Strengh Sensei Bookshelf

Klokov: Training Methods of the Russian Champion

When Charles Poliquin gave seminars, he would often invite co- presenters who were considered outliers in their field. One of these presenters was popular Russian weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, author of Klokov: Training Methods of the Russian Champion.

In 2014, Coach Poliquin teamed with Klokov to travel across the globe to conduct at 3-day boot camp called “Training for Strength Sports.” Here
were the components of this event:

Day 1
Lower Body Primary Lifts for Maximal Strength & Power Development

Day 2
The Snatch/Variations & Supplementary Exercises for Maximal Power Development 

Day 3
The Clean/Variations & Upper Body Primary Lifts for Maximal Strength & Power Development

The days were broken down into 4-5 modules that included lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on practice. Each day finished with a Q&A
session with Poliquin and Klokov. It was quite the experience for athletes and coaches at all levels.

So why Klokov? Before getting into that, consider that Dmitry was the son of Vyacheslav Klokov. His father was the heavyweight (110 kilos/242 pounds) winner of the 1983 World Championships. There Vyacheslav snatched 192.5 kilos and clean and jerked a world record of 247.5. His world record total of 440 exceeded that of the runner-up by 30 kilos! Dmitry had big shoes to fill!

Klokov competed in his first competition when he was 13. Lifting in the 110-pound bodyweight class, he snatched 93 pounds and clean and jerked 121 pounds. Getting back to kilos, in 2002 he won the 94-kilo class at the Junior World Weightlifting Championships with a 157.5 snatch and a 207.5 clean and jerk. Klokov went on to compete in five Senior World Weightlifting Championships, moving up to the 105-kilos (231 pounds) division. He won gold in 2005, and in 2008 took home the silver medal in the Olympics. His best official lifts in the 105 class in these international competitions were a 193 snatch and a 232 clean and jerk, which convert into 425 and 511 pounds.

To avoid competing with the super heavyweights, Klokov had to cut weight to make the 105-kilo bodyweight division, which sapped his strength. In training, his best snatch was 202.5 (206 with straps), and his best clean and jerk was 242. Here are a few of his best performances in other lifts, many of which you can find on YouTube:
Back Squat: 325
Bench Press: 230, 200 x 5
Deadlift: 335, 280 x 10
Front Squat: 285
Overhead Squat: 240
Pause Snatch: 200
Rack Jerk: 262
Snatch Grip Deadlift: 305, 250 x 10
Thruster: 195

One of the promotional flyers for the 3-day strength boot camp with Charles Poliquin and Dmitry Klokov.

The first part of Klokov’s book, 86 pages, is autobiographical. He discusses how he started, his relationship with his father (who initially did
not want his son involved in the sport), his best rivalries, and dealing with injuries. It finishes with his performance in the 2008 Olympics, where he
finished with personal bests of 193 and 230.

Consider that the lifter who beat Klokov was 2007 World Champion Andrey Aryamnov from Belarus, who broke three world records in winning gold. Aryamnov is still going strong, taking the silver medal last year in the 109-kilo bodyweight division at the World Championships and breaking the world record in the snatch!

Strength Sensei instructor Jance Footit, center, with Dmitry Klokov and Russian strongman Mikhail Koklyaev.

The second part of Klokov’s book focuses on training and is titled “Klokov Training Methods.” In this section that are links to videos of Klokov working with an athlete to demonstrate his ideas on optimal technique and showing how correct common technique flaws. If there is a technical fault with a lift, you can bet Klokov has a specific corrective exercise to fix it! Here are the specific chapters in this section:

  • Introduction & Snatch from Floor to Below Knees
  • Snatch from Below to Above the Knees
  • Hip Contact in the Snatch
  • Special Exercises for Mobility in the Pull
  • Special Exercises for Strengthening the First Pull
  • Troubleshooting Technique Errors in the Snatch
  • Training the Traps for the Snatch
  • Clean from The Floor to Above the Knees
  • Hip Contact in the Clean
  • Clean Catch
  • Flexibility for the Front Rack Position
  • The Jerk Dip
  • The Jerk
  • Special Exercises for the Jerk
  • Squat Tips
  • Assistance Exercises

Coach Poliquin and Dmitry Klokov made quite a team, as the fortunate few who attended their seminars will attest. If you want to learn more
about what was taught by Klokov at these seminars, pick up a copy of Klokov: Training Methods of the Russian Champion.

[You can purchase Klokov: Training Methods of the Russian Champion through Juggernaut Training Systems:]

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