Weightlifting: Sport or Training Modality?

Bob Takano
Olympic Weightlifting

We’ve been running the Takano Weightlifting coaching internship program since July of 2014 and have had 23 interns graduate. I get inquiries and resumes all the time from prospective internship candidates. And whenever I present at courses or seminars, I end up discussing weightlifting with plenty of newcomers.


Many of the conversations treat weightlifting as though it were just another training modality to explore, rather than the entire competitive universe that it can be. It has become evident to me that there is still some confusion about what weightlifting is, what it is not, and what it entails.


Weightlifting as a Sport

Part of this confusion results from the fact that Americans have failed to understand the term weightlifting. Weightlifting could mean weight training, bodybuilding, progressive resistance exercise, strength training, or just about any exercise involving weights. Few Americans regard it as a sport with specific goals, rules, performance expectations, and protocols. Since 1973, weightlifting has been a competition involving the snatch and clean and jerk lifts.


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