Olympic Weightlifter Had to Cut Off His Finger to Compete In Competition

Andrei Aramnau from Belarus holds the Snatch World Record (105kg class) with a monstrous 200kg lift! Find out more about his intriguing back story.

Andrei Aramnau has recently launched a youtube channel that has opened up his fascinating story, training tips and thoughts to the world. 

“When I was born I had 6 fingers on my hand thanks to Chernobyl. Coach gave me an ultimatum: to train for Europeans I had to cut off the finger. At 14 years old I was very scared, but I went by myself to Minsk to cut it off. Because my parents were not able to get me back from the hospital, I escaped by myself.”

How I became Olympic champion? I was born on April 17, 1988 in Borisov, Belarus. My first childhood memories are when at I saw my future wife take her first steps. We know each other since childhood. Even before going to school I loved fishing. This was the only reason to ever skip training. My family was not rich. We lived near a railway station, not a very safe place. Most of my childhood friends are either in prison, alcoholics, or drug addicts. I got very lucky to become an athlete instead. I was a strong boy. At 9 years I was already chopping wood. Viktor Groda, 2 times USSR medalist, who lived in my building, took me into a weightlifting gym. I wanted to be strong and handsome like him. Never became as handsome. At 10 years old I started training. I was strong, but my technique was bad. I say that I know all technique mistakes in weightlifting because I went through all of them myself. I think I had all possible technique problems in my life. In 14 years I started training very seriously. I was always the first to come and the last to leave. I was kicked out for staying too long. There was nothing to do at home. My friends already started with alcohol and drugs, I wasn't interested in them. I came to tarin at 3pm and left at 9. I almost never skipped training. At 14 I reached Master of Sport. Then I was noticed and started training for U17 Europeans. When I was born I had 6 fingers on my hand thanks to Chernobyl. Coach gave me an ultimatum: to train for Europeans I had to cut off the finger. At 14 years old I was very scared, but I went by myself to Minsk to cut it off. Because my parents were not able to get me back from the hospital, I escaped by myself. Then I started breaking all the records. I broke many records, probably about 500 records total, including all the children ones. I broke 10-15 records each competition. I set 27 records in the Olympics as a junior. At 19 I won WWC. At 20 I won the Olympics. I am a person who likes science. I always fixed my technique using scientific principles. I watched other athletes to learn about human movement. For those with technique mistakes I advise to watch others and try to imitate them.

A post shared by Sergiy Turchyn (@sergiywl) on

“I was born on April 17, 1988 in Borisov, Belarus. My first childhood memories are when at I saw my future wife take her first steps. We know each other since childhood.

Even before going to school I loved fishing. This was the only reason to ever skip training. My family was not rich. We lived near a railway station, not a very safe place. Most of my childhood friends are either in prison, alcoholics, or drug addicts. I got very lucky to become an athlete instead. I was a strong boy. At 9 years I was already chopping wood. Viktor Groda, 2 times USSR medalist, who lived in my building, took me into a weightlifting gym. I wanted to be strong and handsome like him. Never became as handsome.

At 10 years old I started training. I was strong, but my technique was bad. I say that I know all technique mistakes in weightlifting because I went through all of them myself. I think I had all possible technique problems in my life. In 14 years I started training very seriously. I was always the first to come and the last to leave. I was kicked out for staying too long. There was nothing to do at home. My friends already started with alcohol and drugs, I wasn’t interested in them. I came to tarin at 3pm and left at 9. I almost never skipped training.

Рывок 150кг на 3 раза

A post shared by andrei (@ariamnovandrei) on

At 14 I reached Master of Sport. Then I was noticed and started training for U17 Europeans.

Then I started breaking all the records. I broke many records, probably about 500 records total, including all the children ones. I broke 10-15 records each competition. I set 27 records in the Olympics as a junior. At 19 I won WWC. At 20 I won the Olympics.

I am a person who likes science. I always fixed my technique using scientific principles. I watched other athletes to learn about human movement. For those with technique mistakes I advise to watch others and try to imitate them.”

INJURY AND COMEBACK

Here are some notes from several @ariamnovandrei videos. I still haven't seen the most recent ones. Future plans: 2 months ago got back into training. Already lifted 160+180. He feels that can still compete. This year is for recovery. The main goal is 2019 European Games [Note from me: I don't see weightlifting in the program]. After that he will see how everything goes. Injuries: – 2 herniated disks at 19 years old, went away completely because of this back exercise. When you have back pain, do it 3-4 times a day. Otherwise, once a day is enough for injury prevention. The first 3 minutes seem easy, then it gets harder. 5 min is enough. – Big knee problems at 14 years old. Since then every day Andrei does knee extensions. 4 sets of back extensions and knee extensions every day. Boring, but important. – After Olympics started getting quad problems. Always wanted to break records and got small muscle tears, that finally resulted in quad tears. Got hip problems later on. Andrei stopped training in 2014 because he thought he is done. But then one day he wanted to show technique to an athlete and realized that pain is gone. In 3 years of no training (he is 29 now) everything seems to be gone, so he started again. If you miss more than 3 days of training, you will start getting weaker. Andrei got sick recently, so missed 4 days. He recommends to wait a little longer after antibiotics, but started training himself because he still wants to win medals. About bench press: thinks it is useful, but not too much. Too much bench results in forward jerks. In training, after heavy sets Andrei does one final lighter set, so that muscles remember the easy feeling and not the heavy feeling. Muscle memory is important. Pull up record: 16 times in 18 years old. On average about 10 times when in good shape. Regarding YouTube channel, Andrei asks for any kind of help/advice since he is new to YouTube and Internet in general. If anyone can help with the channel, would be great.

A post shared by Sergiy Turchyn (@sergiywl) on

“Future plans: 2 months ago got back into training. Already lifted 160+180. He feels that can still compete. This year is for recovery. The main goal is 2019 European Games [Note from me: I don’t see weightlifting in the program]. After that he will see how everything goes.

Injuries:

– 2 herniated disks at 19 years old, went away completely because of this back exercise. When you have back pain, do it 3-4 times a day. Otherwise, once a day is enough for injury prevention. The first 3 minutes seem easy, then it gets harder. 5 min is enough.
– Big knee problems at 14 years old. Since then every day Andrei does knee extensions. 4 sets of back extensions and knee extensions every day. Boring, but important.
– After Olympics started getting quad problems. Always wanted to break records and got small muscle tears, that finally resulted in quad tears.

Got hip problems later on. Andrei stopped training in 2014 because he thought he is done. But then one day he wanted to show technique to an athlete and realized that pain is gone. In 3 years of no training (he is 29 now) everything seems to be gone, so he started again.

If you miss more than 3 days of training, you will start getting weaker. Andrei got sick recently, so missed 4 days. He recommends to wait a little longer after antibiotics, but started training himself because he still wants to win medals.

About bench press: thinks it is useful, but not too much. Too much bench results in forward jerks.

In training, after heavy sets Andrei does one final lighter set, so that muscles remember the easy feeling and not the heavy feeling. Muscle memory is important.

Pull up record: 16 times in 18 years old. On average about 10 times when in good shape.

Regarding YouTube channel, Andrei asks for any kind of help/advice since he is new to YouTube and Internet in general. If anyone can help with the channel, would be great.”

Check out Andrei Aramnau’s Youtube Channel

All translations are by Sergiy Turchyn. Check out out his Instagram account

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Editor-In-Chief at BOXROX. I come from a background of rugby and weightlifting. Growing up in the English Lake District, I spent a great deal of time swimming in its stunning lakes and rivers. In 2015 my brothers and I became the first people to swim the 145km length of the River Eden, from source to mouth, in 9 days. We also swam the Corryvreckan whirlpool, the third largest in the world, and Crossfit is a huge part of my training for these events.

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