Fitness who's who

Meet Anton Jefferson, Olympic Weightlifting enthusiast, athlete, and coach

After basketball and running, Anton found Olympic Weightlifting and in less than a year, he landed several national qualifications to then become 2013 Illinois State Champion and 2013 Midwest Champion.

Totally in love with the sport, he’s dedicated his life to Olympic Weightlifting as an athlete, an educator and a (highly qualified) coach.

Anton created The OLIFT Magazine in 2013. Calling Hong Kong home since 2014, he’s then been responsible for educating Personal Trainers at PURE FITNESS about strength, power, and of course Olympic Weightlifting for 3 years. He founded Hong Kong Weightlifting in 2016 – his full-time activity from now on-, a Weightlifting resource aiming at making Hong Kong as strong as possible!

Who inspired to start your competition journey?

I’ve been an athlete since I was 6 years old. First, basketball, then Cross Country and Athletics (middle distance), leading to a running career. 

After college, still seeking an achievement I could be proud of, I competed in a Dual-Athlon and I got 12 out of 200+ competitors. I almost continued with endurance racing, until I was persuaded by my wife to take up Olympic Weightlifting instead.

Already familiar with the barbell, I tried out, and on the first day I Power Clean and Jerked 70 kg (at 63 kg body weight). The coach encouraged me to return and train regularly with the team. So I did.

What is your weekly training regimen?

I’ve never trained harder in my life until I competed in Olympic Weightlifting. My coach used a modified version of the Bulgarian method, so we attempted a daily maximum lift in almost every training session.

I started with 3 sessions a week and some running and I’m now training 6 days a week. Every session included one-to-two traditional lifts (snatch/clean and jerk) or variations of them. Then pulls, squats, presses, and accessories (back extensions, pull-ups, etc).

How do you get ready to face a challenge that you know will be hard to overcome?

I use lots of psychology preparation. I tell myself that I am a winner and that nobody wants to achieve this feat more than I do. I’ve learned that you must believe in your mind that you can do something for it to become a reality.

What advice would you give to someone to stay motivated?

First, think about the journey and what you’re trying to accomplish. Then look at the journey one step at a time: break the challenge into small goals and keep working at it.

What would you say to the 10 years younger you?

This is a fantastic question that I think about often! Don’t listen to negativity even from your own mind, work harder and smarter, never quit because they can’t beat you if you never give up.

What’s your favorite cheat meal?

I’m not a cheat meal person, also, I’m trying to gain 10 kg in the next 12 months. So I eat 5 meals a day (3,700 calories) and one of those meals has to be something that will help me gain some body fat too. So my go to meal is Char Siu Gai Fan (叉燒), literally the best local experience in Hong Kong.

A hobby that has nothing to do with fitness?

I’ve been a Dragon Ball Z fanatic since I was a kid, so I binge watch episodes on Youtube whenever I can. I’m also a closet bookworm, so wherever I go, I always have a book with me. And, of course, hanging with family and friends!

A quote you live by

“Love your life or change it!” – Jon North

Where can you meet Anton?

Anton regularly teaches Weightlifting and Strength and Conditioning courses at Ursus Fitness, throughout Hong Kong, and all over Asia. If you’d like to learn more about Olympic Weightlifting or Strength and Conditioning, you can join Hong Kong Weightlifting for a free trial. More info here or sending him an email at

Follow Anton!

You can follow Anton on Instagram at his personal account @iamantonj and check out his business accounts @HKWeightlifting and @oliftmagazine


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