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 Strenght’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.
And in case you wanted more proof all that stability work was paying off, check out his snatch world record from 2013. A reminder: Thats 176kg/~387pounds snatched as a 77kg lifter.
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.