Chinese Olympic Weightlifters Lu Xiaojun and Tian Tao oerform rack holds and jerk dips with weight far heavier than their max effort clean and jerk and front squat.

Team China Un-rack Some Serious Weight

Team China is well known for their heavy rack holds, but rarely have we seen them push these holds to their maximal limits. It is not uncommon to see the Chinese national team un-rack and even perform rack dips with loads far above their max clean and jerks and even front squats just days before they compete. This goes against the traditional path of other competing countries whose loads and intensities drop in a step manor as they head towards competition.

The heaviest of such rack holds came this week from two of the most accomplished weightlifters in the world – Lu Xiaojun (81 kg) and Tian Tao (96 kg). Lu Xiaojun, who has a competition clean and jerk of 205kg in the 77 kg class performed rack holds with a few dips thrown in with an enormous 340 kg, 166% of his clean and jerk. By comparison the larger Tian Tao, who has a competition clean and jerk of 226 kg in the 96 kg class performed a 10 second front rack hold with 420 kg! There is no video in the world of any weightlifter handling a weight this heavy. Of course we have seen Mart Seim squat 400 kg and Behdad Salimi squat a worryingly easy 360 kg, but never has anyone on video performed anything with as much as 420 kg. 420 kg is 186% of Tian’s competition clean & jerk, 20% more than Lu’s which makes sense given the leg of dip.

The post by ShenZhen Weightlifting explains that this exercise is used in China regularly and ‘is one of the most important accessory exercises to improve your upper body strength for front squat.’

If you want to give it ago then you can use this basic guide below based on your clean and jerk.

Clean and JerkJerk DipsRack Holds
80 kg133 kg149 kg
100 kg166 kg186 kg
120 kg199 kg223 kg
140 kg232 kg260 kg
160 kg266 kg298 kg
180 kg299 kg335 kg
200 kg332 kg372 kg

Lu Xiaojun is a 4 time World Champion, an Olympic Champion and an Olympic medalist. Since his first senior world championships he has set 9 world records, 5 in the snatch and 4 in the total with bests of 177 kg / 205 kg / 380 kg. Lu was born on the 27th of July 1984 in Qianjiang City, Hubei Province in China. In 2003 Lu finally made the Chinese national team but due to injury was dropped before eventually rejoining after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. According to the Chinese team Lu is still aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

YearVenueClassSnatchClean and JerkTotal Position
2012Olympics, London77175 WR204379 WR1st
2016Olympics, Rio77177 WR2023792nd
2009World Championships, Goyang77174 WR204378 WR1st
2010World Championships, Antalya771702003702nd
2011World Championships, Paris771702053751st
2013World Championships, Wroclaw77176 WR204380 WR1st
2015World Championships, Houston77175
2018World Championships, Ashgabat81172 WR202374 WR1st

2014Asian Games, Incheon771752003751st

Tian Tao is the 2016 Rio Olympic silver medalist, the 2018 World Championships silver medalist, and the 2014 Asian Games champion. Born on the 4th April 1994. At the age of 17 at the Chinese Intercity Games Tian unofficially broke all of the youth world records in the 77 kg class, most spectacularly including a 205 kg clean and jerk, a lift that was not only 23 kg above the youth world record but also 3 kg over the junior world record.

YearClassSnatchClean and JerkTotalPosition

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