Watch Weightlifter Tao Wenli Smoke a 3.6x Bodyweight Front Squat

If you needed an end of the week pick me up to get you through your next training session, then look no further. Yesterday, Lawrence (@larrior) on Instagram, shared a ridiculous front squat video of Chinese weightlifter Tao Wenli. This video has already made the rounds in the social media strength community, and for good reason.

In the video, Tao Wenli front squats a monstrous 197kg/434 lbs at a bodyweight of 55kg/121 lbs. The weight is impressive within itself, but as Lawrence mentions in his video’s description, what’s possibly most impressive is how clean the form is. The speed coming out of the hole on this squat is insane, and it’s not incredibly far off the mythical 4x bodyweight front squat feat. Check it out below.

If you search around online, it’s tough to find more videos and results covering Tao Wenli’s latest lifting. And at the 2018 IWF World Championships, China didn’t have a 55kg athlete compete, so we’re unsure how he stands on both a national and international very recent level.

Outside of weightlifting and in respects to other massive front squats, there have been very few athletes who have accomplished the 3.5x+ bodyweight milestone. In fact, even seeing a front squat of 3x bodyweight is pretty rare.

One of the heaviest front squats we’ve ever seen came from Bulgarian weightlifter Ivan Ivanov. In the video below, Ivanov squats a ridiculous 210kg/463 lbs. Ivanov competed in the (now defunct) 52kg weight class, and at the time of filming for the video he was competing in the 56kg weight class, so if we had to make an educated guess — he was possibly sitting slightly heavier than that since it was in training. Regardless, this squat was still around 3.75x his bodyweight!

We don’t know about you, but after watching how easy Tao Wenli made his latest front squat look — we’re excited to see what the future holds for him.

Feature image fro @larrior Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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