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Qualifying for National-Level Meets with USA Weightlifting

Competing at the national level in weightlifting is a dream for many athletes in the United States. It's a chance to showcase your strength, skill, and dedication on a larger stage. While the path to qualifying for national-level meets in USA Weightlifting can be challenging, it's certainly achievable with the right approach and a commitment to your training. In this blog post, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to qualify for national-level meets in USA Weightlifting.

Understand the Competition Structure

Before diving into the qualification process, it's important to understand the structure of weightlifting competitions in the United States. USA Weightlifting (USAW) organizes various national-level meets, including the National Championships, American Open Series, and University and Under 25 National Championships. Each of these competitions has specific qualification standards and entry requirements, so it's essential to target the one that suits your level and goals.

Join USA Weightlifting

To be eligible for national-level competitions, you must become a member of USA Weightlifting. This involves registering and paying an annual membership fee. By joining USA Weightlifting, you'll gain access to sanctioned competitions, coaching resources, and other benefits that can help you along your journey.

Meet the Qualifying Total

Each national-level meet has its own minimum total requirement that athletes must achieve to qualify. The minimum total is the combined weight of your best snatch and clean and jerk lifts. To qualify, you need to consistently train and compete until you reach the specified total for your weight category and age group. These standards can be found on the USA Weightlifting website, and they are periodically updated.

Compete in Sanctioned Events

To reach the required minimum total, you'll need to compete in sanctioned weightlifting events. These competitions are held at the local, regional, and national levels. USA Weightlifting provides a calendar of sanctioned events on their website. To qualify for national-level meets, you'll need to perform well at these competitions and achieve the necessary minimum total.

Train with a Certified Coach

A qualified coach can make a significant difference in your weightlifting journey. They can provide personalized training programs, technical guidance, and help you improve your technique and strength. It's advisable to work with a USA Weightlifting certified coach who is familiar with the qualification process and the standards required to compete at the national level.

Stay Committed to Your Training

Consistency is key in weightlifting. Staying committed to your training, attending regular training sessions, and consistently improving your lifts are all essential to reaching the minimum total required for national-level meets. This journey may take several months or even years, so it's important to stay patient and persistent.

Monitor Qualification Periods

USA Weightlifting typically has qualification periods leading up to national-level meets. Make sure to keep track of these periods and plan your competition schedule accordingly. The qualification periods are often updated on the USA Weightlifting website, and they may vary for different competitions.

Register for the National-Level Meet

Once you've met the minimum total requirement for the specific national-level meet you're targeting, you can register for the event through the USA Weightlifting website. Pay close attention to registration deadlines and requirements, as they may differ from competition to competition.


Qualifying for national-level meets in USA Weightlifting is a challenging but rewarding journey for dedicated athletes. By understanding the competition structure, becoming a USA Weightlifting member, achieving the minimum total, competing in sanctioned events, working with a certified coach, staying committed to your training, monitoring qualification periods, and registering for the meet, you can pursue your dream of competing at the highest level of the sport. Remember, success in weightlifting requires dedication, hard work, and a never-give-up attitude. Good luck on your journey to national-level competitions!

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