Olympic Weightlifting

Olympic Weightlifting

Weightlifting is an olympic sport where you lift a barbell from the floor overhead. Unlike to bodybuilders, for weightlifters, muscle size is not important at all. Weightlifting is all about physical and mental strength, technique and explosive power. Olympic weightlifting trains the athletes functional strength, using the major muscle groups. That's one of the reasons why weightlifting training methods are also used in other sports. For example: Track and field sports, football, etc. Don't start a weightlifting routine without an experienced coach! Find more weight training related topics and exercises at weight training main.


  • The sport of olympic weightlifting consists of two events:
    • Snatch - YT Videos showing the snatch.
      World class weightlifters can snatch 200 kg (450 lbs).
      The snatch is the faster lift, but less weight can be accomplished.
        • The Pull - Pull the bar up as high as you can
        • The Quick Drop - lower yourself so that you can catch the weight before
          the bar reaches the highest point.
          Squat + weight & arms extended overhead.
        • The Squat - Stand up from the squat with the weight straight over the head.
      • Exercises:
        • First Pull
        • Second Pull
        • The Shrug
        • The Jump and Quick Drop
        • The Overhead Squat
    • Clean and Jerk YT Videos showing the clean & jerk. World class weightlifters can clean and jerk 250 kg (560 lbs). The clean and jerk is slower, because you first lift the bar to the shoulders, and then drive the weight overhead with an impulse coming from the legs. In the clean and jerk more weight can be lifted.
        • The Pull - Pull the bar up as high as you can
          Because the bar is heavier now, you will only be able to lift
          it to shoulder height.
        • The Drop - Let the weight drop on your chest & shoulders
        • The Squat - Rest in a squat position.
          • and the jerk is made up of the following 3 parts:
        • The Dip
        • The Drive
        • The Split, Squat or Catch (all three variations are OK.)
      • Exercises:
        • High Pulls
        • Hang Jump Shrug
        • Pull Under and Jump
        • Front Squat
        • Jump Dips
        • Long Jerks
        • Romanian Dead Lift - RDL
    • More exercises and non-olympic lifts other lifts.
      • Clean and Press (or just Press)
      • Squats, front squats and normal squats
      • Snatch Balances
      • Quick Drop
      • Jerks
      • Deadlifts
      • Presses
      • Bench Press
      • Curls
      • Good Mornings


  • Rest is just as important as the actual training. Every workout leads to micro-injuries in your muscles. If you don't give yourself enough time for recovery, you will overtrain and increase the risk of injury.
  • Correct execution of exercises and lifts is very important in weightlifting. Without proper technique , you will injure yourself before you can make any progress.
  • In a weightlifting competition, you have to lift your barbell at least to knee level within 60 seconds from when the bar is ready => When the bar is loaded for your next attempt. If you want to try twice, you have 135 seconds.
  • 3 judges decide if your lift was successful. Each judge shines a white light when he thinks you met the requirements for a valid lift. A red light means that you didn't meet the requirements. 2 out of 3 judges have to shine their white light before you can return the bar to the platform.
  • Professional weightlifters train 3 to 4 times per week (2 hours per workout). However, olympic weightlifter often claim to train 6 days a week, 3 to 4 hours per workout. Most people can't train that much because their metabolism & recovery can't handle the amount od stress caused to their muscles.
  • Shorter athletes are usually more successful weightlifters.
  • Don't start a weightlifting routine without an experienced coach.