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Kinesiology & Recreation


Kelly Laurson

Mentor Department

Kinesiology & Recreation


The sport of Olympic Weightlifting consists of two contested lifts, referred to as the classic lifts. These lifts are the snatch, in which the barbell is lifted from ground to overhead in one swift movement; and the clean & jerk, in which the barbell is lifted from ground to shoulders in one movement (the clean), and from shoulders to overhead in another (the jerk). Besides requiring great amounts of physical strength to attain success, weightlifters must also become very technically proficient in the snatch and clean & jerk to achieve the greatest competition result with their present level of strength. These movements are very technically complex and often take years of training to truly master, so weightlifting training must balance specific work on the classic lifts with foundational strength exercises such as squats, presses, and deadlifts. The purpose of this study is to examine a number of factors, primarily length of training experience in weightlifting, and determine how these factors influence the ratio of classic lift to strength lift performance. Participants will complete an anonymous survey distributed electronically to determine personal bests in the classic lifts and foundational strength lifts (front squat, back squat, deadlift, strict press, bench press, push press), as well as personal factors such as age, sex, years of experience in resistance training and weightlifting, training days per week, whether or not the athlete works with a coach, whether or not the athlete competes in weightlifting, body weight when personal records were achieved, and performance enhancing drug use status. It is the primary hypothesis of this study that as weightlifting training experience increases, performance in the snatch and clean & jerk will represent a larger percentage of the athlete's performance in squats, presses, and deadlifts. Secondarily, it is hypothesized that females, lighter athletes, and older athletes will snatch and clean and jerk larger percentages of their best strength lifts. Additionally, it is expected that strength lifts will be correlated with classic lift performance, with the front squat and push press showing a stronger correlation than deadlift, bench press, and strict press.

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