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Power lifting is a strength sport that consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and dead lift. As in the sport of Olympic weightlifting, it involves lifting weights in three attempts. Power lifting evolved from a sport know the same three-attempt format but used a wider variety of events, akin to strongman competition. Eventually odd lifts became standardized to the current three.
In competition, lifts may be performed equipped or unequipped (typically referred to as 'raw' lifting or 'classic' in the IPF specifically). Equipment in this context refers to a supportive bench shirt or squat/dead lift suit or briefs. In some federations, knee wraps are permitted in the equipped but not unequipped division; in others, they may be used in both equipped and unequipped lifting. Weight belts, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and special footwear may also be used, but are not considered when distinguishing equipped from unequipped lifting.
Competitions take place across the world but mostly in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Iceland, Egypt, Sweden, Finland, Russia and Ukraine. Powerlifting has been a Paralympic sport (bench press only) since 1984 and, under the IPF, is also a World Games sport. Local, national and international competitions have also been sanctioned by other federations operating independently of the IPF.
Classes and Categories
From 2011 IPF introduced the following new weight classes (age categories remain unchanged) as follows;
Men: up to 53 kg (Sub-Junior/Junior), 59 kg, 66 kg, 74 kg, 83 kg, 93 kg, 105 kg, 120 kg, 120 kg+
Women: up to 43 kg (Sub-Junior/Junior), 47 kg, 52 kg, 57 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 84 kg, 84 kg +
Up until the end of 2010 there were 11 male and 10 female weight classes and age categories which are as follows;
Pre 2011 Weight classes:
Men: 52 kg, 56 kg, 60 kg, 67.5 kg, 75 kg, 82.5 kg, 90 kg, 100 kg, 110 kg, 125 kg, 125 kg +
Women: 44 kg, 48 kg, 52 kg, 56 kg, 60 kg, 67.5 kg, 75 kg, 82.5 kg, 90 kg, 90 kg +
This depends on the federation generally but averages are as follows:
15-18 (Sub-Jr), 19-23 (Jr), open (any age), masters (40+)
The IPF uses the following age categories: sub-junior (18 and under), junior (19-23), open (24-39), masters 1 (40-49), master 2 (50-59), masters 3 (60-69), and masters 4 (70+). Age category is dependent on the year of the participant's birth. For example, if the participant turns 18 years old in January, he or she is still considered a sub-junior until the end of that calendar.
Rank and Classification
There are several classifications in powerlifting determining rank. These typically include Elite, Master, Class I,II,III,IV. The Elite standard is considered to be within the top 1% of competing powerlifters. Several standards exist, including the United States Powerlifting Association classifications, the IPF/USAPL (single-ply) classifications, the APF (multi-ply) classifications, and the Anti-Drug Athletes United (ADAU, raw) classifications.
Countries in the former Soviet Union use a somewhat different nomenclature for the top classes, distinguishing among Masters of Sport, International Class; Masters of Sport; and Candidates for Master of Sport.
The Master classification should not be confused with the Master age division, which refers to athletes who are at least 40 years old.
Rules listed here will give you a general idea of your desired sport activity. Please remember that each separate organization may have its own rules. Many of the ORGANIZATION listings will give you further links to rules currently employed by that specific organization.
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