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Resistance training is an important form of exercise for young people to strengthen muscles and bones, as recommended by the UK’s Physical Activity Guidelines.

British Weight Lifting is the National Governing Body for Olympic weightlifting and para powerlifting, and is here to support young people access opportunities to learn to lift.

What is Olympic Weightlifting?

Weightlifting is associated with the sport of Olympic weightlifting, a sport that includes two barbell lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk. In competition, performers attempt to lift the heaviest weights possible. The winner is determined by the highest total (the lifters’ best snatch and clean and jerk added together).

Weightlifting movements (often referred to as derivatives e.g. power snatch, hang clean) are also popular movements used by athletes from many different sports to enhance their athletic performance.

However, lifting maximal loads shouldn’t be the training goal whilst the performer develops weightlifting literacy. Performers must first develop proficiency in motor competencies (e.g. squat, hinge, push, pull, and brace), before progressing to foundational strength exercises (e.g. back squat, deadlift, and strict press) and then to specific weightlifting movements (i.e. snatch and clean and jerk) and derivatives (e.g. hang and power variations).

What is Para Powerlifting?

Para Powerlifting is a sport that focuses on the bench press movement. Paralympic athletes lie totally flat with their feet supported on a specially adapted bench. To perform the movement, the athlete must lower the bar to the chest, pause the bar while keeping it motionless, then push the bar up upwards to arms length with locked elbows.

Complete ‘Raise the Bar’ – A FREE 6 week introduction to weightlifting for college students

British Weight Lifting’s Raise the Bar programme is a free 6 week introduction to weightlifting, delivered by accredited coaches in an inclusive environment.

The programme gives participants the opportunity to learn the skills they need to safely perform a range of basic resistance training exercises and better understand the benefits that strength and a healthy lifestyle can have on their long-term physical and mental health.

Raise the Bar is delivered by British Weight Lifting's Inclusion Academies across England. The Coaches can either come to your college, or students can go to the Inclusion Academy.

Find out more about Raise the Bar here.

Find a Weight Lifting Club or Para Powerlifting Gym

Affiliated Clubs are the places to go to get the best support and coaching in weightlifting, and our Inclusion Academies specialise in the recruitment of young people. Find a Club or Para powerlifting gym here.

Set up a College Weight Lifting Club

You can set up your own affiliated weightlifting club at your college! Find out more about setting up a club here

Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) programme

Run in partnership between British Weight Lifting and Loughborough College, DiSE is a 2-year programme where aspiring athletes can learn skills that equip them to succeed in both sport and life. As part of the programme, athletes will be exposed to the BWL training syllabus. By the end of the DiSE programme athletes will understand the specific skills and behaviours that are required to become a great weightlifter. Athletes will then be able to determine what is optimal for them and begin to adapt training to best meet their individual needs. Find out more about DiSE here