Introduction To Weightlifting


Weightlifting for most people is something you’ll only ever see once every 4 years, usually at the summer Olympics. You’ll watch it and think “Sh*t those guys/girls are strong” and then won’t think about it again until the next summer Olympic games come around.

In this post I wanted to outline some of the opportunities open to people who are interested in professional weightlifting and how you can get started.

What is Weightlifting?

Weightlifting or Olympic weightlifting as it is sometimes referred to, is an Olympic sport consisting of 2 “lifts” – A lift being a particular movement. In powerlifting their are 3 lifts (the deadlift, the squat and the bench press), in weightlifting there are only 2 but are considered more technically difficult to complete. These are the snatch and the clean and jerk. But have very strict rules on how the lift must be performed, which is why you will see a team of judges at all weightlifting competitions including non-olympic events.

Who Does Weightlifting?

Generally weightlifting isn’t for beginner lifters or athletes. Usually individuals come from other training styles to build a sub-level of strength, and then learn the techniques associated with the clean and the snatch. There’s a good article on Bret Contreras blog talking about how one of their athletes became a semi-professional weightlifter. But generally anyone can start, but competing is more difficult as events are more sparse and the techniques more difficult to refine, making sure people who aren’t 100% committed – Quit rc6v2sq.

Weightlifting Weight Classes

As you probably already know weightlifting is split into gender, with a male and female event, but is also refined further down into weight classes. These weight classes can vary depending on the competition or federation you are competing in, but for the Olympics the weight-classes are below (image from wiki.)

Weightlifting Competitions

Aside from the obvious Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth game events, which you have to be the top in your respected field and category in, there are other weightlifting competitions for the more social weightlifter. Generally there are 3 sources you can visit to get information about what competitions are approaching. The first is the British Weightlifting website, The second (if age permitting) is the University systems, the majority of Universities now have official weightlifting teams that compete against other Unis in the country. You can use the International weightlifting federation to get more information about competitions, rules, records and how-to compete guides.

Weightlifting Records

The records associated with Olympic WL are incredible and mind boggling at times. Below is a screenshot of the current records associated with Olympic weightlifting (again from wiki). There are other federations with different records, generally these federations have a less stringent drug testing policy and even has competition with no testing at all. These are seen as an issue but in my personal opinion as long as everyone uses or doesn’t use the same substances and the playing field is even then there shouldn’t be any issues.

Those are some serious numbers! I hope you enjoyed the post and let me know in the comments section below if you’d like to see some more on weightlifting in general. Thanks.