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Weight training is a common type of strength training which is practised in order to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles.
During weight training often specialized equipment is used in order to target specific muscle groups and types of movement. Weight training is a part of every athlete's training regime.

In this article we will describe three types of weight training known:
  • bodybuilding
  • weightlifting
  • powerlifting


Bodybuilding is the process of developing muscle fibres through the combination of weight training, increased calorie intake and rest: it is an act of putting on muscle by working out and shaping diet in a matter to put on more muscle mass. Person that engages in bodybuilding is referred as bodybuilder. Bodybuilding may be done for recreation, for personal appearance or as a competitive sport. As a sport, bodybuilding is called competitive bodybuilding, bodybuilders demonstrate a number of poses intended to accentuate certain muscle groups to a panel of judges, who assign points based on their aesthetic appearance. In such manner, bodybuilding as a sport is not athletic and should not be confused with weightlifting or powerlifting. Reason for that is that is bodybuilding the focus is on muscle mass and bodybuilding aesthetic, and not strength or agility. For that aesthetic part large part of competitive bodybuilders spend half of their trainings perfecting their posing routines.   
Many people see bodybuilders bodies as unrealistic, unnatural and pumped up. They actually do pump up their bodies and there are a number of techniques that used for weight gain and shaping muscle mass. There is only a difference whether this is done naturally and slowly through a regular routine, or quickly. Those who gain weight and shape muscles quickly harder gain strength and are often referred as hardgainers.     
So, how is it done.
Most common technique requires being able to lift more and more weight each week. There are few techniques focusing on that: for example, some bodybuilders advocate a training program of moderate weight with numerous repeatings, followed by occasional high-weight sets, while others focus on very heavy weights with lower number of repeatings and lower number of sets.  
Diet is essential in bodybuilding. Bodybuilder must increase intake of protein, minerals and vitamins. There are many supplements available on the market, some of them contain testosterone or other chemical supplements. Use of those supplements is prohibited in most competitive arenas, moreover they may have serious health-related side effects. Thus best and most natural technique for bodybuilding is proper workout and high-protein diet, combined with plenty rest.

There are two standard lifts, the the two hands snatch (Snatch) and the the two hands clean and jerk. In the snatch, the bar and weights are lifted in one explosive motion  from the floor to full arm's length overhead. In order to perform lift easier, athletes bend their legs quickly while the bar is rising in order to catch the bar at arm's length. The best  super-heavyweight weightlifters have lifted nearly 500 lb./227.5 kg with snatch.  
The clean and jerk is done in two parts, but they must be completed one immediately after the other. Since the the bar is liften in two stages heavier weights can be lifted than in the snatch. The best super-heavyweight lifters in history have lifted nearly 600 lb./272.5 kg. in clean and jerk lift. 
In the first part (clean) the bar is raised in an explosive motion from the floor to a point of rest approximately at the level of the shoulders (rule permits lifting the bar within a zone from the chest above the nipples to a position above the shoulders, as long as the arms are in a fully bent position with the bar resting on the hands in the latter case); the second part, called the jerk, consists of bending the legs and then extending both the arms and the legs to bring the bar to full arm's length over the head in one explosive motion.  
Lift is performed easier when athletes drop into "split" position, or simply bend their legs quickly while the bar is rising in order to catch the bar at arm's length.

There is also a third lift, known as clean and press (or simply press). This one differs from the clean and jerk. In clean and press weight is pressed directly up from the chest in slow controlled motion, while with clean and jerk with an explosive motion. This lift was practiced in the Olympics until 1972, but then it was eliminated because it was too difficult to judge whether the lift was performed correctly.

Powerlifting is also about weightlifting and it is about strength. Comparing to weightlifting powerlifting movements are shorter. Powerlifting is consisted of three events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift; and then the maximum weight lifted in each event is totalled for a final score.
In squat athlete stands under a racked barbell which is loaded with weight; than grabs the bar from behind, the bar is put onto the top of the back and rests on the trapezius muscles. Than the athlete walks clear of the rack and squats down (until the top of the thigh at the hip joint is lower than the top of the knee).   
In bench press the athlete lies on a bench, while loaded barbell rests on racks above the eye level of the powerlifter. The athlete removes the bar from the racks with the help of one or more spotters. Powerlifter lowers barbell to the chest, pauses and then presses up to the full extension of the arms; and then carefully returns the weight to the rack. There are some additional rules that vary between states; however the powerlifter is disqualified if buttocks lift off the bench, the feet move during the lift or if body makes any extraneous movement during the lift.

In deadlift athlete grasps the barbell from the floor and lifts until the legs and back are straight and upright, and the chest proud. Athlete then returns the barbell to the floor: athlete's back have to be straighten and knees locked in a balanced position. Athlete is disqualified if dropping the bar to the floor after the lift is finished.
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