He used to fight over the top, but over time his technique has changed; it took 10 years, however. Why so long? ()
Your favorite technique?
That’s a simple question – when I was just beginning my career, I used to fight over the top. With each loss I wondered how much do I have to improve my wrist, biceps and other parts of my arm. Back then, in 2000, those were questions not easy to answer. However, my situation was a little different from other armwrestlers. I could travel a lot, meet the top armwrestlers and observe their training. When I was setting up the Zloty Tur armwrestling club I also had a chance to meet the top guys, gain some of their knowledge. It was then that I realized that with my parameters I maybe shouldn’t fight over the top. I got proof of that at the 2011 tournament in Kazakhstan, winning the golden medal with hook.
Why did it take you so long to reach that conclusion?
It’s really banal – in 2001, a couple of months before the World Championships, I was acting as both organizer and contestant. I trained my hook technique very hard, using every exercise I knew. 2 weeks before the tournament I’ve asked one of the Polish fighters to spar with me and hold my hand in the losing position; which resulted in me injuring my elbow fastening. I took 9th place in the championships, and after that I had a long-lasting grudge against the hook.
But you changed your mind…
It’s worth to remember that no matter how you fight, you still need to learn how to properly engage the muscle groups involved with the chosen technique. I can state now that the important thing is the whole body tension, not only isolating the particular muscle groups. I prefer the hook these days, but I still have some kinks in my technique to iron out.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
Many of us think that the way to success is to gain strength in particular muscle groups and applying that strength ate the table. Being in close contact with dr. Victor Selujanov, I can say that many training adjustments remain to be introduced in armwrestling, and the risks of injury are still high, both in training and in fights.
Example: in 1999 in the WPC World Championships in bench pressing, I’ve pressed 245 kg and took 4th place. My best score was 265 kg. It would seem that chest muscles would be my biggest asset. Well, let me assure you that with a chest built by years of pressing, this was actually my weakest point when I started armwrestling.
Why is that?
Very different muscle groups are involved in bench pressing and armwrestling, and the muscles work in different ways. In bench pressing the shoulders, triceps and chest muscles get involved a lot, while in armwrestling, with the hook technique, the work is done mostly by the shoulder flexors.
What are your three favorite exercises for the hook technique?
Eccentric grip pulldowns on regulated pulley (finger exercise), pulldowns with strap grip (fingers and wrists) and supinations using judo belt.