Definitive Guide to Weightlifting
Weightlifting may bring to mind an image of hugely muscular men lifting heavily loaded barbells overhead with all their might. That scene may be real, but it is only part of the story. People from young to old are getting involved in weightlifting these days. Weightlifting is not only for men, either, as many women find compelling reasons to do this exercise and sport.
You do not have to have huge, rippling muscles to get a good workout from weightlifting. Bodybuilders do weightlifting to increase the size and definition of their muscles, but not every weightlifter has that agenda. Team and individual athletes do weightlifting to increase their muscular abilities, including strength, power, speed and endurance. People who do Olympic weightlifting or other forms of weight training focus their energies towards building strength and power rather than achieving a certain look. Everyone wants to look good, but that is not a priority for every weightlifter.
No matter what you look like, or what your occupation happens to be, you may find that weightlifting is just the boost that your exercise program needs. If you do not consider yourself strong, then you can start out slowly. As long as you have the strength to lift a small dumbbell, you can benefit from this form of exercise. Age, gender and body build are not issues when it comes to getting involved in weightlifting.
If you are wondering what is at issue, you can learn all about the subject in this Definitive Guide to Weightlifting. This exercise and sport has a rich history in the world, and it is still going strong in gyms, schools and homes across America and around the world. This may be the perfect time for you to join the ranks of people who get healthier, stronger and more powerful through the practice of weightlifting.
The simplest description of weightlifting is that it is an exercise or sport where heavy objects are moved by the force of the muscles. The heavy objects that are usually used for weightlifting are free weights or weight machines. The weights are moved in an upwards direction and then back down, like in overhead lifts or even in movements such as a biceps curl.
Weightlifting as an exercise is done by one person, either working alone or with a personal trainer. If heavy free weights are being used, there should be someone there to act as a spotter in case you drop the weights. Weight machines are designed to be safer, but they generally isolate muscle groups more than free weights. The people most interested in isolating muscle groups are those who compete in bodybuilding, so machines are not the first choice of every weightlifter.
Weightlifting as a sport is very similar to weightlifting as exercise. In fact, many people who compete in the sport are more concerned about beating their own personal best than out-lifting other competitors. There are some differences about the sport, though. For instance, weightlifters train with the goal of peaking at the time of the competition.
When you go into a gym where people are doing weightlifting, you will see that not everyone is lifting in the same way. A part of this is because many people do not know all they should about lifting with the best form. Another part is that different styles mean different types of lifts, and various schedules are used for a range of weightlifting workout routines.
There is little doubt that you will know weightlifting when you see it. Just look for the people who are lifting dumbbells, barbells, or kettle bells. Watch for people working on weight machines in your local gym. Weightlifting is easy to spot, but more difficult to understand fully. For that, you need more information about the types, methods, schedules, and safety issues of weightlifting.
A look at the past will reveal a glimpse of the rich history of weightlifting. This much is known: as far back as written documentation goes in human history, there are writings describing the lifting of weights. In a 5000-year-old Chinese text, there is a discussion of aspiring soldiers being judged in lifting tests.
The ancient Greeks lifted weights as well, often heavy stones that were set aside for use in these feats of strength. Ancient Greek wrestler Milo de Croton is said to have been the first to use progressive weight training. He accomplished this by carrying a newborn calf on his back every day, continuing until the calf had become full grown.
Stones gave way to man made lifting equipment. Dumbbells were early examples. They were so named because they were made of heavy bells. The clappers of the bells were removed so that they would be silent, or “dumb,” and less distracting for the lifter. An early form of dumbbells called “halters” was used in the 2nd century by another ancient Greek, a physician who practiced strength training.
Barbells did not come along until the latter half of the 19th century. In those early days, the barbells had hollow globes on each end which could be filled with sand or other substances for weight. By the time the 20th century rolled around, plate-system barbells were in use.
Weightlifting was included in the 1896 Olympics, the first modern Games. The inclusion of the event has continued with few interruptions from 1896 to the present day Olympics events where men fall into 8 weight classes and women into 7 weight classes. Although the most impressive period of the American Olympic weightlifting team came during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the current teams are still very competitive. The first women’s Olympic lifting team competed in the 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympic Games.
However, there is more to weightlifting than the Olympic variety. Bodybuilding became a competitive event after strongman Eugene Sandow set up and promoted the first bodybuilding competition, held in 1891. Sandow was known as the original bodybuilder, having not only strength but also a symmetrical and well-defined muscularity. In fact, his image graces the first Mr. Olympia statuette. Bodybuilding has grown as an event through the years, and now it has competitions for both men and women. There has been concern over muscle-enhancing drugs, but there is also a growing movement towards a more natural, health-based bodybuilding style.
Powerlifting grew out of Olympic weightlifting in the 1950s and 1960s. Men who wanted to excel in different lifts besides those used in the Olympic Games started using other moves to pick up heavy loads in excess of 500 lbs. In November of 1972, the International Powerlifting Federation was born. That group now has frequent competitions to see who can lift the heaviest loads with these new lifts.
During its history, weightlifting has taken many forms, used various types of equipment, and affected the lives of millions. Present-day media and numerous exciting competitions have made weightlifting interesting to more and more people. As a healthy way to improve strength and other muscular qualities, it is bound to become ever more popular.
Each of the main types of weightlifting has its own history and its own style. Choosing the type of weightlifting you want to do is an important decision. It will affect the way you train, as well as many other aspects of your life.
Most people who are mainly interested in improving their health choose a program of weightlifting that is basic weight training. A weight training program includes lifting dumbbells, barbells, and other weights such as kettle bells. Weight machines are also sometimes used.
These programs are designed primarily to increase strength and flexibility. Sometimes, weight loss is another goal of a simple weight training program. In general, fitness weight training programs use compound exercises to develop well-rounded fitness for good health.
Bodybuilding may be thought of as different from weightlifting, but bodybuilders do lift weights to sculpt their bodies to their ideal physique. Often, people who lift weights for bodybuilding use lifts that isolate individual muscles. This is based on the fact that they are trying to make every muscle well-defined and prominent. Bodybuilding requires a finely-tuned, precise program of weightlifting to achieve the desired look.
Olympic weightlifting is a very specific type of sport, which uses a very limited variety of lifts. The two lifts currently used are the clean and jerk and the snatch. Olympic weightlifters use barbells with heavy weight plates for amazing feats of strength. Good form is essential as well. In fact, the clean and press lift was used in the past, but was discontinued because it was too difficult to judge form. Unlike bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting is all about strength and power.
Powerlifting takes strength to a higher level with lifts that Olympic weightlifting has ignored. There have been several odd lifts used, but the three lifts finally chosen for powerlifting events were the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. In some cases, the powerlifters wear weight belts to increase safety with heavier loads. At other times, the weightlifters lift “raw,” meaning that they do not use supportive equipment to help them.
All types of weightlifting take enormous amounts of determination and commitment. The similarities between Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting make them more compatible to do together than either basic weight training or bodybuilding. A standard health-oriented weight training program should be challenging, but will probably not prepare you for lifting those kinds of heavy weights. If you choose to do bodybuilding, your success is in your appearance, and strength is of minimal value.
Whatever you choose, weightlifting can give you a plan and a focus to improve your life. Consider your goals and what working out means to you. It is only then that you can choose the weightlifting avenue that best suits your needs and desires.
Weightlifting actually has some very impressive benefits. As long as it is done properly, there is no reason it cannot make you healthier in many ways. The few disadvantages have more to do with personal style and choice than with the proper practice of weightlifting
1. Improve Muscle Abilities
Weightlifting can improve strength, power, speed, endurance, flexibility and other muscular attributes. A solid program of progressive resistance training with weights can transform your muscles from weak and useless to strong and powerful.
2. Stave Off Muscle Loss
People usually lose muscle mass as they get older. The only way to keep from losing your muscle is to engage in some form of exercise to stave off the decline. Weightlifting is the best choice for this because it builds muscle directly.
3. Improve Physique
Whether you go into weightlifting for bodybuilding or a simple program of weight training, your body is going to get more toned and muscular. There are different kinds of weightlifting physiques, and you can choose the type you want by selecting bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting or weight training. In any case, you will appear stronger and healthier for having worked out with weights.
4. Raise Metabolism
Just by virtue of packing on more muscle mass, weightlifting increases the amount of fat you burn each day. This is because muscles burn more energy than fat, even in a resting state. Get muscular and you will have an easier time losing body fat.
5. Improve Bone Mass
Weightlifting is especially helpful for people who are at risk for weak and fragile bones. Women are especially susceptible to bone loss in their later years. Weightlifting actually increases bone mass, making the bones stronger and denser.
6. Good for Cardiovascular System
Weightlifting has been shown to improve heart function, both in people with and without heart disease. It is important to talk to a doctor before starting to do the exercise or sport, especially if you have a preexisting condition such as heart disease. However, in most cases, it will help.
7. Improve Sleep
A good workout with weights will improve your sleep, not only by wearing you out, but also by improving your overall health.
8. Increase Self Confidence
Nothing quite equals weightlifting when it comes to building mental strength and self confidence. The regular goal-setting and reaching of goals reminds you that you can make progress and be successful.
Injuries are likely if you do weightlifting with improper form. The body is meant to move in certain ways, and if you try to move in ways that do not conform, you are asking for trouble. The best solution is to work with a trainer or instructor.
2. Hard Work
Weightlifting of any variety can be an intense struggle to meet challenges you have set for yourself. It is just plain hard work. If you do not like to break a sweat or feel any discomfort whatsoever, you will not like weightlifting.
Weightlifting is not something you can do on-again, off-again. You must do regular workouts to keep your muscles in condition. Anyone who wants to play around at a sport should choose something that is less demanding.
The basics of weightlifting are simple, but important to understand. Some of the first ideas you will learn are about equipment, how to count exercises and rest periods, types of exercises, areas to train, and how to keep your muscles improving.
The two pieces of equipment used most often in weightlifting are the barbells and dumbbells. Benches are usually needed with free weights. Weight machines are also very high on the list. These allow you to change the weight by switching a small pin. They are also safer, especially for beginners.
Reps and Sets
Repetitions, or reps, refer to the number of times you lift a weight in a row without stopping. For example, if you lift a dumbbell in a biceps curl for 12 times, those are 12 reps. By stopping at the end of those 12 reps, you have completed a set, because a set is a group a reps followed by a rest. In most cases, the amount of weight lifted should be sufficient so that you can do no more than your desired number of reps in good form before you have to end the set and take a break. 1 rep max is the amount of weight you can lift only one time before muscle failure.
Your muscles need rest. Between sets, your muscles need rest to recover and prepare for the next set. Too little rest can leave your muscle fatigued and keep you from being able to do the same number of reps in the next set. Too much rest and your endorphins will drop off. The rest period may depend to an extent on what kind of weightlifting you are doing. For example, if you are doing powerlifting, you will need much longer breaks than if you are doing a lighter weight training workout.
Isolation vs. Compound Exercises
Isolation exercises are those which move and work out only one muscle group or muscle at a time. Compound exercises train several muscle groups and affect several joints together. Isolation exercises are excellent for sculpting the body, such as in bodybuilding. Compound exercises translate better to real world movements. Compound exercises are also used for Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting.
Training Away Weaknesses
One of the important benefits of weightlifting is that you can train the muscles that are weak to make them stronger. If you want a balanced physique and total body strength, your weak areas are good places to focus your attention.
If you do the exact same exercises, with the exact same weights, for the same numbers of reps and sets every day, your body will soon adapt. Your muscles will stop improving, and weight loss will diminish. The best way to keep progressing is to keep changing up your workouts. Demand more of your muscles, and you will get more in return.
Weightlifting methods vary greatly depending on the reason you are lifting weights and the training style you have chosen. If you are going to be in a competition, that will have a bearing as well. Most of the methods are distinguished by their characteristics of weight load, number or reps and sets, and rest times in between sets.
Simple Set Method
The simple set method is the one usually used for beginners and others who are on a quest of general weight training for improved health. It is done by using a weight that can be lifted no more than 6-12 reps before muscle failure. At the end of the set, there is usually a 60 second rest before the next set.
Super Set Method
If you’ve been around weightlifters at all, you may have heard them talking about super sets and wondered what they meant. A super set consists of two exercises done back to back without rest in between. The two exercises will usually be training opposing muscles, such as a biceps curl and a triceps extension. Super sets are extremely intense. A different method called the tri-set can be used in a similar way to train three muscle groups.
The pyramid method is used to build muscle size, strength and endurance. It is usually started in a similar way to the simple set method, but using a light weight. With each set, a heavier weight is used. As the weight becomes heavier, the number of reps you can do naturally goes down. The idea is to keep going in this fashion until you can do no more than 1 or 2 reps with the given weight, which will probably be quite heavy at that point.
Maximal Effort Method
In the maximal effort method, the focus is on big weightlifting feats such as the squat, the clean, the snatch and the deadlift. It is a great training method for Olympic weightlifters, powerlifters, and other athletes because it develops enormous strength. In the maximal effort method, you lift 90 to 100% of your 1 rep max in these exercises. Some trainers suggest that you do this several times during a training session to prepare for competition, while others have you mix in some lifts of a lower percentage of 1 rep max. This exercise method develops not only physical preparedness for competition, but also tests and builds psychological fitness.
Dynamic Effort Method
Dynamic effort lifting just means that you move very quickly with a less than maximal weight. Usually the weights are done at about 50% of 1 rep max. When this is alternated with days of maximal effort training, it can help to develop power along with absolute strength.
For many weightlifters, the best method is a combination of methods. The best way to approach training for a weightlifting competition is to work with a personal trainer to develop a systematic plan.
A weightlifting plan and schedule organizes the exercises to be done during weightlifting training. The three levels of plans are for the macro-cycle, the meso-cycle and the micro-cycle. The macro-cycle is the long-term plan, the meso-cycle is a medium period of training, usually between 2 and 6 weeks long, and each workout is a micro-cycle. There are several ways to approach these periods of training.
Basic System of Training
In a general weight training program for physical fitness, there may not be any special long-term system at all. The main thrust of the plan is to build strength and to balance that with stretching for flexibility every day. Many personal trainers evaluate the trainees’ weaknesses and build the program to balance their physique and strength. Others build towards a particular goal such as weight loss or functional strength.
In a periodization system, the macro-cycle is usually a year or more long. It progresses in an orderly fashion through several phases which make up the meso-cycles. The anatomical adaptation phase is the first phase, and it may also be called the general physical preparation phase. It is designed to get the body ready for its new strength training program, usually with low intensity and high reps.
The next phase, the hypertrophy phase, may have a larger or smaller role depending on the goals of the weightlifter. This is the phase where muscle size is built, so those who want large muscles will focus a good deal of attention on hypertrophy. The strength phase is next, followed by a power phase and an endurance phase. The goal is to improve each of the individual muscular attributes in its own meso-cycle to make up the overall macro-cycle.
Short Block Mass Training
Powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters who need both mass and exceptional strength may want to train in short blocks of intense training. It is best to train for about 4 weeks at the maximal loads using compound exercises, along with some appropriate isolation exercises. Then, these weightlifters take a week to work on other muscular qualities with lighter loads and more speed or repetitions before doing another 4 week block of heavy training.
Short periods of time can be broken up into periods called training splits. A split training schedule consists of alternating workouts that are used to train different muscle groups or body parts on different days. For example, the upper body might be trained on certain days and the lower body on alternating days. There should also be rest days mixed in so that most average people in weight training will work out 3 to 4 times per week. Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters use compound movements that involve their whole body, so they are not likely to spend much time on split training.
The type of training program and schedule you use can change the outcome of your weightlifting training to a great extent. Every serious weightlifter should have a personal trainer or other mentor to guide them in choosing the best plan.
Weightlifting can be very safe if it is done properly, but heavy weights are not very forgiving. You have to know the best practices to use while doing weightlifting if you want to avoid injury. You have to be alert and responsible to keep from making dangerous mistakes.
Spotting is a desirable safety measure for a couple of reasons. First, of course, a good spotter or spotters can keep you from being injured, period. Second, though, is that with a spotter you can try lifts that you might be afraid to try without one. The key to success is to get a spotter who is capable of lifting the weight comfortably and able to judge when you need help. Ideally, you would have the same spotter as often as possible to develop a working relationship.
If there is one thing that causes more injuries than any other in weightlifting, it is improper form. People who do not know what they are doing lift incorrectly. They do not understand sound body mechanics to manage the extra weight. Inevitably they will injure a joint or a muscle because they did not stand or move in the right way.
Another reason people often use poor form is that they are trying to push themselves too hard. They want to get in that last set of reps, no matter what happens. Unfortunately, what happens is all too often a stress injury from a joint that was turned the wrong way or a strained muscle that was called on to do too much of the work.
There are several ways to have better form. You can read books or watch videos to get a sense of the way an exercise should be done. However, the best way to insure that your form is correct is to have a knowledgeable trainer to watch and correct you as you try the lifts. Then, just make sure that you do not keep exercising beyond your capability to stay in good form.
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Many weightlifters injure themselves because they walk into the gym and start lifting weights right away without any period of warm-up. Some dynamic stretching that involves gentle movements to the range of motion should be included, along with some form of aerobic exercise. For cool downs, you should use static stretching before you leave the gym.
There are some measures you need to take whenever you do weightlifting that may seem minor or obvious. They are actually very important. For example, make sure the safety clips are on the bar before you ever lift any barbells. Otherwise, the weight plates could slide right off the ends. Also, make sure your shoes have good traction so you do not slip while holding heavy weights.
Listen to Your Body
A crucial part of safety for weightlifting is to listen to your body during workouts and competitions. If you feel pain, it means something is wrong. If you feel lightheaded, it might be dangerous to lift. Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you as well as the other rules of weightlifting safety. Then, you can enjoy weightlifting without injury or mishap.
A program of weightlifting presents several nutritional challenges. Most weightlifters agree that a generally healthy diet will improve their bodies and abilities. Some of the best nutritional advice goes well for everyone, while some is targeted more specifically to weightlifters.
General Nutrition: Good Carbs
The body needs good, low glycemic carbohydrates for slow-release, steady energy throughout the day. This is the type of energy that helps weightlifters get through their workouts. Without adequate carbs, the body would start to breakdown muscle tissue and other proteins for energy. Good carbs include whole grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts. Depending on your trainer and your goals, you might choose to take in 30 or 40% of your daily calories in carbs.
General Nutrition: Good Fats
It is easy to get caught up in the anti-fat sentiment prevalent in fitness circles without understanding that some good fats are actually necessary. Fat lubricates the joints and organs, and provides insulation from extremes in temperature. It is fine to have about 30% of the daily calories in good fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are the best, and they occur in fatty fish like salmon, as well as in nuts and tofu.
General Nutrition: Protein
A standard rule of thumb is that you should have 1 gram of protein for every pound of body weight every day. Protein should come from lean sources such as tuna and other fish, from beans, from egg whites, and from lean chicken. If you cannot get enough protein from foods you eat, protein powders can be used. Whey and casein proteins are made from milk protein, and they are some of the highest quality proteins available. Other protein powders are made from soy, rice, and other products.
General Nutrition: Vitamins and Minerals
If you eat a varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables, you are likely to get the micronutrients you need. Some people take a multi-vitamin on general principle, but if you are eating well there is no need for this. Remember that vitamins are supplements – additions – to your diet. Until the space age comes along where people eat meals composed entirely of pills, stick to food as your main source of nutrients. Supplement only the micronutrients that your diet lacks.
Weightlifting Choices: Meal Frequency
It is difficult for the body to absorb all the nutrients it needs in the standard American diet of 3 square meals a day. Weightlifters often choose to eat more meals, sometimes from 5 to 8 meals per day. The meals are much smaller and easy to digest.
Weightlifting Choices: Workout Nutrition
Weightlifters need to have routines for when, how much and what kinds of foods to eat before and after workouts. Carbs and protein are important before a workout to prepare the body for exertion. The best time to have a pre-workout meal is 1 hour ahead for a liquid meal or up to 3 hours ahead for a small solid meal. Post-workout nutrition needs to be rich in carbohydrates to quickly replenish the stores of energy in the muscles and start them on the road to recovery.
Weightlifters, like any other athletes, need to stay hydrated in order to achieve peak performance. Bodybuilders may go through periods just before competitions when they do not drink much liquid, but that is the rare exception. When it comes to the business of lifting weights, the body needs plenty of fluids to help with the work. It is difficult to define the amount of water you need, but there is one indication that will help you figure it out. If you are getting enough water, your urine will be very light in color; if it is darker it means you need more water.
Weightlifting as a sport offers many avenues for competition. Low level Olympic-style competitions will lead up to the higher level events. The Arnold Classic, named for bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a multi-sport fitness event that includes weightlifting. Some of the weightlifters who compete there will make it to the Olympic Games. The World Championships of Weightlifting present the qualification event for the Olympics Games. The Olympics provides a phenomenal opportunity for a few great weightlifters to test and showcase their talent.
In Olympic-style weightlifting, there are two lifts that are traditionally performed. They are the snatch and the clean and jerk. The snatch is a lift where the weightlifter stands with the barbell over his toes and lifts it up from that position to a position over his head in an explosive sequence of movements. In the clean and jerk, the weightlifter raises the bar to a certain point between chest and chin, then up over the head.
The judging for Olympic weightlifting is very exact. First, a determination is made as to whether the lift is a legal lift. An attempt board displays information about each attempt at each lift. The weightlifters may have 3 attempts to do each lift, and the best one is used. At the end of judging, a prize is given for each of the two types of lifts and one for the combined total weight.
The CrossFit Games feature Olympic lifts among their judged events. CrossFit is a special training program that is based on functional workouts with high intensity. As such, their games include heavy weightlifting by both men and women. To win at a CrossFit sectional or regional gives you the chance to test your Olympic weightlifting in the quest to be proclaimed the “fittest on earth.”
Powerlifting competitions are similar in some ways to Olympic weightlifting, but different in others. Heavy weights are used in powerlifting, and form is judged along with weight. The biggest difference is in the types of lifts that are judged. They are, in competition order, the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. These lifts are done with heavier weights by using advanced supportive gear. Powerlifting is also featured in the Arnold Classic.
Many of the federations and committees that sponsor competitions around the world also have master’s competitions for the older weightlifting athletes. Master’s competitions are usually limited to an elite group of weightlifters who have excelled in their sport over the years. The Master’s competitions give these seasoned athletes a chance to test their strength against others of their class and age.
Weightlifting competitions make the sport more exciting and challenging. They get fans involved by giving them something spectacular and impressive to watch. Weightlifting can be an amazing sport. Participants and spectators alike look forward to the competitions.
Weightlifting is a powerful way to improve your health and fitness. It can change the size and shape of your body, but it can also increase your strength, power and endurance. The discipline of weightlifting can transform your mind by giving you more focus and direction. Weightlifting is well worth your time and effort. The energy it takes to do the weightlifting will come back to you many times over, as your health improves and you become fitter and more able to take on life’s demands.
Everyone from children to seniors can benefit from a program of weightlifting. There are competitions for almost every age. The movements of weightlifting translate so easily to everyday life that it is advantageous for nearly everyone. There is no reason to sit on the sidelines if you wish to become stronger and to be able to lift heavier weights.
Weightlifting can be a highly competitive sport, but when it comes down to the heart of the matter most weightlifters are more interested in competing with their own best lifts. This makes sense, because no one else has the same physical advantages and limitations as you do, and no one else has your history. Only by comparing your new performance to your old can you determine if you have made any real progress.
Progress, after all, is what weightlifting is all about. No one wants to keep lifting the same weights over and over again in the same exact way. That does not make you stronger or fitter. Your body just adapts to it over time and settles into a routine. With a superior program of weightlifting, you will be able to continually improve until you reach your peak performance. Yet, that is no time to quit. After your physical peak, you can still enjoy benefits from weightlifting, and be as healthy and happy as ever.
Team USA: The Rise of the US to World Weightlifting Dominance
IPF: History of the International Powerlifting Federation
Bodybuilding.com: A History Lesson in Bodybuilding
Mayo Clinic: Weight Training
OSN: Bodybuilder Extensively Explains Difference Between Bodybuilding, Weightlifting
American Heart Association Journal: Resistance Exercise
Elitefts: A Debate Between Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting As the Main Athletic Training Method
American Family Physician: Weight Training and Weight Lifting Safety
Gymper.com: Necessity of Weight Lifting Spotting
Harvard Health Publications Newsweek: Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load for 100+ Foods