Very, very strong Chinese weightlifter Tian Tao just made a 310 kilogram squat look like a warmup. There’s no hype music, no cheering, and only a faint glimmer of a smile as the athlete unracks, walks out, and squats 310 kilograms (683.5 pounds).
With no belt.
And then walks it backwards onto the blocks.
Tao competes in the -85kg weight class, and it’s definitely worth pointing out that this if he walked into a powerlifting meet, this lift would be 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds) heavier than the -83kg world record that was set by the American John Haack at last year’s IPF Classic Powerlifting Championships.
Tao’s squat is 15kg below the -93kg world record squat (set by David Ricks earlier this year) but Tao is probably much lighter than that right now and he’s not even wearing a belt.
And let’s be honest, that squat looked pretty… well, it wouldn’t be fair to say easy, but it definitely looked like he could have pulled off a weight of five or ten kilograms heavier.
After all, it wasn’t too long ago that we saw Tian Tao pull off a pause squat of 300 kilograms.
Without a belt.
Tao currently holds the Olympic record in the clean & jerk for his weight class, having managed a 217-kilogram (478-pound) lift at the Rio Olympics.
Unofficially, however, his PRs are even higher. Take a look at this clip of a mammoth clean & jerk of 221 kilograms (487.2 pounds) from the 2017 Chinese National Weightlifting Championships in April. (The lift isn’t “official” as it didn’t take place in international competition.)
But earlier that same month, we saw a 225-kilogram (496-pound) lift in training, which is 5 kilograms heavier than Kianoush Rostami’s world record. Tao managed the lift after an easy squat double of 300 kilograms, which is also in the video below. No biggie.
Last year, we saw Tao fail a 230kg clean & jerk in training. Who knows if we’ll ever see him attempt something in that range in competition?
Featured image via yangyang7878 on Instagram.