Chinese Weightlifting Training Program

If you have seen the Olympic weightlifting you most probably have heard the terms snatch, clean and jerk. These are not just for the professional athletes; you can perform these lifts even if you are an intermediate gym goer or even a beginner.

This simple-looking but highly technical lifts can help you improve your functional strength. You ought to do them if you are a professional weightlifter if not, you can still perform these for personal improvement and fun.

The Chinese weightlifting workout program is the routine followed by many Chinese weightlifters. This routine is different than many traditional weightlifting programs.

This article describes everything you wish to know about the type of training programs used by Chinese Olympic weightlifting athletes. It also provides you with a workout template to go with.

There is not much information available in the public domain about the Chinese weightlifting training.

Kirk, who has done his training with Chinese weightlifting coach has complied this workout program from his experience with them.

The Chinese weightlifters train near their max capacity for the most part of their training. they almost touch the over-training level but do have sufficient rest periods to cope up with the intense training.

Chinese Weightlifting Program

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Chinese Weightlifting Training Program Overview 

In the Chinese Olympic weightlifting training methods, they utilize a variety of exercises together. They don’t limit themselves to a particular type of workouts.

Their focus is to find and eliminate the weaknesses if any. In real set up, the Chinese weightlifters have no rigid workout plan but they have an outline of what muscle groups and movements to focus on particular days.

This workout plan is prepared considering that outline.

This is an intense program involving you training to your max weightlifting capability about 30% of the time. You have at least one set to be done with your 1 rep max weight every day.

You work for six days a week with four to five different exercises having 2-3 sets each. The exercises include but not limited to the snatch, clean and jerk, back squats, deadlifts, front squats, clean pulls, etc.

The rep scheme can be altered with respect to performance. If you miss too many times, you can reduce the weight by 5-10 kg and do extra 2-3 sets of 3-4 reps.

The workout template given in this article consists of a six day workout schedule with exercises, reps and sets you need to perform.

If you consider Monday to Saturday as training days, Mondays are a mix of exercises while Tuesdays are like a whole session dedicated to snatching with little rest. Rest of the week would be a mix of squats, pulls and lifts.

Important Workout Guidelines

Beginner or expert you need to know the following things if you wish to start training with this workout plan.

  • Doing squat at your 1 rep max needs too much efforts and takes time to recover to full strength. Thus, limit your 1 RM squats to once a week
  • As you grow stronger through exercising with lower weights, you would be spending less time in strength training
  • Most of the lifters never reach the peak of their strength. If you have, you are one of the few
  • If you are at the peak of your strength you should be using that to lift heavy. As you don’t need much strength training now, you can utilize that time to power lift
  • If you don’t know your 1 rep max, use the number of reps you do with moderate weights to calculate the same
  • You should be playing with the number of reps and weights used but you should never go farther than 80% of your 1 rep max
  • To even out the muscular imbalances, you should do unilateral exercises after the main workout session

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Chinese Weightlifting Program

Workout Routine


Snatch to 1RM

3 × 3

CNJ to 1RM

3 × 2

Back Squats

5-7 x 3-5

Clean Pulls

5 x 3

Behind neck push press

5 x 2-5


Snatch to 1RM (Overhead squat after completion of each rep)

5-8 x 2-3

Snatch Balance

5-8 x 1-3

Snatch Pulls

5-6 x 2-3

Block High Snatch Pulls with Rebend

6-8 x 2-3


Clean + FS + Jerk 1RM

5-8 x 2

Front Squats

5-8 x 1 -3

Clean Pulls

5-6 x 3

Behind Neck Push Jerk

8 x 1

Push Press

5 x 3


Back Squats to 1RM

6-8 x 2-5

Snatch 85-90%

2-3 x 1

Clean and Jerk 85-90%

2-3 x 1

Strict Press

5 x 3-5


Snatch to 1RM

3 x 1

CNJ to 1RM

3 x 1

Snatch Pulls

5 x 3

Block snatch high pull with rebend

5 x 2-3

Jerk Drives (About the same weight as your max 1RM back squats)

8 × 3


Front Squats to 1RM

5-6 x 1-3

Platform Clean Deadlifts

5-6 x 1-3

Snatch Balance

5-6 x 1-3

Push Jerk

5 × 1-3


Chinese Weightlifting Program PDF

Click on the button to download Chinese weightlifting program PDF file

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Train Like The Olympian Weightlifters

Through this Chinese weightlifting training program, you would be learning and mastering the fundamentals of Olympic lifts and also gain the strength to perform them.

The workout plan has the exercises like front squats, pulls, deadlifts, push press etc. to help you ease with the complex movements like the snatch or clean and jerk.

Even if you don’t plan to be a weightlifter, professional or otherwise, this Chinese weightlifting workout plan and the lifts carried during this will make you stronger, more flexible and faster.