Anatoly Pisarenko: ultimate olympic weightlifting archetype

Anatoly Pisarenko: ultimate olympic weightlifting archetype

Anatoly Pisarenko. Dark, good looking, vaguely tarter or mongol, here he is at his peak; he displays massive, muscle-laden traps and erectors; all from heavy pulling. A Russian or Bulgarian world or Olympic champion will have a decade of high level hardcore training under their belt. In addition to brute strength, the penultimate Olympic weightlifter must have cat-like reflexes.

Anatoly Pisarenko Weightlifting Achievements

  • World champion (1981-1983).
  • European champion (1981-1984).
  • Set thirteen World records in career.

World records by Anatoly Pisarenko

Year Lift type Result Weight class Location
1981 Snatch 201.5 kg Super heavyweight Podolsk
1981 Total (2) 447.5 kg Super heavyweight Podolsk
1982 Snatch 202.5 kg Super heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
1982 Clean and jerk 258.0 kg Super heavyweight Frunze
1982 Clean and jerk 258.5 kg Super heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
1982 Total (2) 450.0 kg Super heavyweight Frunze
1982 Total (2) 455.0 kg Super heavyweight Frunze
1982 Total (2) 457.5 kg Super heavyweight Dnipropetrovsk
1983 Snatch 203.0 kg Super heavyweight Odessa
1983 Snatch 205.0 kg Super heavyweight Moscow
1983 Snatch 206.0 kg Super heavyweight Moscow
1983 Clean and jerk 260.5 kg Super heavyweight Allentown
1984 Clean and jerk 265.0 kg Super heavyweight Varna

Anatoly Pisarenko Career bests

  • Snatch: 206.0 kg 1983 in Moscow.
  • Clean and jerk: 265.0 kg 1984 in Varna.
  • Total: 465.0 kg 1984 in Varna in the class over 110 kg.


Anatoly Pisarenko clean and snatch Anatoly Pisarenko clean and snatch


What does an olympic lifter do for variety? Practice barbell snatch grip hi-pulls off an exercise bench. He has a teamate sit on one end of the exercise bench. After pulling as high as possible, he will lower the barbell down to the surface of the weight bench. He will lose (purpsoefully) his tension before restting and launching the next partial-pull as high as possible. This kind of innovative training enabled him to snatch a world record 454 weighing 271. 

In training, he clean and jerked 270 kg for a single, 260 for a double. In training he cleaned 280 kg  — 616 lbs!

Incredible numbers for anyone, but more so for a man whose opponents routinely outweighed him by 100-pounds. In Olympic weightlifting, any bodyweight in excess of 234 pounds is considered a superheavyweight and must lift against the 400-pound behemoths. In powerlifting there is a 242 and 275 pound weight class, far more realistic and fair. He stood 5’11 and at his peak weighed 270 to 275. His ultra-deep super erect barbell squat technique is pure hi-bar narrow stance technical perfection.

About the Author
As an athlete Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He was a world champion team coach in 1991 and coached Black's Gym to five national team titles. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door and now IRON COMPANY. He’s also the author of numerous books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others. Read the Marty Gallagher biography here.