for competitive Olympic hitchhikers† cracking world record caliber is just another day at work. This was certainly the case for Kazakh weightlifter Artyom Antropov who performed an ultra-heavy duty on June 21, 2022. 300 kilograms (661.3 pounds) squat back double to social media.
Antropov’s rendering of leg strength not only helps validate his case as one of the better ones light-heavyweight Olympic lifters in the world, but his squat also fights against the best world-class efforts squat specialists that make competitive weightlifting their primary guideline.
A weightlifter like Antropov may not necessarily be able to sign up and win an international powerlifting competition, but they can certainly stay with career smashers.
To take out this set of two in the back squat, Antropov wore a pair weightlifting shoesa lifting slingand knee sleeves† It is remarkable that he takes his barbell out of a squat position which was then pulled off his platform, giving him plenty of free space to work.
Artyom Antropov’s Weightlifting Career
22-year-old Antropov has fought for Kazakhstan for the better part of a decade, starting with the International Weightlifting Federations (IWF) World Youth Championships in 2016, where he finished seventh.
Since then, he has competed in a total of nine IWF events, competing across the (earlier) Classes of 85, 96 and 102 kilograms, according to the IWFs athlete register†
Artyom Antropov | Major competition results
- 2016 World Youth Championships† Gold
- 2017 Asian Youth Championships† Gold
- 2020 Asian Junior Championships† Gold
- 2019 World Junior Championships† Silver
- 2021 World Weightlifting Championships† 4th
Remark: This ranking refers to Antropov’s result in the total, which combines the best of the athlete jerking with their best clean & jerk†
Weightlifters vs. Powerlifters in the Squat
It’s a bold claim, but one backed up by mountains of evidence – Olympic hitchhikers can pack a punch with some of the best squatters powerlifting has to offer while you only train the back squat as an accessory to their sports.
For example the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) Men’s Open Classic squat record in the 93 kilogram class is 331 kilograms (729.7 pounds), held by Anatolii Novopismenny from Ukraine.
Antropov mainly competes with a body weight of 96 kilograms, and his double of 300 kilograms probably marks his own one rep max in the squat somewhere in the 320 kilogram range. It then begs the question: How does a weightlifter’s secondary training keep up with one of a powerlifter’s competitive moves?
Good weightlifters would also be good powerlifters
Your genetics decide the lion’s share of your athletic potential long before you ever grab a dumbbell † As such, the style of training you exercise in the weight room is a reflection of your genetic potential.
The back squat is just one expression of power and so it’s a safe bet that Antropov (or Novopismenny) would do quite well if either had taken up a different strength sport than their chosen career.
Weightlifters squat all the time
Even though they are judged on their bravery in the snatch and clean & jerkOlympic lifters still make the back (and front side) squat much of their overalls economics education† You need strong legs to lift heavy weights, whether that is off a rack or from the ground up†
Weightlifters are piling up too large amounts of volume and skill work in their standard training. Any clean, snatch, or overhead squat requires you to stand up from deep hip and knee flexion, which also translates to their one-rep-max.
Powerlifters are specific
While gifted and hardworking athletes stand ready to do well regardless of their physical activity of choice, the critical factor at the end of the day is specificity. Powerlifters like Novopismenny (and others) training week in, week out to make their squat like this technically good and powerful as they can.
Weightlifters, on the other hand, often perform their squats at the end of their normal workout, often under half an hour element of fatigue† As such, they don’t collect as many high-quality and dedicated exercises at the movement pattern of the squat as a powerlifter would.
Leverage is everything
Powerlifters have a very discreet and clear goal — take a dumbbell from a standing position to the depth at which their hip crease is below the kneecap and back again. As such, the low beam position is every serious powerlifter’s weapon of choice.
The low bar squat technique may visually resemble a high bar squat, but there are some key mechanical differences:
- Low bar squats reduce your range of motion (compared to most high bar squats).
- The low bar position balances the load from the barbell more evenly between your legs and back†
- Low bar technique helps you to use your lower back muscles and hip extensors to increase the weight.
All of this allows a powerlifter to lift slightly more weight than its weightlifting cousins.
power is power
No matter what camp you end up in, it’s worth recognizing and respecting the efforts that powerlifters and weightlifters right into their respective sports. It’s undeniably impressive that weightlifters like Antropov can casually squat IPF stage-caliber weights as something of an “afterthought.”
However, it’s just as remarkable how far career powerlifters will go to make their squat as accurate and powerful if possible. Specialization speaks for itself, as most, if not all heaviest squats of all time are held by powerlifters.
Still, you would have a hard time knocking Antropov for his squat game† It certainly pays off for him the weight lifting platform†