Lets start with a few definitions:

Resistance training:  Exercises which involve moving against a resisting object, such as a weight, a

lever, a rubber cable, or a torsion bar.

Weight training:  Exercises which use the weight of an object to provide resistance to movement.

Weight training isa form of resistance exercise.

Free weights:  Barbells, dumbbells, iron shoes, and other objects.

Exercise machines: Machines designed to provide resistance to exercise movements. This resistance can be

achieved with built-in weights, bungee cords, torsion bars, hydraulic cylinders, etc.

Weightlifting:  Weightlifting is a sport that involves lifting barbells or dumbbells.

Olympic weightlifting:  A sport that involves two lifts:

1. The snatch (moving a barbell from the floor to an overhead position in one smooth, rapid motion).

2. The clean and jerk (moving a barbell first from the floor to the level of the shoulders (the clean), then overhead

(the jerk), in two smooth, quick motions).

Powerlifting: A sport that involves three lifts:

1. The bench press (pushing a barbell vertically by extending the arms at the elbows while lying

on a bench).

2. The deadlift (lifting a barbell off the floor until the back is vertical).

3. The squat (stepping under a barbell that is held on a squat rack, lifting the barbell off the rack

onto the shoulders, squatting down until the thighs are parallel to the floor, then rising up until

the legs are locked).

Bodybuilding:  Using weight training to develop muscular size and symmetry instead of athletic

ability. Bodybuilders use weight training to shape their bodies to fit current bodybuilding standards

for muscular development. In short, they train not for strength or health, but to achieve a certain

appearance.  Although Ben Weider, the President of the International Federation of Bodybuilding,

has been working hard for many years to gain Olympic recognition for bodybuilding, the Olympic

Committee still does not recognize bodybuilding as a sport. Athletic weight training Using weight

training to develop the strength and endurance needed for such sports as swimming and football.

Coaches who assist such athletes are part of a professional organization called the National Strength

and Conditioning Association. Rehabilitative Persons who engage in this kind of training often

are recoverweight training ing from trauma injuries or are living with some condition or disability

such as a cardiac condition, diabetes, chronic arthritis or a respiratory ailment. Weight training in

such cases often focuses on certain areas of the body. The goal is usually rehabilitation and

development of overall fitness rather than appearance or strength. Like many forms of exercise,

weight training helps to develop both overall fitness and a well-muscled, defined and toned physique.

Much of that hard bodylook that we admire today in bodybuilders, both male and female,

comes from disciplined, regular weight training. Also, weight training is used to increase skills,

strength and power not only in Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting, but in football, wrestling,

hockey, and other sports where strength and power are necessary to play the game.



Since earliest times, people have been fascinated by weightlifting. The Old Testament

tells the story of Samson and his extraordinary feats of strength. Greek legend supplies

the story of Milo, a strong man who became stronger through a unique progressive

resistance exercise. Starting with a young, small calf, Milo lifted the calf (a weight) for

a certain number of times (repetitions) each day. By the time the calf became a fullgrown

cow, legend has it that Milo was lifting that cow overhead in a movement very

much like our modern standing press!

England in the 1890s saw the first actual weightlifting contests to test the strength of the

competitors. Competition in America began at the 1920 Olympic Games, in which the

International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) supervised the competition for the first

time. Bob Hoffman (the late owner of the York Barbell Company) was the coach of the

U.S. Olympic team for several decades.

Today, the barbell is the standard (and

only) piece of equipment used in contemporary

weightlifting competitions. The

winner is the man or woman who can lift the heaviest amount of weight. Competitors

compete in one of nine categories, ranging from flyweightto super heavyweight.

Specific weight categories are defined precisely (132 lb. class, 181 lb. class, etc.).


Many myths about weight training and weightlifting persist to the present day. Some

believe (erroneously) that lifting weights is bad for the heart (it isn
tin fact, many

physicians and exercise physiologists prescribe it for patients recovering from cardiac


Others believe (also erroneously) that it develops huge, out-of-proportion muscles, especially

in women. Equally wrong! If those mythmakers had any idea of just how difficult

it is to build one pound of muscle, they
d forget their mythologizing and concentrate
on their workouts. Another is the old myth of becoming musclebound.Full range-ofmotion

resistance exercises tend to make weight trainers more supple practitioners of

other forms of exercise and other sports.

Still another common misconception about weight training revolves

around the terms
strength,” “powerand endurance.These terms

all have very specific meanings and are not interchangeable. Here are

a few definitions:

Strength Strength is measured in terms of how much weight can

be lifted, regardless of the amount of time required to

lift it. People who train for strength perform weight training

exercises with slow, deliberate


Power Power is measured in terms of how

much weight can be lifted within a

specified time period. To measure

power, divide the amount of work

done by the amount of time it takes to

do it. Persons training for power perform

weight training exercises with

explosively fast movements.

Endurance Endurance is measured in terms of how much weight

can be lifted repetitiously over an extended period of


Stamina Stamina is measured in terms of how much weight can

be lifted in rapid repetitions over an extended period of


These four aspects of athletic ability
strength, power,
endurance and staminaare needed in different proportions,

depending on the particular sport. The primary

rule in any training routine is that training is specific.

Powerlifters can
t be expected to run marathons without

having trained for them, any more than a marathoner

could be expected to benchpress 400 pounds without

having training for that kind of lift.

Athletes whose sports require great amounts of strength

benefit from slow-movement resistance training. If

power is required, training should be more rapid, and

movements explosive. If endurance is needed, resistance

should be less and repetitions greater in number. If

stamina is needed, training should include rapid movements

over an increasing period of time.

Many people go into weightlifting as a means to improving their shape and physical

condition. It
s an excellent way to do both. Increasing the muscular endurance of all

major muscle groups in the body leads to a firmer, more defined shape in both women

and men. Weight training will NOT build big, out-of-proportion muscles unless you

work for that kind of physique.


As with any type of physical activity, weightlifting is a relatively safe sport when practiced

correctly. But a few precautions are always in order. To be safe, observe the following


Always warm up thoroughly before you attempt any physical activity. A

warmup increases the body temperature to prepare it for more activity; it

also helps muscles to contract/relax and protects the joints and tendons

from damage when the weight training begins. A good warmup will last

anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on age, general physical condition

and the level of intensity of your workout.

Keep your knees bent and your back straight when you lift weights off the

floor or put them back down.

Remember to breathe regularly and naturally. Holding your breath during a

heavy lift can cause dizziness and even blackouts.

Check all equipment before using it. Make sure that bench

stands are stable and weights stacked on the floor. Be careful

to balance weights when adding to, or subtracting

weight from a bar. Keep weight stacks (on exercise machines)

with the pin firmly positioned at the right place

on the stack. Make sure that barbell or dumbbell collars

are securely fastened.

Use a
spotter”—a friend or exercise partner to help you

with overhead or supine exercises such as the bench press.

NEVER do heavy bench presses alone!

Remember to keep control of the weight at all times. Make smooth, controlled

movements without jerking or wobbling. Use correct form at all

times. If the weight is too heavy to lift without a spotter, use less weight and

do more reps or sets until you can handle the heavier weight comfortably

and safely. If you are doing bench presses, don
t bounce the bar off your


Perform all exercises with a full range of motion unless you are specifically

trying to develop strength or power in a particular portion of a range of




The following exercises are part of any comprehensive lower body

routine. The weights and equipment can be either free weights

(hand-held weights, bars and dumbbells) or machines (such

as Nautilus or Universal machines). Remember to warm

up before doing any of these exercises. Also remember

to breathe regularly. Never hold your breath during a workout!


This exercise works the muscles of the legs, hips and back.

Place your feet about hip width apart, with the whole foot resting on the floor. Step under

a squat rack and lift the barbell off onto your shoulders. Bend your knees and slowly

allow your body to move downward. Keep the back muscles tensed at all times

bow the back to the front! Continue in the squatting motion until the thighs are parallel

to the floor. Then, without bouncing, slowly come back to a standing position. In the

beginning, use a weight with which you can comfortably do 10 repetitions. Do only one

set of 10 repetitions as a beginner. Over-training can result in injuries.

Thigh curl

This exercise works the muscles in the backs

of the thighs and calves.

This exercise is best done on a thigh curl machine.

Lie face down on the bench with the

heels under the roller pads. Press your knees

against the bench and bend the knees, bringing

the heels as close as possible to the buttocks. Straighten and repeat the movement. Do

this exercise slowly after a good warmup. Hamstrings (the collection of tendons and

muscles in the back of the leg at the knee) are easy to injure).

Hip Adduction

This exercise works the inner thigh muscles.

This exercise is also most easily done on a machine. Place the legs

into the moveable arms of a hip adduction machine so that the

thighs and ankles rest against the pads. In one fluid motion, bring

your legs together by pressing against the pads. Keep the lower

back pressed firmly against the back rest as you work. Return to

starting position and repeat the motion.


These are only three of the major exercises in any good upper-body routine. As with the

lower-body workout above, be sure to warm up adequately and breathe regularly.

Bench Press (or Chest Press)

This exercise works the muscles of the chest

(called the pectorals), the back of the upper arms

(triceps) and front of the shoulders (anterior

deltoids). Stabilizing muscles in the shoulders

and torso (body) are also used during the lift.

Lie flat on a benchpress bench with the small

of the back pressed into the bench. Reach up

and grasp the barbell (with or without weights)

with a grip a little more than shoulder-width. Push up and lift the bar off the rack, then

lower it smoothly in one motion until it touches the chest. Then, without pausing or

bouncing, lift it upward again. Repeat this movement 6 to 8 times, exhaling as the bar is

raised and inhaling as it is lowered.

Remember: always use a spotter for this exercise! Don
t try to do it alone! Also, make

sure that you warm up your shoulder muscles before doing this lift. While your arms and

chest muscles may be able to handle the weight, the shoulder muscles act mostly to

stabilize your arms in this lift. If you get off balance or it one of your spotters drops his

or her end of the bar, you could injure at least the arm, chest and shoulder muscles.

Use a wide grip to concentrate the load on the chest muscles (pectorals) and the front of

the shoulders (anterior deltoids). Use a narrow grip to concentrate on the pushing muscles

of the arms (triceps).

Alternating Dumbbell Curl

This exercise works the biceps, the muscles at the front of the upper arm.

Stand with your legs slightly apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with the arms close

to the sides and the back straight. The dumbbell bars should be pointing straight ahead.

Start with your right arm: bend (flex) it at the elbow and bring the dumbbell up in an arc

to shoulder height in front of your chest.

As you bring the dumbbell up, rotate your wrist so that at the end of the lift, the dumbbell

bar is pointing to the side. Slowly bring the arm down. Maintain tension on the biceps

throughout the lift. Then do the other arm. Do 6 to 8 repetitions in strict form, with a full

range of motion.


This exercise works the muscles of the neck, the upper back (primarily the trapezius)

and the middle head of the shoulder muscles (lateral deltoids).

s how to do this exercise, step by step:

1. Bend your knees, reach down and grasp a bar or barbell with

both hands, palms facing you. Keep your back slightly arched

(hyperextended), straighten your legs and stand erect with

the bar resting across the groin area.

2. Slowly lift your shoulders as high as you can. Imagine that

you are going to touch your ears with your shoulder muscles.

3. Slowly lower the weight until it is back across the groin area.

Maintain tension on the upper back muscles (trapezius) throughout

the movement. Repeat this movement for a total of 8 to 10 repetitions.


If warmups are important, cooldowns are almost equally so. After the weight training

exercises are completed, you need gradually to bring the body back to its normal condition.

Stretching, riding a stationary bicycle or doing some additional light exercises are

excellent ways to cool down.

Remember: never sit or lie down immediately after a strenuous workout. All the blood

s been directed to the muscles will find it difficult to get back to the heart if you sit

or lie down. Instead, remain standing or walk at a relaxed pace around the room for a

few laps. Otherwise, you may find yourself growing light-headed or faint.



Before the introduction of the modern health club,

championship bodybuilders and weightlifters did all

their workouts with ordinary barbells and dumbbells.

With the proper benches and racks, you can

do all the exercises needed to do a rough cut of

the kind of strong, powerful body you want.

The exercise machines found in modern health

clubs have evolved for several reasons. The Nautilus machines started with designs done

for rehabilitation work. The Smith Machine, a movable squat rack, was designed to

enable lifters to do squats without a spotter. All of the machines can be used for working

both muscle groups and individual muscles. Some work

on the principle of eccentric cams (Nautilus, Dynacam,

etc.), others by use of bungee cords (Soloflex) or flat

pieces of flexible material (Bowflex). Old-fashioned

weight machines have pegs that hold regular barbell

plates. One of the most innovative machines uses adjustable

hydraulic cylinders to provide resistance


The advantage of resistance exercise machines is that

you rarely need a spotter. The disadvantage is that since

the machines move in a predetermined path, that path

may not match your own individual ranges of motion. In short, if a machine is designed

with the average person in mind and you are either larger or smaller than the average

person, you may risk injury in the machine. Some machines are adjustable.

Experiment with light resistance until you find the adjustment

that matches your own personal groove.

The advantage of free weights is that you work not only

the main muscles involved in performing a particular

lift, you also work the collateral stabilizing muscles

involved in balancing the weight and allowing you to

make smooth transitions of body or limb positions

throughout the lift
s range of motion.

The disadvantage of free weights is that you do need a spotter on some lifts, especially

bench presses and heavy squats.


Proper clothing and footwear are important in weight training because they make exercise

easier and more enjoyable. Wear loose-fitting clothing that stretches or gives,

such as a sweatsuit or exercise shorts. Stay away from excessively baggy styles that

might catch on bars or weights. Dressing in layers is a good idea so that you can discard

the top layers as you warm up. And make sure you wear proper athletic shoes with a firm

tread for lifts such as the squat or half squat.


Depending on where you live, news on

weightlifting competitions may be hard to find.

The newsstands are filled with bodybuilding

publications (Muscle and Fitness, Iron Man,

Muscular Development, Muscle Mag, Flex,

and dozens of others for men and women). But

bodybuilding and weightlifting are two different

things. Bodybuilding is about how your muscles look.

Weightlifting is about how much weight those muscles

can lift.

You may find weightlifting competition results scarce even

in sports magazines. But don
t despair! Now is the time to

take advantage of a new source of information. If your

school has a computer department and the ability to connect

with the Internet, or if you have a computer and a

modem at home with an Internet link, you can find all the

news about weightlifting or any other sport you could ever


Weightlifting is also an Olympic sport. In 2000 the Olympics were held in Sydney,

Australia. Medalists are found on the next page.

Gold medalists at the 2000 Olympics were:


56 kg weight class Halil Mutlu, Turkey

62 kg weight class Nikotay Pechaliv, Croatia

69 kg weight class Galabin Boevski, Bulgaria

77 kg weight class Xugang Zahn, China

85 kg weight class Pyrros Dimas, Greece

94 kg weight class Akakios Kakiasvilis, Greece

105 kg weight class Hossein Tavakoli, Iran

105+ kg weight class Hossein Rezazadeh, Iran


48 kg weight class Tara Nott, USA

53 kg weight class Xia Yang, China

58 kg weight class Soraya Mendivil, Mexico

63 kg weight class Xiaomin Chen, China

69 kg weight class Weining Lin, China

75 kg weight class Maria Isabel Urrutia, Columbia

75+ kg weight class Meiyuan Ding, China

In November, 2001, Jackie Berube, of Escanaba,

Michigan, competed in the world weightlifting

championship which was held in Turkey. Berube,

finished fifth overall and tied a U.S. record by

snatching 192.5 pounds while competing. Berube,

had to pay for her own trip because the natioanl

governing body for the sport, USA Weightlifting,

cut funding for the American team because of security

fears over military strikes in Afghanistan.

The 2004 Olympics will be held in Greece. You

might want to keep track of the plans at this



The following questions will help you to have a greater appreciation and understanding

of weightlifting and weight training. Write your answers in the spaces below the questions.

If there is not enough room, write on the backs of these sheets. Be neat, spell

correctly, and write in complete sentences.

1. What are some of the physical benefits to be gained from weightlifting?

2. Name at least two erroneous ideas about weightlifting that persist to the present

day, and explain why they are in error.

3. Distinguish between the terms
strength,” “power,and enduranceas they are

used in weightlifting.

4. What is the difference between weightlifting and bodybuilding?

5. Why is it important to warm up before doing weight training?

6. Why should you never do an exercise such as the bench press without a spotter?

7. Describe how the exercise known as the
thigh curlis done. What muscle group

does it work?

8. How is the bench press done? What muscle groups does this exercise work?

9. How should you
cool downafter a weight training session?
10. What kind of clothing is best for weight training?

Short Answer Questions:

1. Measure of weight lifted within a specified time

2. A sport involving weights

3. Weight _______ is body-conditioning with weights

4. Do these to work trapezius and lateral deltoids

5. Hip _____ works inner thigh muscles

6. A type of weightlifting machine

7. The thigh ____ works the hamstrings

8. Measure of weight lifted rapidly through many reps

9. These weights include barbells and dumbbells

10. Measure of weight lifted regardless of time

11. Type of body conditioning by resistance exercises

12. Type of weightlifting sport

13. Training that involves moving against a resisting force

14. Ultimate weight lifting competition

15. Most famous US Olympic Team weightlifting coach

16. Therapeutic resistance training

17. Measure of weight lifted in reps over a period of time

18. This works the legs, hips and back

19. Do this press to work pectorals and triceps

20. Legendary Greek inventor of weight lifting