Why Make 99kg When You can Miss 100kg?? | Even Elite Lifters Like Even Numbers

This topic came up in a recent video of mine, and I thought I would make a brief post about it. When I analyzed 80,000 lifts from every international weightlifting competition (and every U.S. National competition), I noticed that lifters tended to take 5kg jumps in competitions, even though this may not be optimal (see this article for snatches, and this article for clean and jerks). It’s not just this, people tended to choose weights ending in a “0” or a “5”, and rarely chose weights ending in a “9” or a “4”. In fact, lifters were over 7 times more likely to take an attempt ending in a “0” vs. “9” (i.e. 7x more likely to try 100kg vs. 99kg).

Even though I know this information– I still have a tendency to attempt even numbers. Should we be chasing milesones? If a 99kg is truly my max, should I continue to push for 100kg?

In 80,000 analyzed lifts, lifters were 4x more likely to attempt a weight ending in a “5” vs. a “4, and 7x more likely to attempt a weight ending in a “0” vs. a “9”!

Below is a link to a video where I first talked about this graph. Feel free to skip ahead to 6:47 and I show the graph at 7:28. For context, in the video I had 90 kg (198 lb) on the bar and was tempted to increase the weight so that it was >200 lb.

Feel Free to follow my fitness journey after a 3 year hiatus here:


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