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Definitions of Weight lifting:
There are several categories of people who exercise with weights. These categories are often referred to as: weight lifting, weightlifting, Weightlifting, weight training, bodybuilding, power lifting, lifting, Olympic lifting, Olympic-style weightlifting, strength training and resistance training. Let's clarify the differences.
weight lifting and weightlifting all have a "generic" meaning which refers to the activity of lifting weights. To those who are well versed in the use of weights, the word weightlifting has a particular meaning. It refers to the Olympic sport of Weightlifting, which tests strength a power through two methods of lifting a barbell overhead - the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk. Weightlifting is the only Olympic sport involving weights, which is why it is sometimes referred to as Olympic lifting or as Olympic-style lifting, or Olympic-style weightlifting.
Weight training refers to any activity which involves the use of weights. The term weight training is commonly used in referring to people who lift weights but not for the purpose of competing in bodybuilding, power lifting or weightlifting (although many people lift weights as a means for improving their performance in another sport). Many people who lift weights refer to themselves as "lifters" for short.
Resistance training is an even broader term than weight training because resistance can be supplied by weights, machines, rubber strands and any number of other devices that resist the movement of the exerciser. It is nearly impossible to engage in any vigorous resistance training without getting stronger as a result. However, strength training is a means of training with resistance that is focused on improving strength, as compared with muscle size (although people who train for strength are often seeking increased muscle size as well).
Bodybuilding is a sport or activity in which the primary objective is to develop the size of the skeletal muscles. Bodybuilders focus on other areas as well, such as developing all of the muscles proportionally (symmetrically), minimizing body fat and increasing their strength. Because bodybuilders focus on muscular development, that is the main thing they achieve. Strength, for example, tends to take a back seat to size (though many bodybuilders are very strong).
Power lifting is a great sport that was conceived as a pure test of strength. And it tests strength about as well as Olympic-style Weightlifting. The sport that consists of three events: squat, bench press and dead lift. Power lifters are very strong because they focus on developing that capacity exclusively. Overall, the strength of power lifters very close to that of Olympic-style weightlifters. However, power lifting is not an Olympic sport and it has multiple "federations" which govern it, so there can be multiple "world champions" each year (Olympic-style Weightlifting has only one international governing body and one world champion per weight class worldwide). Power lifting is also not practiced as widely as weightlifting. For all these reasons, the level of competition tends not to be as high in power lifting as it is in weightlifting, which is why competitive Weightlifters, as a group, have earned the right to call themselves the strongest athletes alive. More importantly, no other athletes approach the strength of weightlifters and power lifters, as the men and women who compete in these sports are totally focused becoming the strongest athletes in the world. Moreover, they compete on measurable events which are standardized worldwide, so that performances can be reasonably compared. You won't see these athletes flexing their muscles or lifting tree trunks on "pay-per-view", but they are quietly driving the levels of human performance to all time highs.
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