Resources > Fact Sheets > Weightlifting


What is Weightlifting?

Weightlifting is a sport that provides opportunities for athletes to compete at all levels from local to International. Weightlifting is an Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games sport in which athletes perform two lifts – the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. Weightlifting training develops strength, speed, power, flexibility, coordination and Balance.

Weightlifters compete within bodyweight categories and often also within age groups. There are seven bodyweight categories for women, ranging from less than 48kg, up to Over 75kg. For men, there are eight categories with the lightest being under 56kg; and the heaviest, Over 105kg.

Queensland State Championships and Australian National Championships are held in age groups of Under 15; Under 17 (Youth); Under 20 (Junior); Senior (Open); and Masters (35 and over). In addition to championships events, Queensland has an annual open league competition and many weightlifting clubs conduct regular club events.

Is it Safe?

With correct coaching, proper equipment, and realistic expectations, weightlifting training is safe and beneficial for most people. Unfortunately there are still some myths which cause concern to those who haven’t experienced weightlifting training first-hand.

Many years ago it was recommended that children and adolescents should avoid weightlifting, because it was thought to expose them to a greater risk of musculoskeletal injuries. But a retrospective review of the effects of weightlifting on preadolescents and adolescents found that weightlifting posed no extraordinary risk to healthy growth and in fact contributed to greater bone density and stronger joints.

A properly designed and supervised weightlifting training program can provide a safe and effective way to obtain the following benefits:
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Improved joint flexibility
  • Better motor skills
  • Increased strength, power & speed
  • Improved body composition
  • Better cardio respiratory function
  • Improved overall sports performance
  • Greater confidence and self esteem

How Much? How Soon?

Physical development is related to age, body type, current levels of physical activity and various phases of growth.

To perform the complex movements involved in weightlifting, novices must first learn the basic techniques. As they master the introductory exercises using relatively light weights, they can progressively increase those weights and move on to more advanced training. A qualified coach can monitor the rate of each individual’s progress and greatly assist in the development of advanced skills and the attainment of greater results.

Weightlifters train to develop and perfect their technical skills while at the same time, they are conditioning their bodies to be strong and powerful. This process of learning weightlifting technique, coupled with progressive physical conditioning, provides a balanced approach to overall physical development.

So, the answer to this question is that it depends upon a number of factors. But with good coaching and regular training, most people can expect to see results within a few months of commencement.

Lifting Weights is not all Weightlifting

Understanding the difference between Olympic Weightlifting, strength training, power lifting and body building is important.

Strength Training:

Uses resistance methods to increase a person’s ability to exert or resist force. Free weights, the individual's own body weight, machines, or other devices (e.g. elastic bands, medicine balls) provide resistance. Strength training is used as an adjunct to many sports and for general physical conditioning.


Is a competitive sport in which athletes demonstrate maximum lifting ability. Powerlifting competitions consist of three lifts – the Squat, the Bench Press, and the Dead Lift. Powerlifting training promotes the development of strength.


Is an aesthetic sport that depends on weight training but does not involve lifting in competitions. Bodybuilders use a variety of apparatus to develop large muscles, often isolating individual muscles, or small groups of muscles, with specific exercises. Bodybuilding training promotes the development of muscle size and shape, and body symmetry.


Weightlifting is an Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games sport in which athletes perform two lifts – the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk. This is weightlifting

Where is Weightlifting - how do I get involved?

Find a Club

Contact the Queensland Weightlifting Association