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Weightlifting, also called Olympic weightlifting or Olympic-style weightlifting, is a sport in which participants attempt a maximum weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. The two lifts currently competed are the clean and jerk and the Snatch. The compound word "weightlifting" is often used incorrectly to refer to weight training. Clean and press was another weightlifting technique, discontinued due to difficulties in judging proper form. In comparison with powerlifting which tests limit strength (with or without lifting aids), weightlifting tests ballistic limits (explosive strength) with smaller weights such that the lifts must be executed more quickly and with more mobility because of a greater range of motion during the lifts. While there are relatively few competitive Olympic lifters, the lifts and their components are commonly used by elite athletes to train for explosive and functional strength.
Requirements of weightlifting[edit | edit source]
Weightlifting requires a combination of power (strength and speed), technique, flexibility and consistency. A weightlifter's strength comes primarily from the legs, specifically the muscles of the quadriceps and posterior chain, and secondarily the back, anterior core, and shoulders as well as all round ratio development. Weightlifting is a full body activity including even the minor muscles, but these muscles receive emphasis over the others within the body. Weightlifters need not necessarily be heavy, as they compete by weight classes.
Competition[edit | edit source]
Competitors compete in one of eight (seven for women) divisions determined by their body mass. These classes are currently: men's: 56 kg (123.5 lb), 62 kg (136.7 lb), 69 kg (152.1 lb), 77 kg (169.8 lb), 85 kg (187.4 lb), 94 kg (207.2 lb), 105 kg (231.5 lb) and 105+ kg, and women's: 48kg (105.8 lb.), 53 kg (116.8 lb), 58 kg (127.8 lb), 63 kg (138.9 lb), 69 kg (152.1 lb), 75 kg (165.3 lb), and 75+ kg. In each weight division, competitors compete in both the snatch and clean and jerk, and prizes are usually given for the heaviest weights lifted in the snatch, clean and jerk, and the two combined.
The order of the competition is up to the lifters—the competitor who chooses to attempt the lowest weight goes first. If they are unsuccessful at that weight, they have the option of reattempting that lift or trying a heavier weight later (after any other competitors have made attempts at that weight or any intermediate weights). Weights are set in 1 kilogram increments (previously 2.5 kg increments), and each lifter can have a maximum of three lifts, regardless of whether lifts are successful or not.
The title "best lifter" is commonly awarded at local competitions. The award is based on the lifters' Sinclair Coefficients, which calculate strength-to-weight ratio of the lifters. Typically, the winner of the heaviest weight class will have lifted the most weight, but a lifter in a lighter weight class will have lifted more in proportion to his bodyweight.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Cossel, Benjamin J. (March 25, 2004). "Soldiers help Iraq's heavy lifters. USAREUR Public Affairs.
- IWF Technical Rules. (PDF) International Weightlifting Federation. URL accessed on 2007-01-09.
- The Sinclair Coefficients for the Olympiad. International Weightlifting Federation. URL accessed on 2007-01-09.
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