How to Properly Analyze the Performance of a Weightlifter

What Is Olympic Weightlifting?

Olympic weightlifting is a sport which involves lifting weights with a barbell or dumbbells. It was first introduced into the Olympics in 1896 at the Stockholm Games. The sport consists of two parts: 1) The snatch (also called clean & jerk), where athletes lift the barbell from the floor; 2) The clean & jerk, where they pick it up off the ground and throw it overhead.

The rules are simple: Athletes compete against each other in three events: 1) Clean & Jerk, 2) Snatch and 3) Total. There is no time limit for any event except the total. A team may only win one event during a day’s competition. The athlete who wins all three events wins the gold medal.

In order to qualify for the Olympics, an individual must have competed in at least five events in international competitions. If an athlete does not meet these requirements, then they cannot participate in the games. To qualify for the Olympics, an athlete must be aged between 18 and 40 years old and weigh less than 95 kilograms (210 pounds). The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) sets minimum age limits for athletes.

The snatch involves lifting the barbell from the floor to overhead in one movement. If an athlete drops it, the weightlifter does not get a second try.

The clean & jerk involves lifting the barbell from the floor to over the head in two movements. In this event, an athlete can drop the barbell but can only make one attempt at each weight.

What Is the Weightlifting Technique?

The snatch and the clean & jerk are the techniques that weightlifters use to lift heavy weights from the floor. The snatch is one of the two weightlifting events in the Olympics (the other being the clean & jerk).

The lifter begins with a loaded barbell on the ground. They bend down and grab it with their hands, tucking their elbows in tightly against their sides. They quickly lift the barbell above their head, in one single movement. They then push their hips forward, so that the barbell rests on the “podium” (a raised platform), above their head.

The clean & jerk is the other weightlifting event in the Olympics. The lifters bend down and grab the barbell with their hands. They then lift it off the ground and push it above their head, in two movements.

The athlete then pushes their shoulder blades together and tucks their elbows in tightly before pushing their hips forward and standing up to receive the barbell on the podium.

Olympic Weightlifters Must Meet Certain Requirements For Their Body Composition And Age

Athletes must be between 56 and 70 kg (123.5 and 154.3 pounds) to compete in the 56 kg division, while those competing in the +75 kg division must weigh between 105.5 and 119 kg (230 and 259 pounds).

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Athletes must also be between the ages of 15 and 35 (men) or 18 and 40 (women). Those aged over 35 are no longer eligible to compete in the Olympics.

How Do You Get Into Weightlifting?

If you think you have what it takes to become an Olympic weightlifter, then you need to start training.

There are three types of lifting: 1) Powerlifting, 2) Bodybuilding and 3) Olympic weightlifting. A young person interested in weightlifting should focus on the first two types of lifting.

In powerlifting, the lifter attempts to lift the most amount of weight in three types of exercises: the deadlift, the squat and the bench press. The aim is to have the highest amount of weight lifted across all three exercises.

With bodybuilding, there are six exercises that are performed: the deadlift, the squat, the overhead press, the bench press, the military press and the pull-up. The aim is to have the highest score by performing the greatest number of repetitions for each exercise.

The third type of weightlifting is the one seen in the Olympics: the snatch and the clean & jerk. The athlete lifts the heaviest weight possible in these two techniques.

Weightlifters should focus on training technique and acquiring an appropriate level of strength and fitness before attempting to perform the snatch and clean & jerk techniques.

Getting started

The first step for a would-be weightlifter is to find a coach who can teach you the correct technique and help you improve your strength and fitness. A great place to start looking is your local community center or sports center, where there may be coaches offering weightlifting classes.

Alternatively, you can research online to see if there are any local coaches offering one-on-one lessons. While you can practice weightlifting techniques yourself, it’s much better to have a qualified coach overseeing and correcting your form.

If you’re looking for information about the snatch and clean & jerk, you’ll find a lot of different resources on the internet. However, these two exercises are highly technical and can be dangerous if performed incorrectly. It’s always best to learn the proper technique first from a qualified coach before attempting to do the exercises on your own.

Weightlifting Equipment

There’s a lot of equipment involved in weightlifting. However, most of the items are optional and only required for competition. For training, you’ll only need access to the three types of weights: barbells, dumbbells and weight plates.

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Barbells: A barbell is a long, metal pole with weights attached at each end. At one end is the handle used for lifting. The other end has plates that can be adjusted for weight, and are either attached by screwing or snapping onto the bar.

There are several types of barbells offering varying degrees of flexibility when it comes to the amount of weight they can carry and the types of exercises you can do with them. The most common types of bar are:

EZ Curl Bar: The EZ curl bar is used for exercises that require twisting actions, like curls and squats.

Multigrip Bar: The multigrip bar has parallel bars that allow you to perform pulling and rowing exercises.

Thick Bar: The thick bar is a standard bar with thicker grips, designed to reduce forearm stress and prevent rips in your hands.

Dumbbells: Dumbbells are free-weights that have a handle on one end and weights on the other. They are smaller and more flexible than barbells, allowing for a greater range of exercises to be performed with them. There are several types of dumbbells available:

Adjustable Dumbbells: These use a screw to add or reduce the amount of plates connected to the handle.

EZ Curl Dumbbells: The curl bar is designed to allow you to perform bicep curls.

Plate-Loaded Dumbbells: The plate-loaded dumbbells are designed to allow you to quickly change the weight by adding or removing individual metal plates that are permanently attached to the handle.

Goblet: The goblet is used for exercises like squats and lunges, by holding it in front of your chest.

Plate: The plates are the metal discs loaded on to the barbells or dumbbells.

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Weight Plates: These can be used to add weight to barbells or dumbbells.

Weight Suiters: These are designed to allow you to easily carry heavier weights from one room to another.

Weight Belts: These are designed to give your lower back extra support when lifting weights.

Weight Vests: These vests are designed to distribute the weight of the bar over your whole body, reducing stress on your arms and lower back.

Tips & Warnings

Always use proper technique when lifting weights, especially if you’re a beginner. Use lighter weights or fewer repetitions if you’re feeling pain or seeing red on any of the recommended exercises.

Don’t try to rush back into training if you’ve had an injury or illness. It can take several weeks to build up your strength and flexibility again.

Sources & references used in this article:

Anthropometric and performance variables discriminating elite American junior men weightlifters by AC Fry, D Ciroslan, MD Fry, CD LeRoux… – Journal of Strength …, 2006 –

Olympic weightlifting and plyometric training with children provides similar or greater performance improvements than traditional resistance training by A Chaouachi, R Hammami, S Kaabi… – The Journal of …, 2014 –

Acute citrulline malate supplementation improves upper-and lower-body submaximal weightlifting exercise performance in resistance-trained females by JM Glenn, M Gray, LN Wethington, MS Stone… – European journal of …, 2017 – Springer

Comparative kinematic analysis of the snatch lifts in elite male adolescent weightlifters by E Harbili, A Alptekin – Journal of sports science & medicine, 2014 –

Unsuccessful vs. successful performance in snatch lifts: a kinematic approach by V Gourgoulis, N Aggeloussis, A Garas… – The Journal of …, 2009 –

Applied video analysis for coaches: Weightlifting examples by J Garhammer, H Newton – International Journal of Sports …, 2013 –

A primer on weightlifting: From sport to sports training by LZF Chiu, BK Schilling – Strength and Conditioning journal, 2005 –

Effect of concurrent visual feedback on acquisition of a weightlifting skill by LP Sewall, TG Reeve, RA Day – Perceptual and motor skills, 1988 –

Validation of instrumentation to monitor dynamic performance of Olympic weightlifters by AJ Bruenger, SL Smith, WA Sands… – Journal of Strength …, 2007 –