Andrey Malanichev Speaks To Animal, Part I

ANIMAL: What do you think about your recent performance at the GPA World Championships in Finland? You set the all-time WR raw total that had been there since 1975.
Andrey Malanichev (AM): I am happy with everything except my squat. With the squat, I didn't get an opportunity to adequately warm up. My goal was 465 kg (1025 lb), but because I was late, I couldn't make this goal. I asked them if I could make a 4th attempt, but I was not permitted. I was disappointed, but I understand that rules are rules. Considering I only had two months to prepare for this meet, I was otherwise satisfied with my performance. To all the Animals and all my fans, I want to thank you for your support.

ANIMAL: You got a red light for the third squat. What went through your head when you found out?
AM: My squat goal for this meet was high. In my mind, I was envisioning a successful lift of 465 kg (1025 lb). So when I didn't make 455 kg, I was disappointed. But I have time and I know I can do 465 or even 470. This is a goal for me at Raw Unity Meet 7 in Florida in February.

ANIMAL: How do you normally train?
AM: I train 3 times a week when I am not preparing for a meet. On Monday, I squat. Wednesday, it's bench press. Friday, dead lift. On each day, I do 4 sets of 12 repetitions. I will also work my abdominals on each of these days. Then on Saturday, I bench press again and repeat. My training is very simple, very basic. It works well for me.

ANIMAL: At your level, how do you ensure continued progression in your training cycles? For example, is it more about technique, total weight lifted, or something else?
AM: It is all about the weight. The more you lift during training itself, the more it will become apparent at a meet. When you create a plan, you must follow it carefully and complete it entirely, every workout. Working with heavy weights is always risky. Error can lead to injury. Great weight can injure you even when used properly, especially when training raw and without equipment.

ANIMAL: How important is nutrition to you and what is your approach to nutrition?
AM: Like my training, my nutrition is also simple. I live in Russia. Russian winters are very cold. So to maintain my energy, I need to eat high calories foods and lots of them.

ANIMAL: Do you have a favorite meal for getting bigger/stronger?
AM: I have three favorite meals for getting big. Meat, meat, and once again, more meat. I love to cook. My favorite food is barbecue. I especially love to grill Australian steak.

ANIMAL: Aside from steak and meat, what does your meals look like?
AM: I eat four times a day. A typical breakfast might consist of several eggs and 6 large pieces of ham. For lunch, I like a hearty soup that includes meat, rice (or potatoes) and figs. For dinner, a standard meal might be rice or macaroni with plenty of meat.

ANIMAL: What do you think of the state of American powerlifting?
Americans have produced some of the best powerlifters ever. My idol is Ed Coan. I like American meets very much and they are very different from meets over here. Americans and Australians organize their meets better in my opinion. Also, the audience is always very positive and appreciative.

ANIMAL: What sports did you play as a child?
As a youth, I played hockey. Hockey is very popular here. But I had big feet and I could not get skates. Also, it was very difficult for me to get equipment. So I played hockey in the street. Because I was big, I played goalie. I just played with a hockey stick and nothing else. I often came home with bruises but it was fun.

ANIMAL: When did you first start lifting weights? Can you tell us that story?
AM: During my childhood, I often climbed up to the roofs of homes and buildings with my friends. This was something for us to do. One day, I found some heavy pieces of iron on one roof. In particular, I saw a large, heavy iron disk on a roof. Because it was there and because I was curious, I tried to pick it up. The weight felt good in my hands. Eventually I made a bar and used that. Everyday afterwards, I would climb that roof and lift that disk. Soon, I wanted to lift more. So with my friends, we made a “home” gym with random equipment. Eventually, I started going to a gym.

ANIMAL: Is this how you first got into powerlifting?
AM: Yes. From the home gym, I eventually started going to a gym far away. It had many well-known weightlifters there. Eventually, a trainer saw me and suggested I try powerlifting. I said yes, and that was that.

ANIMAL: What inspires and motivates you to become greater, especially now that you have achieved such great things?
AM: There are always opportunities to do better, reach higher. An opportunity is a chance to succeed and to overcome a challenge. I enjoy this process; it gives me great purpose. If you aim low, you have few opportunities. If you aim high, you'll have many opportunities.

ANIMAL: What advice would you give a young athlete looking to succeed?
AM: To trust in yourself and believe in what you can do, even when no one else does. Before you can do something though, you need to decide what it is you want to do. Aim high, strive hard and always reach for your goals.

ANIMAL: What are your goals?
AM: To continue competing and improving.

ANIMAL: What do you think about the future of powerlifting?
AM: I think that geared lifting will eventually become a relic of the past. The future is raw powerlifting in my opinion. Until then, I will compete in both. In May I will compete geared at the Cup of Titans.

ANIMAL: What is in your future?
AM: My next meet is the Raw Unity Meet 7 in America. I will compete raw. My aim is to total 2508 at that meet and break 1000 lb in the squat.

ANIMAL: How did you first hear about us, and what made you want to be sponsored by ANIMAL?
AM: I like Animal products very much. I started using Animal Pak in 1998. In Russia, it is famous. Animal is one of the oldest companies and a gold standard. I am proud to be part of the Animal team, which has many strong athletes and even a few of my friends.

Part II coming soon. To watch Andrey in action, check out these videos:
"Andrey Malanichev Sets All-Time Raw Total World Record of 2425"
"ANIMAL's Andrey Malanichev Squats 968 x 3"


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