Watching high-quality Weightlifting either in-person or on video is one of the most useful learning tools you can use to help improve your own lifting.
Very often people will see the top athletes in the World Championships and Olympic Games, watch their technique and then try to emulate it in their own lifting .
Sometimes, this will work very well – as obviously they’re doing something right to be at the top of their game in the sport!
However, it also has some serious potential to go nipples north!
The times when this won’t work, is when people try to emulate top lifters with no regard to the similarities and differences between them and the lifter.
The Chinese are an incredible Weightlifting nation and have multiple World Champions, Olympic Champions, World Records you name it – however, for a White British lifter who has been lifting for a couple of years trying to emulate the technique of Lu Xioajun (81 kg) or Tian Tao (96 kg) who are built very differently and have a completely different training history – this would be a big mistake (trust me, I tried it and it wasn’t fun).
Many of the Chinese lifters tend to be built very differently to us here in Britain – with longer torsos, shorter femurs and shorter arms than we tend to have.
This is very apparent when you look at their start and receive positions with their very upright posture – also not to mention the monstrous amount of weight they can lift in their strength exercises!
Compare that to some of the Eastern European lifters, where many of them have longer femurs, shorter torsos and longer arms (more similar to us).
When you look at the weights lifted in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk relative to strength numbers, the Chinese tend to have this huge excess of strength and lift lower in proportion to what they can squat.
Useful to be strong? Absolutely.
Is there technique as efficient as some other lifters? Potentially not.
The point of this is just to make you aware of a few things:
1. Watch Weightlifting as often as you can as you can learn so much from watching the top athletes.
2. Be careful who’s technique you try to emulate, as it may not be the most efficient way to lift for YOU.
3. The Chinese are awesome and great to watch – however it is unlikely that trying to lift like them is going to work out well for you in the long run.