What Is Olympic Weightlifting

Emile Hughes: CSCS

Weightlifting has been part of the Olympics for over a century. While the formatting has changed significantly over the years, modern weightlifting consists of two competitive lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk.

In competition, lifters compete in weight classes and are given three attempts at both the snatch and the clean and jerk. The best of each lift is added to give a total. The lifter with the highest total wins the competition.

Though the competition sounds relatively simple, getting good is not! To be successful at weightlifting, an athlete must be strong, fast, stable, and flexible, not to mention, technically proficient. See the video of world record holder Lu Xiaojun putting almost 400 pounds over his head!