LI Fabin Interview

by Alex ZHAO

Anthony Lee - Jan 01 2020

Lee Fabin Interview

During the lockdown in the world, the National Team of Weightlifting is also in Quarantine for more than 4 months. Nobody from the outside can get into the National Training Base without exceptional permission.
So we’ve conducted an online interview with LI Fabin, World Champion and World Record holder of Snatch (141kg) and Total (318) in 61kg class. Since the whole National Team is focusing on the conditioning training, so the main topic of our interviewed was about LI Fabin’s conditioning training in the past and for now.
Firstly, it’s important to bear in mind that China weightlifting training system is based on many scientific searches and experimental data. Many of them are heritage of Soviet sports sciences system, but Chinese Weightlifting has also created new methods and theories thanks to innovative trials of athletes and coaches and supported by significantly successful results.
Therefore, both the theory and the practice are supporting a macro-periodization of athlete’s training, in segmenting their training pattern into different focus period which include different types of training. Chinese children and youth weightlifting trainers, most of them recreational and nonprofessional, have their daily training more focused on conditioning. Then, when they reach a higher level, their training is more stressed on competition lifts and specific exercises of weightlifting.
So LI’s conditioning was regularly trained during his early weightlifter career. The current conditioning training and tests are, for LI and for his teammates, throwback in training periodization.  


Interview

Interviewer (I): Hello Fabin, could you introduce your self by telling me about your training history, from the beginning of your weightlifting career, please?
LI Fabin (LI): Of course. I started weightlifting since 2002 when I was 9 years old. I was selected by the sports school of Nan’an (Fujian Province), which is a prestigious school in weightlifting world. So, I began my semi-professional training, which means learning and training for half-half time sharing.
After 1 year, I went to the Provincial Sports School, as I progressed very fast. There I trained for 7 years, and then I was promoted to Majiang Weightlifting Training Base. 2 years later, I was 16 years old, I reached the International Elite level. Then, in 2012, after the Olympics Selection Competition, where I got 3rd place, I was selected to National Team.

Interviewer (I): Do you remember what they assessed when the guys of Nan’an school came to select talented kids?
LI: Yes. I remember we were asked to perform jumps, sprint, squat and deadlift. I was about 1m30 and 24kg BW. For standing long jump, I made 2M 19, then I run 800m/ 1200m, I forgot the exact distance, but I did it in 9’’1.
Then we are tested of our squat and deadlift. Both I made 57kg.
So this was outstanding performances for a kid, I was selected because of my talent.

Interviewer : Thank you a lot for your summary. Could you tell us what “conditioning” means for you? Also, could you assess your self about your conditioning strength and weakness?
LI: Conditioning for me is the general quality of your body. Because what weightlifters do is moslyt considered as conditioning in other sports, power clean/ snatch, pulls/deadlifts, squats and many other weightlifting exercises. So, for us, its more like general preparedness of explosiveness, stamina and coordination works.
I think there are 3 key points in conditioning for weightlifters: Explosiveness, Stability and Core strength.
As to my conditioning level, I think I’m good at all points for a weightlifter, I have strong core strength, good explosiveness and good stability.

Interviewer : When do you begin conditioning training and what it looks like?
LI: I started conditioning training since I began weightlifting as a kid. Our training was a lot of jumps and sprints. We had frog jumps, step jumps, sand dug jumps. And we were asked to do sprint on mountain slopes.

Interviewer : What was the conditioning proportion related to lifts?
LI: I think it’s about 30%, generally after lifts. About 3 days per week. In Provincial Team, we still train conditioning. But now in National Team, our training is based on competition preparedness. Generally, they are variously mixed with the previous lift session, e.g. after squat, we may do more frog jumps rather than sprints.

Interviewer : How your training was? Did you feel a lot of fatigue in conditioning training?
LI: I think we were sored for each conditioning session. Because that was after lifts, and we had pressure from coaches. But since the recovery was fast for kids, we didn’t feel fatigue the next day. But the sessions were quiet physically demanding.

Interviewer : So now you and your teammates train more conditioning, what’s the difference between conditioning training in the past and nowadays? Is there something you feel particularly difficult?
LI: I think the current training is more precise and specific. The very sophisticated machines they use to train, the methods they use are specifically targeted. And we feel some real challenging doing those exercises.
I think the most difficult exercise is that 4 Dimension Core Testing machine. It’s so different than our average training sensation, and it asks for very special core stabilization ability when it turned into some angles.
But I have to say, that our conditioning in provincial or city sports school was also very helpful. Because the intensity was high, and the training was frequent. There are many useful methods, unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of documentations about that. But for me, it’s a precious fortune.

Interviewer : That you for this very instructive information, we hope you will have excellent results for the conditioning test in May!

LI : Thanks a lot, please tell the supporters to stay safe and take care of yourselves !  

Li Fabin, Tianjin 2019 training camp

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