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Weightlifting as an Olympic sport

Learn the origins of weightlifting from ancient times to the XNUMXst century. What is weightlifting and what is it for?

Weightlifting is considered as one of the most popular competitive sports in the world. Being a test-of-strength game, it has its own set of fans. The World Weightlifting Championships and the Olympic Games testify to its popularity.

What is weightlifting and what is it for?

Weightlifting is weightlifting, a sport in which weight is lifted competitively or for exercise.

The force of gravity in the form of weighted barbells, dumbbells, or weight stacks is used to override the force generated by the muscle through concentric or eccentric contraction. Weight training uses a variety of specialized equipment to target muscle groups and specific movement types.

It also requires the use of 'good form', performing the movements with the proper muscle group and not transferring weight to different parts of the body to move more weight (called 'cheating'). 

If good form is not used during a training bout, injury or failure to meet objectives. If the desired muscle group is not stimulated enough, the overload threshold is never reached and the muscle does not gain strength.

The origins of weightlifting

Greek mythology had legendary strongman-heroes like Hercules and Theseus, even as the Hebrews had Samson. Homer's heroes effortlessly hurled huge boulders that three or four of the men they are now cannot lift!

Weightlifting has a long history. For many prehistoric tribes, the traditional test of manhood was lifting a special rock. Such manhood stones, some engraved with the first lifter's name, exist in Greece and in Scottish castles. 

Competitive stone lifting still persists locally in Germany, Switzerland, the Montenegrin highlands, and the Basque region of Spain. In many of these events, the consecutive number of lifts within a given time period is used to declare a winner.

Why is it called weightlifting?

Although weightlifting underwent some changes during the first decades, the basic concept has practically always been the same: Retake the weight off the ground and place it on your head or shoulders. 

It's been more or less the same sport since the 1920s when they eliminated one-handed lifts. Throughout the centuries the essence of sport has been the same, so the name has not been altered. 

The Legend of Milo

The most famous of the historical Greek strongmen would have to be Milo of Crotona (XNUMXth century BC). He had been a student of Pythagoras and heroically led the forces of his city to victory in a war with the neighboring community of Sybaris.

Milo of Crotona by Pierre Puget

He was a six-time wrestling champion at the Olympics. and winner in other important Greek athletic festivals. He is supposed to have pioneered progressive resistance training by carrying a calf on his shoulders when he was young, and when he reached adulthood he could still carry the adult bull on his shoulders. 

Another famous Greek strongman would have been Polydamas of Skotoussa. He was commemorated by a raised statue at Olympia, where he had won the pankration ("a terrible sport"). According to legend, Polydamas was the largest and tallest of all humans after the race of heroes. 

Wishing to emulate Hercules, he killed the Nemean lion, supposed to have killed a great lion with his bare hands on the slopes of Mount Olympus.

History of weightlifting from modern times to the XNUMXst century

The origins of modern weightlifting competition lie in the strongmen of the centuries eighteenth and nineteenth, such as Eugene Sandow and Arthur Saxon from Germany, George Hackenschmidt from Russia, and Louis Apollon from France. 

Revived The 1896 Olympics included weightlifting events, as did the 1900 and 1904 Games, but thereafter these events were suspended until 1920. In that year, at the suggestion of the International Olympic Committee, The International Weightlifting Federation was formed to regularize events and oversee international competition.

In the Games before World War II, the leading weightlifters were French, German, and Egyptian. After the war, American weightlifters dominated until 1953. From then on, Soviet and Bulgarian weightlifters held a virtual monopoly on world records and championships. 

In the late 1990s, the main countries competing in weightlifting were Turkey, Greece, and China. 

The world championships were held in 1922–23 and from 1937, except during the war years, and the European championships were held from 1924 to 1936. A women's weightlifting competition was added to the Olympics in 2000.

What exercises are performed in weightlifting?

There are two Olympic exercises used in weightlifting: The snatch (lifting in one stroke) and the two-stroke (lifting in two strokes), but each of them can be divided into several phases that, used independently, will constitute the best exercises for weightlifting. development of strength in sport.

How much weight is lifted in weightlifting?

The weight used in modern competitive lifting is the barbell, a steel bar or rod to which steel or cast iron disc weights are attached at each end of a rotating sleeve. 

The added weight ranges are as follows: 

Men's competitions are divided into eight bodyweight categories (upper limits are given): 56 kg (123 lbs), 62 kg (137 lbs), 69 kg (152 lbs), 77 kg (170 lbs), 85 kg ( 187 lbs), 94 kg (207 lbs), 105 kg (231 lbs), and over 105 kg.

For women there are seven weight divisions: 48 lbs (106 kg), 53 lbs (117 kg), 58 lbs (128 kg), 63 lbs (139 kg), 69 lbs (152 kg), 75 lbs (165 kg) , and more than 75 kg.

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