T Nation

Andrey Malanichev for Real?

I read in an interview somewhere he said he literally doesn’t perform any assistance exercises he only squats, benchs and deadlifts AND only trains each lift once a week. Does anyone call bullshit on this or does it only work for him because he’s taking a monthly house mortgage worth of PEDs? I can imagine he would have a ton of imbalances and posture problems from doing this but it doesn’t seem like he has either.

Also not bashing him at all, huge fan of his he’s clearly a beast. Just can’t help pondering how he gets results supposedly doing so little work. Perhaps we’ve been ingrained into thinking too much is always better?

It’s 99% Tren 1% Stronglifts 5x5. Also 110% being Russian.


Well that confirms it. I’m loading up on tren now

You don’t get to lift 1000+lbs by being the average gym rat who has to squat for 3 months to add 5kg to their squat.

Srsly tho some interesting questions here. Maybe I can add some food for thought

I’m pretty sure Malanichev also does ab work fwiw

Also worth noting that this is a training style that works well for Malanichev obviously but among the top competitors in the world you see many different training approaches. He doesn’t recommend it for everybody else nor does he claim it is in anyone the best approach for others. Hell it could just come down to preference. Still there’s always something to be learnt.

Anyways often it’s the training that got someone to the top that we can learn more from and take from than an elite level lifters current training style.

Define work. Volume x Intensity? In physics work done is defined as product of the force and the distance over which the force is applied. In the end work is the stimulus then you recover and hopefully end up adapting and making gains. When you are squatting Malanichev’s kind of working weight for reps it’s literally a lot of work.

At Malanichev’s level he is moving so much weight that he gets a lot of work/fatigue generated just from a few working sets. After all this work he also needs to recover. A dude squatting 405 for reps can do it thrice a week no problem but with 7,8,900 lbs I don’t think anything human being with all the drugs in the world could manage to recover from that.

So I would say for Malanichev a low volume low frequency approach makes sense.

On frequency we need to have a think about why many lifters go high frequency. Technique practice (Malanichev’s form is engrained and automated by decades of practice), squeezing in more work in the same time frame (again he does plenty of work already), etc.

On assistance exercises: why do we do them? Improve weaknesses e.g. long pause bench or pause squat (Malanichev doesn’t have a glaring technical weakness which really needs addressing), get in more work e.g. close grip bench or high bar squat (Malanichev already gets in plenty of work and anything near max effort will add on loads of fatigue). I don’t know your source of info but I’m pretty sure Malanichev sparingly includes variations/assistance movements in the off season.

Lastly on muscle imbalances you may kinda have a point here. Between deadlifts, squats and abs I think everything from the nipples down is more or less good to go. Maybe benching isn’t balanced out by setting up your shoulders for bench, pulling heavy from the ground, and creating a tight back for squatting. Still the man himself cares more about lifting world record totals than building a balanced healthy physique. If asked about injuries he’d probably tell you “too many” in Russian.


He’s speaking of meet prep when he says he doesn’t do assistance work. If you do this long enough and where he’s at, I can bet he does something for injury prevention when not in prep mode. At some point, strength will be hard to come by without gaining weight to hopefully improve leverages and improving technique is the best way to move more weight and stay somewhat injury free. He’s never at 100%.

Imagine how long it would take him to work up to a 70% squat…

From what I have read, seen in interviews, and also in his thread in the Animal forum, he really doesn’t do much other than the competition lifts. He said he started doing leg curls after a hamstring tear, and at the same time he stopped training squat and deadlift heavy every week and began alternatining heavy and light weeks so that only one lift is heavy each week. There is a YouTube video (on the Animal channel) on deadlifting, he talks about deficit deadlifts and barbell rows - maybe he does those, I can’t say for sure. He said that his training involves working up to one top set, that’s all. Apparently he does more volume in the offseason, but whether that is more sets or just higher reps I’m not sure. About his offseason, there is an old interview (all I remember is it was translated by Mike Israetel) where he looks way smaller, he says that he bulks up for meets and cuts after. You can assume that he cycles off or reduces drugs as well.

One other thing, he said that he didn’t always train this way, he started off with much more volume and assistance work, etc. Nowhere does he suggest that people start training like him. You need volume to build and maintain muscle mass (aside from technique), without sufficient volume you will lose muscle unless you take the appropriate supplements.

Here’s what he said in 2016 on the Animal forum:

When I was young I was training 5-6 times a week doing a lot of basic sets and accesory sets
Now I think ive got a good base and can wor under basic movements only!
MON - squat
WED - bench
FRI - deadlift (1 in 2 weeks)
SAT - bench

Maybe he doesn’t do any light deadlifts, only light squat on the week he deadlifts and he also says he benches only once on weeks that he deadlifts. He does mention that he does ab work elsewhere. It’s a short thread, have a look.

Something else:

It all depends on the stage of preparation
In the beginning I can do 10/8/5 reps, the more weight on the barbel (and the closer to the meet), the less reps I have. But I never do less than 3 reps.
And I ve got only 1 working set

1 Like

Its been done before. Mark Chaillet trained this way. Ernie Frantz rarely did any assistance work. If he has been making progress all along just doing the lifts, why add anything.

1 Like