The prodigal son returns. After a full 12 months away from the barbell, three-time Olympic Champion weightlifter Lu Xiaojun — who lately introduced his intent to marketing campaign for Video games qualification but once more — is getting again in form forward of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Chinese language athlete’s gear model, LUXIAOJUN BARBELL, has begun posting a collection of brief documentaries on YouTube by which the multi-World-Document holder returns to health.
The primary episode, entitled “Comeback Coaching”, was revealed on Aug. 22, 2022:
Xiaojun’s model has additionally revealed a number of different insider clips from the Chinese language weightlifting heart in Beijing, the place Xiaojun is making his return to kind.
Workforce China, famend within the sport of weightlifting for his or her prowess on the platform (and penchant for bagging extra gold medals internationally than another nation), is usually considerably reclusive concerning how they put together their lifters.
This behind-the-scenes take a look at Xiaojun, one among their most high-profile rivals, is a uncommon glimpse at a world-class athlete who doesn’t seem like in combating form.
What Occurred to Lu Xiaojun?
Since his worldwide debut in 2004 on the Worldwide Weightlifting Federation‘s (IWF) Junior World Championships, Xiaojun has steadily and often competed on the highest ranges of weightlifting.
A few of his most outstanding accolades embody:
An elite amongst elites, Xiaojun’s ranges of energy served him nicely all through the qualification interval for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (held in 2021).
In line with the IWF’s athlete registry, Xiaojun competed internationally seven occasions in 2019 alone. He additionally attended nationwide competitions in China, the place he lifted towards his teammates.
Following his gold-medal end in Tokyo, Xiaojun took a hiatus from competitors for an undisclosed cause — he hasn’t taken the stage at an IWF occasion since August 2021 and, judging by the footage revealed in his documentary, hasn’t been resistance coaching a lot in any respect.
Traditionally, Xiaojun is likely one of the strongest squatters in weightlifting. Weighing round 80 kilograms (176.3 kilos), Xiaojun has squatted in extra of 270 kilograms (595.2 kilos) many occasions.
Per an interview with Weightlifting Home from 2020, Xiaojun’s greatest again squat ever as a 77-kilogram athlete was a unprecedented 305 kilograms (672.4 kilos). Nonetheless, in an Aug. 30, 2022 Instagram publish, you’ll be able to see Xiaojun visibly struggling via a 180-kilogram (396.8-pound) squat:
[Related: Weightlifter Kuo Hsing-Chun (59KG) Squats Triple Her Bodyweight for Three Reps]
Whereas a 400-pound squat continues to be inordinately robust by most metrics, it’s a far cry from the extent of energy that made Xiaojun some of the dominant weightlifters ever.
How an Olympian Will get Again in Form
Whereas he might not be in prime kind, Xiaojun’s social media footage clearly reveals that he’s devoted to placing on muscle and including plates to his barbell in equal measure.
All through the assorted movies which have been revealed already, Xiaojun might be seen performing staple accent workouts for any weightlifter — a number of again squats, deadlifts and all their variations, explosive rowing, and even some cardio coaching as nicely.
In the case of the “classics” — the snatch and clear & jerk, weightlifting’s two aggressive workouts — Xiaojun isn’t afraid to take it straightforward early on and concentrate on his method.
[Related: Weightlifter Tian Tao Wants to Qualify for the Paris Olympics at 89 Kilograms]
An Aug. 31, 2022 Instagram publish (above), captioned, “First time coaching clear and jerk in over a 12 months,” showcases Xiaojun clear and squat jerking 90 kilograms. His greatest clear & jerk in an IWF competitors is 207 kilograms, which he hit in 2019 — on the time, a World Document.
The Results of “Detraining”
To be match for the game of Olympic lifting is about way over simply how a lot weight you’ll be able to elevate over your head (although that definitely issues an important deal).
Weightlifters practice rigorously forward of outstanding competitions, usually hitting the fitness center between 9 and 12 occasions per week to refine their method and put together their our bodies.
For an Olympian like Xiaojun, a comedown from that degree of health undoubtedly takes its toll, particularly contemplating how lengthy he took off from specialised weightlifting coaching.
In line with some analysis, energy ranges for elite athletes start to decay after solely three weeks away from coaching, (1) with energy slipping away at an rising fee the longer the athlete is on a break.
Moreover, the damaging penalties of “detraining” are magnified by age. At 38 years previous — 12 years older than the silver medalist in his class from Tokyo — Xiaojun is liable to lose extra energy and energy output than his youthful contemporaries throughout an equal time interval. (2)
In sensible phrases, because of this Xiaojun must work tougher, recuperate smarter, and practice longer than he as soon as did if he desires to get again to the type of world-class weightlifting he’s recognized for.
Comply with Alongside With Lu
Ought to Xiaojun qualify for, and win, the 2024 Olympics (the place he’s mentioned he’ll compete at 73 kilograms, since his prior weight class of 81 received’t be held in Paris), he’ll have a robust case for being the best weightlifter to ever reside when it comes to medals earned.
Just one weightlifter ever, the Greek athlete Pyrros Dimas, has received medals at 4 totally different Olympics. Dimas earned three gold medals and one bronze throughout his profession (1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004). To bag 4 golds at 4 totally different Video games can be nothing wanting extraordinary for the Chinese language veteran.
Nonetheless, if any weightlifter may pull it off, it’s Xiaojun. He’s among the many most adorned energy athletes within the fashionable historical past of the game, and isn’t any stranger to coaching — and competing — on the highest ranges.
In the event you’re taken with following Xiaojun’s journey again to the rostrum, you’ll be able to try his footage on the LUXIAOJUN BARBELL YouTube web page, in addition to via their Instagram account.
- McMaster, D. T., Gill, N., Cronin, J., & McGuigan, M. (2013). The event, retention and decay charges of energy and energy in elite rugby union, rugby league and American soccer: a scientific overview. Sports activities medication (Auckland, N.Z.), 43(5), 367–384.
- Lemmer, J. T., Hurlbut, D. E., Martel, G. F., Tracy, B. L., Ivey, F. M., Metter, E. J., Fozard, J. L., Fleg, J. L., & Hurley, B. F. (2000). Age and gender responses to energy coaching and detraining. Medication and science in sports activities and train, 32(8), 1505–1512.
Featured Picture: @luxiaojunbarbell on Instagram