Scope of Weightlifting in Nepal: Eligibility, Training, Opportunities

Scope of Weightlifting in Nepal: Eligibility, Training, Opportunities

Although Weightlifting (also known as Olympic Weightlifting) hasn’t trickled down into the mainstream world like football, volleyball, or even swimming, it is one of the sports that has received the highest number of official international medals. In the recent South Asian Games, Nepal Weightlifting bagged 16 medals out of the 20 events with two gold medals. Being a sport with a high medal count, it still hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. Like most sports, the scope of weightlifting for an average athlete isn’t that great. But for people wanting to give all their let us be your guide to get to the sport.

Scope of Weightlifting in Nepal: Eligibility, Training, Opportunities
Bikash Thapa at 2018 Asian Games

Weightlifting Events: Snatch and Clean & Jerk

Let’s start by addressing what happens in the sport of weightlifting. There are two events; first, you compete at Snatch and then at the Clean & Jerk. In the snatch, you lift the bar from ground to overhead in one fluid motion, whereas in clean and jerk, you first lift the bar to your neck/shoulder level and then jerk the bar overhead. You get three attempts in both the events to lift the heaviest you can with 1st attempt starting with minimal weight and then increasing it gradually. 

Categories: Weight and Age

There are ten weight categories each for Men and Women and four age categories in a weightlifting event. But for the Olympics, there are only seven weight categories for both men and women.

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Weightlifting Age Category

Men’s weight category

  • 55  kg (121 lb ) (excluding Olympics)
  • 61 kg (134 lb)
  • 67 kg (148 lb)
  • 73 kg (161 lb)
  • 81 kg (179 lb)
  • 89 kg (196 lb) (excluding Olympics)
  • 96 kg (212 lb)
  • 102 kg (225 lb) (excluding Olympics)
  • 109 kg (240 lb)
  • Over 109kg (240 lbs +)

Women’s weight category

  • 45 kg (99.2 lb) (excluding Olympics)
  • 49 kg (108 lb)
  • 55 kg (121 lb)
  • 59 kg (130 lb)
  • 64 kg (141 lb)
  • 71 kg (157 lb) (excluding Olympics)
  • 76 kg (168 lb)
  • 81 kg (179 lb) (excluding Olympics)
  • 87 kg (192 lb)
  • Over 87kg (191 lb +)

Weightlifting Age Categories

  • YOUTH: 13 – 17 years of age
  • JUNIOR: 15 – 20 years of age
  • SENIOR: ≥15 years of age
  • MASTERS: ≥35 years of age
Asian Games 2018: New National Records in Weightlifting
Sanju Chaudhary at the 2018 Asian Games

Eligibility for Weightlifting in Nepal

Weightlifting in Nepal is governed by the Nepal Weightlifting Association under Nepal Olympic Committee and National Sports Council. Almost anyone can become a weightlifter in Nepal, but you have to qualify to compete at the National Level. National Games have been decided to be held every two years, so you have to compete at the District Level competition to be eligible for that. After winning that, you get selected for the State Level Games. After bagging a gold medal at the State Games, you get to compete at the National Level. But for athletes from the Tribhuvan Army Club, Nepal Police Club, and APF Club, you don’t have to go through the hassle. Still, the selection takes place inside the organization.

Scope of Weightlifting in Nepal: Eligibility, Training, Opportunities

For the hobbyists out there, you can just train and have fun and even compete in events at the local level.

Scope of Weightlifting in Nepal: Eligibility, Training, Opportunities
Prakash Kc winning Bronze at The 2019 South Asian Games in Pokhara

Training Procedure

The training of Weighlifting isn’t easy; the professionals out there even train 10-12 times in a week. You can expect a lot of pulls and squats happening at the training center and nothing like what you see at the local gyms. In the central weightlifting training center at Rangashala, you train five times a week with Wednesday and Saturday off unless you have a major competition coming soon. Your training starts with a variation of the snatch, and then you proceed to the variation of clean & jerk. After that, you get on to heavy pulls and squats and then end with accessories or bodybuilding movements. This is the basic framework of what happens at the training. Still, the training is adjusted according to your strengths and weaknesses, so don’t expect everyone to do the same stuff. And training also differs in off-season and competition season.

Where to Join?

So, the common question might pop, where do I join? Where do I get started? I understand weightlifting isn’t as commercialized as boxing, muay Thai or bodybuilding. Getting into weightlifting might be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. CrossFit gyms out there teach you weightlifting movements, but let’s talk about the best options for those who want to get into weightlifting.

If you are inside the Kathmandu valley, Going to the Dashrath Rangashala would be better for you. Starting your training in the Dashrath Rangashala is pretty easy; you just have to go there and meet one of the coaches to start your weightlifting journey. But make sure you go there between 10 AM and 2 PM; that’s when the coaches are mostly available. It’s better if you’re physically fit or were involved in some sport in the past as some amount of athleticism makes it easier for the coaches and you to kick start your weightlifting journey. And the best part is you get to learn from the country’s best coaches without paying any fees. And for the people outside the valley, its the same procedure, except you have to visit your sports training center/ rangashala.

Kamal Adhikari improves national records in weightlifting - myRepublica -  The New York Times Partner, Latest news of Nepal in English, Latest News  Articles
Kamal Bahadur Adhikari at the 2018 Asian Games

Opportunities, Benefits, and Risk

The opportunities of Weightlifting are endless; if you get better with time, you get to participate in the national games, visit different countries for training and even represent your country at an international level. What more could you ask for? Talking about financial benefits, you don’t get paid enough for being a weightlifting player. The only time you will get paid is when you win a competition or break national records. And in the time of training for international events or during competitions organized by the National Sports Council, you will get your daily allowances, ranging from 1000 to 1500 per day. Besides that, you don’t get paid unless you’re from the Army or the Police; in that case, your organization pays you.

But you can get paid if you’re smart with your marketing. You can get sponsorships as a sports influencer or brand ambassador of a different brand.

Like every other sport, there will be risks in weightlifting too. Injuries might be expected if you’re not smart with your training or don’t follow the coach properly. Most of the injuries are avoidable if you warm up properly and train smart. Another drawback is your day might be tiring if you don’t get enough nutrition and rest. Getting enough rest is mandatory, so if you’re a night animal or one who likes to party hard, then you might have to watch out on that.

Bikash Thapa wins weightlifting gold for Nepal
Bikash Thapa winning Gold at The 2019 South Asian Games


Weightlifting is a beautiful strength sport looking a way to get popular in our country. Our neighboring country, China is one of the best worldwide, we also have a high scope in the coming years. With writing about weightlifting as a sport and the scope and the scenario of weightlifting in Nepal, all your queries might have been covered. If not, you can write down in the comments below, and we will answer it right away. We hope this article helps people who want to get into the sport of weightlifting.

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