Weigh lifting has different competition for men and women and 125.23 is the lightest weight class and above 231.25 is the heaviest class. There is also an age group competition, so the teenagers and the senior citizens can compete with people their own age, size, and gender.
Many people that are unfamiliar with the sport are surprised to learn that weight lifters don't always have the biggest muscles in the world. And, weight lifting sports take place in more than 160 countries in the world, making weight lifting one of the word's most universal sports. Weight lifting competitions consist of two different types of lifts, The Clean and Jerk and The Snatch.
The two weight lifting events in the Olympics are The Snatch and The Clean and Jerk. The Snatch is a one motion lift from the floor to an overhead position with the lifter catching the barbell in the squat position. In The Snatch, the bar travels close to the body and is accelerated by a jump and shrug motion during the second 'pull' motion during the second portion of the lift. The Snatch is characterized by the fastest movements in Olympic weight lifting sports. The most weight lifted in the Snatch is 473 pounds.
The Clean and Jerk is a two part lift. The first part of the movement, the Clean is from the floor to the shoulders. The barbell is brought to the shoulders by a jump and shrug motion. The athlete then jerks the bar overhead with an explosive drive of the legs and the hips. After this overhead motion, the competitor rapidly positions him or herself under the bar, otherwise this lift will not be successful.
The most weight lifted in the Clean and Jerk is about 586 pounds. Both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk require strength, speed, flexibility, and balance. These weight lifting events make Olympic weight lifting different and much more challenging than power lifting or body building in the Olympic committee's opinion.
A third lift, the Clean and Press or simply the Push up was practiced in the Olympics until 1972. The Clean and Press differs from The Clean and Jerk because the weight is pressed up slowly from the chest in a slow and controlled motion rather than being jerked. The event was eliminated due to the difficulty in judging whether the lift was done correctly. Weight lifting sport has much junk to it and it should not be done by people under 35 years of age.
In a weight lifting sport, each competitor is allowed three attempts for each lift. The lifter's most successful attempts in each lift are added together to arrive at the total and the lifter with the highest total wins the competition outright.
Now, the International Weight Lifting Federation has 167 affiliated nations and around 10,000 lifters take part annually in all the competitions around the world. But, there are lots more to weight lifting than just serious competition because weight training has become an integral part for the training program for the participants in some weight lifting sports at all standards in the field of weight lifting.