Over the past few years, Krzysztof Wierzbicki (pronounced zeez-stoff veers-biski) has become one of the biggest names on the Powerlifting scene. After three straight 93kg title wins at the IPF World Classic Championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015, claiming a host of world records along the way, he placed fourth in 2016 impeded by injury. Afterwards, Krzysztof made the decision to move up to the 105kg class, and really began to shock everyone with his immense strength gains. He shattered the existing 105kg deadlift world record with a huge 390kg pull at the 2017 European Classic Championships earlier this year, extending his best total to a world record of 890kg as well. The 390kg deadlift also beats the 120kg record, and is only 2.5kg off Ray Williams’ 120kg+ record of 392.5kg. The future is extremely bright for Krzysztof, as he’s also pulled 400kg in a Polish competition and still hasn’t reached his bodyweight potential as a 105kg lifter. Having now just recently competed at the World Games, here at 9for9 Media we got the chance to sit down with Krzysztof and talk to him about his training and life.
Asking about the origins of his Powerlifting career, Krzysztof told us he’s been lifting weights since the year 2000, and started his Powerlifting career in 2004, competing in a bench-only meet. At 13 years old, his best bench at the time was 100kg at only 50kg bodyweight. Then at 15 years old, he injured his pec, so began training all three of the Powerlifts as focussing on bench only was difficult. Soon after, he made his full three-lift Powerlifting competition debut in 2006. In this meet, Krzysztof weighed in at 77kg and totalled 550kg, comprising of a 185kg squat, a 115kg bench (after overcoming his pec injury), and a massive 250kg deadlift, showing he really was ‘Mr. Deadlift’ early on.
In his personal life, Krzysztof is married to fellow Polish Powerlifter, Marzena Wierzbicki, and has a two-year-old son. Marzena has competed raw internationally since 2012, representing Poland in the 72kg and 84kg weight classes, her highlights including a silver medal in the 72kg class at the 2012 World Classic Championships, as well as a bronze in the 84kg class in 2013 and 2014. Most recently, Merzana transitioned back to equipped lifting after a six-year hiatus, and competed at the 2017 World Games alongside Krzysztof, where she placed 7th in the Super-Heavyweight division. Similarly, Krzysztof placed 5th in the Men’s Super-Heavyweights, also setting a new all-time equipped deadlift record of 420kg at only 105.7kg bodyweight. Krzysztof also expects his son to be lifting in the future as he seems to like the gym (for a two-year-old!), so keep your eyes peeled for another big Wierzbicki lifter in the future.
Krzysztof was born and raised in Mikołów, Poland, and has always had a passion for fitness, loving intense workouts. In his younger years, he worked some manual jobs, including wood-cutting and car mechanics. However, more recently he’s worked in a gym as a coach, and now lives in Wschowa running his own gym: Taurus Gym & Cross. Because of this, he’s able to train twice per day, each for an hour session, and does so five times per week: ten training sessions total. Structuring his own programming, his first Monday session is at 1:00pm and comprises of squats or a squat variation, some form of leg accessory such as step ups, and then an abdominal movement. His second session, at 6:00pm, is comprised of 4-5 leg accessory exercises. His training does not follow any particular method, but is rather organised according to his own intuition. On the topic of the deadlift specifically, Krzysztof remarks that “the first deadlift of my life was sumo, so I will remain pulling sumo … I train conventional too, but I don’t max-out – only technique.” His best conventional pull to date is 360kg, stil sub-maximally, as he only pulls conventional to assist to his sumo pull and improve technique.
Talking about his injury in the lead up to the World Championships this year, Krzysztof remarks how only two weeks before the competition he went too deep on a heavy squat, straining his adductor. To account for this injury, he kept low bar squats following the strain while ensuring maximal quad activation, and did lots of work on front squats, high bar, and other accessory movements. The injury is yet to fully heal as he needed to begin preparing for the World Games immediately after the World Championships, however now he will attempt to heal up without any major competitions on the horizon.
When asked more about the World Games, Krzysztof tells us that the IPF’s Polish federation had three entries to the World Games: Jaroslaw Olech who won the Middleweight division, Jan Wegiera in the Heavyweight division, and finally Krzysztof himself, who because of Wegiera’s spot, had to compete in the Super-Heavyweight division. Krzysztof’s main goal for the World Games was to set a new equipped world record deadlift in the Super-Heavyweight division. Due to a lack of practice in equipment, he decided to squat and bench press raw, and only deadlift equipped. This worked out well for him as he made his momentous 420kg world record pull despite practicing in a deadlift suit only once in the lead up to it. His training also consisted of heavy block pulls to increase his grip strength, as holding on to 420kg is no easy feat. Without any major competitions on the horizon, we look forward to seeing what immense lifts Krzysztof can pull together next year and beyond while developing strength in his ‘off-season.’
About the author: Ramsay Kirkhy
Ramsay holds a BSc in Psychology and is currently studying for his MSc. He is also a certified Personal Trainer with three years’ experience. Along with his studies, he has a huge passion for Powerlifting, competing in the 74kg division in Great Britain, also writing for the 9for9 Media blog.