How much do you squat? We’re guessing it’s nowhere near as much as 19-year-old beast, Kristos Papanotis, who is attempting to break the squat all time world record.
This Sunday, 19-year-old Kristos Papanotis from South Australia will attempt to break the squat all-time world record (67.5kg weight class) at the GPC Australia: SA Titles.
Kristos’ coach is world-class power lifter, Firas El Achkar, owner of Fuzzy’s Power Gym – the premier power lifting, Olympic lifting and strength facility in South Australia.
What inspired you to get involved in powerlifting?
I’ve always admired great strength, nothing really ‘inspired’ me. I figured I could manoeuvre some poundage around at a young age and it took it off from there. By 17 I could squat three times my bodyweight for reps and deadlift 220 kg for reps….that’s when I started to get serious.
Describe a normal day in the gym.
My routine is:
– Get to the gym
– Annoy Firas until he gets reaches the point he’s about to explode (just ease off before he loses it, I’ve mastered it).
– Then when he cools down I’ll start stretching
– Talk a little more smack to him
– Then start sucking up so he can spot me
…then we start.
Tell us a little more about your exercise regime.
That’s top secret haha! It’s simple: squats Monday; bench Wednesday; deadlifts Thursday; shoulders Saturday. We periodise all weights and repetitions over a few months.
You’ve broken teenage world records, does this give you the confidence to break the men’s world record?
Does this give me confidence? I’d say no. Teenage world records and open world records are a different ball game. I’ve been lucky enough to have good leverages for squatting which is why my lift is around the men’s world record mark..
What is the feeling after successfully lifting heavy (four times your body weight) and goal weights?
When I deadlifted four times my bodyweight, I felt on top of the world. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a 67.5 kg teenager to deadlift 270 kg raw. That’s why I jumped on Firas and we were as happy as a married couple.
You have a very supportive coach in Firas El Achkar, how does he positively help you achieve your goals?
He’s my best friend; he’s always there for me. He has the most belief in me out of anyone on this planet, which is a good reason, why I lift what I lift. I owe it to him. I like to shock him; I like him to know he’s backing me up for a good reason. The gym is a small part of our lives – Kristos and Firas mean so much more than training partners and a barbell. How does he help me? Simply by believing in me.
How did you meet Firas?
I saw the big Lebo dude out the front of a kebab shop, and we hit it off from there.
Haha no seriously, we met at a gym. He did a few sessions at the first gym I started training at and then we became best buds. I was there for him in a certain time in his life and he respected that.
What’s Firas like as a trainer?
Very good, he understands – that’s the best way to describe it. He knows what needs to be achieved and yeah, that’s what works.
We’ve seen you train and you sing the entire time! What’s your favourite pump up jam?
You guys know first hand how much I love my music!! The guy I get all my music off, Young Jeeky, lives in Adelaide. He compiles all my favourite R&B songs. My favourite track is ‘TeeFLii – U Can Get It’. What a track! Listening to it right now.
How do your family and friends support you?
My dad is the f**king man. You’re not going to get anyone who supports me like my dad does…no one. Whatever I need or want, it’s there for me and I mean whatever. What he has done for me will take up ten thousand pages so not going to get into that, just know that he is the greatest person by my side.
Mum is mum! Food and clothes are always prepared. She’s a great support too.
Firas. Leave it at that.
Jesse Bruno, what a man. Me and this dude hang for hours and hours and hours… almost seven days a week. He’s a good support; he understands what I’m out to achieve and always backs me with everything.
Danny Mihalopoulos. He keeps me in line on weekends and makes sure I stay out of trouble. Danny’s always there for me, anything I need, no hesitation. I have a lot of time for Danny.
Last but not least, Danny’s brother Spilios. Me and Spil were very close. He was at my comps and was like a second Firas next to me in training. We would literally hang everyday: we’d train together when he finished work, and were with each other every weekend. He is very very close to me, I can talk about anything with him at anytime. Its extremely unfortunate I don’t get to see him anymore.
Matt and Dan Brunoli- respect for everything they did for me. Let me train in their gym for free and supported me with anything I needed. Have a lot of time for those boys.
George Serb is always there. 6”7 of pure badass-ness. Love the guy, he backs me up all the way.
Has the competitive sport had a big impact on your lifestyle? Does it affect socialising with friends?
It actually doesn’t affect socialising with friends at all. I’m out every single weekend and get to see my friends a lot. My close friends I see on weekdays as well.
You’re only 19 years old and attempting to break men’s world records, what does the future hold for Kristos Papanotis
The future holds whatever I want it to hold. To be healthy, train my butt off and do what Dad says.
What’s your ultimate fitness goal?
330 kg deadlift in the 75 kg class. This will take 4-5 years of training. I’ll do it, you can hold me to it.
Watch Kristos attempt to break the men’s squat world record this Sunday at the GPC Australia SA Titles. Fuzzy’s Power Gym – 3/2 Barrpowell Road, Welland, South Australia, Australia 5007