Weightlifting, also called Olympic-style weightlifting, or Olympic weightlifting, is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic programme in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates.
The two competition lifts in order are the snatch and the clean and jerk. Each weightlifter receives three attempts in each, and the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a bodyweight category. Bodyweight categories are different for women and men. A lifter who fails to complete at least one successful snatch and one successful clean and jerk also fails to total, and therefore receives an “incomplete” entry for the competition. The clean and press was once a competition lift, but was discontinued due to difficulties in judging proper form.
- The technique known as “hooking” is permitted. It consists of covering the last joint of the thumb with the other fingers of the same hand at the moment of gripping the barbell.
- In all lifts, the referees must count as “No lift” any unfinished attempt in which the barbell has reached the height of the knees.
- After the referees signal to lower the barbell, the lifter must lower it in front of the body and not let it drop either deliberately or accidentally. The grip on the barbell may be released when it has passed the level of the waist.
- A competitor, who cannot fully extend the elbow due to an anatomical deformation, must report this fact to the three referees and the Jury before the start of the competition.
- When snatching or cleaning in the squat style, the lifter may help the recovery by making swinging and rocking movements of the body.
- The use of grease, oil, water, talcum or any similar lubricant on the thighs is forbidden. Lifters are not permitted to have any substance on their thighs when arriving in the competition area. A lifter who uses any lubricant is ordered to remove it. During the removal the clock goes on.
- The use of chalk (magnesium) on the hands, thighs, etc., is permitted.
Powerlifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. As in the sport of Olympic weightlifting, it involves lifting weights in three attempts. Powerlifting evolved from a sport known as “odd lifts”, which followed the same three-attempt format but used a wider variety of events, akin to strongman competition. Eventually odd lifts became standardized to the current three.