I’ve got two sweet announcements this month.
First, the Team section of the website has been under construction for a while, BUT it’s almost done!
I hope to have it up before Christmas.
Yeah I said Christmas. Don’t care if that offends you.
Second, I am proud to introduce you to our newest sponsored athlete, Rosty Kharchenko.
Rosty is an Elite ranked powerlifter, and is the newest member of the team.
Please read his first post for us below.
My name Rostik Kharchenko, and I am the newest member of the TPSMalden team. Before I tell you about my training, let me introduce myself.
I was born in Ukraine just couple years before the USSR collapsed. I was never into sports until at the age of 16, when I started doing some bodyweight exercises, and soon went to the gym for the first time. I discovered powerlifting fairly soon – it’s very big in Ukraine and my hometown has several IPF world champions.
After a couple years of training, I attended my first powerlifting meet.
As in the USA where you have the USAPL fed, in Ukraine we have the FPU (Federation of Powerlifting of Ukraine), which is the major powerlifting fed and probably the only fed that can provide income for athletes and coaches.
Hence the absolute majority of strong Ukrainian athlete are or used to be FPU members.
Before moving to the US in 2010, I competed 5 times at local meets, and for 2 years trained at a specialized powerlifting facility in my city. This experience provided me with a unique approach to training, which is common to all post-Soviet Olympic lifting or powerlifting gyms.
I am not going to bore you with all the details, but will provide a few examples:
- Much bigger emphasis on technique – if you get a gym pr, but with bad technique, your coach won’t be happy.
No hour-long warm-ups – it takes 15 minutes’ tops and you always perform 2-3 sets of hyperextensions before you start
Critique is widely acceptable and encouraged, especially from experienced guys.
Competition is always an event where you have to be clean, tidy and focused. Nobody shouts before the lift – it’s the time for an athlete to concentrate.
My years of training in Ukraine allowed me to build a basis and work ethic for this sport. Though any considerable results came way later than I expected – I didn’t bench 225lb until 2 years of training, and my first 200kg (440lb) picked off the platform didn’t occur until my 3rd powerlifting meet.
But I am stubborn, so despite not being too fit for this sport I still continued.
After moving to the U.S. I had to start my life from scratch.
It took some time before I finally found TPS in Everett in 2013 and had some strong people to train with.
My first RPS competition was in 2014 and I finished with 1410 in the 242-weight class.
Two years later, at my most recent meet, I got 1730 in the same 242 weight category.
This is result of my consistent training, challenging myself every day, and the people at TPS and the spirit of this gym.
In my monthly updates, I will be talking about how my training is going, the training principles that I use, various exercises that aren’t popular in the US but are in Ukraine, recovery procedures, and much more.