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National Strength and Conditioning Association position statement on weightlifting for sports performance

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-24, 15:17 authored by Paul Comfort, G. Gregory Haff, Timothy J. Suchomel, Marcos A. Soriano, Kyle C. Pierce, W. Guy Hornsby, Erin E. Haff, Lesley M. Sommerfield, Shyam Chavda, Stephanie Morris, Andrew C. Fry, Michael H. Stone

 The origins of weightlifting and feats of strength span back to ancient Egypt, China, and Greece, with the introduction of weightlifting into the Olympic Games in 1896. However, it was not until the 1950s that training based on weightlifting was adopted by strength coaches working with team sports and athletics, with weightlifting research in peer-reviewed journals becoming prominent since the 1970s. Over the past few decades, researchers have focused on the use of weightlifting-based training to enhance performance in nonweightlifters because of the biomechanical similarities (e.g., rapid forceful extension of the hips, knees, and ankles) associated with the second pull phase of the clean and snatch, the drive/thrust phase of the jerk and athletic tasks such as jumping and sprinting. The highest force, rate of force development, and power outputs have been reported during such movements, highlighting the potential for such tasks to enhance these key physical qualities in athletes. In addition, the ability to manipulate barbell load across the extensive range of weightlifting exercises and their derivatives permits the strength and conditioning coach the opportunity to emphasize the development of strength-speed and speed-strength, as required for the individual athlete. As such, the results of numerous longitudinal studies and subsequent meta-analyses demonstrate the inclusion of weightlifting exercises into strength and conditioning programs results in greater improvements in force-production characteristics and performance in athletic tasks than general resistance training or plyometric training alone. However, it is essential that such exercises are appropriately programmed adopting a sequential approach across training blocks (including exercise variation, loads, and volumes) to ensure the desired adaptations, whereas strength and conditioning coaches emphasize appropriate technique and skill development of athletes performing such exercises. 


This work was funded by internally available funds and is made available under the requirements of the Cardiff Met Open Research Policy



Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Comfort, P., Haff, G.G., Suchomel, T.J., Soriano, M.A., Pierce, K.C., Hornsby, W.G., Haff, E.E., Sommerfield, L.M., Chavda, S., Morris, S.J. and Fry, A.C. (2023) 'National Strength and Conditioning Association Position Statement on Weightlifting for Sports Performance', The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 37(6), pp.1163-1190.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Stephanie Morris

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Youth Physical Development

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  • © The Publisher

Publisher Rights Statement

This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 37(6


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