Choose the Right Weight Class for Olympic Weightlifting


A weightlifter ought to attempt to be in the optimum weight class for their physique to have the ability to carry out the finest they will. It could actually be the distinction between a podium end and a mid-field end.


The physique weight class that an athlete competes in will largely rely upon their present physique weight and physique fats ranges. The lifter will need to have as a lot muscle on their body as they will to boost their energy potential whereas being comparatively lean to extend energy output.



The Physique in House

Many research have proven that in sports activities the place the physique strikes by means of house, as in weightlifting, a better share of physique fats has been proven to lower athletic efficiency.


One in every of these research examined younger males with totally different ranges of physique fats on quite a lot of efficiency exams to find out the relationship of physique fats with efficiency. The determine under exhibits the outcomes of those efficiency exams—particularly taking a look at the standing lengthy soar which is an evaluation of energy output.


The desk under exhibits that there’s lower of efficiency in relation to excessive physique fats ranges. It isn’t unreasonable to imagine that energy output will increase the leaner the athlete is. One purpose for that is that muscle is metabolically lively—it could possibly contract to provide power whereas physique fats is inactive and its main use is to retailer power.


The much less physique fats an athlete has, the much less power is required to maneuver inactive physique mass by means of house. Though efficiency might be hindered if that is taken too far and physique fats ranges are taken to unhealthy ranges.


Checks/Measurement Efficiency Check Outcomes Physique Fats % Low (15%) 75 Yard Sprint 9.eight 10.1 10.7 220 Yard Sprint 29.three 31.6 Standing Lengthy Soar 23.eight 22.7 20.2

The impact of relative physique fats on choose efficiency exams in younger males (sum of three trials). Tailored from Riendeau, et al (1958).1


Physique fats might be simply measured and, from this data together with weight, a coach/athlete can calculate what weight an athlete can safely obtain. Physique fats might be not directly measured by means of a skinfold caliper, which measures skinfold fats thickness at a number of websites by which the worth obtained can be utilized to estimate relative physique fats.


As soon as the physique fats share has been decided then the weight of fat-free mass (muscle, bone, organs) might be calculated with a purpose to decide what an athlete ought to weigh at a particular physique fats share. An instance is given under with the calculations used.


Weight 80kg Physique Fats Proportion 18% Fats Weight 14.4kg (weight x 18 %) Fats-Free Weight 65.6kg (weight – fats weight) Physique Fats Proportion Aim 12% (= 88% fat-free) Weight Aim 74.5kg (fat-free weight / 88%) Weight Loss Aim 5.5kg (weight – weight purpose)


Tips on how to Drop Physique Weight

Lowering physique weight is a course of that has three totally different parts; the weight misplaced primarily by means of discount of physique fats, weight misplaced by means of glycogen depletion, and weight misplaced by means of water misplaced by means of perspiration. Most of the weight ought to be misplaced by means of discount of physique fats and glycogen shops in the physique.



This may be achieved by mild weight-reduction plan with the intention of lowering meals amount to elicit a small calorie discount however not a lot that it leaves the athlete hungry all through the day. Junk meals ought to be eradicated or no less than minimalized throughout this era.


Solely a small calorie deficit ought to be achieved in order that it doesn’t have an effect on the athlete’s energy or efficiency ranges. The athlete ought to intention to be not more than three% over physique weight every week earlier than competitors.


In the final week earlier than competitors, protein and fats sources like rooster, beef, eggs, and nuts ought to be favored over carbohydrate sources. Additionally, a aware effort ought to be taken to extend water consumption with a purpose to encourage perspiration because of the hormone adjustments that lower water retention.


When carbohydrate meals are ingested by the physique, the physique breaks the meals right down to its fundamental parts, certainly one of which is glucose. Any glucose not utilized by the physique is then remodeled into glycogen to be saved in the liver and muscle mass, to be later remodeled again into glucose for power.


Since weightlifting main makes use of the creatine phosphate power system which is accountable for offering power from the breakdown of creatine then the discount of glycogen in the physique is not going to have an effect on weightlifting efficiency on single lifts however it could have an effect on restoration between lifts.


Time for Competitors

With the discount of glycogen shops, the athlete will see a discount in physique weight due glycogen being hooked up to water molecules. Particularly for each 1g of glycogen saved, 3g of water is saved with it. It isn’t uncommon for an athlete to lose 1-3kg by means of this course of.


The athlete desires to be not more than zero.5kg chubby by the time they go to mattress the evening earlier than the competitors, by which case the remaining weight will probably be misplaced by means of water misplaced by perspiration.


On the morning of competitors, after weigh in, the athlete ought to drink an isotonic answer like Powerade or Lucozade to replenish a few of the glycogen shops. They need to additionally eat some meals that they’re used to consuming, ideally sources of protein and carbohydrates. That is to make sure good restoration between lifts.



1. Riendeau, R.P., Welch, B.E., Crisp, C.E., Crowley, L.V., Griffin, P.E., & Brockett, J.E. Relationships of physique fats to motor health check scores. Analysis Quarterly. 1958, 29, 200-203.

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