Olympic Weightlifting vs Powerlifting: What’s the Difference?

Olympic Weightlifting vs Powerlifting: What's the Difference?

Weightlifting has increased in popularity over the years. Many high schools and collegiate athletic programs now have weightlifting teams. Many people do it at home as a form of exercise.

Have you ever considered doing it? You can compete in two forms of weightlifting. Yes, there are two major lifting styles: Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting. Understanding the difference between powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting is a must for anyone who wants to be a successful lifter.

In deciding which is perfect, we explain the differences between forms. These differences will determine what kind of weightlifter best suits you. So what makes Olympic weightlifting so different from powerlifting? Let’s take a look at the basics.

  • Based on Definition

What is Olympic weightlifting? It is a sport that tests an athlete’s strength, speed, and agility. What is powerlifting? Powerlifting is a sport that tests an athlete’s maximal strength. The two sports are different and need different training methods.

Olympic weightlifting consists of two lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch is a single-movement lift in which you pull the bar from the ground to overhead in one motion. The clean and jerk is a two-part lift in which you pull the bar from the floor to the shoulders and then lifted overhead.

Olympic weightlifting is very technical and requires coordination and athleticism. Powerlifting consists of three lifts: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift.

The squat is a movement in which you bend your knee until the thighs are parallel to the ground, the bench press is an exercise in which you press the bar from the chest to overhead, and the deadlift is a movement in which you pull the bar from the ground to the hips.

  • Based on the Types of Equipment Used

Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting both use different equipment. Olympic weightlifters use barbells with bumper plates, while powerlifters use a barbell with metal plates. The type of barbell used also differs, with Olympic weightlifters using a thinner barbell and powerlifters using a thicker barbell.

The broader barbell is better suited for heavier weights powerlifters use. Powerlifting is about brute strength, while Olympic weightlifting is more about speed and technique. Olympic weightlifters must also be very explosive to lift the weights overhead. Powerlifters do not need to be like Olympic weightlifters in terms of explosiveness.

  • Based on Their Benefits

Based on their benefits, Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting can offer different advantages. Olympic weightlifting can improve explosive power and improve coordination and balance.

While powerlifting can build more strength for developing strong bones and joints, the best sport for an individual often depends on personal goals and preferences. You can choose the perfect one when you learn more about the difference.

  • Olympic Weightlifting Is Not for Everyone

Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting are two very different sports. Olympic weightlifting is a test of explosive strength and power, while powerlifting is a test of maximum strength.

Olympic weightlifting requires more technique and timing, while powerlifting is more about raw strength. If you’re looking for a challenge and want to test your limits, go for Olympic weightlifting.

If you’re more interested in developing strength and power, choose powerlifting. Are you interested in learning more about different types of sports? Look at our other posts.




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