Ideas for School Projects in Weightlifting

Type 3 Lever
The lever principle is very important in Weightlifting.

Weightlifting is an excellent sport for a school science project.

Here are some questions for students to ponder:

  1. Using the ‘principle of the lever’, explain why it is good technique for the athlete to keep the barbell as close to the body as possible.
  2. Discuss why keeping in balance is a very significant problem for the athlete during the execution of a lift, particularly when the weight of the bar may be very much heavier than the athlete’s own bodyweight.
  3. Muscles contract if they receive a sufficient electrical impulse from the brain and nervous system but how is it that muscles can contract with varying degrees of force?
  4. Even with your eyes shut, your brain is able to sense the amount of muscle contraction, the position of your limbs and the movement of all parts of the body at any one time. Identify the different types of cells that relay information to the brain that enable this sense which is called Proprioception.
  5. Vertical momentum of the bar is useful to the Weightlifter but horizontal momentum is a problem. Can you explain why?
  6. What is the time duration of the Snatch lift between the moment the athlete starts to pull and the moment the athlete arrests the bar overhead? How must of this time duration is spent in the pull phase and how much time is spent in the movement under the bar phase? This can be worked out using open source software and a video of an athlete.
  7. Identify and explain six different ways that the body adapts to Weightlifting training.