Sollevamento Pesi | La guida professionale dagli egizi ad oggi

Weightlifting | The professional guide from the Egyptians to date

Weightlifting wasn’t born in the gym. Does it look weird? It’s just like that.

The art of raising objects to increase their state of strength and resistance, has very ancient roots, which are lost in the mists of time.

From the Egyptians to the present

Some drawings found in Egyptian tombs, show images of a variety of training objects represented by a sort of bag with sand (just like our modern sandbags). Similar training practices can also be found in ancient Greece and Rome.

Theories as to why our ancestors lifted weights are not so clear, Certainly this practice was not related to the well-being that we intend today, we came to the conclusion that it was more a means to increase the chances of survival. Given the terrible conditions of war and other violent events.

Halteres Manubri da palestra antichi greci Di Portum da Wikipedia in inglese, CC BY-SA 3.0

Weightlifting: the sport of the warrior

In the times that were wars and conflicts, were fought mostly with hand-to-hand combat, it is not difficult to imagine how strength, power, speed and size, were essential characteristics of an efficient warrior. Consequently, it becomes plausible the idea that training was used to improve such features and achieve so an advantage on the battlefield.

Today’s Olympic sports of disc throwing, weight throwing, hammer throwing and javelin throwing represent just the evolution of that type of training needed to launch a spear, a stone or an axe, for example.

Modern strongman races also reflect training the skills of the warrior of time. In such competitions the competitors have the task of moving heavy objects, whose application at the time could be linked to the construction of fortresses quickly, or arm a catapult.

Matjaž Belšak strongman

Olympic weightlifting

Olympic or Olympic weightlifting was introduced in 1896 in Athens and participation was reserved for men only. To become an event accessible to women, they had to wait over 100 years in 2000 for the Sydney Olympics.

Weightlifting at the Olympics had a difficult start. After having made his first appearance in 1896, he disappeared from the 1900 Games to reappear in 1904 and disappeared until 1920, when he was fully admitted.

sollevamento pesi olimpico olimpiadi del 1896

Snatch and Clean and Jerk

Initially, the Olympic weightlifting included some rather unusual tests compared to today’s competitions and above all there were no weight classes.

In 1928, the format became more standardized. Two of the types of lifting started that year that have stood the test of time are the snatch and the clean and jerk.

A third, the clean and press, also inserted in 1928 was later eliminated in 1972 because it was too difficult to judge.

manubri antichi con sabbia da palestra

Today’s weight classes

Today, men can compete in seven different weight classes in Olympic weightlifting, ranging from 61 kilograms to 109 kilograms. Women have seven classes of their own, from 49 kilograms to 87 kilograms.

Countries are allowed two competitors in each class, subject to compliance with Olympic qualification standards.

Powerlifting as a sport

The techniques and culture within powerlifting are substantially different from those that exist within Olympic weightlifting. Powerlifters compete to see who can lift more weight..

Their trials include:

I detach it from the ground

The bench

The squat

powerlifting vecchie foto

Although very popular, powerlifting is not a recognised Olympic sport. But you can find powerlifting within the Para Olympics. The World Women’s and Men’s Powerlifting Championships exist and have been supported by the International Powerlifting Federation since 2013.

The evolution of weightlifting equipment

Not only has the sport of weightlifting evolved over the years, but also the equipment used by these athletes. It is said that the word haltères, for example, originated from a device designed at the beginning of the eighteenth century to practice the ringing of bells, but without the bells were actually sounded, hence the dumb bell (silent bell).


Kettlebell and clubbell also have an ancient origin, perhaps from the first decades of the 1800s. The barbells, which originally used round globes that could be filled with sand or gravel, were born at the end of 1800. Eventually, these globes were replaced with bumpers plates and metal discs.


As for the equipment, barbells and haltèress will probably continue to be the pillar of weight training, although some minor design or aesthetic improvements will emerge. Adjustable haltèress are an example of how these weights have been modified to best meet the needs of today’s weight lifters.

Manubri regolabili da palestra

The technology is trying to make these training processes even more exciting by offering weight lifters and powerlifters a range of more and more customized options.

Our tips for buying

As our loyal readers know well, we are always happy to direct our customers towards products that we produce with a price/ quality ratio always incredible. So if you want to approach the weightlifting we advise you to start with a simple kit that includes everything you need to start training with products of quality guaranteed in complete safety.

Here are two of our many proposals.

Royal sx-25 home gym set

Royal sx-25 home gym set

Our Home Gym Royal Sx-25 set can be purchased and configured at this address.

Royal Closet Gym

Home gym richiudibile kingsbox

Our Royal Closet Gym is affordable and configurable at this address.


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