While Grimsland’s lift would not qualify in a sanctioned weightlifting competition — as he wore a pair of lifting straps and did not pull from the floor — this is still a massive display of strength from the 20-year-old, 73-kilogram (160.9-pound) competitor.
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Grimsland hit the lift, as well as a 190-kilogram (418.8-pound) clean & jerk, during a “Big Friday” workout at the Rogue Fitness facility in Columbus, OH.
Why It Matters
First and foremost, Grimsland’s block snatch would not be recognized as valid in a weightlifting competition.
While Olympic lifters often hit unofficial World Records in the gym, it is generally “required” that the athlete simulate a valid competition snatch as closely as possible. Snatching from blocks is considered an accessory exercise in weightlifting, and is quite different from the primary lift.
For context, here are some of the gold-medal-winning snatches from the 2022 Junior World Weightlifting Championships:
2022 Junior World Weightlifting Championships | Snatch Gold Medals
- Men’s 73KG: 156 kilograms
- Men’s 81KG: 150 kilograms
- Men’s 89KG: 155 kilograms
- Men’s 96KG: 170 kilograms
Even though Grimsland lifted off the blocks with straps, his 170-kilo snatch is also only a single kilogram above the current World Record of 169, held by the internationally-undefeated two-time Olympic Champion Shi Zhiyong of China.
Stateside, the only American male at the 2022 USA Weightlifting National Championships to snatch 170 kilograms or more was super-heavyweight (+109KG) Alejandro Medina, according to the official results book.
Why Weightlifters Use Blocks
Even though Olympic lifters like Grimsland are tested in only two disciplines (the snatch and clean & jerk), they often rely upon a litany of different accessory movements to improve their strength and refine their technique.
Lifting blocks elevate the barbell off the floor, where the athlete often spends the majority of their training time. Doing so allows them to make technical adjustments to a specific point in their pull, or to reduce the range of motion as a means of limiting overall fatigue.
Some athletes fare better than others when lifting from blocks, depending on their mobility, back strength, or technical proficiency when compared to pulling from the floor.
A Good Omen
Training camps (like the one held by Rogue in Columbus) offer competitive weightlifters the opportunity to surround themselves with their teammates and work together toward a common goal.
That kind of environment is often conducive to some ultra-heavy lifting as well — something Grimsland and his colleagues are proving in spades.
According to the International Weightlifting Federation’s athlete registry, Grimsland has yet to represent the United States at a Senior World Championships. He will step out onto the sport’s biggest stage (outside of the Olympics themselves) in December when Worlds kicks off in Bogotá, Colombia.
This event is also the first major stepstone toward qualifying for the Paris Olympics in 2024. If Grimsland can translate his power off the blocks to the competition platform, he’ll leverage himself well for a ticket to France.
Featured Image: @ryangrimsland on Instagram