Who is Konstantin Konstantinovos?
Before diving into Konstantin Konstantinovs deadlift workout routine advice, here is a brief overview of his life and accomplishments.
Konstantin Konstantinovos ( also known as Kostya, Kalishnikov or KK ) was a Latvian Russian powerlifter.
He performed his most famous feat of deadlift strength in 2009. Konstantinovs set a new raw world deadlift record when he lifted 939.2 pounds (426 kg ) without a belt or grips. This historic display of pulling strength still stands today for the 308-pound weight class.¹
Watch Konstantin Konstantinovs Deadlift 939 Pounds Raw
How KK Started His Powerlifting Career
Konstantinovs was born in Liepāja, Latvia on June 6, 1978. Nevertheless, Konstantin referred to himself as Russian. He believed the only reason he was so strong was because of his Russian heritage.
Konstantinovs started his athletic career with gymnastics at the age of six and achieved worldwide fame as a powerlifter.
He trained in judo and wrestling as well. At the age of 11, he had his first exposure to a formal gym setting with weights and weight lifting.
But, it was not until he was 15 that he discovered the sport of powerlifting. He then found what would become his lifelong passion. He first began weight training in 1993 before the days of the internet. As a result, he relied on what he learned at the gym and his intuition.
KK discovered that he enjoyed weightlifting, especially lifting heavy. From the very beginning of his journey to powerlifting legend, his favorite and best lift was the deadlift. Even at the age of 15, KK could deadlift a shocking 476 pounds ( 215 kg ).²
He entered his first powerlifting competition at the age of 16.
Powerlifting Titles and Personal Records
- 2002 – winner of the WPC ( World Powerlifting Congress ) Junior World Powerlifting Championships in the 276 pounds ( 125 kg ) weight class.
- 2003 – he won the Global Powerlifting Committee ( GPC ) World Powerlifting Championships in the 276 pounds ( 125 kg ) weight class.
- 2009 – Raw Deadlift without a belt – 939.2 lbs ( 426.0 kg ) in the 308 pounds ( 426 kg ) weight class. This monumental raw deadlift achievement still stands a decade later in 2019. It is the “current all-time raw (unequipped) deadlift world record in the 308 and 275-pound weight classes”³.
- 2010 – won third place at the Champions Battle Raw Deadlift Challenge
- 2011 – he won the WPC Raw World Powerlifting Championships title in the 308 pounds plus ( 140 kg ) weight class. His combined total of all three lifts was an astounding 2,120 pounds ( 960 kg ).
Konstantin Konstantinovs passed away on October 28, 2018, at the age of 40. The cause of death is unknown, despite rumors that he was stabbed in a street fight working as a professional bodyguard. Konstantin's legacy will continue to inspire millions to achieve their maximum potential.
Most Important Training Routine Recommendations
Konstantin Does 55 Pullups – A Foundational Deadlift Assistance Exercise
#1. If you want to get great in the deadlift and powerlifting, you need to get serious about your training.
#2. Let the deadlift become a passion and you have a much higher chance of success.
#3. You need to build a good foundation of strength with your body weight. For example, the better you are at pullups, you have a better chance at excelling in the deadlift.
#4. Don't do heavy squats, heavy bench or deadlifts too often.
#5. Avoid overtraining. Lifting heavy once a week is enough.
#6. You need ample recovery time for your body to repair and grow.
#7. Enough recovery time means that you should not lift heavy every day.
#8. Include light squat, bench, and deadlift days into your training program.
#9. Speed – think of speed to power your lifts. For example, note the footage below of KK deadlifting in 2015 at the WRPF. His friend Zahir psyches him up with the word ‘speed' while slapping his back. Success leaves clues.
Assistance Exercises and Programming
#10. Build a strong core – the stronger your abdominals are, the more power you generate and the stronger your deadlift
#11. Use partial and modified variants of the deadlift, such as;
#12. rack pull deadlifts
#13. deficit deadlifts
#14. deadlifts against resistance bands or chains
#15. Build a stronger back for deadlifts with pullups and back hyperextensions
#16. If you want to build a solid hold of the bar, avoid training with grips. Konstantin never used such deadlift equipment. Instead, deadlift with your own bare hands. Use more chalk, but don't use grips.
#17. Another way to get a stronger grip is to use Captains of Crush hand grips.
#18. Konstantinovs said in a 2016 interview with Kirill Sarychev5 – ” I never wrote a program down on paper. Instead, I train, live, and compete based on intuition. I enter the gym, do a warm-up, and see how I feel. Then I plan my training based on how I feel that day.
#19. But, one thing is certain, the more I practice, the better I become.” The more you practice the deadlift, squat, and bench press, the better you will become.
Diet and Nutrition Tips
#20. Eat enough food – when you are training consistently, it is not unusual to need more food to maintain your muscle mass.
#21. Use the best sources of carbs and proteins, like real food, such as vegetables, healthy fats, and protein sources.
#22. Ensure that you stay well hydrated, and not only with water, but that you also replenish electrolytes. Ignoring critical minerals can result in less than optimum athletic performance or worse.
#23. Year-round eat the best quality clean food. Don't starve yourself, but also, do not load up on junk food or as Konstantin called it, garbage food.
#24. Eat lots of good food to provide your body with the best nutrients all year long.
#25. If you are competing, there should be no difference between your off-season and competition season.
- Too much reliance on equipment or not enough training raw ( without equipment ).
- Powerlifting is a strength sport, and you should look to improve your natural body strength to its maximum potential without equipment.
- Stick to the fundamentals and do not rely too much on supplements.
- Therefore, build the foundation of your deadlift workout routine around proper nutrition, sleep, recovery, and program design.
Konstantin Konstantinovs Workout Routine from an Interview with ‘the Kalashnikov'
Plagueofstrength.com first reported the following interview with Konstantin on April 11, 2012:
1. Light squat for a warm-up.
2. Deadlift. I do a different variant every time I train deadlifts. For example, rack pulls –
- 2.75 inches or 7 cm
- 4.33 inches or 11 cm
- 6 inches or 15 centimeters
- 8 inches or 20 cm
- 9 inches or 23 centimeters from the knees (higher than that I never pull). I do either a set of 3 reps or 8-10 depending on how I feel.
3. Bench press.
- I consider bench press as rest between heavy work.
- Either I bench touch and go with a medium grip, or with a close grip pausing at the bottom.
- I might do a single set of 10 ‘touch and go' reps, or might max out pausing at the bottom.
- It all depends on how I feel and my mood.
4. 2nd deadlift. I pull either from a floor or from a deficit (about 9 cm). I do a single set of 2-3 reps pausing at the bottom. Then if I have enough energy, I might do another set of 6-8 reps.
5. Heavy box squats as described above.
Workout B is one or two days after Workout A.
1. Medium-heavy squat as described above.
2. Heavy bench press for a single set of 3 reps. Once in two weeks: negatives – 1-2 sets for one rep. Then one set of 8-10 reps with either close or medium grip depending on how I feel.
3. Cardio – 15-20 min.
1. Start with light squats for warm-up.
2. Medium-heavy bench press: a single set of 6-8 reps.
3. Speed deadlift with bands: 8×1. Resistance bands increase weight by 130 kg at the top.
4. Pullups with weight or bands as explosively as possible. Explosive speed is important for the deadlift.
5. GHR ( glute-ham raise ), hyperextensions, heavy abs work ( 6 sets with an emphasis on building strength, as opposed to endurance ).
The same as workout B.
He takes one or two days off between workouts depending on how he feels and then begins the cycle again. As a result, he squats four or five times a week, and deadlifts between two and four times a week.4
Watch Konstantin Konstantinovs deadlift 836 pounds ( 380 kg ) for four reps with no belt in the video below:
Although a sample of his workout is recorded above, it is not to emulate. Unless you are an advanced lifter as he was. And because KK says that his training sessions were up to four hours long. As with any fitness program, make sure you have medical clearance for any nutrition and training program you begin.
If you need to lose weight before beginning strength training, you can use this guide to lose 20 pounds. Once you are ready to deadlift, try out this deadlift training routine and 12-week program for beginners in fitness or powerlifting.
Are you wondering if you can stay motivated along the way? Konstantinovs said that despite all his accomplishments in powerlifting, he pushed forward because he wanted to be his best. He always wanted to get as strong as he could as long as he could, purely because of passion.
Please comment/modify/suggest improvements to Konstantin Konstantinovs workout routine tips. May they be useful and part of his legacy to the world, and may Konstantin Konstantinovs rest in peace.
5 Fellow Russian powerlifter and founder of the World Raw Powerlifting Federation ( WRPF )
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