Weightlifting Glossary

Assistance exercises - Exercises that are done to promote success and support the classic lifts. Performed for specific periods of time to address weaknesses and shortcomings.

Attempts - In competition a lifter is allowed 3 tries at each classic lift. (6 total per competition). Weight increases in 1kg increments with repeats allowed. No maximum increases.  Successful attempt is not mandatory to make an increase. Decreases are not permitted in competition once the bar is loaded beyond that weight. If you follow another lifter you have 1 minute to begin the lift. if you follow yourself you have 2 minutes.

Barbell - A 7’ long metal bar on which plates and discs are loaded.

Bar Whip - Oscillation of the bar caused by a heavily loaded barbell flexing while being moved quickly.

Bench Press - Lying flat on a bench,  start with the barbell at arms length, lower the weight until the barbell touches the chest then return to the original starting position.

Bent Over Row - A motion where you bend over at the waist until your back is almost parallel with the floor.  With knees slightly bent, back rigid, lift the barbell in a “rowing” motion from the floor to the waist then return to arms length.

Bodyweight Classes - There are eight categories for men and seven categories for women in the Junior, Senior and Masters divisions. The lifter must weight within the limits of his class.
Men: -56, -62, -69, -77, -85, -94, -105, +105kg      Women: -48, -53, -58, -63, -69, -75, +75kg

Box Squat - A squat performed by descending until your butt touches a box (of potentially various heights) then standing back up to the starting position.

Bumper Plate - A rubber plated metal weightlifting disc that is designed to withstand drops to the floor.

Chalk - A magnesium carbonate powder that absorbs moisture from your hands and other body parts that come into contact with the bar allowing more friction for a better grip.

Chin Ups - Pulling yourself up from a fully hanging position with your palms facing you.

Classical Lifts - The classical lifts are the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.  Both are used in competition at all levels.

Clean -  With feet placed in line, the barbell gripped with palms down, the barbell is uplifted in a single movement from the ground to the shoulders, while either "splitting' or bending of the legs.  The barbell will rest on the clavicles, chest or fully bent arms.  During recovery the lifter must return the feet to equal line with with straight legs.

Clean grip - The width of grip suitable for the Cleaning of weights.

Clean Pull -This movement initially looks exactly like a clean except no effort is made to get under the barbell.

Competition Plate - A bumper plate that is calibrated within tolerances of the associated federation’s allowable standards for competition.

Deadlift - An exercise performed by uplifting a barbell from the platform with one continuous motion until the lifter is standing erect. Knees must lock and shoulders thrust back.

De-loading - Relates to training programming when volume and / or intensity are lowered to allow the body to peak. Usually done prior to a competition.

Down signal - An audible and /or visual signal given by the center referee during a competition to signal the lifter it's OK to return the barbell to the platform because the lift is complete.

Dumbbell -A small barbell that is designed to be lifted with one hand.  Normally 40-60cm in length.

Elbow touch - Touching of the elbows on the knees while performing a squat clean.  This is cause for disqualification of that lift.

Front Squat - A squat with the bar in front of your head, resting across the lifters neck and shoulders.

Good Mornings - An isolation exercise for your back similar to a RDL in movement,  but with the barbell in the position of a squat.

Hack lift - Unlike a deadlift, the lifter stands in front of the barbell. Then uplifting the barbell from the platform with one continuous motion until the lifter is standing erect. Knees must lock and shoulders thrust back.

High Bar Squat  - With a barbell placed above the shoulders, low on the back of the neck the lifter will bend the knees and lower the hips until the lowest bottom position is achieved, then recover back to the starting position at will.

High Pull - Performed like a deadlift but continue upwards with the barbell until it's pulled as high as possible.

Hook Grip - A grip during which the thumb is tucked between the fingers and squeezed against the barbell.

Jerk - A violent movement performed by using the entire body to drive the barbell off the chest to overhead, receiving it with locked elbows in one continuous movement.  Feet must return to equal line with straight legs and await the down signal while maintaining control.

Knee sleeves - Compression garments, usually made of a combination of polyester, spandex and nylon that slide over the knee area. They provide comfort and warmth to your knees yet  doesn't hinder range of motion and circulation.

Knee wraps - Elastic bandages, usually 8cm wide x 2m length, used to wrap around the knees to give knee support and assistance with lifting.

Knurling - A manufacturing process whereby a diamond-shaped or crisscross pattern is cut into the barbell to aid in grip.

Lifting from the blocks - When a lifter takes the loaded barbell, which is resting on blocks (of varying heights) and completes the movement.

Lifting from the Hang - The bar can be held in various positions, such as knee-height or mid thigh. Then, in a static start then the lifter completes the movement.

Loading - Relates to training programming in both volume and intensity. Loading is generally regarded as being light, moderate or heavy.

Low Bar Squat  - With a barbell positioned below the shoulders, high on the back the lifter will bend the knees and lower the hips backward until the surface of the legs at the hip joint is lower than the tops of the knees, then recover back to the starting position at will.

Maximum extension - The body position when the lifter has made a maximum effort to lift the bar as high as possible with full and complete extension of the legs, body and shoulders at the top of the pull.

Muscle Clean -  A Clean which has a receiving position of straight legs, knees locked.

Muscle Snatch - A Snatch which has a receiving position of straight legs, knees locked.

Negative -The portion of a lift where you maintain the concentric portion of the lift for an extended duration, trying to overload the muscles. This is usually done with an aid during the eccentric portion so more weight than normal can be handled.

Overhead Press (AKA: Military Press) - A movement where the bar is pressed off the chest to arms length using only the upper body.

Plateau - when progress comes to a stop for an extended period of time. This can happen with body weight gain, loss or maximum weight lifted.

Power Clean - A clean which has a receiving position range from slight knee flexion (179˚) to above parallel (91˚).

Power Jerk - A Jerk where the feet remain in a squat or dip position and has a receiving position range from slight knee flexion(179˚) to above parallel (91˚).

Power Snatch -A snatch which has a receiving position range from slight knee flexion (179˚) to above parallel (91˚).

Programs - Composite plans for training directed towards a specific goal or competition. These can be long or short term.

Pull ups-  Pulling yourself up from a fully hanging position with your palms facing away from you.

Push Press - Similar to the overhead press except the legs and hips are allowed to assist drive the bar upward.

Range of motion - The distance and direction a joint can move between the flexed position and the extended position.

Repetition (reps) - The number of times an exercise of lift is performed without stopping. Usually 1-20.

Romanian deadlift - (Aka RDL's) The barbell is picked up with a double overhand grip (or straps) similar to a deadlift. after standing erect the knees are allowed to slightly bend as the lifter lowers the barbell almost to the platform and recovers. All the movement is done at the hips while maintaining a rigid back and flexed legs.

Set - A group of a specific number of repetitions. Normally written as '6x2' or 6 sets of 2 reps.

Straps - Loops, usually made of nylon webbing or leather, that are worn around the wrists and then wrapped around the barbell.   They enable the lifter handle heavier weight without losing their grip.  They can also protect the hands when training for prolonged periods of time.  Straps are for training use only and not permitted in competition.

Snatch Pull - This movement initially looks exactly like a snatch except that no effort is made to get under the barbell.

Snatch -  When a barbell is taken from the platform and pulled to arms length overhead in one continuous movement. The elbows must be locked upon receiving of the bar with no pressing at anytime.

Snatch grip- The width of grip suitable for the Snatching of weights.

Split Jerk - A Jerk which the feet split for / aft as the hips lower. The feet are then recovered back to even line with straight legs.

Squat Jerk - A Jerk where the feet don't move from their original position, which has a receiving position below parallel.

Sumo deadlift - placing the hands within close proximity of bar center with the feet very wide, uplift the barbell from the platform with one continuous motion until the lifter is standing erect. Knees must lock and shoulders thrust back.

Tonnage - the total quantity of weight lifted in a specific training period, expressed in tons.  To calculate tonnage multiply every rep x weight lifted for a period of time. (ex) 200kg x 4 x 5 = 4000kg = 4 metric tons.

Total - the highest results of completed lifts from both Snatch and Clean and Jerk added together.  The lifter with the best total is the winner.

Volume - The quantity of work in a training session, expressed in terms of number of lifts.

Winning on body weight - If two lifters compete in the same class and lift the exact same weight, the lifter who weighed in lighter will be declared the winner.

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