Weightlifter Katie Estep (55KG) Jerks 119KG (262 Pounds) for Two Reps Off Blocks

The Team USA athlete hoisted more than the current Junior World Record overhead.

On Jan. 11, 2022, USA Weightlifting had some big news to share on their Instagram. In the video, weightlifter Katie Estep is seen jerking two kilograms over the Junior World Record clean & jerk. Estep, a Youth record-holder herself who competes in the 55-kilogram weight class, smoothly jerked 119-kilograms (262 pounds) overhead during her training session for a double.

The Junior world record clean & jerk for the 55-kilogram weight class is 117 kilograms (257.9 pounds), held by North Korean weightlifter Kim Ji-Hyang. It was set during the Oct. 2019 Asian Youth & Junior Championships in Pyongyang, North Korea. You can check out Estep’s lift in the video below.


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Estep did not clean the weight during her training session. Further, a jerk from the blocks, which is considered a training accessory for weightlifters, doesn’t necessarily indicate that Estep will put up a world-class lift come competition day. 

Still, the ease with which Estep puts this weight overhead, twice, makes it quite the noteworthy lift.

BarBend spoke with Estep’s coach, Kevin Simons of Alpha Barbell, over text to find out more about her training:

We are mostly focusing on her leg strength right now and it translates quickly to jerks since she’s so good at them. She needs to build her snatch and clean, so we are doing those movements more times each week. 

Katie Estep’s Weightlifting Career

This is not the first time the young weightlifter has impressed with her show of sheer strength. During the 2021 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Youth World Championships in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Estep took home the gold.

She did so in style, setting two 55-kilogram Youth world records along the way. She hit a snatch at 89 kilograms (196.2 pounds), setting the Youth American, Youth Pan-American, Youth World Records, and Junior American Record. Her clean & jerk, coming in at 109 kilos (240.3 pounds) was a Youth American Record. Estep totaled 198 kilograms (436.5 pounds), giving her both the Youth American and Youth World Record.

What the Future Holds 

Estep’s training continues with upcoming competitions in mind. The 2022 IWF Junior World Championships are currently scheduled toward the end of April 2022, COVID-depending. Simons tells BarBend that his plan is for Estep to make a weight class change in 2022 as well: 

She jerked 118 for three and 122 for a single last week. She is going to be a tough person to contend with for an Olympic spot when she goes up to 59 after Junior Worlds in Greece this year.

Simons refers to the 2022 IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships, which are set to take place from May 2-10, in Hersonissos, Greece. 

If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic interferes with Junior Worlds, it’s not entirely clear when Estep will step back onto the competition stage. But with her gold medal performance in the inaugural 2021 Junior Pan American Games, Estep secured herself a spot in the 2023 Junior Pan American Games, to be held in Santiago, Chile from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5, 2023.

Note: BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting. Unless otherwise specified on certain content, the two organizations maintain editorial independence. This article represents a collaborative effort from both parties. 

Featured Image: @usa_weightlifting/Instagram