Powerlifting is a strength sport, consisting of three events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Powerlifting resembles the sport of Weightlifting as both disciplines involve lifting heavy weights in three attempts.


A powerlifting competition takes place as follows:

Each competitor is allowed three to four attempts on each lift depending on their standing and the organization they are lifting in. The lifter’s best valid attempt on each lift counts toward his competition total. If two or more lifters achieve the same total, the lighter lifter ranks above the heavier lifter. [International Powerlifting Federation PDFlink| [http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/IPF_rulebook_2007.pdf 2007 Technical Rules] |523 KiB (PDF), p. 2. Retrieved August 12th, 2007.]
Competitors are judged against other lifters of the same gender, weight class, and age. This helps to ensure that the accomplishments of lifters like Lamar Gant, who deadlifted five times his own weight, are recognized alongside those of Andy Bolton, the current World Powerlifting Organization squat, deadlift, and three-lift world record holder. Comparisons of lifters and scores across different weight classes can also be made using handicapping systems such as the Wilks formula. [ [http://www.isu.edu/~andesean/wform.htm] ]


Powerlifting, in most federations, involves three events: squat, bench press and deadlift.

At a powerlifting meet the events will follow in order: squat, then bench press, and the deadlift will be the final lift of the meet. If the federation also has an event for strict curls this will normally occur before the squat event.


Powerlifting requires specialized training techniques that are focused on strength and explosive power. Traditional training methods dictated low repetitions with maximal weight. These practices are still true today, however training methods have advanced to include emphasis on explosive power. This may be achieved through dynamic exercises which utilize lighter weight and alternating repetition patterns.


Although powerlifting always uses the squat, bench press and deadlift as events, different federations have different rules and different interpretations of the rules, leading to a myriad of variations. The ADAU and 100% Raw Federation allow no supportive gear to be worn by the lifter while the IPF and AAU, only allow a single-ply tight polyester squat suit, deadlift suit and bench shirt, wraps for knees and wrists, and a belt. Other federations, such as the IPA and WPO, allow opened or closed back bench shirts, multi-ply gear, and a wide array of gear materials such as canvas, denim, polyester etc.

In an IPF bench press, the barbell can go as low as the xiphoid process and no further in the lift, whereas in other federations, the barbell can touch the abdomen. (This shortens the distance in which the barbell is moved and is an advantage to the lifter.)


External links

* [http://www.worldpowerlifting.info/en/ The World powerlifting database of results, records and powerlifters with advanced search]
* [http://www.ironscene.com/ IronScene Powerlifting Videos - videos of powerlifting attempts and competitions from around the world.]
* [http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/ IPF - International Powerlifting Federation Official Website]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • powerlifting — noun A strength sport, consisting of three events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. The maximum weight lifted in each event is totalled for a final score …   Wiktionary

  • powerlifting — n. weight lifting competition that consists of three lifting events (bench press, squat and deadlift) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • powerlifting — noun a form of competitive weightlifting in which contestants attempt three types of lift in a set sequence. Derivatives powerlifter noun …   English new terms dictionary

  • powerlifting — /ˈpaʊəlɪftɪŋ/ (say powuhlifting) noun a competitive weightlifting sport comprising the squat, the bench press, and the dead lift. –powerlifter, noun …   Australian-English dictionary

  • powerlifting —  n.m. Sport proche de l haltérophilie …   Le dictionnaire des mots absents des autres dictionnaires

  • powerlifting — ˈ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ ˌ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ noun : weight lifting in which lifters compete in the squat, bench press, and dead lift • powerlifter ˈ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ ˌ ̷ ̷  ̷ ̷ noun …   Useful english dictionary

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