Luis Mosquera (69kg) Block Snatches 165kg

Twenty-two-year-old weightlifting star Luis Javier Mosquera Lozano has shared with his Instagram followers a little insight into how he got so darn good at weightlifting. Take a look at this very, very fast block snatch of 165 kilograms (363.8 pounds), which the -69kg lifter posted over the weekend. This is just one kilogram under the current world record snatch in his weight class, which is held by the Chinese weightlifter Liao Hui.

By elevating the barbell and removing the portion of the lift that requires getting it off the floor — the weakest point for many athletes — block snatches can allow some weightlifters to make heavier “snatches” than usual. This is a common training technique that can also help weightlifters focus on different positions of the pull and help them feel more comfortable with positions that can feel unnatural for them.

Importantly, it works the second and third pull by teaching you to accelerate as quickly as possible, since unlike with the hang snatch, lifting from the blocks doesn’t allow for extra power.

[Block snatches are one of our 5 best tips to break through weightlifting plateaus. Check out the rest — like ignoring one-rep maxes!]

At the Rio Olympics last year, Mosquera snatched 155 kilograms (341.7 pounds) and clean & jerked 183 kilograms (403.4 pounds) to total 338 kilograms. At first, this earned him a fourth place finish, but after Kyrgyzstan’s Izzat Artykov was disqualified for testing positive for strychnine, Mosquera was named the official third place finisher in his -69kg weight class. He was already back in Colombia when he heard the news.

One of the most striking features of Mosquera’s weightlifting technique is his sheer speed, and it’s part of the reason why he holds national records in Colombia for the snatch (155kg), clean & jerk (187kg), and total (338kg). He was also the 2014 and 2015 Junior World Champion, 2015 Pan American Games Champion, and the 2016 South American Games Champion.

We interviewed Mosquera before he headed out to Rio last year, and he told us that his next goal is to win the World Championships and take home a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It’s clear that he’s training hard — we’re looking forward to seeing the numbers he puts up.

Featured image via @luisjavierhd16 on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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