What is weightlifting ?
Weightlifting is a strength sport that involves lifting weights but also requires technical mastery, speed, flexibility, coordination and balance.
The two movements of weightlifting (evaluated during competitions) are the snatch and the clean and jerk. In the snatch, the bar is lifted above the head in one continuous movement. In the clean and jerk, the movement is executed in two steps. The bar is first brought to the shoulders before being thrown over the head.
Organisation of competitions
The detailed program of the competition is known a few days before the competition, after the finalization of the registrations. The detailed program contains the list of the participants and the composition of the groups along the weight classes. The number of groups (plateau) varies depending onthe total number of registered athletes.
- At official competitions, the weigh-in takes place one to two hours before the start of the competition and lasts one hour. If you are late, you will not be weighed and will not be allowed to compete.
- The athlete is weighed naked or in underwear and the weigh-in is conducted by a referee (of the same gender).
- At the weigh-in, you must provide your starting weights for the snatch and clean and jerk (you may adjust them twice during the competition if necessary).
- Bring your ID card with you. The referee may ask to verify your identity (and residency status during interclubs) and you will also need it in case of a doping control.
For competitions where the ranking is done by weight calsses (e.g. LFPH Championship and Belgian Championship), it is imperative that you respect it. In other words, if you are heavier or lighter than the category in which you have registered yourself in, you will not be able to compete.
Right before the start of the competition
- Additional information can be given by the competition secretariat (e.g. at what time your competition will start, how long the break between the different groups will be).
- The starting weights of the athletes, provided during the weigh-in, will be available before the start of the competition (on a printed sheet, a projector or on the computer of the competition secretariat).
- The presentation of the athletes takes place 10 minutes before the beginning of the competition.
- The competition starts with the snatch (each athlete is allowed three attempts).
- The snatch is followed by a break which normally lasts 10 minutes. The duration of the break will be announced by the secretary at the end of the snatch.
- The break is followed by the clean and jerk (each athlete is allowed three attempts).
After the competition
- After your competition, it is possible that you will be selected for a doping control.
- It is mandatory to remain available until the end of the competition (= until all athletes in your group have finished the clean and jerk). Those who disappear may be suspended.
- At some competitions (like the Belgian Championships, LFPH and the Interclub finals) there will be an award ceremony.
Rules and regulations
The IWF rules apply to weightlifting competitions in Belgium.
Here are some of them:
- Weightlifting suit (one piece, no collar, any color, must not cover elbows or knees)
- Shoes (weightlifting shoes, sneakers, etc.)
Not mandatory but allowed:
- Weightlifting belt (one piece, max. 12 cm wide, worn over the suit)
- Knee sleeves or wraps (without buckles or straps)
- wrist wraps (covering a maximum of 10 cm from the wrist)
- Bandages and tape (5 cm from the elbow, not covering the fingertips)
- Gloves. (covering only the first phalanx, not covering the end of your fingers)
Not mandatory but allowed, under the suit:
- Leggings/tights (tight fitting and solid color only)
- Short-sleeved shirt (collarless, solid color only)
- Long sleeve t-shirt (collarless, tight fitting and solid color only)
- Electronic devices are not allowed on the competition platform (with the exception of medical devices).
Weight and age classes
- Cadets: from the day you turn 10 until the calendar year in which the age of 17 is reached (U15 and U17 subdivision).
- Juniors: until the calendar year in which you reach the age of 20.
- Seniors: from the age of 15 (= open class)
- Masters: age category in 5-year increments from the calendar year in which the age of 35 is reached.
- Cadet girls: -40kg, -45kg, -49kg, -55kg, -59kg, -64kg, -71kg, -76kg, +81kg (-35kg is not an international category, but is applied in Belgium in U15)
- Cadet boys : -49kg, -55kg, -61kg, -67kg, -73kg, -81kg, -89kg, -96kg, +102kg (-44kg is not an international category, but is applied in Belgium from U15)
- Women: -45kg, -49kg, -55kg, -59kg, -64kg, -71kg, -76kg, -81kg, -87kg, +87kg
- Men: -55kg, -61kg, -67kg, -73kg, -81kg, -89kg, -96kg, -102kg, -109kg, +109kg
- The minimum starting weight for women is 21kg*.
- The minimum start weight for men is 26kg*.
*During competitions in Belgium (except for the Belgian Championships), the U15 cadets may be allowed to start with a weight lower than 21kg or 26kg, but this must be communicated in advance (at the time of registration) to the organization.
As soon as the bar is loaded, the clock starts. As long as the clock has not run out, the athlete is allowed to go onto the platform to lift.
- The bar must leave the ground before the clock has run out (a warning signal is given at 30 seconds).
- After the execution of the movement, the feet must be aligned, parallel to the torso.
- After the execution of the movement, the athlete must remain motionless, legs straight and weight under control. The athlete may not put the bar back down until the signal to lower the bar has been given (sound signal or command from the central referee).
- The athlete must remain on the competition platform during the entire execution of the movement.
- After the signal to drop the bar, the athlete may only remove his hands from the bar once it has passed his shoulders. The bar may not fall off the platform.
- No part of the body other than the feet may touch the floor during the execution of the movement.
- The athlete may not touch the bar with his feet.
- The bar must be brought above the head in a single movement.
- The arms must be locked immediately (movements and/or pressouts with the elbows are forbidden).
The clean and jerk
- The bar must first be put on the shoulders from the floor (= clean).
- It is forbidden to replace the bar during the clean.
- The arms and elbows may not touch the legs.
- The athlete must remain still before the start of the jerk (natural oscillations of the bar are allowed).
- The arms must be locked immediately after the jerk (movement and/or pressouts with the elbows is not allowed).
- Only one attempt at the jerk is permitted.