A Brief History of Weight Lifting

Weight lifters
Man lifting a stone in the history of weight lifting
History of Weight Lifting: Man lifting a stone.

A Brief History of Weight Lifting

The history of weight lifting dates back to the ancient period of prehistoric tribes, when the testing of manhood was done by weight lifting. They lifted heavy stones to show their power. Back then, it was a matter of prestige to ancient tribal kingdoms; however, it is not possible to find the exact date of the first weight lifting championship.

The documented history of weight lifting first began in Europe in the late 1880s with the first champion crowned in 1891. There were no other sub divisions so the crown went to the man able to lift the maximum weight. Weight lifting competition was clubbed as a part of athletics in 1896; however, weight lifting was excluded in the 1900 games. Again, the art of weight lifting was noticed in 1904, but the game was not included in Olympics. In 1920, weight lifting was again accepted as a game.

During those periods, the Olympics introduced weight lifting programs such as one and two handed lifts with no weight division. The rules  changed in 1932 and five sub divisions were established and formed three discipline for the competition viz. snatch, press and clean and jerk.

In the snatch, the weight lifter lifts the weight above the head in one fast, uninterrupted movement. In the second movement the weight is brought to the shoulders and after that weight is jerked above the head. In 1972, the press division was abolished and only the snatch and clean jerk where accepted as sports in the Olympics. In 2000, women were included in this powerful event in Sydney.

Weight lifting is a sport in which participants attempt to lift heavy weights on steel barbells. The execution is a combination of flexibility, power, concentration, will power, skills, discipline, athleticism, fitness, technique, physical and mental strength. As per the history of weight lifting, weight lifting is informally called  weight training – weight lifting trains the athlete for functional strength, utilizing the body’s major muscle groups.

Technique is the most important facet in lifting weights – without utilizing the proper method, weight lifters can hurt themselves before they receive the benefits. Therefore, it’s important to always keep focus on proper form when lifting weights – be it a stone or a steel barbell.

Weight lifting body builders
Weight lifting body builders

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Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

1 thought on “A Brief History of Weight Lifting”

  1. Hi! I wish to say that this article is amazing, greatly written and come with significant info. I’d like to see more posts like this .

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