What is weightlifting? Weightlifting also known as Olympic Weightlifting is an athletic diciplin part of the Olympic program,  where athletes will attempt a maximum-weighted single lift of a loaded barbell using two different movements. The snatch and the clean & jerk.

The Snatch

Weightlifting is based around two different movements. The snatch is the first of two lifts contested in Olympic weightlifting. To begin with an athlete will place there hands at each extrimity of the barbell. This is considered a wide grip. Athletes will then pull the bar off the ground as high as possible, while pulling themselves underneath it into a low squat position and  simultaneously receiving the bar overhead with streight arms. The complexity behind this movement is being able to cordinate all steps of the lift while having great mobility to finish the lift with an upright torso to prevent any back, shoulder or knee injuries.

The Clean & Jerk

Clean & jerk is the second contested lift in Olympic weightlifting. Unlike the Snatch, the clean & jerk will have a closed grip on the outside of the knees at around shoulder width. This lift is made up of two different lifts. To clean the barbelle, athletes will need to progressively lift the bar until they get to knee height where they will then explosively extend themselves, pullinmg the bar as high as possible while quickly dropping underneath it into a front squat position with there arms in a “racked position”. Lifters will then stand up to complete the clean portion of the lift. The next step to a clean & jerk is the jerk. For this step lifters will then slightly dip down before agressivily extending there knees which propells the bar overhead and silmutaneously dip down underneath the bar while splitting there legs in a lunge position. Once the barbell has been successfully received over head the lifter must start by bring his front foot back to the center followed by his back leg. Where they will then need to pause in an upright position arm extended until the lift has been validated.

Weightlifting Rules

As far as rules go in competion for Olympic weightlifting, each competitor gets a total of three tries per each weightlifting movemement. For example if one athlete fails a lift at 120kg (264.55lbs) he has the opportunity to try again once the rest of the field has done there first lift. Athletes which failed their rep have the opportunity to try it again at the same weight or he or she can directly advance to a heavier weight if desired so. If failed to complete at least one successful snatch and clean & jerk. Athletes receive an incomplete entry to the competition.

To deturmin the overall results athletes will be ranked by the combined total of their two successful heaviest lift. It is to be noted that for each competition wether it be an olympic held competition or an amateur one. Each Athlete will be put in a category based off their body weight.

Olympic Barbell Dimentions

Olympic barbells are all made of steel bar. They all come with a large diameter rotating sleeves on either end. These help drastically reduce the rotational inertia of the bar while being lifted over head.

Men’s bar weigh in at 20kg’s (44lbs) this is the standard weight for a olympic weightlifting barbell. The shafter diameters are 28mm and they have a total length of 2200mm.

Women’s bars weigh in at 15kg’s (33lbs) They have a shaft diameter of 25mm and have a total length of 2010mm.


Overall the sport of olympic weightlifting is a sport that demands a huge amount of cordination, technique and mobility to achieve successful lifts. Wether you are a beginner, intermediant or professional, you won’t be able to get away with poor mobility and a lack of technique. The sport is ever growing and what seemed impossible 10 years ago is now considered the norm. If you wan’t to start olympic weightlifting, we highly recommend new athletes to find themselves a qualified coach to learn the fundementals. This could save you from bad injuries that could accumulate over time with poor technique. Also in olympic weightlifting the proper equipment is not neglitable. Those being weightlifting shoes and perhaps a weightlifting belt. Although those are only needed while doing max reps.

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