Tandem Clean & Jerk

Mondays are hard, so a little motivation can go a long way. And if you want to get your training partner hyped as well, show them this video of German superheavy weightlifters Almir Velagic and Matthias Steiner setting the tandem clean & jerk world record — a whopping 333.3 kilos (that’s somewhere north of 730 pounds for us standard unit folks).

(Note: The lift begins at around 0:57; video from Kanal von dynaglobe.)

Tandem clean & jerks take a unique combination of timing, strength, and teamwork, not to mention a bit of compromise due to different heights and limb lengths. It’s also a gutsy move all around — as the two lifters are coming out of the squat, you can see their different speeds almost result in a missed lift. When there’s 700+ pounds potentially crashing down on someone in a front rack, the margin for error in this lift is razor thin.

A little more context on the video: The profile documents Almir Velagic’s training. The Bosnian-German weightlifter came in 8th place at both the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics. It’s a great video for weightlifting fans, especially those who speak German.

Almir’s partner in the record clean & jerk is a bit more well known. Matthias Steiner, of course, is famed in weightlifting circles for winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a memorable display just months after his wife’s death. A dark horse heading into the competition, Steiner pulled out a personal record clean & jerk for the ages in order to seal his victory.

If you’ve never had the goosebumps after watching someone lift weight, this video is sure to change that.

Though Steiner never matched is Beijing performance again, it’s a video and story that ranks among the best human interest segments in modern strength sport.

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