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Home Lifts Training Lifts Lu Xiaojun & Tian Tao - A Day In The Life

Lu Xiaojun & Tian Tao – A Day In The Life

One of the greatest things to have come out of the internet is the free passage of information. Even so it has still taken years for the passing of Chinese weightlifting to flow so easily to our screens. There are now several instagram pages that are doing us great favours in documenting and revealing much of the training that occurs in the, until now, relatively secret training halls. Some examples of these pages can be found below at the bottom of the page: I highly recommend you follow them!

In an awesome video uploaded on the Shenzhen Weightlifting YouTube page we are able to catch a glimpse of not only the training system, but also of the culture and atmosphere. I say a glimpse because no single day can be truly representative of an entire system, not least one with the complexities of the Chinese system.

There are few weightlifters more intriguing to the fans of the sport than Chinese weightlifters Lu Xiaojun (-81 kg) and Tian Tao (-96 kg). Tian Tao known primarily for his incredible levels of strength, and Lu Xiaojun more for his exquisite technique. Neither however lack the other’s primary characteristic.

This training session is just one of two daily sessions and focused primarily on strength work.

Training Program

Lu Xiaojun

Back Squat

  • 60 kg / 3
  • 100 kg / 3
  • 140 kg / (2 + 1ps)
  • 180 kg / (1 + 1ps)
  • 210 kg / (1 + 1ps)
  • 240 kg / 1ps
  • 260 kg / 1 / 2
  • 260 kg / 1ps MISS

Weighted Dips

  • 60 kg / 10, 10,

Hip Extensions barbell

  • 40 kg / 10 + 10 second hold
  • 50 kg / 8 + 13 second hold
  • 60 kg / 8 + 12 second hold
Lu Xiaojun snatching a world record 172 kg
Tian Tao clean and jerking 226 kg at the 2018 Weightlifting World Championships
Tian Tao clean and jerking a world record 226 kg

Tian Tao

Back Squat

  • 70 kg / 2ps*
  • No footage
  • 220 kg / 1ps (5 seconds)
  • 270 kg /1ps (3 seconds)
  • 300 kg / 1
  • 320 kg / 1

Bench Rowssnatch grip

  • 70 kg / 4, 10
  • 100 kg / 7 + 5 second hold
  • 100 kg / 10
  • 100 kg / 8 + 5 second hold

Press-upsDeficit & Weighted

  • 8
  • Presumably more sets not filmed

Triceps Press-ups (+10 kg)
Coach Yu Jie uses these to condition the elbows and prevent injury

  • 15
  • Presumably more sets not filmed

Isometric Hip Extension Holds

  • 25 kg 55 seconds
  • 25 kg 55 seconds

Can’t see the video? Your adblocker might be blocking it. Either disable it or click here to watch the video on YouTube.


Max Effort Method – Lu Xiaojun and Tian Tao work up to a max single in the back squat, this is likely the most weight either of them can handle throughout any full range of motion. As described in Super Training, The Training of a Weightlifter, and many other texts, the max effort method is the most effective way of gaining strength.

Repetition Method – Both Lu Xiaojun and Tian Tao perform many high repetition bodybuilding exercises used to strengthen the triceps, chest, and posterior chain. This is a classic trait of the Chinese training methodology: Performing 2-3 exercises for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps each and every training session.
About the bench rows Shenzhen Weightlifting referred to them as a ‘conditioning exercise for mid back muscles and scapular retraction.’

Isometrics – Often the neglected of the three contractions (Concentric, eccentric, isometric). Both Lu Xiaojun and Tian Tao added isometric holds to several of their movements, particularly to the hip extension movements. Isometrics increase strength within 15 degrees either side of the trained angle.

Instagram pages worth following

You can learn more about the Chinese training program here.

    Seb Ostrowicz
    I am the owner of Weightlifting House. When I'm not working on the site/podcasting/interviewing I spend my time training, coaching, and competing in the sport of Weightlifting.

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