Last week, 20-year-old American weightlifter Nathan Damron hit a big 300kg PR squat, and the internet (well, at least the American weightlifting community) went wild. Damron, who has waffled back and forth between the 85kg and 94kg weight classes for the past year or so, has finally settled in as a 94, and it seems he’s building ridiculous leg strength to go along with the heavier bodyweight.

But critics in forums and post comments were asking: Why the emphasis on squatting? He’s a weightlifter, isn’t this just extra leg strength? Would his snatch and clean & jerk even reflect the work put in at the squat rack? Why isn’t he a more efficient lifter?

Damron has responded more with actions than words, using the universal #maxoutfriday to set a new clean & jerk PR of 200kg.

Damron is still a Junior lifter, and while he’s had a few less-than-consistent competitions in the past year — including a clean & jerk bombout at Nationals, where 10 out of 16 85kg lifters failed to total — he’s also proven he can hit 150+ in the snatch and close to 190kg in the clean & jerk on stage. With a heavier, stable bodyweight, it wouldn’t be crazy to think he’ll take a shot at a Junior record or two while he’s still eligible, assuming he competes. (The current Junior 94kg records are 158 snatch, 195 clean & jerk, and 351kg total.)

Damron’s coach Travis Mash even took a jab at critics in the text of his Instagram repost of the lift:

@nathandamron94 with an amazing 200k/440lb Clean & Jerk as a 94k Junior Athlete. If he were only more efficient! 😂😂😂

“Efficient” or not, we’re excited to see what Damron can do as a true 94kg lifter, hopefully on a big stage later this year.

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