Olympic weightlifting

Olympic-style weightlifting, or Olympic weightlifting, often simply referred to as weightlifting, is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic programme in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbellloaded with weight plates.

Highest governing body International Weightlifting Federation
First developed Ancient Greece, Egypt, China
Contact No
Mixed gender No
Type Strength sport
Equipment Barbells, weight plates, collars, chalk, tape, shoes, belt
Country or region Worldwide
Olympic Men: 1896, 1904, 1920 – present; Women: 2000 – present
World Games Women: 1997


The two competition lifts in order are the snatchand the clean and jerk. The snatch is a wide-grip, one-move lift. The clean and jerk is a close-grip, two-move lift. Each weightlifter receives three attempts in each, and the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a body-weight category. Body-weight categories are different for male and female competitors. A lifter who fails to complete at least one successful snatch and one successful clean and jerk also fails to total, and therefore receives an “incomplete” entry for the competition. The clean and press was once a competition lift, but was discontinued due to difficulties in judging proper form.

In comparison with other strength sports, which test limit strength (with or without lifting aids), weightlifting tests aspects of human ballistic limits (explosive strength); the lifts are therefore executed faster—and with more mobility and a greater range of motion during their execution—than other strength movements.

While there are relatively few competitive Olympic weightlifters, the lifts performed in the sport of weightlifting, and in particular their component lifts (e.g. squatsdeadlifts, cleans), are commonly used by elite athletes in other sports to train for both explosive and functional strength.




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