"You can tell by the look in their eyes that everything else has been pushed aside and they are 110% focused on just the job at hand."
In Olympic Weightlifting, it's as much a mental competition as a physical one. "Strength and control, power, notice the drive that he has coming off the lower body as he's coming into it."
Jack Scow has been training himself and others in the art and discipline of weightlifting, body building, and weight training for more than 40 years. He's won practically every body building competition in the western United States since 1977.
"Obviously the goal is to get as much weight up but with tremendous technique, if the tech is off even a little bit, then he could end up losing it, could hurt himself dropping the weight."
Eric Traeger is a local competitive weightlifter. He owns Cross-fit Combat Fitness at Cedar and Shaw. In Olympic competition there are only two tests: "With the snatch you're trying to bring the bar from the floor to an overhead position in one motion."
In Olympic competition the second move, the clean and jerk, requires a slightly different motion.
"And the second style would be the split clean and again this is an older style, some lifters still do this. And the second part of the movement is the jerk, so we have the lifter is trying to drive their body underneath the bar."
The word dumbbell actually dates back to Tudor, England about 500 years ago. Athletes would take these clappers, heavy metal ringers out of church bells and they weighted a couple of hundred pounds to work out, but the bells didn't have ringers anymore so the bells were "dumb." Dumb bells.
The ancient Greeks invented the Olympic Games but they only used weight lifting for training, not competition. When the modern games resumed in 1896, weightlifting was included as a sport. And in 2000, in Sydney, women were allowed to compete.
"They say if we could control our mind a hundred percent, there is nothing in the world we couldn't do, so as they go through their training and lifting they're also working on their mind - muscle connection."
The weightlifting competition runs through the majority of the Olympic Games. Competition for both men and women begins on July 28th and run through August 7th. Depending on the weight class, medals will be handed out throughout those days. You can watch all the weightlifting action on NBC's Olympic website, NBCOlympics.com.