Our goal is to provide information on the sport of weightlifting in Minnesota to high school student-athletes and coaches. All clubs and athletes are registered members of USA Weightlifting, and belong to the Minnesota Local Weightlifting Committee. All meets are sanctioned by USA Weightlifting and follow USAW rules and regulations.
Minnesota High School Weightlifting is entering it’s 15th season this year. The competitive season occurs during the winter sports season. It consists of several regular season meets, and ends with a state championship meet. Our weightlifters regularly qualify for, and compete in national meets as well. The sport of weightlifting in Minnesota is very competitive, but with a friendly atmosphere. And while weightlifting is a sport by itself, we all see its benefits for athletes of other sports and encourage all to participate. Become a better athlete by becoming a weightlifter!
The sport of weightlifting was one of the original modern Olympic sports in 1896, but forms of it existed for several thousand years before that. Today, athletes compete in two different lifts – the snatch and the clean & jerk. Each competitor gets three attempts in each lift. The best successful lift in each are added together to result in a lift total. Athletes compete in weight classes, and places are determined by the highest lift total.
The snatch is the first lift that is performed. The athlete grips the bar with a wide hand position, then explosively heaves it up overhead in one swift motion. The athlete drops under the bar, catches and stabilizes it, and then stands up, while holding the weight in an overhead position.
The clean & jerk is the second lift that is performed. With this lift, the athlete pulls the bar up off of the floor, drops under it, and catches it at the shoulders, followed by a front squat into a standing position. From here, the lifters dips down, and then explosively drives the weight up overhead, catching it with the arms fully extended. The athlete finishes the lift in a standing position, with the weight remaining in the overhead position.
Because these lifts are done so explosively, they are the best way to develop muscle power and fast-twitch muscle fibers. They are exercises that use the entire body, and are done in a sport-specific way. If you are an athlete who participates in any sport, the snatch and clean & jerk are the two best lifts that you can do. By participating in the sport of weightlifting, you will also be helping to improve your performance in your other sports as well.
(Photo sequences courtesy of Bruce Klemens)