Home Articles The Secrets of Chinese Weightlifting - Pt. 1

The Secrets of Chinese Weightlifting – Pt. 1

There was another phenomenal video posted by Shenzhen Weightlifting on Youtube discussing a few of the training secrets Chinese coaches use to aid in producing the best weightlifters on the planet. 

The video opens with Tan Hanyong, the national team head coach, discussing the necessity of an individualized program. 

“We have different types of athletes. Some are better leg strength, some have stronger upper body, some are better at snatch… training program must be tailor made for each athlete according to his characteristics, how to overcome the weaknesses and more develop the strengths. This should be the training strategy.” 

(I added the italics to emphasize the point)

1 – Leg Strength

Strength is viewed as being in high demand, including leg, back, and upper body strength. To get the most out of the strength being developed Tan notes the following:

  • Emphasize a full range-of-motion
  • Avoid pushing the hips back on the descent of a squat as “the form is incorrect if you push the hips back”
  • Ankle mobility and back strength are very important
  • Front squat doesn’t require the same mobility as a back squat and is used to strengthen the “chest” and how to deal with racking heavy weight on the shoulders
    • “Your chest must be very strong against the weight”
  • To help train this strong “open chest” position in the front squat the coach will prescribe heavy front rack holds and they regularly do heavy front rack dips after front squats

2 – Back Strength

  • Athletes deadlift every other day
  • They use both the snatch and the clean grip deadlift, rotating styles for each training
    • Example: Monday will be snatch deadlift, Wednesday will be clean deadlift, Friday will be snatch deadlift
  • Snatch deadlift is trained twice a week, because it is harder but with less intensity 

Other exercises used to target the back:

  • DB rows, back extensions (extensions/holds), and barbell rows 

Well, this is it for part one! All of the quotes above are directly from Tan Hanyong and can be found in the video down below. Hopefully this helps shed some light on other ways to train or to think about training. I know I took a lot from it. 

Joshua Gibson
I write for Weightlifting House, co-host the podcast, and coach/compete in this great sport.


You need to Login or Register to post a comment

China Chant T – Now In Blue!

In recognition of a dominant peformance from Team China at 2019 Worlds, we have launched this new t-shirt. It features the "jia yo" chant that is often heard from Chinese supporters at major competitions.

We have added this blue version to the original red.


Support Our Site

Whatever your budget, there is something in our store for you. All sales help us to bring more weightlifting content to you.


5' x 3' flag for your gym wall.
USA | Europe


Range of designs
USA | Europe


228 full colour pages of photo and stories of the best male weightlifters ever.
USA | Europe


210,000 PSI, IWF Knurling, Needle Bearings
USA | Europe