Powerlifter Kirill Sarychev: “For a man there is nothing cooler than the feeling of muscle power”

Kir­ill Sarychev is the absolute record hold­er of Rus­sia, Europe and the world in bench press with­out equip­ment. And also a par­tic­i­pant in the new sea­son of the Sat­ur­day sports and intel­lec­tu­al show “Chal­lenge” on TNT. In an inter­view, one of Russia’s main strong­men explained why the intrigues of real­i­ty are alien to him, why he doesn’t like male images on the screen, and also shared his per­son­al moti­va­tion.

On the Challenge show, you just can’t seem to have any competition from a physical standpoint. But still, you were not the first in all tests. What is the most important thing in such a project, and what is the key to victory?

If the show only judged peo­ple based on their phys­i­cal fit­ness, it would def­i­nite­ly be a body­build­ing show. “The chal­lenge is a sports and intel­lec­tu­al game, there are tests of endurance, inge­nu­ity, intel­li­gence, includ­ing phys­i­cal strength. Suc­cess is the total­i­ty of each par­tic­i­pant hav­ing a vari­ety of qual­i­ties and skills.

Despite your stern appearance, from the first issues you showed yourself as a fair participant with the right values ​​and guidelines. Was it easy for you to put up with various intrigues, of which, as we see, there are many on the project?

I’m still inclined to believe that all the intrigues and con­flicts that were on the project are an ele­ment of the show. The guys just got into the show.

But it’s not for me to judge them, of course. This is alien to me, I stayed away from all this. This behav­ior was unpleas­ant, but who am I to edu­cate them? They have their own par­ents.

Did you manage to make real friends with anyone on the project? Was there anyone who really surprised you?

This is a very cool project that brought togeth­er inter­est­ing peo­ple. I was very sur­prised by all the smart guys. Each of them is just a human being!

Do you keep in touch with any of the participants after filming?

We con­tin­ue to com­mu­ni­cate with many peo­ple; we have very good mem­o­ries.

Why would you, an athlete with such titles, participate in a show like “The Challenge”?

The answer is in the title of the show. This is a chal­lenge to your­self. Before this I defied grav­i­ty, but in this show I defied dif­fer­ent tests.

Many viewers, seeing you on the screen, say: “This is a real man.” What does it mean to you to be a real man? What qualities should he have?

I will repeat what Alexan­der Alexan­drovich Kare­lin said. A real man is, first of all, strength and the abil­i­ty to bear full respon­si­bil­i­ty for his loved ones, for his fam­i­ly. Strength is also a big respon­si­bil­i­ty, but that is what makes you a man.

In your opinion, how has the role of men in society, in sports, and on screen changed in recent years?

It hasn’t changed much yet, because the screens are still dom­i­nat­ed by sweet and hand­some boys. We have moved away from the image of strong, pow­er­ful men; even in the images of his­tor­i­cal films that I watch, mas­culin­i­ty is not very present.

There­fore, so far I don’t see that young peo­ple have any­where to take a guide­line for a healthy life.

What is the one thing you can’t do without in your day? (This can be anything — from sports exercises to some kind of meditation, for example, or affirmations and trainings)

Not a sin­gle day is com­plete with­out a deli­cious and pow­er­ful break­fast, when I eat half a kilo of meat and lots and lots of car­bo­hy­drates. And I’m just hap­py about it.

How seriously do you take sports discipline and how often do you allow yourself to break the regime? And what are the consequences of violating the regime?

Now I don’t take my sports regime as seri­ous­ly as I did when I was prepar­ing for com­pe­ti­tions. There is only 5% left of my for­mer seri­ous­ness in this mat­ter, but I deserve it. At least that’s how I jus­ti­fy it to myself. But even this 5% is my big chunk of life in sports, which is 10 times more than that of oth­er ath­letes.

Many people are lazy to exercise regularly because they simply do not have the right motivation. What is the right motivation?

Moti­va­tion is your reflec­tion in the mir­ror, your well-being. As Vladimir Turchin­sky said, for a man there is noth­ing cool­er than the feel­ing of mus­cle pow­er. When I talk about mus­cle pow­er, I don’t mean that a man should be a 200-pound pumped-up big man. There must be tone in the mus­cles.

And plus, when you have already endured 2–3 weeks of train­ing and you can already see the result on the bar­bell, in the mir­ror, it is very dif­fi­cult to get off of it. Sport is a legal drug that I would get every­one hooked on.

How did you get into powerlifting? How did your journey begin and do you remember your emotions when you achieved your first success?

I start­ed pow­er­lift­ing at the age of 15 and imme­di­ate­ly went to my coach, who is still there to this day, the only one and irre­place­able. My jour­ney began with my coach telling me: “Now there are a lot of peo­ple in the hall, leave here, come back some­time lat­er

This was the test I passed. I came back a day lat­er and he signed me up. For me, the first suc­cess is a world record. Then I thought how much more I had ahead of me. So I live to this day with the aware­ness of how much more lies ahead of me.