Interview with Artem Ivanov, 2 times silver medalist at the World Championships (94kg)

Artem-Ivanov-ScreamI am very excited to have been able to reach out to Artem Ivanov, who kindly answered my questions even though I knew he was busy training. Mr. Ivanov lifts for Ukraine and, fortunately for us, he speaks/read/write English. Among his achievements, he has won 2 silver medals at the World Championships (2010 and 2011) where he faced very tough competition. For instance, at the 2010 Worlds, he totaled 402kg for Silver whereas Aleksandr Ivanov (Russia) totaled 403kg for Gold. In Paris (Worlds 2011), he snatched 5 more kilos than Ilya Ilyin. Ilyin proceeded to clean and jerk 5 more kilos than Ivanov and did not take his third attempt on the clean and jerk. Ilyin won on body-weight (Ilyin : 93.78kg vs Ivanov : 93.94kg). Ivanov’s best competition to date is 2012 Ukrainian nationals where he totaled 420kg (190kg snatch and 230kg clean and jerk). 

Without furter ado…here is my interview with Artem Ivanov.

Here is a compilation of the battles Ivanov and Ilyin had over the years :


 1 .Thanks  for  agreeing to do the interview. For  starter, could you describe how – and  why- you started training in weightlifting

I  think  at the  beginning  it  was  like  entertaining  .I  didn’t   want to spend  my free  time on  the street .I wanted to  look  strong and  handsome. It  also helped  me to study  better  in school.

2.How old were you when you started training in weightlifting?

5164-2 I  was  12 years old, before that I practiced wrestling.

3.How were your first years of training? Was the focus on the snatch and clean and jerk technique or on general strength?

This  years  was  for  gymnastic exercises  with  general strength, but  three  times  a week  I  studied     snatch  and  clean  and  jerk techniques.

4.How do Ukrainian coaches train junior lifters? Is the training for junior lifters different then senior lifters?

I think , there  isn’t   big  difference . In  this  junior age ,athletes  adapt  to  big  weights. This age is  very  important  for further carrier of  sportsmen. Weightlifters  have  to  learn how to compete  at   the  world  platforms  and  improve  their  technique. Sometimes senior  lifters  feel  discomfort  after  junior  age, but  it  doesn’t  last  long

5.According to you, your coach or the general Ukrainian coaching philosophy, what are the most important technical aspects of the snatch and clean and jerk?

I think , it  is  individual characteristics  of  each sportsman. Technical  aspects  don’t  have  definite  standard.  As for  me  , it  is  speed  , stretching  and  some  strength. But  very  important  part  of  technique  is  desire , which can  only  improve  it.

6.In America (USA), they teach to jump and actively shrug the bar up with the shoulder in the snatch and clean and jerk. According to you, is this accurate?

I would  focus  on lifting  from  platform at the  primarily stage ,it  is  important  part  for  farther trajectory of the bar . The legs  and  back are more  involved . Jump  and   actively shrug  bar  up  are the consequences  of  this effort.

7.Why do you power jerk instead of using the split jerk? Is it due to an injury?

Because ,I  have  comfortably build  shoulders for  this, it’s  feature of  my  body

8.I saw that you are recovering from a surgery due to an injury. What type of injury did you suffer? Are you still able to train? 

6461575533_50ef1f8e6eMy biceps  had  been torn on  70  %   in upper joint of the shoulder, I try to continue training.

9.What are you goals right now? Are you preparing for the Europeans?

I   am   preparing   to the World Championships 2014. I will miss the European one in 2014.

10.Can we expect to see you at the 2016 Olympic Games?

I think you will be able to see me at the 2016 Olympic Games .I  am  preparing for them too.

11 .What do you think of Ilya Ilyn moving up to the 105kg category? Is it a good choice for him?

Ilya  Ilyn  is leading  champion  in  94 kg category. He  will  be able  to  lead  in  the  105  kg one.I  think  he is very  cool  sportsman, and  he  will  win  Olympic  Games  in  the  105  kg.

12.  What are the living conditions of an elite weightlifter in Ukraine? Do you spend most of your time in training camps? Do you get salary?    

My personal  opinion is  that, I  don’t  feel support  of Ukraine . Elite  weightlifter  gets  money  from  sponsors. Also  sponsors  paid for my  surgery  in Germany  without any country support  . I  spend  much  time  in training  camps. , its  difficult for sportsmen in Ukraine. They make very   little money.

13.Is weightlifting very popular in Ukraine?  

It is hard period for weightlifting sportsmen in  Ukraine , because  weightlifting  lost  popularity. Its  bitter  truth.

14.How is the ambiance in the gym when people are training?

6422692019_8c624c47bdThe ambiance  in  the gym  is  very friendly. Everyone works hard, because I  think, it  is  one  of  rules  for  success .

15.Who are some of the Ukrainian lifters that we should look out for? Any hopefuls or great training partners?   

Ukraine  sportsmen  are  all  great  and  good  partners  for  training. Now  Ukraine team has  leading  champion  Oleg  Proshak ,who  will  compete  at  the  Europeans.

16.What do you do when you are not training? Any other hobby or passions? Play with your new cat you showed on facebook?

Next year, I  will  have  to  finish  my  dissertation . I learn  new  language,  play  table  tennis and chess. I  like  to travel too. What about cats, I  gave them  to my girlfriend, she likes to play  with  them  more  than  I. I only buy food for them.

17.Are there any weightlifting websites that you enjoy? Any Ukrainian sites I should know about?    

6461575153_edfacd0d9eI  don’t use  weightlifting  websites  ,I take  all  the information  from  Face-book. Majority of  Ukrainian sportsmen  use  VK website.

18.Thank you very much for taking the time to answer. Do you have any final words?

Thank  for  the interesting   questions, and  I  wish  all  sportsmen  health, love, and  victories . -Artem   Ivanov

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