The 2022 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior World Championships in Heraklion, Greece, concluded on May 10, 2022. In the Women’s 71-kilogram category, 2021 IWF Junior world champion Olivia Reeves of the USA attempted to defend her title. She ultimately finished with a silver medal in hand, with a total of one kilogram fewer than Neama Said Fahmi Said of Egypt’s first-place 237 kilograms.
Reeves, in training, posted a reel to her Instagram page wherein she back squat a colossal 200 kilograms (440.9 pounds) without a lifting belt. Check out Reeves squat PR below:
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[Related: Bohdan Hoza (109KG) Snatches Junior World Record of 195 Kilograms at 2022 IWF Junior World Championships]
2022 IWF Junior World Championships Results | Olivia Reeves (71KG)
Here are Reeves’ stats from the 2022 IWF Junior World Championships:
- Snatch — 107 kilograms (235.9 pounds)
- Clean & Jerk — 129 kilograms (284.4 pounds)
- Total — 236 kilograms (520.3 pounds)
Reeves went four for six in attempts. She successfully hit all three snatches of 103 kilograms (227.1 pounds), 105 kilograms (231.5 pounds), and 107 kilograms (235.9 pounds). She missed her first two clean & jerk attempts of 128 kilograms (282.2 pounds) and 129 kilograms (284.4 pounds), respectively. She hit 129 kilograms (284.4 pounds) on her third attempt to secure a total high enough for second place overall.
A Weightlifter’s Squat
At a glance, it may seem odd for Reeves to go for a squat record so close to her competition. Even though Reeves wasn’t tested on her back squat strength in Greece, it is common to see high-level Olympic lifters perform heavy squats in the training hall.
Unlike in powerlifting, weightlifters merely use squats — back and front alike — as an accessory movement to supplement their performance in two significant ways.
When competition day rolls around, weightlifters like Reeves need to be in top form and muster every ounce of their lower body strength. After hours and days of uncomfortable travel, it’s normal to need to loosen up and “find your legs” again before it’s your time to shine.
Typically, athletes like Reeves utilize heavy single-rep sets in the back squat to reinvigorate their leg strength before competition. Reeves can use much heavier weights in the back squat than in her clean & jerk, which certainly helps her feel more at ease when it comes to the tug on a big clean attempt.
Mobility & Posture
The back squat is also a useful way to loosen up and stay limber after travel. Whether Reeves needed to squat heavy to unlock her hips or simply wanted to test her strength before (or after) her session, it’s still commonplace to see weightlifters utilize the squat as a mobility tool.
A solid, upright high bar squat closely mimics the exact posture Reeves falls into during her snatches and cleans. As such, back squatting is a two-for-one weightlifting accessory.
To The Future
Reeves posting back-to-back podium finishes on the world stage is a sign that she is clearly one of the strongest athletes on Team USA’s Junior roster. With big lifts and new PRs in training, it is safe to assume that she will contest for the gold in any competition she enters. We’ll see what entry total she lists when she competes again next.
Featured image: @oliviareeves.71 on Instagram