Watch 69kg Weightlifter Shi Zhiyong’s Insane 190kg Power Clean and Jerk

In a nation with some of the strongest weightlifters on Earth, Shi Zhiyong is one of the brightest stars. The 24-year-old weightlifter competes in the -69kg weight class and just made a pretty darn impressive lift in training. It wasn’t a snatch or a clean & jerk, but this power clean & jerk of 190 kilograms (418.9 pounds) is one for the ages.

[How the heck do Chinese weightlifters get so strong? Here are 4 advanced exercises they tend to perform.]

For folks with an untrained eye, a power clean might remind them of a half squat — a lift that leaves a lot of people wondering what the point is. (For the record, there are a lot of benefits to the half squat.) The benefits of power cleans, meanwhile, include increasing the lifter’s ability to pull the barbell higher and have a more explosive second pull. The timing, relative loading used, and barbell acceleration needed in the power clean are very similar to the full clean, though the weight used is typically about 60 to 80 percent of what can be used for the full clean (though, to be fair, that varies a lot between lifters).

“This is eighty percent of his max clean? Does that mean Shi can clean & jerk 237 kilograms? Isn’t that like 40 kilograms heavier than the world record in his weight class?”

OK, it’d be 39 kilograms heavier than Liao Hui’s world record clean & jerk of 198kg, so let’s not make too many assumptions based on that power clean. That said, Shi has broken the world record clean & jerk in training before, making a clean & squat jerk of 205 kilograms (452 pounds) back in September.

No one counts training lifts as world records, but he has broken one of Liao Hui’s world records on the competition platform, although it was at the Chinese Weightlifting Nationals so it’s not technically a world record. Still, check out this pretty serious 197-kilogram (434.3-pound) clean & jerk from this April we embedded below. This was one kilogram short of Liao’s record in the lift, but it did give him a 360kg total, besting Liao’s WR by 1 kilo.

Keep your eye on Shi Zhiyong.

Featured image via 张子研 on YouTube.


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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 different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)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.