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.

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Keep your eye on Shi Zhiyong.

Featured image via 张子研 on YouTube.


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I’m a journalist with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My experience includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City, where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.