After winning European bench press and deadlift titles Russian lifter Natalia Kuznetsova retired, and now after an 18-month absence she’s back – and bigger than ever.
The 26-year-old started training at the age of 14 in order to gain a few extra pounds. Under the guidance of her coach Alexei Ivanov, her progress escalated quickly and in 2015 Natalia managed to set the world record for bench press (375lb) and deadlift (530lb) in the European championships.
Natalia says that when she began training, she weighed less than 40kg. Now she weighs in at a massive 90kg and is looking forward to getting back to lifting heavy weights in the gym.
Natalia has declared herself unable to stay away from the sport. She plans to return to the Russian capital of Moscow for more competition.
The athlete says that as well as powerlifting, she will also be working as a coach to help others reach their potential.
According to TheSun she said:
“People definitely recognize me. An athletic body can be seen under clothes. Many people recognize me and ask to take a photo with them. Many people even know my name.”
Natalia Kuznetsova currently trains for several hours every day and sticks to a regimented diet, adding protein powder to her food and supplementing throughout the day.
Kuznetsova documents her impressive physique on her Instagram account where her impressive selfies have earned her more than 194,000 followers. Although she admits that she has faced some criticism and hateful comments on her photos, she says she now ignores them.
Natalia Kuznetsova is open about using anabolic steroids, and also takes estrogen blockers. She has admitted to taking 150 – 200 mg of Primobolan or propionate before competitions, and 20 mg of oxandrolone on training days. She claims she was at one point tempted to also try growth hormones, insulin and peptides, but ultimately decided they were not for her. She claims steroids give professional powerlifters an edge during competitions, and the competitions she has participated.
What do you make of Natalia Kuznetsova coming out of retirement?