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Olympic Weightlifting Skill Levels Chart
Greg Everett

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I've finally gotten around to posting this a few years after I created it. For years people have been asking me if something like this existed and/or if I would make it. There is a Soviet classification system you can find in Weightlifting Programming: A Winning Coach's Guide and other places, but I've always thought it would be more appropriate to create a classification system based on actual American weightlifting performance and taking into account the particular circumstances of the sport in the US, including the fact that the vast majority of people interested in this kind of chart are starting the sport as adults.

Along with snatch and clean & jerk figures, I've also included front squat, back squat and total. Keep in mind when looking at this chart that the relationships between the snatch, clean & jerk and squats are not identical for all athletes, and that being somewhat outside these numbers is not necessarily indicative of a problem. Use this chart as a way to help yourself set goals for your lifting more than as a diagnostic tool for lift relationships.

Download Chart (PDF)


Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the national-medalist Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, publisher of The Performance Menu, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, and director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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25 Comments
Edith 2014-02-26
I'm assuming this is Kilos?
DL 2014-02-26
This would be great if it weren't in the metric system... Converting each number one at a time is a little much.
Will 2014-02-26
Lol @ whining about kilos
Ryan 2014-02-26
For half the categories I'm intermediate and half I am advanced. Can I call myself beginning advanced or super intermediate?
Dave 2014-02-26
Wow - At about 6 mos. in (on my own) I am nowhere near any of those beginner numbers except for back squat. Will be starting to work with my local USAW coach this Saturday, so I'm expecting numbers to climb after my likely atrocious form is corrected.
Greg Everett 2014-02-26
DL - Kilograms are used in every single federation in every single country in the world that participates in weightlifting - why would the chart be in pounds?
Greg Everett 2014-02-26
Edith - Yes, the numbers are kilos.
Greg Everett 2014-02-26
Ryan - You can call yourself whatever makes you happy.
Mike D 2014-02-26
This confirms my suspicions.....I completely suck. However, following Ryans example, I would like to call myself "Grandmaster of the Intermediates" lmao. Thanks for the chart, it definitely helps. Never really had any clue as to the level of my weights so it's really nice to see that some of those advanced numbers are in sight and definitely attainable.
Avon 2014-02-26
Damn this is depressing, after almost 2 years I'm only just past the novice category...
Fred_A 2014-02-27
Greg, I've seen this being passed around by the "exercising cult". Is this something you've concocted for them, or is this a mixed effort with USAW for dedicated real weightlifters?
Greg Everett 2014-02-27
Fred - My post here explains exactly what it is and who concocted it.
James B 2014-02-27
Ah delighted with this, hitting advanced Snatch and C&J, but not necessarily on squats. Guess I know now where to work
Tom Brown III 2014-03-02
Greg, Would it be appropriate, for Masters, to apply the age coefficients to our numbers and evaluate? Regardless, its still nice to be intermediate at 50. Thanks for the post and all the work CatAth does for the community.
HS 2014-03-04
What does the "Total" column represent?
Greg Everett 2014-03-05
HS - A weightlifting competition total.
Jon 2014-04-13
Hi Greg, Thanks for the chart - I'm just starting to learn the Olympic lifts (using your book "Olympic Weightlifting for Sports" actually) and this chart is a really usefull guide of what to aim for. Could I clarify whether the weights listed represent a 1 rep max?
Steve Pan 2014-04-15
Jon - The numbers indicate the lowest number in a particular lift that will put you in a given category.
Lizzi 2014-04-30
Hi Greg, do you have similar chart for Masters?
Greg Everett 2014-04-30
Lizzi - Nope.
Kim 2014-05-06
Are the novice weights what one could, in theory, expect any average joe to put up on his first day/week? Like, a starting base line? Or more of target goal for beginner achievement? I ask because, I have been training/lifting for 6 months now, with essentially zero prior weightlifting experience. By these charts I am pretty much right on the money for the novice weights. I know I have progressed personally, but as far as the weightlifting community, in general, should I be seeing bigger numbers and thus need to adjust my training?
Greg Everett 2014-05-06
Kim - The novice numbers should come with some training under your belt - some naturally gifted folks may do them right off the bat, but that's not expected.
Martin 2014-07-07
Thanks for the chart Greg. How does one calculate the total? (Newbie question)
Steve Pan 2014-07-07
Total is the best Snatch and Clean & Jerk you have performed on the same day (in competition).
Crossfit Sono 2014-07-10
Thx for the chart Greg!
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