Relationship of Maximum Strength to Weightlifting Performance

Document Type

Journal Article


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Computing, Health and Science


Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science




This article was originally published as: Stone, M. , Sands, W., Pierce, K., Carlock, J., Cardinale, M., & Newton, R. (2005). Relationship of Maximum strength to weightlifting performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(6), 1037-1043. Original article available here


Purpose: The primary objective was to assess the relationship of maximum strength to weightlifting ability using established scaling methods. The secondary objective was to compare men and women weightlifters on strength and weightlifting ability. Methods: Two correlational observations were carried out using Pearson's r. In the first observation (N = 65) the relationship of dynamic maximum strength (one-repetition maximum (IRM) squat) was compared with weightlifting ability; in the second observation (N = 16), isometric maximum strength (midthigh pull) was studied. Scaling methods for equating maximum strength and weightlifting results were used (load * (Ht2 I6)- . load * kg-', load * lbm-', allometric, and Sinclair formula) to assess the association between measures of maximum strength and weightlifting performance. Results: Using scaled values; correlations betweeh maximum strength and weightlifting results were generally strong in both observations (e.g., using allometric scaling for the IRM squat vs the IRM snatch: r = 0.84, N = 65). Men were stronger than women (e.g., IRM squat, N = 65: men = 188.1 ± 48.6 kg; women = 126.7 + 28.3 kg); differences generally held when scaling was applied (e.g., IRM squat scaled with the Sinclair formula: men = 224.7 ± 36.5 kg; women = 144.2 ± 25.4 kg). Conclusions: When collectively considering scaling methods, maximum strength is strongly related to weightlifting performance independent of body mass and height differences. Furthermore, men are stronger than women even when body mass and height are obviated by scaling methods.