The modern sport of weightlifting, sometimes known as Olympic (weight)lifting for clarity, consists of two lifts: the snatch, and the clean and jerk. Though this form of weightlifting (in French: the love of weights) traces back to the 19th century, its relative obscurity in North America has been corrected through its recent appropriation and popularization by CrossFit. Connect with our weightlifting community to find out more about the most explosive lifting on the planet. Though powerlifting is a much more accessible sport in terms of the available equipment, please message us on facebook if you'd be interested in getting (paid) access to bumper plates, platforms, and potential coaches. Also stay tuned for our classes which will centrally feature weightlifting or be of general interest to current or aspiring weightlifters. Contact Dan ( dweigert@uwo.ca ) to connect with some friendly Olympic lifters.

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The snatch

The lifter brings the bar from the floor to overhead in one continuous motion, first catching the barbell in an overhead squat (like Robyn above) and then standing up to complete the lift.

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The Clean

The lifter brings the bar from the floor to the clavicles/deltoids, catching the bar in a front squat position (like Daniel above) and then standing up.

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The Jerk

Following the clean, the lifter promptly puts the bar overhead while launching themselves underneath it with the lower body.

 Don't say they know squat about squats

In weightlifting competitions, the only thing that matters is your 'total', the sum of your heaviest snatch and your heaviest clean and jerk. However, weightlifters are known for their elegant, deep, and ridiculously powerful squats, which build strength to improve their competition lifts. Women and men end up front and back squatting double, triple, or even close to quadruple the weight of their bodies! For instance, a 128lbs woman might end up squatting in excess of 400lbs--making powerlifters (who actually compete in the squat) rather jealous.

Weightlifting For Athletes In Other Sports

Sport training for football, volleyball, sprinting, and other explosive sports often employs some weightlifting-style training, using the clean, snatch,  or their 'power' variations. This is for excellent reason. If you're looking to jump higher and become stronger and faster in your sport, weightlifting offers scientifically and historically proven assistance. If nothing else, it may empower you to do sweet backflips after victory or defeat.