Nizami Tagiev Is Critical Of Leroy Walker’s World Record Strict Curl

Nizami Tagiev does not believe Walker’s lift was legitimate.

The strict curl is a lift that used to be used in competition. The competitors’ head, upper body, and butt must remain against a wall while the lift is performed. This has become a popular exercise and one where many powerlifters have been eyeing the world record. On Saturday, Leroy Walker set a new world record with a 114kg (250lb) strict curl but there has been some controversy over it.

Walker beat the previous record set by Denis Cyplenkov in 2019 by a single kilogram. Russia’s Nizami Tagiev believes that Cyplenkov should still hold the record and does not recognize Walker’s lift as legitimate.

Tagiev took to Instagram to explain his reasoning and share a video of him performing a strict curl that is close to the record.

“I don’t wanna be a hater!
I just want to say that if everyone compete for the world record then the rules should be the same for everyone.

I believe that LeRoy @lwthemachine is a strong athlete, but I do not recognize his record, just as Denis Tsyplenkov @cyplenkovden does not recognize him. This is not pride or vanity! If I saw a clean rise there, I would strive for it simply and accept the challenge with dignity!
There’re too much questions:
the elbows are bent too much, the assistants serve the barbell, the grip is narrow, the wall is narrow, honestly I have a lot of distrust of the weights on the barbell.”


It was originally said that Nizami Tagiev had 115kg on the bar when he completed this curl. This would have been enough to beat Walker’s record but it would not have been recognized because it was not confirmed while Walker’s record lift took place during a sanctioned event. Tagiev later confirmed that the weight in the video above was 110kg, not 115kg.

Tagiev continued by sharing criticism on the lift. He mentions how Walker’s elbows are too bent and how the wall and grip are narrow. Tagiev also mentions Cyplenkov and how the former record holder also rejects this lift. He ended his Instagram post with a call to action to judges when looking at lifts in the future — and even got backup from the likes of CT Fletcher, who commented “I totally agree with you.”

“I ask the organizers of the Arnold Classic, @arnoldsports which will be held in March ‘22 in the USA, to be seriously about all of that???????? I repeat once again, the rules and judging should be the same for everyone! I am for fair sport and for justice! Respect for all athletes from different countries! And let’s be honest with ourselves firstly!”

Leroy Walker has yet to respond but has already been sharing a new goal on social media. Walker has his eyes on a 275-pound strict curl in the near future. Below, you can see Walker’s record-setting lift. Do you think it is legitimate?

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Greg Patuto
Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation,, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.