No. Empirically means you look at data, what you can see, touch, etc. The question is about builds, and which builds allow for the optimal performance in a given sport. The optimal build (generally speaking) is one in which the femur to lower leg ratio is smaller, the torso to leg ratio is smaller, the hips relatively wider, and the arms shorter.
No, the optimal build is the one that allows you to move the most weight. The data simply has to be something you can measure. In this case it is weight moved.
You’re approaching the question backwards by assuming that a certain build is optimal and then saying that those people who have that build are optimal. That’s not empirical because you haven’t actually measured a correlation between weight moved and body type, which is what you are trying to measure. Empirically, the ideal weightlifting gender is male because there is a positive correlation between weight moved and maleness.
Efficiency is a very difficult concept to define in weightlifting. You can try to say one body type is more efficient because it makes it easier to move the weight. But if that is true, then that body weight should be able to move more total weight which would come back to efficient being synonymous with better.
You could also look at efficiency in terms of energy expenditure. The problem here, though, is that the olympic moves are not optimized for energy expenditure. They are optimized to move the most weight possible. If I can power snatch a weight, that will probably take less energy than full snatching it. The mobility to reach a deep overhead squat position doesn’t really make me able to lift a weight with less energy expenditure.
And nkkkllll, I’m pretty sure I should take credit for hijacking this one.[/quote]
I’m not assuming anything. What we see consistently at the highest level of the sport is that the vast majority of those lifters have the proportions I’ve listed. An even greater percentage of female lifters have those proportions. Or you can look at it from a physics perspective. Either way, you come up with a body type which, all other things being equal, allows for much more weight to be lifted in the snatch, clean&jerk, and squat.
What this is boiling down to is that you have a VERY different concept of what “best” means than I do. We’re talking about two completely different things at this point. It seems to me that if I were to point out a woman who had never lost in her weight class of 48kg and held the world record in the snatch, clean & jerk, and total with a total of 222kg, then Jon North, who has never won an international event, outweighs her by almost double her bodyweight, and has a career best total (in training) of 358kg, would be the better lifter by your standards.
I don’t agree.
In that same vein, it seems like you would say that Ilya Ilin is a better weightlifter simply because he has a larger total than Naim Suleymanoglu. But Naim has more gold medals, and has the greatest sinclair total of all time.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t agree with that sentiment.