• North Shore Barbell

What Is Powerlifting?

Updated: Mar 5

Powerlifting is a sport that's taken off worldwide over the past 5 or 6 years, thanks in part to the rise of social media platforms and the growing popularity of sports like Crossfit. Powerlifting is considered by many to be the "true" test of strength, as it tests a person's strength in 3 different ways with a barbell; the Squat, Bench Press and the Deadlift.


From the IPF Technical Rules: The barbell back squat, barbell bench press, and barbell deadlift.


Before we go any further. Powerlifting is not weightlifting. If you're looking for information on the sport in which you throw weights above your head, this is probably not the article for you.


Sometimes it's hard to get across what Powerlifting is to friends and family members so we've put together this basic guide to help get across, or learn what it's all about!



The Basics:


Powerlifting is a sport comprised of 3 lifts with a barbell; the back squat, the bench press and the deadlift. The objective of Powerlifting is to put the greatest total of these three lifts combined.


Best Back Squat (KGs) + Best Bench Press (KGs) + Best Deadlift (KGs) = Total (KGs)



From left to right: The Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift


The Competition:


Firstly, you've got to weigh in. If you're lifting in an IPF/NZPF competition that will happen 2 hours before the competition starts.


In a Powerlifting competition, there are three rounds, each with 3 attempts meaning you get 9 total lifts across the duration of the competition. Each round is dedicated to a single lift (I.E the squat) and the goal of each round should be to successfully lift the weight possible.


In short:


1. Weigh In

2. Roughly 2 hours

3. Squat - 3 Attempts

4. 10-minute break

5. Bench Press - 3 Attempts

6. 10-minute break

7. Deadlift - 3 Attempts