The 3 Powerlifting Lifts
Powerlifing is a test of limit strength. Competitors have three attempts to complete each lift. The best attempt counts as their lift for that event and is carried on to form their competition total.
The competitor who lifts the most weight across all three lifts wins the competition.
The sport of powerlifting is most popular in the US, UK and Russia.
In a powerlifting contest, the lifts are performed in this order:
Between 2 and 5 spotters must be in attendance for each lift.
There is a strict set of rules governing each of the three powerlifts. Read on to find out more about the rules of powerlifting contests:
Squat in powerlifting
The lifter must not double bounce at the bottom of the lift, nor have more than one recovery attempt.
The lifter must not step back or forward once the lift has commenced. This would indicate a stumble.
The lifter must not touch his/her legs with elbows or upper arms
At the bottom of the lift, the top surface of the legs at the hip should be lower than the knees
The lifter must wait for the referee to call ‘squat’ before commencing the descent, and ‘rack’ before replacing the bar on the rack after finishing the ascent.
Bench press in powerlifting
Feet must be in contact with the ground/platform surface
Grip width, measured between forefingers, must not exceed 81 cm (this spacing will be indicated on the bar)
The lifter must wait for referee to call ‘press’ before pressing upward, and ‘rack’ before placing bar back on rack at the top of the lift.
Deadlift in powerlifting
At the top of the lift, the knees should be locked straight, body motionless and standing erect.
The lifter must wait for the referee to call ‘down’ before returning the weight to the ground/platform surface
The lifter must not step or stumble after commencement of the lift
The lifter must not support the weight of the bar on the thighs at any point
The bar must be returned to the ground/platform surface, maintaining control with both hands
Variations in powerlifting
There are also ‘single lift’ events at which normally only the bench press is performed. There might also be a ‘strict curl’ lift which will be performed before the squat.