Olympic Gold Medalist And 5-Time World Champion Explains Why You Shouldn’t Train With Bench Presses

Chinese weightlifter Lü Xiaojun is an Olympic gold medallist and five-time world champion says he avoids training bench press to ensure he doesn't restrict his shoulder mobility.

Getty Image / GOH CHAI HIN/AFP via Getty Images

Lü Xiaojun knows a thing or two about weightlifting. Xiaojun won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, silver in the 2016 Olympics, and is a five-time world champion. When it comes to training, the Chinese weightlifter explains why you should avoid the bench press.

Xiaojun, who is set to participate in the Tokyo Olympics later this month, reveals that he rarely trains in the bench press, strict press, and push press. Xiaojun says competitive weightlifters should avoid bench press “because it will restrict your shoulder mobility.”

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Xiaojun said of the exercise through an interpreter, “If you push like this, you might find it difficult to lock out your shoulder.”

“Even worse, if you form a habit. It’s not a good habit,” he added. “I recommend not training it.”

Xiaojun, who weighs in at 179 pounds, says he can still bench press around 287 pounds despite hardly ever training in it.

“This is different to weightlifting,” Xiaojun says in a YouTube video. “My personal best Jerk from the Rack is 507 pounds.”

In February, Xiaojun hit an overhead squat of 485 pounds, which set an astounding 11 weightlifting world records across two weight classes. The 36-year-old Olympic gold medalist also clean pulled 595.2 pounds beltless.

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