Zalva Weightlifting is dedicated to making Olympic weightlifting accessible to all, from beginners to competitive lifters or those who are just starting out on their lifting journey.

Olympic weightlifting, often simply referred to as 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 using both physical and mental strength. The two competition lifts in order are the snatch and the clean and jerk.

The Snatch

The objective of the snatch is to lift the barbell loaded with weight plates from the ground to an overhead position in one powerful, continuous motion using a wide grip.

The Clean & Jerk

The clean and jerk is a composite of two weightlifting movements. During the clean, the lifter moves the barbell from the floor to a racked position across the shoulders. During the jerk, the lifter raises the barbell to a stationary position above the head, finishing with straight arms and legs, and the feet in the same plane as the torso and barbell.

Body composition: The snatch and clean and jerk are full-body lifts that use the legs, glutes, back, abs, shoulders, and arms. Performing the lifts can burns more calories compared to performing single-joint movements in a shorter period of time. The lifts will help put on lean tissue, increase strength, and ultimately decrease body fat.

Muscular power and strength: Muscular power is simply how fast you can move a load. A decrease in muscular power over time is one of the main cause of falls in older adults. In Olympic weightlifting, nothing is done slowly. All loads are moved at max velocity, therefore increasing power. If your goal is to run faster and jump higher, power is the key ingredient.

Coordination: The Olympic lifts require coordination and timing. Improving body awareness and coordination is great for all activities of daily life.

Range of motion: Most people associate heavy lifting with being muscle bound, stiff and bulky. The Olympic lifts, require control of the load through a full range of motion in the knees, ankles, hips, and shoulders. If the range of motion is not there at the start of your lifting journey, over time training through a full range of motion will increase flexibility more effectively than a static stretching programme.

Stewart is a fully qualified BWL coach.

British weight lifting affiliated club