Interview with Valery Semenov

25 May 2021 - Ore 15:00

Here we are again talking about grip, strength and determination. Under the magnifying glass of Grip and Bend Italia today there is a Russian athlete with great tenacity and determination, a lover of experimentation and bending with bare hands, Valery Semenov!

Hi Valery, thanks for being at GBI!

Hello Giorgio! Hello GBI!

The first question for you, where were you born and raised? Describe to the readers who Valery is.

I was born and raised in the city of Serpukhov, Moscow region. And I still live here. I am 37 years old, height – 1 meter 66 centimeters, weight 60 – 63 kg. I do not consider myself an athlete, I do not go to the gym (the gym is right in my room). I just do what I like.

What do you do for a living and what are your hobbies?

I work in a small fruit filling plant. Packing operator with a day / night schedule (12 hours each). There are many hobbies: first of all, it is bending the iron, lifting the barbell to the biceps, recently I got carried away with breaking bricks with my hands. I love reading books. Favorite authors – Chuck Palahniuk, Howard Philips Lovecraft, Clive Barker, Matthew Stokow, James Havok … I listen to Black and Death Metal, Punk Rock, Horrorcore. I am fond of beer aging (small home collection). I also collect gin, knives … All sorts of hobbies.

 How did you get carried away with the strength of your hands? Did someone attract you or did it arise on your initiative?

Since I was 12, I have been doing a lot on the horizontal bar. From 19 to 25 years old I was drinking hard. At some point, I realized that I would either die of alcohol or something needed to be changed. Then I bought myself my first barbell and started training. Later I saw videos on YouTube where knots of nails are knitted. This impressed me a lot. Then I recognized the guys from Iron Grip and got involved in competitive bending of iron. For me, wrestling with iron is also wrestling with myself. With his laziness and bad habits. Everything in my life is on my own initiative. I go my own way without looking at anyone.


What is your training philosophy and what are your priorities?

The training philosophy is very simple – try not to miss training and finish what you started to the end. At the same time, approach each exercise wisely.

Probably the top priority is a good warm-up, at least 45 minutes.

Often you like painful and extreme trials, what fascinates you and pushes you to pain?

Probably somewhere deep in my subconscious I get pleasure from pain. Haha. The scars on my body also speak of this. Some kind of revelation comes through pain. It is also not averse to experience the bites of scorpions, centipedes, snakes … It is curious how far ordinary flesh can go into the Kingdom of Pain.

Are we telling the readers that you have chosen the GBI bear tattoo on the forearm?

I have long wanted to get a tattoo representing the bending of metal. But I could not find a suitable picture in any way. But as soon as I saw the GBI symbol, I realized that this was what I needed. I really like your bear and your business, Giorgio. We are going the steel way under the auspices of the Italian bear !!!

What did our discipline teach you, what do you consider important?

This discipline taught inner endurance. I became calmer and more confident in general. Metal hardens the body and character.

I think the most important thing is to go all the way to your goal, not discouraged by defeat. There are always more of them than victories.

 Could you give an example of your ideal week in terms of training?

The ideal training week is made up of enough free time that I can spend on these trainings. As well as good health. If in one workout you manage to bend with support, without support and add exercises with a barbell or kettlebell, then it’s generally fine.


Do you meet other fans of our sport in your city or are you perceived as a strange guy?

Unfortunately, no one else bends iron in my city. And I am considered a strange guy, at least for my T-shirts with scary pictures. Hahah.

Do you have any goals that you set for yourself?

Of course there are goals – I want to bend 110 kg GBI with a reverse in touching pads, 90 kg Noble Force with my bare hands, 8.8 Horrido Bending bolt, Elk from Bendsportcanada, lift a 65 kg bar strictly to the biceps. This is what is directly in priority.

We leave to readers the advice that you think you can give thanks to your experience.

Be very attentive to your body. Do not exercise if you feel unwell or very tired. Do not overload painful areas. Approach the training process very responsibly.

Thank you, Valery, for your time, it was a pleasure to welcome you to the GBI website!

And thank you for the interview, my friend Giorgio! Also many thanks to GBI for their contribution to the iron work!



Giorgio Giannico


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