Ancient Greece, Egypt, China, India.

Olympic weightlifting, or Olympic-style weightlifting, regularly referred to as weightlifting, is a sport in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. The two competition lifts in order are the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch is a wide-grip, one-move lift. The clean and jerk is a close-grip, two-move lift. Each weightlifter receives three attempts in each, and the combined total of the highest two successful lifts determines the overall result within a bodyweight category.

Bodyweight categories are different for male and female competitors and change over time. A lifter who fails to complete at least one successful snatch and one successful clean and jerk also fails to total, and therefore receives an "incomplete" entry for the competition. The clean and press was once a competition lift, but was discontinued due to difficulties in judging proper form.

In comparison with other strength sports, which test limit strength (with or without lifting aids), weightlifting tests aspects of human ballistic limits (explosive strength), the lifts are therefore executed faster—and with more mobility and a greater range of motion during their execution—than other strength movements.

The lifts performed in the sport of weightlifting, and in particular their component lifts, are commonly used by elite athletes in other sports to train for both explosive and functional strength. Very big in Central Asia, with some interest in 2 main population centres of India and China, as well as in Korea and Mexico. The Olympic sport maintains a presence in Eastern Europe, across Asia and Africa.