Weightlifting club not just for Olympic-sized bodybuilders

Weight lifting:Student Marco Montano Jr. does squats during weightlifting club practice.:Tina Horton State Hornet


Weight lifting:Student Marco Montano Jr. does squats during weightlifting club practice.:Tina Horton State Hornet

Sergio Saldana

Olympic weightlifting is not a sport in which the competitor aims to get bulky and ripped. The goal is to lift as much weight as possible into the air.

The Olympic weightlifting team is a Sacramento State Recreational Sports club and is fully student-run. The students pay dues to maintain the club, which allows them to pay for competitions.

The national governing body is USA Weightlifting. Every college that has a weightlifting club is under USA weightlifting.

The club is open to anyone who is interested regardless of experience level, gender or body type. The only requirement is the desire to learn the sport.

There is no fee to be a member. The only fee is if the member wants to compete in collegiate events, which is $40 annually. Every event carries a charge, ranging from $30 to $35 to enter.

Club President Arlette Marenco said the weightlifting team has about 15 club members who do not participate in competitions and five members who pay to compete.

Marenco said the club is open to anyone who is interested in joining and not limited to men.

“There is a giant misconception that girls don’t do this or do it well,” Marenco said. “There are a lot of girls.”

Lifting heavy amounts of weight in the air may seem like a feat that only big muscles can do, but this is far from the truth.

“They will work with you no matter where you are psychically and get you going,” said weightlifting member Anthony Martinez. “They teach you the basics, the technique everything you need to know.”

The coaches carefully help structure the proper lifting technique for each individual member so he or she will not hurt himself or herself. This allows the lifter to fully utilize their strength to full potential.

“Even if you’re the new guy and never had any experience they all are very supportive and try and teach you and give you tips,” said weightlifting member Joshua Salazar. Everyone is here to get stronger.”

Learning technique is a process that takes time. The coaches do not want students to jump into weights too early and end up hurting themselves.

Martinez said he is on a 12-week program to help him prepare to lift without injuring himself.

The sport of weightlifting is year-round. Local events are usually once a month. The last event Sac State held was in November.

The events tend to last all day. Competitors are put into a specific weight category for competition. The events have two specific lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk.

The snatch is one single movement to get the bar above the head. The clean and jerk is when the competitor brings the bar up to his or her chest then above his or her head in two motions. In each lift, the competitor gets three attempts to lift and lock out the desired weight he or she chooses. The winner is determined the highest combined weight totals.

Weightlifting member Ben Claridad said competing is the best part of the sport is looking how he has improved since he began lifting at the club.

To qualify for Nationals the competitor needs to lift a set amount for his or her weight class. Nationals are in April and lifters go to represent their individual schools from around the nation in hopes to win their weight class.

Weightlifting member Marco Montano Jr. said we are all competing and hopefully we all make nationals.

Compared to other schools that have Olympic weightlifting sport clubs, Sac State is small. Usually, schools have an average of 10 to 15 competing members. Constantly looking for new members, Sac State weightlifting is always welcoming of new faces.

Marenco said legs and core are the most targeted area during this type of exercise. The workout would benefit anyone regardless of athletic experience.

“It’s a great way to get into shape and have fun,” Montano said. “It’s a different approach to working out. Not everyone does this type of workout. It’s a total body workout.”

Anyone who has an interest in weightlifting but has no prior experience is encouraged to attend a practice, which are held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in Solano Hall, Room 1020.

Sergio Saldana can be reached at [email protected]