Lu Xiaojun has mobility and movement patterns that make (other) Olympic champions jealous. And while he’s certainly not invincible — a clean & jerk bombout at the 2015 World Weightlifting Championships highlighted some inconsistency in his game — Xiaojun is a favorite to repeat as Olympic champ in Rio. What’s more impressive is that Lu is no spring chicken in the weightlifting world, and he turns 32 just over a week before the Rio Games.
The Chinese lifter with a physique to make bodybuilders envious also pulls off some crazy feats in the training hall. Our favorite — and one we come back to every few weeks to remind ourselves how weak we really are — is Lu Xiaojun’s 220kg overhead squat from 2014 (embedded below).
Actually, that’s not quite fair: This isn’t technically a standard overhead squat. It’s a narrow-grip, bottoms-up overhead squat. The two movements aren’t equivalent, but this variation is arguably MORE difficult than your standard version. Since Lu is a squat-jerker, it makes sense for him to develop crazy stability and strength in this overhead position. But squatting it up from a dead stop? “Remarkable” doesn’t do it justice.
Though the video — originally taken by Ma Strength’s Manuel Buitrago — is two years old, Lu looks to be in great shape heading into Rio. At Chinese Nationals earlier this year, he (unofficially, as it wasn’t an IWF-sanctioned event) totaled 381kg, 1kg over his own total world record.
All eyes will be on Lu Xiaojun in Rio, where the 77kg title should be his again — assuming he can actually stick a jerk in the clean & jerk portion of competition. The snatch and clean? For Lu, those just seem like baby weight.