What is Powerlifitng?

Powerlifting is a competitive strength sport which involves three lifts in competition:


Bench Press


Can I be a powerlifter?

Almost anyone can be a powerlifter, it doesn’t require special mobility or flexibility, you just need to get strong. With time and effort anyone can become strong enough to compete, whatever your age. Most powerlifters train no more times a week than your average gym user should (three to four times). You can compete in powerlifting from age 15 years to 70+ years 

How do I train to be a powerlifter?

Powerlfiters train to be as strong as possible in the three competition lifts. They do not train for a specific body look and do not have to cut their body fat to a low level, as say bodybuilders do. In fact powerlifters have big appetites and love to eat. 

In the gym powerlifters practise  the three competition lifts and accessory exercises to help them get stronger in every way. Powerlifters tend to train in lower rep ranges (1-5) than other gym users for the main lifts.

What happens in competition?

Athletes get three attempts at each of the three lifts. The heaviest weight lifted in each goes to make up their total. The lifters with the highest totals in each class win gold, silver and bronze medals.

Competitions are often referred to as “meets”

Who will I compete against?

It doesn’t matter how large or small, old or young you are. There are different body weight classes and age categories so you will compete against people of a similar age and size to you. 

The lightest body weight categories are under 47 kg (103 lb) for women and under 59 kg (130 lb) for men. 

There are age categories for Juniors (15-18 and 18-23) Seniors (23-40) and Masters 1,2,3 & 4 (40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+)

Do I have to belong to a club?

No. You can enter competition as a member of a club or as an unaffiliated lifter. You can train by yourself, with a trainer or at a club. 

Do I need any equipment?

To train you just have to go to a gym. Nearly all gyms have the equipment you need: barbells, plates, a rack and a bench. 

But to compete you don’t need much at all, you just have to wear regulation kit: a singlet, a t-shirt, socks and footwear. Most athletes also choose to wear additional specialist items such as weightlifting shoes or a powerlifting belt. 

What levels of competition are there?

The lowest level of competition, which anyone can enter, are local club meets and regional competitions known as “divisionals” (these are usually quarterly).

To qualify for higher level competitions you have to lift a qualifying total. These are set each year for each class by sex, body wiehgt and age. 

Above the regional level there are national championships, European championships and world championships every year.