Weightlifting Calculator: How Do You Rank in Chinese Weightlifting?

We created an online weightlifting calculator based on Zhang’s (2011) survey of over 200 elite Chinese male weightlifters who sought to answer the question:

How do you evaluate and rank Chinese athletes in each of the weightlifting weight classes?

In this post, we’re going to share the findings and break down the steps so that you can see how you measure up!

Check out the Calculator Below! 

Summary: Ranking 223 Chinese Olympic Weightlifters

  1. Zhang’s (2011) study constructed a comprehensive weightlifting point system for each of the Olympic weightlifting weight classes based on:
    • Body shape,
    • Hormonal level,
    • Athletic performance.
  2. The body shape index consists of: 
    • Standing-Seated Height Index,
    • Shoulder – Waist Index,
    • Chest Size,
    • Relative Body Weight Index,
    • Body Fat %.
  3. The index of hormonal levels consists of:
    • Testosterone level
    • Cortisol level.
  4. The athletic performance index consists of weightlifting standards for:
    • Power snatch,
    • Power clean,
    • Push press,
    • Front squat,
    • Back squat,
    • Snatch deadlift,
    • Clean deadlift.
  5. Based on these indexes, you can create a Weightlifting Point System with 6 weightlifting rankings:
    • 0 – 20 very poor,
    • 20 – 40 poor,
    • 40 – 60 average,
    • 60 – 80 good,
    • 80 – 90 very good,
    • +90 excellent.
  6. The following weightlifters had the following scores out of 100: 
    • Zhang Jie (62kg Weightlifting Class): 90.67,
    • Liao Hui (69kg Weightlifting Class): 94.81,
    • Lü Xiaojun (77kg Weightlifting Class): 92.09,
    • Lü Yong (85kg Weightlifting Class): 91.67.

 

Weightlifting Calculator: How to find your Score

The original study determined weightlifting success is composed of body shape, hormonal level, and athletic performance:

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Interestingly, body shape contributed only 12% of an athlete’s success.

Hormonal levels determined 20%.

But the biggest contributor is athletic performance (68%!).

What does this mean?

It means genetics is only part of the story and there is a substantial amount of achievement possible by improving your lifts.

This does NOT mean anyone can snatch like Lü Xiaojun.

But it means you can improve yourself substantially with proper training.

We’ll focus on body shape and athletic performance to determine weightlifting rankings because most people cannot get hormonal levels checked. So, the highest possible score is 80.

So if you want to compare yourself to the elites, just subtract 20 from their score.

Now, let’s break down the steps so that you can see how you measure up.

 

Step 1: Gather your measurements

Seated – Standing Height Index

The researcher calculated the ranking using the entire athlete sample with the following equation:

(Seated Height / Standing Height) * 100

Standing Height (cm)

The study used a medical height meter, but you can easily measure your height by standing straight against a wall and use a pencil to mark your height. Then you can use a tape measurer to calculate your height. We recommend measuring your height about 1 – 2 hours after waking up.

Seated Height (cm)

The study used a medical height meter, but you can easily measure your height by sitting upright with your back against a wall. Sit on a box or stool that allows your feet to stay flat on the ground and your hips and knees bent at 90˚.

Then use a pencil to mark your height (see image below).

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Then you can use a tape measurer to calculate the length from the box to your marking. We recommend measuring your height about 1 – 2 hours after waking up.

Shoulder – Waist Index

Zhang calculated the weightlifting rankings using the entire athlete sample with the following equation:

(Shoulder Width / Iliac Width) * 100

Shoulder Width (cm)

Use a tape measurer and place it horizontally over the left and right AC joints (see image below). blank

Source: Ozaslan et al (2011)

If you’re by yourself, then try this tip from Healthline: “stand against a wall, reach across your left shoulder with your right hand and mark the place right above your shoulder joint.

Repeat the process on the opposite side with your opposite hand. Then use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the two markings.”

 

Iliac Width (cm)

Use a tape measurer and place it horizontally over the left and right ridges on the front of your hips (see image below).

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Source: Ozaslan et al (2011)

Chest Size (cm)

The researcher calculated the ranking using the sample for each weight class using the following methodology:

Raise your arms, then place a measuring tape horizontally across the lower corner of the scapula, through the armpit, then place the lower edge of the tape on the upper edge of the nipple (see image below).

Keep your body relaxed and breathe naturally.

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Relative Bodyweight Index

Zhang used the following equation in their weightlifting rankings for each of the weightlifting weight classes: 

Weight (Kg) / Height (Cm) × 1000

Weight (kg)

The study measured bodyweight in the morning, wearing underwear only.

We recommend weighing yourself before eating or drinking anything, and after going to the bathroom.

Body Fat (%)

The researcher calculated the weightlifting rankings for this index using the sample for each of the weightlifting weight classes.

However, the actual way to measure body fat was not clear in the study.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can find this yourself. 

You can use calipers, an electrical body fat scale, water displacement, or DEXA scan. 

 

Step 2: Find your Weightlifting Score with our Weightlifting Calculator

We used Zhang’s (2011) methodology to build the weightlifting calculator below.

Based on your measurements, you might get a zero score for some parts. Dont worry!

In terms of entering your 1 rep max (1RM), we recommend using the 1RM that maintains good technique. 

For example, your squat should be the heaviest squat that maintains a smooth speed, not a super slow grinding lift. 

Your power snatch should be the heaviest that you can perform without pressing out the barbell.

Since this study was conducted in 2011, it doesn’t reflect the changes in weightlifting classes by the IWF in 2018. 

If your body weight might be in between 2 Olympic weightlifting classes, use the weight class that you are closest to or the weight class you used before the change.

 

Select Weight Class:

Input Data:

Level 1 Index Level 2 Index Your Data Score Weight
A1: Body Shape B1 Seated – Standing Height Index

0.09
B2 Shoulder – Waist Index

0.13
B3 Chest Size

0.04
B4 Relative Bodyweight Index

0.30
B5 Body Fat Index

0.44
A3: Athletic Performance B9 Power Snatch

0.13
B10 Power Clean

0.07
B11 Push Press

0.05
B12 Front Squat

0.33
B13 Back Squat

0.13
B14 Snatch Deadlift

0.07
B15 Clean Deadlift

0.22

Body Shape Total (out of 100):  =

 

Sport Quality Total (out of 100): =

 

Get Your Total Score Now!

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Step 3 : Choose the Weightlifting Point System to Identify Room for Improvement

Now that you have your score, you can see whether you need to work on your body shape or sports quality (or both!).

These data will break down where you can improve.

For example, if you weigh 85kg and your snatch deadlift is 250kg, then you are in the 95th percentile for that class. 

But if you also have a 250kg back squat, then you are in the 65th percentile for that class! So you might need to camp out in the squat rack for a few weeks to improve your sports quality.

56kg Weightlifting Standards

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62kg Weightlifting Standards

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69kg Class Weightlifting Standards

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77kg Class Weightlifting Standards

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85kg Class Weightlifting Standards

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94kg Class Weightlifting Standards

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105kg Class Weightlifting Standards

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+105kg Class Weightlifting Standards

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Bonus: Weightlifting Scores from Elite Weightlifting

Want to know how you measure up to the best athletes in the world? 

Check out the weightlifting rankings below. 

We subtracted 20 points from their results so you can compare your scores with theirs.

Zhang Jie (62kg)

Zhang Jie is a Fujian weightlifter born in 1987.  He is the:

  • 2011 World Champion (145kg + 176kg),
  • 2010 Asian Games Champion (145kg + 176kg),
  • 3-time Asian Champion,
  • 2007 Junior World Champion.

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Zhang Jie Results (62kg)
Level 1 Index Level 2 Index Index Data Score Weight
A1 Body Shape B1 Seated – Standing Height Index 55.53 80 0.09
B2 Shoulder – Waist Index 67.50 80 0.13
B3 Chest Size 96.50 85 0.04
B4 Relative Bodyweight Index 398.15 75 0.30
B5 Body Fat Index 6.6 100 0.44
A3 Athletic Performance B9 Power Snatch 135 100 0.13
B10 Power Clean 160 100 0.07
B11 Push Press 150 100 0.05
B12 Front Squat 251 85 0.33
B13 Back Squat 245 100 0.13
B14 Snatch Deadlift 200 90 0.07
B15 Clean Deadlift 210 75 0.22

Body Shape: A1 = (80 x 0.09 + 80 x 0.13 + 85 x 0.04 + 75 x 0.30 + 100 x 0.44) = 87.50 (out of 100)

Athletic Performance: A3 = (100 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.07 + 100 x 0.05 + 85 x 0.33 + 100 x 0.13 + 90 x 0.07 + 75 x 0.22) = 88.85 (out of 100)

Final Score: F = (87.50 x 0.12 + 88.85 x 0.68) = 70.92 (out of 80)

Evaluation Results: Zhang Jie has excellent body shape and athletic quality. Based on his results, he should continue to improve his body shape and focus on improving his front squat and clean deadlift.

Liao Hui (69kg)

Liao Hui is a Hubei weightlifter born in 1987. He is: 

  • 2008 Olympic Champion (158kg + 190kg),
  • 3 – time World Champion.

Prior to the changes in IWF weight classes in 2018, Liao Hui held the 69kg world records in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total.

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Liao Hui Results (69kg)
Level 1 Index Level 2 Index Index Data Score Weight
A1 Body Shape B1 Seated – Standing Height Index 56.02 90 0.09
B2 Shoulder – Waist Index 67.50 80 0.13
B3 Chest Size 99.50 85 0.04
B4 Relative Bodyweight Index 436.75 75 0.30
B5 Body Fat Index 10.00 80 0.44
A3 Athletic Performance B9 Power Snatch 150 100 0.13
B10 Power Clean 180 100 0.07
B11 Push Press 160 100 0.05
B12 Front Squat 250 100 0.33
B13 Back Squat 280 100 0.13
B14 Snatch Deadlift 230 95 0.07
B15 Clean Deadlift 260 100 0.22

Body Shape: A1 = (90 x 0.09 + 80 x 0.13 + 85 x 0.04 + 75 x 0.30 + 80 x 0.44) = 79.60 (out of 100)

Athletic Performance: A3 = (100 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.07 + 100 x 0.05 + 100 x 0.33 + 100 x 0.13 + 95 x 0.07 + 100 x 0.22 ) = 99.65 (out of 100)

Final Score: F = (79.60 x 0.12 + 99.65 x 0.68) = 77.31 (out of 80)

Evaluation Results: Liao Hui has outstanding body shape and athletic performance. He simply must continue maintaining his performance and consistency at heavy weights.

Lü Xiaojun (77kg)

Lü Xiaojun is a Hubei weightlifter born in 1984. He is:

  • 2012 Olympic Champion (175kg + 204kg),
  • 5 – time World Champion, 2014 Asian Games Champion (175kg + 200kg),
  • 2011 Asian Champion (160 + 192).

Lü Xiaojun is also a master of the squat jerk technique.

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Lü Xiaojun Results (77kg)
Level 1 Index Level 2 Index Index Data Score Weight
A1 Body Shape B1 Seated – Standing Height Index 54.12 45 0.09
B2 Shoulder – Waist Index 72.09 45 0.13
B3 Chest Size 107.5 100 0.04
B4 Relative Bodyweight Index 467.64 50 0.30
B5 Body Fat Index 12.20 75 0.44
A3 Athletic Performance B9 Power Snatch 160 100 0.13
B10 Power Clean 200 100 0.07
B11 Push Press 160 90 0.05
B12 Front Squat 270 100 0.33
B13 Back Squat 300 100 0.13
B14 Snatch Deadlift 250 100 0.07
B15 Clean Deadlift 290 100 0.22

Body Shape Total: A1 = (45 x 0.09 + 45 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.04 + 50 x 0.30 + 75 x 0.44) = 61.90 (out of 100)

Athletic Performance Total: A3 = (100 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.07 + 90 x 0.05 + 100 x 0.33 + 100 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.07 + 100 x 0.22 ) = 99.5 (out of 100)

Final Score: F = (61.90 x 0.12 + 99.5 x 0.68) = 75.09 (out of 80)

Evaluation results: Lü Xiaojun has outstanding athletic performance and is almost perfectly balanced. His improvement will come from manipulating his body composition.

Lü Yong (85kg)

Lü Yong is a Guangxi weightlifter born in 1986. He is the:

  • 2008 Olympic Champion (180kg + 214kg),
  • 2009 World Champion (175kg + 208kg), and
  • 2010 Asian Champion (173kg + 203kg).

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Lü Yong Results (85kg)
Level 1 Index Level 2 Index Index Data Score Weight
A1 Body Shape B1 Seated – Standing Height Index 54.71 60 0.09
B2 Shoulder – Waist Index 68.89 70 0.13
B3 Chest Size 109.50 95 0.04
B4 Relative Bodyweight Index 517.65 85 0.30
B5 Body Fat Index 13.40 80 0.44
A3 Athletic Performance B9 Power Snatch 160 90 0.13
B10 Power Clean 190 100 0.07
B11 Push Press 160 80 0.05
B12 Front Squat 251 90 0.33
B13 Back Squat 287 100 0.13
B14 Snatch Deadlift 260 100 0.07
B15 Clean Deadlift 285 100 0.22

Body Shape: A1 = (60 x 0.09 + 70 x 0.13 + 95 x 0.04 + 85 x 0.30 + 80 x 0.44) = 79.00 (out of 100)

Sports Quality: A3 = (90 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.07 + 80 x 0.05 + 90 x 0.33 + 100 x 0.13 + 100 x 0.07 + 100 x 0.22 ) = 94.40 (out of 100)

Final Score: F = (79.00 x 0.12 + 94.4 x 0.68) = 73.67 (out of 80)

Evaluation Results: Lu Yong has good body shape and outstanding athletic performance. 

Step 4: What were your results from the Weightlifting Calculator?

Now we want to hear what you and your friends found from using our weightlifting calculator!

If you were training in China, what’s your weightlifting score?

What lifts or body qualities can you improve?

Was there anything that surprised you?

Or maybe you have a question about the results?

Either way, we’d like to hear from you. So go ahead and leave a comment below right now!

Sources:

Ozaslan, Abdi, Beytullah Karadayi, Melek Ozlem Kolusayin, & Ahsen Kaya. 2011. “Stature estimation from bi-acromial and bi-iliocristal measurements. Romanian Society of Legal Medicine. 19: 171 – 176.

Zhang, Jie. 2011. “Research on Evaluation Index System of Specific Physical Fitness of China Men’s Weightlifting Athletes.” Master’s Thesis. Chengdu Institute of Physical Education.

 

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