Olympic Weightlifting is comprised of two power moves; the clean and jerk and the snatch. Although these are two powerful lifts, and take great strength, do not mistake them for powerlifting moves. There is a big difference since powerlifting has three lifts that are performed: bench press, dead lift and squat. Olympic Weightlifting lifts showcase pure physical strength, but only by following set rules. The judging criterion adheres to strict guidelines, and when not adhered to, elimination ensues.
What causes an athlete's elimination? Some examples are not being able to lift the required weight, not making the lift within three tries, and not following the rules set by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) and approved by the Olympic administration.
Incompletion of the snatch and clean and jerk
The snatch is an Olympic lift that begins at the floor and in one complete move is lifted above the head. Each lifter will have three attempts to press the weight load on the barbell above their heads with the proper form.
Watch the snatch from the 2004 Greece Olympics.
The clean and jerk Olympic lift requires two strength movements. The first is called the clean, and the second move is called the jerk. Just as the snatch, the barbell is brought up from the floor, but is brought to the chest while squatting, and then pressed above the head. If the weight is not lifted during the three attempts per lift, the weightlifter is eliminated.
Each athlete has three attempts to complete each lift
Each weightlifter has three attempts per snatch and clean and jerk to make a valid lift. The best lift from each is combined for the overall result; however, an athlete who does not make any of the snatch lifts is eliminated.
There are two referees who will judge each lift. They will watch the execution closely to see if there is any other jerk attempt between the two moves of the clean and jerk. Although a lifter can adjust the position of the barbell between the clean and the jerk, it does not mean there is an additional jerk attempt allowed.
Following the rules and regulations of Olympic weightlifting
Like any other sport, Olympic weightlifting has a strict set of rules to follow in order to make valid lifts. For example, one rule that must be followed is the start of the lift. It is called a time-out if the lifter does not begin the lift at the proper time. This causes a failed attempt, and too many broken rules causes an elimination.
Lisa White is an ISSA and AFPA pre- and post natal Certified Personal Trainer, natural figure athlete and owner of CPTLisaMWhite.com. She was previously a health club and sorts nutrition store owner.