upset and once decided that I needed to simplify the task and showed tricks to the children. They believed! I started getting better, and then I returned to the adults again, everything was as it should. I also played the guitar. I have no musical education, I am self-taught. Guitar then took all my free time. Then another Rubik's cubes. Solved an avid math problem. It seems to me that all this is connected with euphoria. And armwrestling, probably is a kind of this.
What do you do when you win the Top-8?
- I really want my own apartment, so I will buy it.