Olympic weightlifting thread Watch

Piggsil
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In my spare time I train and compete in weightlifting. Last year I won a bronze medal at the Norwegian national championships in the women's -69kg class. I am also a qualified referee.
I love the sport and thought I'd make a thread about it for discussion and questions. Let's see if this takes off. Feel free to post corrections/additions to the OP as well.


What is "Olympic" weightlifting?

The proper name for Olympic weightlifting is actually just weightlifting. The Olympic part is normally added to establish that it is the sport being discussed and not lifting weights or weight training at the gym.

Weightlifting is a competitive sport in which athletes compete to lift the most weight combined from two barbell lifts called (somewhat hilariously) snatch and clean & jerk. Each athlete has 3 attempts at each lift giving a total of 6 lifts per competition.

Weightlifting is a sport that requires athleticism, flexibility, speed and physical and mental strength.

Athletes compete in different weight classes, more on this later on.

The competition lifts

The snatch

The snatch is the first lift to be performed in competition as it is the most technically challenging. The barbell is lifted from the floor over the athlete's head in one movement. Once the bar has passed the knees the athlete must not stop the movement or the lift will be failed. The bar must finish on locked out arms - it is not permitted to receive the bar on bent elbows and then straighten the arms (this is called press-out).


Polish -48kg lifter Marzena Karpinska snatching 78kg

The clean and jerk

Lifters will lift more in the clean and jerk than in the snatch. This is a 2-stage lift. The barbell is lifted from the floor to the shoulders (the clean) then from the shoulders to overhead on locked-out arms (the jerk). As with the snatch no press-out is allowed.


American -105kg lifter David Garcia clean and jerking 202kg

Who competes in weightlifting?

When most people think of weightlifters the images that normally pop into their heads are of super heavyweight lifters like these:

Hossein Rezazadeh, +105kg, Iran


Tatiana Kashirina, +75kg, Russia

But as mentioned above, weightlifters compete in different bodyweight classes, which means that anyone of any height and weight can do weightlifting.

There are 7 weight classes for women and they are:
-48kg, -53kg, -58kg, -63kg, -69kg, -75kg and +75kg

There are 8 weight classes for men and they are:
-56kg, -62kg, -69kg, -77kg, -85kg, -94kg, -105kg and +105kg

-56kg for example means that lifters entering this weight class must weigh in under 56kg bodyweight to be allowed to compete. Lifters competing in the super heavyweight classes (+75kg and +105kg) can weigh as much as they want.

Here are a few lifters from different weight classes:

Spoiler:
Show

Liao Hui, -69kg, China


Zoe Smith, -58kg, GBR


Khadzhimurat Akkaev, -105kg, Russia


Ilya Ilyin, -94kg, Kazakhstan


Zulfiya Chinshanlo, -53kg, Kazakhstan


Christine Girard, -63kg, Canada


How do weightlifters train?

Spoiler:
Show
Most lifters train mainly the competition lifts, plus both front and back squats and a variety of pulls (like deadlifts, but in the snatch or clean positions). They may also train purely the jerk from a rack or boxes. Professional lifters generally train twice a day and spend the rest of their time resting, stretching and getting massages.

Weightlifters are very fast, flexible and explosive, even the super-heavyweights. The positions required in the snatch and clean and jerk are pretty extreme and place a lot of strain on the joints.

Strength is obviously important to be able to lift the most weight, but the barbell must also be moved quickly so speed is of equal importance.

The most important muscles for a weightlifter are the quads (front of the thigh), glutes (bum) and back muscles. Arm muscles are much less important so you will rarely find a weightlifter training bicep curls!


Liu Xiaojun, -77kg, China - widely recognized as having one of the sickest back developments ever in weightlifting



Tl;dr

Weightlifting is an awesome sport.
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Hype en Ecosse
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Great thread! I definitely find weightlifting the most exciting of the 3 big strength sports to watch. Heavily considering going down that path myself, but don't plan on starting for a long time yet. Powerlifting may yet still steal me away.

Advice for beginners who want to get into the sport?
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Piggsil
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(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
Great thread! I definitely find weightlifting the most exciting of the 3 big strength sports to watch. Heavily considering going down that path myself, but don't plan on starting for a long time yet. Powerlifting may yet still steal me away.

Advice for beginners who want to get into the sport?
Powerlifting is cool too, but I like the added element of technique and the speed that comes with weightlifting. Before getting into weightlifting I trained the power lifts. I regularly attend PL competitions, they normally have a great atmosphere, but then again so do weightlifting comps! I suck too much at bench press to do well in PL I think.

Advice for beginners:

-find a club! That is the best way to learn and it's generally way cheaper than joining a normal gym and you get access to more awesome equipment and a nurturing community.

- check you can do the basic positions and if you can't, stretch to get the flexibility and get confident in them. Get comfortable in the bottom position of an overhead squat, front squat, clean receiving position and jerk overhead position. California Strength have some great videos about this.

http://www.californiastrength.com/vi...ngth-exercises

- start competing as soon as you can, even if you only just started. I did my first comp 2 months after I started weightlifting and the more experience you have the better IMO

- watch videos and look at photos of lifters to try and gain a better understanding of the movements. Hookgrip is awesome for photos.
https://www.facebook.com/hookgripdotcom

- be patient - especially if you've trained strength before then you might get frustrated in the beginning, but the technique will come quickly if you stick at it.
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by Piggsil)
x
That's awesome! I'm really lucky in that my university has a weightlifting club. I'll definitely get in touch with them if the time comes. Thanks

I think we need more vids. Here's one of my favourite moments from this year's worlds, just for Lu's smile after the lift:


And I love the emotion here...
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nopenopenope
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Matthais Steiner, dem feels

where's all the hysen pulaku pics

(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
That's awesome! I'm really lucky in that my university has a weightlifting club. I'll definitely get in touch with them if the time comes. Thanks
(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)


I think we need more vids. Here's one of my favourite moments from this year's worlds, just for Lu's smile after the lift:


And I love the emotion here...


What uni you in? if ya dont mind
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Hype en Ecosse
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(Original post by nopenopenope)
Matthais Steiner, dem feels

where's all the hysen pulaku pics



What uni you in? if ya dont mind
Nah, I don't mind. It's in my sig: at Edinburgh!
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Piggsil
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(Original post by Hype en Ecosse)
That's awesome! I'm really lucky in that my university has a weightlifting club. I'll definitely get in touch with them if the time comes. Thanks

I think we need more vids. Here's one of my favourite moments from this year's worlds, just for Lu's smile after the lift:


And I love the emotion here...
Oh wow, you should definitely join!

The Steiner moment was amazing. Remember being moved by it before I was into weightlifting, and when I watch it back now with an understanding for how insane his achievement is then I get well emotional!

Fave moments of mine:

Klokov vs Akkaev at 2011 WWC in Paris



Kashirina 190kg world record C&J at WWC in Poland 2013
Didn't even look hard, shocked everyone cos she has previously nailed snatch then mucked up C&J, but this time is was the other way round.
+ bonus hilarious comments section
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Appeal to reason
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Novice checking in.

When Liu Xiaojun wasn't in the pics spoiler, I was very disappointed. Glad his back still made it in
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AreebWithaHat
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In.
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Piggsil
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(Original post by Appeal to reason)
Novice checking in.

When Liu Xiaojun wasn't in the pics spoiler, I was very disappointed. Glad his back still made it in
Of course I had to include him somewhere. His tekkers is so unusual though, it could have been a bit misleading to use a pic of him lifting in the OP, hence why there were no pics earlier in the thread.

(Original post by AreebWithaHat)
In.
:yy:

Anyone got any favourite lifters? If so post pics+vids, lifts and stats. I'll go first! Mine are based purely on enjoyment of watching them lift. There have been greater lifters throughout time but I'll leave those for someone else

Artem "stretch marks on delts" Okulov, -85kg, Russia

SO fast and beautiful technique.







Lu Yong, -85kg, China

Awesome to watch when he gets fired up.






Oksana Slivenko, -69kg, Russia

Not so exemplary technique-wise, but she's a machine.



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AreebWithaHat
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(Original post by Piggsil)
Of course I had to include him somewhere. His tekkers is so unusual though, it could have been a bit misleading to use a pic of him lifting in the OP, hence why there were no pics earlier in the thread.


:yy:

Anyone got any favourite lifters? If so post pics+vids, lifts and stats. I'll go first! Mine are based purely on enjoyment of watching them lift. There have been greater lifters throughout time but I'll leave those for someone else

Artem "stretch marks on delts" Okulov, -85kg, Russia

SO fast and beautiful technique.







Lu Yong, -85kg, China

Awesome to watch when he gets fired up.






Oksana Slivenko, -69kg, Russia

Not so exemplary technique-wise, but she's a machine.



I don't really keep up with it much but my my would sleep with Dmitriy Klokov in a heart beat.
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Scoobiedoobiedo
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I like Olympic weightlifting simply because of Zoe Smith.



WouldCleanHerSnatch/10
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Piggsil
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(Original post by AreebWithaHat)
I don't really keep up with it much but my my would sleep with Dmitriy Klokov in a heart beat.
Lol, he's married with a kid, no Klokov for you :p:

(Original post by Scoobiedoobiedo)
I like Olympic weightlifting simply because of Zoe Smith.



WouldCleanHerSnatch/10
I think we should ban "puns" from this thread :dong:

Zoe Smith is awesome though.
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Scoobiedoobiedo
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(Original post by Piggsil)
Lol, he's married with a kid, no Klokov for you :p:


I think we should ban "puns" from this thread :dong:

Zoe Smith is awesome though.
Did you ever see the documentary 'Girl Power: Going for Gold'? She seems so nice/down to earth in it, it's unreal.
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Piggsil
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(Original post by Scoobiedoobiedo)
Did you ever see the documentary 'Girl Power: Going for Gold'? She seems so nice/down to earth in it, it's unreal.
Yeah I loved it! Actually gave a really good insight into the sport.
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rlw31
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British Weightlifting's funding has been cut by UK Sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/26036808
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Piggsil
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(Original post by rlw31)
British Weightlifting's funding has been cut by UK Sport. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/26036808
Well that sucks!
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rlw31
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(Original post by Piggsil)
Well that sucks!
Seems they don't really care much about participation levels, or getting people involved.

At the moment, I only really know of one facility where I could train the oly lifts, let alone get coaching/enter competitions and that's only because they share a venue with a powerlifting club that hosts powerlifting competitions that I've taken part in. I might contact British Weightlifting about this as their club listing just leads to a bunch of broken links. It seems that if you don't personally know someone already involved in the sport, it can be hard to even get basic information such as where to train.

*I think there's a facility in Leeds, but I'm pretty sure it's reserved for BWL 'High Perfomance' athletes.
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The Blind Monk
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(Original post by rlw31)
.
Roughly where are you based? I think the platform/bumper/WL club situation is not too bad in London at the moment.

Also for what it's worth Oxana benches 130ish.
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Old School
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(Original post by Piggsil)
Well that sucks!
It's hardly surprising.

We're awful at it, and this is largely due to the way that we train the athletes. Same goes for the Americans.

Far too much time spent on technique work and the lifts and not enough time spent getting brutally strong.

A lot of people say that it's due to funding/lack of interest but this is bull because we comfortably keep pace with the rest of the world in powerlifting- an even more niche sport with zero funding whatsoever.

This article sums up the oly lifting situation in the west quite nicely:

http://articles.elitefts.com/trainin...ympic-lifting/

/rant

On a more positive note- I love olympic lifting. It's a great sport to watch. Shame I lack the hand-eye co-ordination and flexibility to actually have a go.
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