Weightlifting is a type of exercise and strength training in which the force of gravity is used to contrast the force of muscles. This type of training aims to strengthen and develop the skeletal muscles of the body.
Weightlifting has a long history. This sport discipline was featured in the first modern Olympic games. It can be a competitive sport and a type of body building and fitness regime.
Weightlifting as a competitive sport
There are two types of weightlifting as competitive sports. One is snatch weightlifting in which the barbells must be lifted above the head in a single move, and the other is called “clear and jerk” lifting, where the competitor first raises the barbell up to the neck and then applies a jerk to raise it over the head. These two versions are often combined in weightlifting competitions.
Weightlifting in body-building and fitness
Weight training is a common and very important part of body-building and fitness regimens. Every gym offers a variety of different weights so each person can chose one according to their needs.
Weightlifting as a fitness technique involves gradual increase of weight as the muscles grow stronger. Different equipment aims to different muscle groups and some trainers have developed specific technique to obtain the effects of aerobic exercise.
The most common method of weightlifting, and the most common one, uses the principle of gradual overload. The goal is to repeat the lifting until the muscles are no longer able to do it. Many people believe that this point is reached when they think they cannot repeat the lift one more time, but in fact some experts claim that the point of overload is reached when the muscles physically fail to do the lift.
Benefits of weightlifting
Most men and women use weightlifting in order to improve their appearances. Men usually aim to grow their muscles bigger, stronger and more defined, while women wish to obtain firmer, more toned muscles and body shape.
A proper training regimen, especially if supervised by an expert or a professional, will certainly lead to those desired results, but it takes some time, patience and persistence.
Weightlifting increases the metabolism and thus contributes to weight loss, although this type of exercise alone is not likely to lead to significant weight loss without other important aspects, like a proper diet.
Exercising, weightlifting included, is proven to raise the levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These hormones can improve mood and energy and help overcome depression and anxiety.