Weightlifting is a sport with a long history. It was part of the first Olympic games held in 1896 and it is the only Olympic sport in which competitors use heavyweights.
With time passing, weightlifting has developed into a bodybuilding technique as well. In fitness, weightlifting is also called weight training and is more popular with men than women.
Weightlifting in Competition
Weightlifting is a sport in which competitors are supposed to lift heavyweights. The sport is practiced by both men and women. Weights are placed on steel barbells and they differ in color and heaviness.
There are two versions of weightlifting: the snatch, where competitors have to lift the barbell above their head in one single move, and the clean and jerk, where they first lift it up to their neck and then above their head. In both types of weightlifting, competitors have to keep the barbell above their head for a few seconds, while keeping their arms and legs still.
Weightlifters compete in eight series, depending on their body weight. There are three judges to decide whether the lift is successful or not. If a judge thinks it is successful, he shines a white light; if not, he shines a red light.
If there are two white lights shining, the lift is considered a success. Prizes are usually given to competitors who have lifted the heaviest weight in snatch, clean and jerk and the two combined.
Weightlifting in Fitness
It was Hippocrates who first explained the principle of developing your muscles by weight training when he said that what is used grows and what is not wastes away. Millions of men dreaming to develop their muscles are using weightlifting as a bodybuilding technique. If performed properly, weightlifting can provide important benefits to an individual’s health and well-being.
In fitness, weightlifting often involves lifting gradually increasing amounts of weight. This technique uses a wide variety of equipment to target different muscle groups.
Some fitness trainers have adapted it to provide the positive effects of aerobic exercise.
Weightlifting is part of the training program of many sportsmen.
As a muscle developing technique, weightlifting is based on the principle of gradual overload. Those who practice it overload their muscles by trying to lift at least as much weight as they are physically capable of.
This way, the muscles respond by becoming larger and stronger. The procedure is repeated with heavier weights as the muscles strengthen. If not supervised, weightlifting can be quite risky, especially for beginners.
Generally, each exercise is repeated until the moment of muscular failure. Contrary to general belief, this is not the moment when the individual thinks he can no longer continue, but the first lift that fails because of inadequate muscle strength. While some fitness trainers agree with this principle, others claim that it leads to overtraining and that training to failure is suitable only for the last set of exercising.
Weightlifting has many other benefits. Both men and women can use it to improve their physical attractiveness. Men achieve this by growing their muscles, while women develop a firm, toned body. It also helps metabolism and increases fat loss.
An interesting side effect of intense exercising is the rising level of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which help with improving mood and overcoming depression. However, for some people, this can turn into almost an addiction, feeling an intense need to work out whenever they are in a bad mood.