above the knees: A beginning position for the Olympic movements where the bar is just above the lifter's knees. Similar to the high box and below the knees, this position helps the lifter train a portion of the all-important pull en route to the actual lift. See also below the knees, high box.
American Open (AO): One of two major national meets held in the U.S. every year that is open to all lifters, regardless of age. To get to a national meet, a lifter must meet its qualifying total at any sanctioned meet. The AO is the lesser of the two meets, with relatively lighter qualifying totals. Only totals in national or international meets are considered as qualifiers for international competition and for official, overall rankings. See also Senior Nationals.
back squat: A squat performed by holding the weight behind the neck and bending at the knees until the thighs usually pass below parallel to the floor. In Olympic style, lifters usually squat further down to simulate standing up with the weight after a squat clean or a squat snatch. See also front squat.
below the knees: A beginning position for the Olympic movements where the bar is just below the lifter's knees but not resting on the floor. Similar to the high box position, this position helps the lifter train another portion of the all-important pull en route to the actual lift. See also above the knees, high box.
best lifter: The lifter determined to have the highest total overall when adjusted by a Sinclair coefficient based on their bodyweight. See also Sinclair formula.
clean: A lift performed by bringing a barbell from the floor to the shoulders in one fluid motion. See also squat clean, power clean.
first pull: The portion of a snatch or clean starting with the weight on the floor and ending right before the bar reaches the hips. Characterized by the use of slow extension of the legs to generate force. See also second pull.
front squat: A squat performed by holding the weight in front of the neck and across the shoulders, bending at the knees until the thighs usually pass below parallel to the floor. See also back squat.
hang: See high box.
high blocks: See high box.
high box: A beginning position for the Olympic movements where the bar is at the mid- to upper-thigh of the lifter. This position helps the lifter enter the final, explosive portion of the pull with the bar in the right place, allowing the lifter to do the lift with good form, even if they aren't proficient at the initial portion of the pull. The name comes from boxes that the weight can be rested upon (as opposed to the floor), but the term also refers to when the lifter holds the bar at that height to start as if the box were there. This is sometimes called "the hang," especially outside of this sport. (I always use this term to denote that I held the bar in position without boxes unless I say otherwise). See also above the knees, below the knees.
jerk: A lift performed by bringing the barbell from the shoulders to above the head with arms fully extended in one fluid motion. Feet must begin parallel to each other, but usually finished in a split position. See also split, split jerk, squat jerk, press out.
kilogram to pound conversion: 1 kilogram = 2.2046 pounds. Multiply the weight in kg by 2.2046 to get the English equivalent.
outstanding lifter: See best lifter.
overhead squat: A squat performed by holding the weight above the head with arms fully extended. By default the lifter has his/her hands in a snatch-width grip to simulate standing after a squat snatch, but the exercise can be modified. See also snatch, snatch balance, pressing snatch balance.
Nationals: See Senior Nationals.
power clean: A clean caught with the thighs above parallel to the floor. See also clean, squat clean.
power snatch: A snatch caught with the thighs above parallel to the floor. See also snatch, squat snatch.
personal best (PB): See personal record (PR).
personal record (PR): A lift or set that exceeds the lifter's previous heaviest successful lift or set of the same type and number of repetitions.
press out: The action where the lifter further extends one or both arms after the initial catch in a snatch or jerk. Because the lifts are supposed to be completed in a single, smooth motion, a press out will usually cause a lift to be turned down. See also snatch, jerk.
pressing snatch balance: An exercise in which the lifter begins standing with the bar on the back of the neck and then drops into a full squat while holding the bar at the same height. Similar to the snatch balance, only slower and more about pressing the body under the bar rather than dropping under the bar. Builds shoulder strength and stability and helps teach the body the correct motion and timing for the snatch. See also snatch balance, snatch, overhead squat.
Romanian deadlift (RDL): An exercise performed by standing with the barbell at waist height, then bending forward keeping the legs almost completely straight and the back arched. The lifter lowers the bar to just above the floor so that there is a stretch in the hamstring and then raises the bar back to the initial position. Helps build lower back and hamstring strength so the lifter can bring the bar into a better position for the explosive part of the Olympic lifts.
second pull: The portion of a snatch or clean occurring when the weight reaches the hips and is explosively accelerated upward. Characterized by production of force from the simultaneous extension of the hips, knees, and ankles, as well as a violent shoulder shrug. See also first pull and triple extension.
Senior Nationals: One of two major national meets held in the U.S. every year that is open to all lifters, regardless of age. To get to a national meet, a lifter must meet its qualifying total at any sanctioned meet. Senior Nationals is considered the pinnacle of the annual lifting schedule within the U.S., and is more competitive than the American Open. Only totals in national or international meets are considered as qualifiers for international competition and for official, overall rankings. See also American Open (AO).
Sinclair formula: A formula that describes a coefficient used for comparison of lifters across weight classes. The numbers are derived from statistical analysis of world record totals from athletes in their prime and a best-fit exponential curve. Assuming x is the athlete's bodyweight, A is equal to 0.784780654 for men and 1.056683941 for women, and b is equal to 173.961kg for men and 125.441kg for women, then let X equal the log in base ten of x / b and let the Sinclair coefficient equal ten raised to the product of A and the square of X. If x > b, then the Sinclair coefficient is instead simply one. The values for A and b provided here are accepted through December of 2012. For example, a lifter weighing in at 77kg has X = log10(77/b) = -0.353961, and a coefficient = 10^(A*X^2) = 1.25408. Similarly, a 105kg lifter has X = log10(105/b) = -0.219263, and a coefficient = 10^(A*X^2) = 1.090660. The lifter can multiply lifted weight by their coefficient for their Sinclair total, which can be compared to the Sinclair totals of other lifters of different bodyweights. See also best lifter.
snatch: A lift performed by bringing the barbell from the floor to above the head with arms fully extended in one fluid motion. See also squat snatch, power snatch.
snatch balance: An exercise in which the lifter begins standing with the bar on the back of the neck, then, after imparting a small amount of vertical momentum on the bar, drops under the bar into a full squat and catches it with arms fully extended. Builds speed and stability for the snatch. See also snatch, pressing snatch balance, overhead squat.
split jerk: A jerk performed with the feet landing in a split position. It remains the most common jerk method in Olympic lifting. See also split, jerk, squat jerk.
split: A method of performing the Olympic lifts where one foot lands forward and the other backward. The front foot should be flat and the shin perpendicular to the floor while only the ball and toes of the rear foot are in contact with the floor. This is most commonly used for jerks and was once in widespread usage for cleans and snatches. While it remains the most popular jerk technique, it has been replaced by the squat clean and squat snatch. See also split jerk, jerk, squat clean, squat jerk, squat snatch.
squat clean: A clean caught in a full squat (thighs at or below parallel to the floor) after which the lifter recovers by standing up. See also clean, power clean.
squat jerk: A jerk caught in a partial or full squat with feet kept in parallel. Less common than a split jerk, especially in the U.S.. See also jerk, split jerk, split.
squat snatch: A snatch caught in a full squat (thighs at or below parallel to the floor) after which the lifter recovers by standing up. See also snatch, power snatch.
triple extension: The simultaneous extension of the hips, knees, and ankles to generate explosive force. Thought to be the most powerful movement the body is capable of performing, and is most specifically utilized in jumping motions. It is a central component of the Olympic lifts. See also second pull.