Lu Xiaojun - Natural Weightlifting Phenomenon | Gym-Talk

Lu Xiaojun: Natural Weightlifting Phenomenon

Meet Lu Xiaojun (pronounced “Loo-Jow-Junn” if you’re Phil Mitchell).

Xiaojun is the current Olympic Champion and World Record holder in both the ‘Snatch’ and ‘Total’ in the Men’s 77kg (12 stone to us yobs) category, where he lifted 175kg in the Snatch, and 379kg in the Total (‘Snatch’ and ‘Clean and Jerk’ combined), respectively.

Lu Xiaojun


I first laid eyes on Lu Xiaojun (not gay) at the London 2012 Olympics, where, like many others, I had gone through the painstakingly laborious and self-proclaimed ‘simple’ process of getting tickets for any event I could.

I was disappointed not to get front row seats at the Men’s 100m final (still not gay), but getting into the weightlifting finals was a blessing in disguise.

The irony being, of course, that Lu Xiaojun started his athletic career as a sprinter; he only started lifting weights at 18.

The London 2012 Olympics

Each weightlifter gets three attempts at each discipline, with their heaviest successful lift resulting in their final placing.

The session began with a lot of ‘sparring’ lifts – just something to get on the board.

Lu Xiaojun started the competition by throwing around 170kg like it was an insignificant pile of shit, with the same force as a piece of farmyard machinery or the crusher in Star Wars.

He remained focused, sweat-free and polished, like he had been manufactured from a vast, spotless factory in the port city of Qingdao.

Note: lack of sweat could’ve been down to Lynx Africa rather than good composure.

A dramatic twist (literally)

It didn’t take long for before the final started to unfold like a Shakespearean drama.

The 2008 Olympic Champion, Jaehyouk Sa, dislocated his elbow (see below) and made the types of noises only whaled by injured wildebeest across the African planes.

Thus, he withdrew.

Lu Xiaojun went into the clean and jerk stage as the competition leader and new favourite.

He was closely followed by his fellow countryman Lu Haojie, who also went on to injure his elbow, albeit in a less disfiguring manner.

Xiaojun was like Macbeth tearing the limbs from his opponents.

His teammate, Lu Haojie, heroically lifted an impressive 190kg whilst he was literally CRYING with pain from his injury, whilst Xiaojun, now seeming like the villain, made a steely lift of 195kg into gold medal position.

Xiaojun then welcomed his coach onto the platform for a victory parade, who crept up the stairs and emerged looking like some sort of Bond villain.

You can watch the drama unfold here.

What you can achieve without steroids

Now someone cleaning and jerking 195kg may be a difficult concept to get your head around, but, translated into a more ‘gym-centric’ language, Lu Xiaojun boasts a catalogue of impressive lifts.

This includes a front squat of 230kg for reps, but more impressive than that is the physique he has achieved naturally.

Now I understand the CT Fletcher debate – but there is no argument on this whatsoever.

Lu Xiaojun is 100% natural and drug-free in the eyes of the IOC.

But it’s easy to see why people can’t believe it – just Googling him for this blog proved that.

Lu Xiaojun

He has back development that wouldn’t look out of place on any bodybuilding stage, natural or otherwise, and you can tell he’s not pissing around with bicep curls and calf raises either.

I can only hypothesise on his training schedule, but it clearly stresses the pivotal impact compound movements have to any strength programme, giving him the same potent and auspicious powers possessed by a Chinese Dragon.

The (Chinese) take-away

In bodybuilding, so many things are too good to be true, and finding a source that illustrates what you can honestly achieve naturally is about as rare as meeting a black man called Graham.

Although I will never achieve what Lu Xiaojun has (in my defence it’s his full time job – if you’re 9-5 is going to the gym, you WILL get big), it’s encouraging to find something which is certified natural in its most honest sense.

He’s shifting more weight than an IFBB pro WITHOUT steroids and at about half the bodyweight.

Lu Xiaojun

Compare this to the claims of a CT Fletcher type and you’ll quickly conclude he’s talking absolute cobblers/fucking bullshit.

So here it is, this is what can be achieved naturally and with a compound based workout and a diet that looks like something fresh out of Wing-Wah.

Hopefully you enjoyed the take away, but if you didn’t, here is a 4ft 11” man lifting three times his own bodyweight.

What are your thoughts?

Do you have an opinion on this oriental powerhouse?

If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Sound off in the comments below.

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  1. Great article, even greater subject matter!

    How much more do you think you could lift if you we’re asked to do a session with him?

    “Squats now, warm up set first” (probably in Chinese), 160kg on the bar.


    1. Greg – I would probably need a 12 month block of training with a certified weightlifting coach before going in with Lu Xiaojun.

      If I were to go in tomorrow, I think I’d be laughed out of the gym!

  2. Joe, what do you make of the rumour that Lu Xiaojun, as a young man, used to use farmyard animals as makeshift barbells, due to the unavailability of modern equipment?

    Can you shed any light on this?

    1. Please tell me how you would even begin to fashion a barbell out of a pig/sheep/cow/chicken?

  3. Steroids are very dominant in Olympic weightlifting.

    Maybe it’s a little bit of crying lazy Americans but everywhere but the USA has very lenient testing protocols.

    Kendrick Farris even spoke out on how the Chinese wouldn’t last in the US with their testing.

    So don’t believe that Lu is not.

    However, regardless, the work ethic is ridiculous and actually Chinese weightlifters devote a lot of time to isolated sessions and bodybuilding-type workouts believing it increases strength.

    Nothing is wrong with a bicep curl if it’s done as a topping to a full meal.

    Not as only a full meal.

    Lu too has sparked my full interest.

    It’s his aura, his character and his workouts.

  4. As a strength and conditioning coach, sprinter and someone that has used the Olympic lifts for many years, I will say that the appearance side of his physique is not really impossible to achieve for most people that don’t have weightlifting as a career.

    What is most impressive, is the ability to generate such high velocity strength using weights many people the same size can’t even deadlift.

    But it must be noted that these lifts are complex, they take years to master.

    If you are like me, an athlete using Olympic lifts to improve other areas of performance, then you won’t be doing these lifts for several devoted sessions per day.

    Therefore your technical ability won’t be quite as good as Lu, hence using a much lighter weight.

    In perspective, elite weightlifters can clean and jerk at least 75% of their max dadlift weight, whereas I can clean about 50-60% of my max deadlift at most.

    His achievements would really not differ greatly if steroids were involved.

    Steroids can offer some extra strength, but extra strength is not the primary objective at the very top end of weightlifting, the ability to use that strength on these technical lifts is.

    Being able to squat an extra 30kg is likely to translate to only 1-3kg on the clean and jerk.

    The risk to benefit ratio is just not worth it.

    So, yeah, I believe he is entirely natural.

    1. With all due respect, this article is incredibly naive and unrealistic.

      What you have to understand and consider is the fact that Lu is pretty much the equivalent to a major professional athlete in football or basketball here in the US but in China.

      We cannot negate his shear talent and ability, but it would be foolish to believe that he is not using PEDs.

      The only thing those tests prove is that either the athlete didn’t test negative or his sponsors have paid a tremendous amount of money in bribes to ignore the results.

      We know this happened in the past with track and field athletes.

      It surely can happen in a steroid-dominated sport.

      Don’t be stupid honestly.

  5. With all due respect, this article is way too optimistic if not downright full of crap.

    Yes, Lu Xiaojun is a talented top level athlete, nobody doubts his talent, techniques and work ethic.

    That’s precisely why I have no reason to believe that he’s not using PED.

    Basically every top athlete has the same mentality: to do whatever it takes to win.

    Basically all of the top level athletes use PED… why wouldn’t he?

    Yes, arguably, if you have decent genetics and work hard enough, you can achieve similar physique (looks like Lu).

    But it’s damn near impossible to be able to lift as much as him, train 6-7 hours/day for 6 days/week (with high volume bodybuilding assistance work included) and still recover without steroids.

    1. Agreed completely.

      If he wasn’t using steroids then he’d be a fool.

      These athletes need to do whatever it takes to win and if everyone is taking steroids then why not do the same to make it competitive.

      If Lu Xiaojun is natural (which he isn’t) then why wouldn’t he want to achieve his maximum potential buy taking PED’s.

      Surely curiosity will be there?

    2. I trained 4 to 8 hours a day every single day for half a year straight – it’s damn possible.

      Albeit I was falling asleep at red lights while driving, but it’s possible.

      1. Hahahahaha.

        I’m sorry, but if you don’t think he’s taking steroids then you’ve never taken a look at the history of Olympic lifting records and correlations.

        You also don’t fully appreciate the power of steroids.

        Or you’re naive, which is innocent.