Throwback: Chad Vaughn Sets American Record with 190kg Clean & Jerk

Before the days of CrossFit boxes on every block, and before everyone from bankers to soccer moms knew the other definition of “snatch,” Chad Vaughn was one of America’s top weightlifters. To be fair, he continued to be one of the country’s best for quite some time and was in contention for his third Olympic Games in 2012 (the U.S. had one spent so only sent one male lifter — Kendrick Farris — to the 2012 London Games).

But Vaughn’s accomplishments stand on their own: A two-time Olympian (2004 and 2008), six-time National Champion, and 2003 Pan American Games Champion, he still holds the American Record in the 77kg weight class clean & jerk.

The lift, set at the Arnold Classic in late 2007, exemplifies Vaughn’s precise technique, though perhaps just a bit on the wobbly side; it is, after all, an American record and an impressive load for a 77kg lifter.

Vaughn’s record stands as of April 2016, though Travis Cooper is hot on its heels. He’s successfully cleaned 190+ at 77kg bodyweight several times, but he has yet to stick the jerk in competition.

And while Vaughn’s 190kg clean & jerk has stood for going on nine years, the American 77kg snatch record is even older. Oscar Chaplin III set that mark at 157.5kg back in 1999. Chaplin’s 85kg snatch record from 2002 also still stands at 166kg.

Impressive lifts for both Americans, but still a big margin below the World Record 77kg clean & jerk set by Oleg Perepetchenov of Russia back in 2001.

Perepetchenov’s lift is embedded below; it’s too bad most of these were set before the days of easily accessible HD. With a lot of talent in the international 77kg weight class, it’s a record we don’t expect to stand for too much longer (but then again, we doubt many people expected it to stand for 15 years in the first place).

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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