Weightlifter Mattie Rogers Is Heading for the -76kg Class

The biggest news to come out of the world Olympic weightlifting in a long time is the new weight classes. Earlier this week the International Weightlifting Federation announced the formation of ten new IWF weight classes and seven new weight classes for Olympic competitors.

The new classes haven’t technically been ratified by the IWF’s congress, but at this point they’re more or less considered final, and as is the case with any major change in just about any area of sport or politics, it was met with some controversy.

One of the most hotly debated aspects of the new weight classes? For potential Olympic competitors, there is now a twelve-kilogram difference between two of the most competitive (new) weight classes for women, -64kg and -76kg. Prior to this the women’s weights went -63kg, -69kg, and -75kg, so athletes used to competing at the -69kg mark have been thrown for a loop. (Note that non-Olympic international and national competitions will have a -71kg class for women, but this won’t be the case at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.)

Naturally, eyes turned to Mattie Rogers. The top-ranked -69kg female athlete in the United States, she holds every American record in the weight class and has always had her eyes set on competing at the Olympics — and she’s always been public about her difficulties in gaining weight. Her initial reaction to the new weight classes:

Today she took to Instagram to discuss her plans going forward, which were attached to a few shots of smooth block snatches.

In response to the new weight classes (…), I’m pumped to lift in the 71kg class. 67.9 as of this morning, so we’ll just continue this bulk. I’m 5’7” and 10-12% body fat around 68-69, so 64kg is NOT an option. It’s not healthy. I’ve been there. Longevity wise & health wise, up is the only way to go.

76kg being the only Olympic category sucks yeah, but it is what it is and I look forward to getting as close to that as possible. When the decision is lose 10lbs or gain 18lbs, ya gotta just find somethin positive in there and go for it.

Gaining weight is very difficult for my body, so I’m embracing this challenge. A few more kilos (or more than a few) should bring some nice changes to my strength. And NO don’t say “just eat more” it’s not that simple for some people.

Time to get bigger & stronger & enjoy the shit out of this sport for ME. I’m here for a good time AND a long time 🙂

It’s a new era for weightlifters around the world, and the new weight classes have certainly changed training plans and strategies for countless competitors. We hope Rogers succeeds in anything she commits to, new weight classes and all.

Featured image via @mattiecakesssss on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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