9 Ridiculously Strong Asians Who Will Blow Your Mind
Instagram is full to the brim with pics of shirtless dudes and girls in yoga pants these days. Fitness is in, more so than ever before — but what about strength? Looking great is one thing, but being able to move some heavy ass weight is whole ‘nother story.
In celebration of the spectacular capacity of the human body, here’s a list of nine ridiculously strong Asian lifters, both male and female, from across the domains of strength sports — powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting and Crossfit.
Perhaps the most impressive current lifter from a country famous for producing elite Olympic weightlifters, China’s Tian Tao is an Olympic and World Championship silver medallist who currently competes in the 96 kg (211 lb) bodyweight category. Here’s a video of him casually front squatting 280 kg, or 617 lbs. Given that the video was taken when he was still competing as an 85 kg athlete, this lift was well over 3x his bodyweight. Be sure to watch out for Tian in Tokyo 2020.
This lift, recorded at the IPF Open World Championships for powerlifting in 2016, might just be the single most remarkable feat of strength I’ve witnessed in my life. Chen, who stands at only 4-foot-10, squatted 210 kg (462 lbs) while weighing only 46.75 kg (102.85 lbs) — a lift of 4.5x her bodyweight, and an IPF World Record. Now that’s pound-for-pound strength! The Taiwanese lifter has also competed in Olympic weightlifting, winning gold in the 48 kg category in Beijing 2008.
This super-heavyweight Japanese weightlifter went viral in the strength community earlier this year when he posted this clip of him squatting 360 kg (794 lbs). Murakami’s caption refers to the lift as a “vibration squat,” and it’s not hard to see why: his body shakes with every heavy-footed step he takes walking the weight out of the rack — almost causing him to stumble! — all while the bar is literally whipping up and down under the ridiculous load.
While we’re on the topic of Japanese weightlifters with clout, meet Toshiki Yamamoto. He received a crazy amount of attention this summer when he went on an Instagram tear, posting video after video of his leg training sessions over a period of roughly three weeks. Here, he’s seen breezing through 260 kg (573 lbs) for 10 easy reps. Aside from the obvious elite strength, perhaps what stands out the most about Yamamoto is his literally flawless technique, even at such high weights.
Here’s a deadlift video to shake things up a bit. Yangsu Ren, an 83 kg (183 lb) American powerlifter, can be seen here pulling a whopping 340 kg (750 lbs), which is an entire 15 kg (33 lbs) heavier than the current world record, and 20 kg (44 lbs) above the national record — and more than 3.5x his bodyweight. Because this wasn’t performed at an international meet, it unfortunately won’t qualify in the record books, but Ren has undeniably earned his nickname with a lift like this.
Speaking of earning their nicknames, here’s Andy Huang, who goes by the Instagram handle of “that_hugeasian_guy.” But he’s not only huge; he’s also freakin’ strong. Lifting in the 125 kg (275 lbs) division, Huang boasts competition bests of 382.5 kg (843 lbs) for the squat, 237.5 kg (523 lbs) for the bench press, and 382.5 kg (843 lbs) for the deadlift. That’s pure power right there.
This badass all-around athlete played college basketball for USC, and then overseas as a pro, before turning to CrossFit. Even with a relatively late start to the world of lifting, Hagiya finished 18th at the CrossFit Games in 2016, and boasts personal best lifts of 319 lbs in the squat, 345 lbs in the deadlift, 205 lbs in the snatch and 245 lbs in the clean and jerk.
Jezza Uepa hails from the tiny island nation of Nauru, meaning he’s technically a Pacific Islander. This absolute beast of a man has squatted 470 kgs (1,036 lbs) in competition, putting him really, really close to literally the most weight squatted by anyone, ever, without a bodysuit or knee wraps.
This list started with a Chinese weightlifter; it’s only fitting that it’s rounded off with one too. Meng Suping is a multiple World Championship medalist and the 2016 Olympic champion in the women’s super-heavyweight division. She’s seen here clean and jerking an unbelievable 186 kgs (412 lbs). That’s a weight the vast majority of grown men can’t even pick up off the floor — and she can throw it over her head!