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November 9-10, 2019: NCCP Competition Introduction

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The Lifts

As a basic athletic activity and a natural means to measure strength and power, the lifting of weights was present in both ancient the Egyptian and Greek societies.  Boosting its international importance chiefly in the 19th Century, weightlifting was among those few sports featured in the first Modern Olympic Games in 1896.

Snatch

 

In the snatch, the bar is pulled in one explosive motion form the floor to full arm's length overhead. In order to make the lift easier to perform, athletes typically bend their legs quickly while the bar is rising in order to catch the bar at arm's length.  The combined attributes of great strength and blinding speed are needed to accomplish this challenging event effectively.  The best lifters in the world (in the lighter weight classes can lift as much as 2.5 times their bodyweight in the Snatch).  The best super-heavyweight athletes in history have lifted nearly 227.5kg (500 lbs.) in this lift.*

*Taken from The Weightlifting Encyclopedia, by Artie Dreschler

Clean & Jerk

 

In the clean and jerk (C&J), the bar is also lifted to full arm's length overhead.  However, although it is considered one event, the C&J is really two lifts that must be completed one immediately after the other.  In the clean, the bar is raised (pulled) in an explosive motion from the floor to a point of rest approximately at the level of the shoulders (The rules permit lifting the bar within a zone from the chest above the nipples to a position above the shoulders, as long as the arms are in a fully bent position with the bar resting on the hands in the latter case).

The second part of the C&J, the jerk, consists of bending the legs and then extending both the arms and the legs to bring the bar to full arm's length over the hand in one explosive motion.  In order to make the lift easier to perform, athletes typically drop into a "split" position, or merely bend their legs quickly while the bar is rising in order to catch the bar at arm's length.  Since the athlete is lifting the bar in two stages in the C&J, heavier weights can be lifted in the C&J than in the snatch.

The best lifters in the world in the lighter weight classes can lift as much as 3 times their bodyweight in the C&J.  The best super-heavyweight lifters in history have lifted nearly 272.5kg (600 lbs.) in this lift.  Often referred to as the "King (or Queen) of the lifts", the C&J is the greatest single test of overall strength and power known.*

*Taken from The Weightlifting Encyclopedia, by Artie Dreschler

Training

 

There are a number of schools of thought when it comes to training for Olympic Weightlifting but, for the most part, practicing the Snatch and Clean & Jerk (along with a variety of assistance exercises).  To gain a better understanding of training for Olympic Weightlifting, consider attending one of the many coaching clinics offered throughout the year.  More information can be found in the coaching section.