Weight Lifting as a Masters Athlete - the Meltzer-Faber Age Coefficient

Updated: Feb 14, 2019

It’s an inevitable fact that as one reaches the age of 35 your strength, agility and power diminishes steadily by about 2% per year!


Anyone who lifts in the year he or she reaches 35 is deemed a Master Weightlifter and can lift in competitions especially designed for Masters Lifters.



The IWF have created 10 different age ranges in 5-year blocks for Men and 8 for Women (M for Men and W for Women):


David snatching 65kg at a Masters competition

M35 35 to 39 W35 35 to 39

M40 40 to 44 W40 40 to 44

M45 45 to 49 W45 45 to 49

M50 50 to 54 W50 50 to 54

M55 55 to 59 W55 55 to 59

M60 60 to 64 W60 60 to 64

M65 65 to 69 W65 65 to 69

M70 70 to 74 W70+ 70+

M75 75 – 79 and M80 80+


There has been research done by Malone, Meltzer and Faber using thousands of weightlifters to ascertain the coefficient required for both Men and Women to compare lifters with what they could have lifted between the ages of 18 to 30 as a Senior.


You can not only compare and rank lifters of different body weight, but also different ages. One uses the Sinclair formula for different body weights and the Malone-Faber coefficient for different ages!


David hitting an 85kg clean & jerk in 2017 at age 60!

My best lifts ever in competition were 100 kg snatch and 135 kg clean and jerk. Now at the age of 62 my Meltzer-Faber Coefficient is 1.568. So, a snatch this year of 64 kg and a clean and jerk of 86 kg is the equivalent to my very best and guess what this is just what I can do at my very best! For example, last year at the European Championships (age 61 and coefficient 1.541) I did 67 kg snatch and 85 kg clean and jerk for a 152 kg total. This was equivalent to 152 kg * 1.541 = 234 kg total.


Ergo - You cannot beat the Formula!


At the tender age of 73 the coefficient is 2.00! That means you are half the woman or half the man you were at 20 – 30! So, a 73-year-old lifter lifting 50 kg snatch and 65 kg clean and jerk has done the equivalent of 100 kg snatch and a 130 kg clean and jerk at 20 to 30 years of age.






The best thing about Masters weightlifting are the competitions which run during the Calendar Year:


March British Masters championships and here you should enter either the Southern or Northern Masters (or Welsh, NI, or Scottish) and attain a total that exceeds the Qualifying Totals.


November Southern Masters covering counties: Cornwall, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire to Kent, Essex, basically everyone south of Birmingham! There are NO entry qualification standards!


See the website for qualifying totals http://www.britishmasterswl.com/british-masters-qualifying-standards.html


If you are good enough, you can enter the European Masters championships usually held in June or even the WORLD MASTERS Weightlifting championships in August! The qualifying totals become progressively harder!


Good luck!

- David Mannion