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Get to know… Mart Seim

Name: Mart Seim
D.O.B.: 24 October 1990
Nationality: Estonian
Bodyweight category: +105kg
Medal record (Total):

  • 2015 IWF World Championships (Houston, USA) – Silver
  • 2016 European Championships (Førde, Norway) – Bronze

Personal Bests: 

  • Snatch: 191kg
  • Clean and Jerk: 253kg
  • Total: 444kg
Mart Seim

Mart Seim (Mati Hiis)



1 Snatch or clean & jerk?

Clean & jerk.


2. What do you like to listen to when training? 

When I feel I’m in good shape or undergoing a harder training session, I listen to something heavier, like rock. With base training I listen to anything but rock, as I don’t want to ruin it. If I don’t listen to heavier music too much, it helps me at the right training moment, if this makes any sense.


3. How many hours a week do you spend in the gym? 

At training camp I spend on average 25 hours. In classic lift training I spend approximately 10 hours a week.


4. What’s your favourite aspect of training? 

If I’m injury free – that I’m in great shape and able to lift heavy weights.


5. Which aspect of training do you hate the most? 



6. If there was one thing you could improve about your technique, what would it be? 

I’d keep my heels down in snatch until the bar is at hip height. I’m working on it, but my heels tend to lift too soon. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years, though.


7. What is your most memorable lift?

That 253kg clean and jerk in the last IWF Worlds. The audience there was unbelievably disrespectful, and to perform so well despite that… I’ll remember it for a while.


8. What achievements will allow you to retire happy? 

The clean & jerk world record and a medal at the Olympics. If they succeed in their current anti-doping efforts, maybe even a brighter medal…


9. Knowing what you know now, what one thing would you change in your first training routines? 

I would change a lot. I’ve received loads of advice from people with the knowledge of the 1970s, when sport wasn’t exactly clean. If you want to train clean, the entire plan is different, so I’ve had to learn myself by trial and error.


10. Who is the greatest weightlifter of all time?  

I’d like to say Leonid Taranenko, but Lasha seems to be passing him.


11. What is the most important thing needed to be an Olympic weightlifter? 

Patience. You can’t escape injuries in weightlifting and being able to cope with them is probably one of the most important qualities. And of course you have to be willing to work very hard.




1 Describe yourself in 3 words

Hard-working. Patient. Positive.


2. What other sports do you like to play? 

Football. Table tennis. I play table tennis at training camp, as it’s quite safe!


3. What is your favourite meal? 

If I cook myself, I make a great pasta with chicken, chanterelles, olives, paprika, garlic, cheese and a good sauce (just pasta would sound incredibly boring). In a restaurant I mostly order rib-eye steak with potatoes and mushrooms.


4. If you could only eat one type of one cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be? 

Probably my native Estonian as we’re used to eating a lot of potatoes and meat/carbs and protein. They’re quite versatile, there are so many different meals you can make out of them.


5. Describe your perfect day off. 

Holiday. Wake-up at 11am. Breakfast. To the sea on a yacht to do some whale/dolphin/penguin etc. spotting. A little nap in the afternoon. Some bowling in the evening. A nice meal at a restaurant. Home at a decent hour.


6. Which person, alive or dead, would you like to have a conversation with?

Einstein. He might have a few tips on how to become stronger, or he’d figure it out!


7. Name one skill you would like to learn 

Play with gravity like Lasha does in the Snatch.


8. Where is the one place you would like to visit? 

There are several, but to name one – Madagascar. The more exotic, the more inviting.


9. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

My dad told me after my very first competition, “Don’t worry. Be patient. Do the work and you’ll see the results.”


Watch Mart takeover @iwfnet Instagram Stories next Wednesday 12 September, as he trains for the 2018 IWF World Championships in Ashgabat.

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