Mikhail Shivlyakov – Road to the Arnold 2020

This is a Strongman Athlete Profile I edited just before the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic

As a boy in Siberia, he was always drawn to the larger-than-life heroes of Russian folklore. Now, as he approaches his 40th birthday, Mikhail Shivlyakov’s own life looks a bit like the stuff of legend: from his decorated service in Russian special forces to a current training program that finds him pushing sleds in a snow-covered forest with a group of Cossack warriors. In the gym, Mikhail’s happily given up some of his own valuable time to serve as a coach and mentor to other local strength athletes. But with Top 5 finishes at the past three Arnolds, he is far from ready to pass the torch. In fact, the “Siberian Force” is as much of a podium threat right now as he’s ever been. “If the training is hard,” he says, “the competition will be easy.”