Woman with a barbell in a weightlifting competitionWeightlifter Beatriz Piron (from the Dominican Republic) won gold in the 49 kg Pan-Ams weight class in 2019 Photo: CRIS BOURONCLE / AFP (Getty Images)

This is going to be an extremely pedantic post and I am terribly sorry to have to write it. I’ve been into weightlifting for a long time (two words) but for the past year or two I’ve been into weightlifting (all one word). It turns out that these are two very different things.

Weightlifting, all in one word, is the sport played at the Olympics where people in old-time swimsuits pick up dumbbells with kindergarten-colored weights. In one of the events, the tearing, the bar is lifted up from the floor in one swift movement. In the other, the clean and jerky one, the bar is raised to the shoulders and the lifter pauses to breathe and maybe grimaces a little before pushing it sky high. (You can lift more weight the second way, which is why they are separate events. The best snaps and cleans and jerks of each lifter are added together to find who wins.)

If you’ve never heard of it or never thought of it when you said or heard the word “weightlifting”, take it here.

There are many different types of weight training. One is powerlifting, where people squat, bench press, and deadlift against each other. There is a strong man in whom people (not just men) lift a variety of devices such as stones and barrels and logarithmic dumbbells chosen based on the whims of the organizer. And there is bodybuilding, where the weights are trained in the gym year round. Then the contestants lose as much body fat as possible and stand on stage to show off their muscles in an event formatted like a beauty pageant.

You can of course just lift weights. This is not weight lifting; It’s “weight lifting” or “lifting” or “strength training”. You can call it “lifting weights” if you have to.

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I hate that I was forced to be pedantic about this. Weightlifting is a terrible, terrible, not good, very bad name for one of many sports that people do weight lifting. By the way, powerlifting is almost as badly named; The Olympic lifts show strength, and the “power lifts” show strength. So people like me protest that we are weightlifters, not powerlifters or bodybuilders, and the average person rolling a dumbbell in the gym has no idea why we care so much about being between “weight” and “lifting” There is distance or not. ”

The problem, ultimately, is that no one has ever come up with a better name for the sport that they have in the Olympics. Some people call it “Olympic lifting,” which creates confusion when you tell your friends that you do it, but also that you don’t go to the Olympics for this.

Crossfitters found a workaround by casually referring to “oly lifting,” which I support in theory, but weightlifters have not embraced the term. We compete in weightlifting and we clarify what we mean by saying, “You know, weightlifting in weightlifting” while mimicking the movement of a snap. I’m so sorry. This is the best we have right now.