top of page

What is Weightlifting?

Olympic-style weightlifting, or officially Weightlifting is the style of weightlifting contested at the Olympic Games. The events of weightlifting, or lifts, test virtually all of the muscles in an athlete’s body - more muscles than any other single sport.

The Basic Rules

Weightlifting competition is conducted in eight bodyweight categories for the men, and seven bodyweight categories for the women. There are also age related competitions for athletes 13 and under, and as old as 85 and above. Consequently, athletes are always able to compete with athletes their own age, size and gender.

Weightlifting consists of two events – the Snatch, and the Clean and Jerk .

The First Event – The Snatch

The first event in Weightlifting competition is called the Snatch. This lift is done with tremendous power and speed, the bar being lifted from the floor to arms length overhead in one motion, a motion which generally takes less than a second. Amazingly, the heaviest male weightlifters in the world are able to snatch more than 500 lbs. It takes a truly strong person to even move 500 lb. from the floor, yet these incredible athletes lift such weights overhead – in a flash! And even women in the lightest bodyweight category, who weigh barely 120 lb. can elevate more than double their bodyweight in this lift!

The Second Event –The Clean and Jerk

The Clean and Jerk is the second lift in Weightlifting competition and is the one in which the most weight can be lifted. In this event, the barbell is lifted overhead in two continuous motions – the clean, which brings the bar to the shoulders, and the jerk, in which the athlete raises the bar overhead.

What is Weightlifting: Bio
bottom of page