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Weight Lifting and Weight Training

Version control: Original 1986 / Updated 1999 / Updated 2003 / Updated 2015



You must refer to the Requirements for All Sport and Physical Activity (PDF 466KB) to understand your overall compliance responsibilities.

Weight lifting involves the lifting of maximal weights through various set ranges of movement. There are two types of weight lifting: Olympic Weight lifting and Powerlifting.

  • Olympic lifts include the snatch and the clean and jerk
  • Power lifts include the squat, the bench press and the dead lift.

Weight lifting emphasises strength (power) and body building. As such, it is a form of resistance training which is generally used to complement other aspects of sports training.

The skill of using weights must be learned carefully as poor technique, reckless advancement and irresponsible behaviour can cause injury or accidents. Safety requirements will vary for weight training.

Weight training involves using free weights and mechanical systems (hydraulics and pulleys) for the purpose of increasing muscle strength, power and endurance. As such, it is a form of resistance training which is generally used to complement other aspects of sports training.

The main objective of weight training is to improve muscle strength. However, it should be noted that there is no evidence to suggest it is necessary for children to undertake weight training to reach their full sporting potential at a later age. In fact, most leading coaches would support the development of skills and enjoyment of the sports as the first priority for pre-adolescent children.

Where considered appropriate, for example inclusion in a school sport program, parents or caregivers must be informed of full details of the venue, supervision to be provided and activities to be undertaken when seeking their written permission.

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Teacher/Instructor Qualifications and Experience

Weight Lifting

The teacher/instructor must have appropriate expertise and/or training in the teaching/coaching of weightlifting. A suitable qualification would be a Level 1 weightlifting coaching accreditation.

Weight training

The teacher/instructor must have appropriate expertise and/or training in the teaching/coaching strength and conditioning training. A teacher must be present who has recognised current training in emergency care.

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The teacher/instructor to student ratio must not exceed 1:20. Principals and organising teachers must also take into account such factors as age, lifting and training experience, maturity of the students and nature and type of activity when arranging student numbers and supervision.

Where an adult other than a teacher is engaged to provide instruction, a teacher must be present to take overall responsibility.

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Equipment must be checked prior to use and at regular intervals throughout the training sessions to ensure collars are tight, bars are evenly located between stands, benches are properly positioned and training machines are weighted appropriately.

Weightlifting must be performed on a barbell with disc weights ranging between 1 kg and 25 kg. Collars must be used and firmly fitted to the bar before lifting takes place.

The barbell must be able to revolve within its own sleeves for easier lifting. This action also reduces the risk of injury.

Equipment and weight training machines must be checked regularly and, if defective, removed from use.

Power racks or squat stands are essential.

For weightlifting, students must have footwear with a hard sole (e.g. weightlifting boots, sports shoes) to ensure a solid footing.

A well-equipped medical kit must be readily available.

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A facility or venue which has a level, firm non-slip surface is suitable (eg. concrete or wood, not grass). Ideally, for weightlifting, the venue would have a timber platform on a concrete floor.

Layout for different exercises must be carefully planned to avoid congestion where one activity could interfere with another.

If the floor is not concrete, then mats or a suitable alternative are to be used under the weights (not the feet of the student) to avoid damage to flooring.

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The following safety strategies must be employed:

  • Ensure students check all equipment prior to use.
  • Instruct students on safety procedures before the commencement of any activity.
  • Ensure beginners are provided with individual assistance and that they use only token resistance.
  • Ensure students do not train alone.
  • Use assistants when complex technical skills or heavier weights are being used.
  • Students must be instructed to clear the floor of training equipment which is not in use.
  • Students are to be instructed to always maintain good lifting position, back management technique and correct breathing technique while lifting weights.
  • Ensure two spotters are present, one at each end of bar when lifting free weights above the head. No student is to stand in front of or behind the lifter.
  • Cease activity at any sign of tiredness or fatigue.

Where weight training machines are to be used in gymnasiums, a developmental training program must be constructed in consultation with the facility's qualified instructors.

Programs should include:

  • Appropriate warm-up and warm-down activities.
  • Individual training schedules based on progressive and sequential development.
  • Instruction in correct spotting techniques and safety precautions.

In addition, for weight training, different types of weight training equipment should be used so that the students receive training in all major muscle groups.

Students should ensure feet are on a non-slip flat surface (not gym mats) while lifting.

Students should be instructed to carry a towel with them during activity to wipe equipment.

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