At the training camp before the World Championship at the training base in Kamenets-Podolsk, a pleasant surprise awaited me – a friendly meeting with Ruslan Nurudinov. It’s very flattering when top athletes from other countries are preparing for starts in Ukrainian training centers. But I took advantage of the pleasantness – I talked to Ruslan and found out how he prepared for the previous competition. I heard a lot of interesting things, which I share with you.
To clarify, Ruslan Nurudinov is a weightlifter from Uzbekistan. Performs in the weight category up to 105 and 109 kg. Olympic champion in 2016, world champion in 2013, champion in the Asian Games 2018, three-time Asian champion.
Ruslan, tell us how you prepared for the last World Cup and Asian Games?
At the last world championship in Ashgabat, I got a bombed out in the snatch. The reason for this was my mistake. The head coach with the team flew away earlier, and I was only nine days after them. At that time, I had a back injury. I began to adapt the training on my own – doing some pulls. As a result, such trash arranged and I finished myself off!
But I entered the Asian Games competently, as before. The scheme of my preparation is as follows: about a week and a half before departure, I begin to go down the weights so that three days before departure I go through the opener attempts.
The funny thing is that every year the openers are getting lighter and lighter. I used to try to snatch 190 kg and C&J 225 kg. And, for example, before the Olympics I did 185 kg and 215 kg two days before departure, and it was great for me. When we arrived in Rio, I had four days left. I jerked 180 kg, snatched 120-140 kg.
How did you come up with this training formula?
In 2011, at the World Championships in Paris, in three days we did three sets of 180 kg snatch without straps. Coaches from other countries were surprised: “He is ready to tear everyone!” We performed at 94 kg, thought to start the snatch with 180-182 kg and C&J 220-225 kg. Slim chance! The first attempt dropped 175 kg, the second, somehow lifted 180 kg. Then C&J 215 kg. I never got so tired in my life as in France! In Paris, I felt very bad.
Then I realized that it makes no sense to fly to the place and go to the heavy weights before the competition. You don’t recover, you waste all your energy. In three days you are already on fire.
Also in Paris did you need to cut some weight?
Yeah, I weighed 99 kg, I lost 6 kg.. But it always comes easy for me. I stop eating bread, flour, remove carbohydrates – and 2-3 kg goes away in a couple of days. To take away the rest, I cut calories.
Do you have a proprietary pre-competition weight loss recipe?
I am burning strongly, such a feature of the body. Usually athletes lose 600-700 grams a night during the sleep, I lose more than a kilo.
For example, before the World Championships in Almaty in 2014, in the evening after dinner, my bodyweight was 107.2 kg. The coach is horrified: “How are we going to lose 2.5 kg ?!” I understand that part is dinner, the rest will burn out overnight. I promise that tomorrow morning I will weight 106.2 kg to 105.8 kg. At 6:00 I got up on the scales and saw 105.8 kg.
I’ve been a professional weightlifter for over 13 years and it’s taken me all that time to learn just how my body works. Not lemon juice or kefir will help with this – no matter what, I have an early bedtime routine!
What if you can’t sleep?
This is the worst thing that can happen. I start thinking about competitions, worrying. Because of this, not a kilogram goes away, but one and a half. Then I have to eat a lot to gain my weight.
For example, before the Olympics, an upset stomach happened on the nerves. Fortunately, not in a day or two, but in four weeks. My stomach fell out, my temperature was under 40. I dropped from 109.7 kg to 104.5 kg in just a week. I barely got 107 kg to the Olympics. In such cases, I cope with proven medications.
A similar thing happened before the Universiade in Kazan. Three days before that, I competed at the Asian Championship in Astana. There we snatched 190 kg, tried 196 kg, C&J through 220 kg and 230 kg. I didn’t even go to the third attempt, knowing that in a couple of days we would go to the Universiade. I flew home, had breakfast, and the whole breakfast came back.
Prize-winners, world champions have arrived in Kazan – it’s scary to compete with them. True, they were also tense. They told me: “Look at you! We barely jerked 220 kg, and you did more than 230 kg. ” Yeah, I saw those 220 kg. At the Russian Championship, David Bedzhanyan did 238 kg.
My nerves twisted in the morning. We called a doctor, put some salt hydration in, and by the evening I was already in shape.
Are you preparing specifically for flying to a competition?
No, the main thing is that we arrive in the morning. I walk around like a zombie all day long so that I can go to bed at 9-10 pm. I can wake up at 4-5 in the morning, but I know that I will be stuck inside all day. My advice to young athletes: if you have a transatlantic flight, you shouldn`t sleep during the day upon arrival – this is exhausting for 5-6 hours.
Also, regarding the timing of arrival at major competitions on another continent. It is believed that the maximum productivity occurs in 3-4 days. The second stage is after 10-14 days. Personally, I don’t have a second stage. If I arrive in 10 days, I will die morally. I am a very hot person, I surrender to feelings. Despite the experience, on the 5-6th day I start to burn.
My tested scheme is to fly 3-4 days in advance to perform on days 4-5. I did this before the competitions in Wroclaw, Almaty, Rio.
Rebuilding beforehand? For example, according to the time where you live, a performance in another country falls at 2:00 am. Some shift the schedule in advance. Have you practiced this?
No. I believe that the body is not stupid. Yes, there is a biological clock, it malfunctions a little when flying to another part of the world. But there are also solar rhythms. For 2-3 days, the body still gets used to them and rebuilds. I see no reason to prepare for a different time zone.
I agree. By the way, I am ready to launch my unique book “COMPETITION DAY-X” about the mental and moral prep of an athlete on the day of competition. Now we are finishing all the technical issues and in January 2022 we are releasing the book on sale. I shared my personal experience of preparing for the competition: how to tune in, life hacks, what to eat, what to drink and when before your start. I’ll show you some materials that I have never shown to anyone.
Cool! Can I read it?
Yes of course! By the way, what does your snack include after weighing in before the start?
Just a little meat. Perhaps for some it will be wild, but we take horse meat with us. It warms me up a little. Then we drink vitamins – and go for a massage.
What would you like to say to the youth?
Work in conjunction with a coach! I often see an attitude towards training in the spirit of “I know everything, I can do everything.” You need to listen to the coach and devote yourself to the training as much as possible. Not in the sense that blindly follows his instructions. The coach will never feel your condition, does not know your body, as you do. It is necessary to share feelings, discuss, and talk. But always be in contact with the coach.