To compete in sanctioned weightlifting competitions in the United States you must be a registered member of USA Weightlifting (USAW). The Pacific Weightlifting Association (PWA) meet directors allow registration with USAW at the meet. You can select Web Links and visit the USA Weightlifting (USAW) site. In the USAW site select Membership, then Becoming a Member. On the bottom of the Becoming a Member page select Printable Application form with Waiver.


Most meets are conducted in sessions. A session may include ranges of weight classes. Many meets have a session for the lighter lifters and another for the heavier weight classes. Each session will have a one hour weigh-in period with one hour after the end of weigh-in to prepare for the competition. Be prepared to strip down to a single piece of clothing when being weighed.

After weighing the lifter, the officials will ask what weight the lifter wants to begin with in the snatch and the clean and jerk. These are referred to as the opening attempt or opener. It should be a weight you know you can make.

Once the competition has begun, the lowest weight requested is loaded on the bar. For each attempt, the weight on the bar will remain the same or will increase. You may change your attempt to a lower weight only if a heavier weight has not been loaded on the bar.


The singlet must be one piece, close fitting, collarless and may not cover the elbows or the knees. A tee-shirt may be worn under the singlet, it must be collarless and must not cover the elbows. Close fitting leotard/cycling type trunks may be worn under or over the singlet, but must not cover the knees. A one piece elastic bandage or rubberized knee cap may be worn on the knees. Bandages or tape may be worn on the wrists, hands, fingers or thumbs. Check with the meet director or head referee before the competition. If you have to adjust when you step on the platform the clock does not stop. There is no calling timeout in weightlifting.


After the end of the weigh-in period there is one hour to prepare for the competition. If the lifter has dehydrated to make weight, it is the time to replenish fluids. A light high carbohydrate snack will help provide energy. Stretching will prepare the muscles for warm-up attempts.

Warm-up attempts help a lifter determine what to attempt in competition. If power or technique are lacking because of nervousness or fatigue, it may be wise to adjust your opener before the session begins. First and foremost, make a total.

The Platform

The competition is held on a four meter by four meter platform (13 feet by 13 feet). Prior to the beginning of the competition the lifter should walk on the platform to determine hand spacing on the bar and to find a focal point for the lifts. The focal point is a place, usually on a far wall, the lifter will focus on when in the starting position.

The Announcer

The announcer keeps both the audience and the lifters informed as to the weight on the bar, the name of the lifter making the attempt, the name of the lifter on deck (following the lifter on the platform) and name of the lifter in the hole (following the lifter on deck). The announcer informs the loaders when to change the weight on the bar.

The Scorer

All the score cards for the lifters in a session are on the table in front of the scorer. They are in order by the weight requested, by the number of the attempt of the lifter and by lot number. The scorer documents whether an attempt is successful or unsuccessful on the lifters score card. The scorer also records the next reqested weight after the lifter has made an attempt on the platform. When you leave the platform be sure to give your next attempt to the scorer. When doing this be sure to check how many attempts there are before you are called again.

The Judges

Three judges will determine if there is any infraction when a competitor attempts a lift. Each judge controls and electronic box to indicate a good lift (white light) or a lift that does not pass (red light). If you receive a red light, ask the judge what the infraction was so you may correct it on your next attempt.

The Lifts

Prior to stepping on the platform the lifter will go to the chalk box and rub chalk on the hands. There is one full minute to grasp the bar. The lifter then has an additional 30 seconds to begin the attempt. After lifting the barbell overhead the lifter holds the barbell motionless until the down signal is given. Upon hearing the down signal the lifter returns the barbell to the platform.


Nevada Barbell Club

Phone 849-1613


The Snatch

  [Snatch - Elwood Bluzinskovich]


The Clean

and Jerk

  [Clean and Jerk - Elwood Bluzinskovich]