Strength is the primary ingredient of athletic performance. Powerlifting’s lifts are the definitive measure of strength. Powerlifting is the ultimate strength competition. The powerlifting athlete competes in three specific disciplines, each designed to measure different areas of human strength. The sum or total of the best lift in each discipline determines the winner. Powerlifting is an exciting sport where athletes compete against the force of iron, as well as other athletes.
Powerlifting is an international sport, practiced in over 100 countries on all continents. Athletes, men and women from age 14 and upwards compete in given age groups and weight
categories. Weight categories begin with 44kg women’s class and end in the men’s over 120kg class (unlimited). Powerlifters are unique athletes competing in an exciting sport.
They move massive amounts of weight in hi-tech supportive gear that protects against injury. Contests and appreciative fans can be found from Delhi, India, to Dallas, USA. The
unique powerlifting athletes compete in a wide variety of local, state, regional, national and international competitions.
The three disciplines, in contest order, that make up the sport are the Squat, Bench press and Deadlift.
The lift starts with the lifter standing erect and the bar loaded with weights resting on the lifter’s shoulders. At the referee’s command the lift begins. The lifter bends their knees and lowers themselves into a squatting position, with their hips slightly below parallel position, the lifter then returns to an erect position. At the referees command the bar is returned to the rack and the lift is completed.
With their back resting on the bench, the lifter takes the loaded bar at arm’s length. At the referee’s command the lifter lowers the bar to the chest. On the chest, the bar must be held motionless until the referee give the “press” signal. The lifter then pushes the weight up until their arms are straight and elbows are locked. Then the referee will call ‘rack’ and the lift is completed as the weight is returned to the rack.
The deadlift is often described as the king of the powerlifting disciplines. In the deadlift the lifter grasps the loaded bar which is resting on the platform floor and pulls the weights off the floor, assuming an erect position, with the knees locked and shoulders back with the weight held in the lifter’s grip. At the referees command the bar will be returned to the floor, under the control of the lifter.