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Montana High School Powerlifting

Powerlifting Sites

International Powerlifting Federation
USA Powerlifting
Meet Check List
Meet Record Form

Competition Format

A powerlifting competition takes place as follows:

Each competitor is allowed three to four attempts on each lift depending on their standing and the organization they are lifting in. The lifter’s best valid attempt on each lift counts toward his competition total. If two or more lifters achieve the same total, the lighter lifter ranks above the heavier lifter

Competitors are judged against other lifters of the same gender, weight class, and age. This helps to ensure that the accomplishments of lifters like Lamar Gant, who deadlifted five times his own weight, are recognized alongside those of Andy Bolton, the current World Powerlifting Organization squat, deadlift, and three-lift world record holder. Comparisons of lifters and scores across different weight classes can also be made using handicapping systems such as the Wilks formula.


The athlete stands under a racked barbell which is loaded with weight. Grabbing the bar from behind, it is placed on the back below the upper trapezius muscles, settling on a shelf created by the posterior deltoids as the scapulae are retracted; the closer a grip taken on the bar, the more "shelf" is created. This low bar positioning places the bar closer to the squatter's center of gravity, thus more effectively utilizing the hip extensors throughout the duration of the movement. The athlete walks clear of the rack (unless competing in a federation using a "monolift", a device which supports the bar in place until the lifter is ready), and squats down until the top of the thigh at the hip joint is lower than the top of the knee. Although the bottom position is sometimes described as having the thigh "below parallel" to the floor, the lower thigh may not necessarily appear to be beneath parallel. Among the heavier weight classes, this is often particularly difficult to judge, due to the often enourmous girth of the lifters' thighs. The lifter then stands up again, and carefully returns the weight to the rack. Disqualification results from the bar making any downward movement after the lifter has begun the ascent, if the spotters touch the bar in any way, if the lifter does not descend far enough, or if the lifter makes no effort to re-rack the weight under his or her own power. The record in the squat lift, using powerlifting equipment, is 1213 pounds (lbs.) done by Andy Bolton (UK).

Bench Press
The athlete lies on a bench. A loaded barbell rests on stands built into the bench above the eye level of the lifter when lying supine on the bench. The athlete removes the bar from the supports with the aid of one or more spotters, lowers it to the chest, pauses, and then presses it up to the full extension of the arms, then carefully returns the weight to the rack. Reasons for disqualification are as follows: if the bar is placed too low on the body (varies by federation), if the bar does not pause on the chest before being lifted upward (in some federations, an explicit "press" command is given, and the athlete cannot lift upwards until it is given), if the bar fails to touch the chest, if the bar hits the uprights of the rack on the ascent, or if the bar makes any downward motion during the ascent. In addition, the lift is nullified if the feet move during the lift, if the buttocks lift off the bench, or if the body makes any extraneous movement during the lift. The record on the bench press is 1,050 Lbs. done by Ryan Kennelly. Heavier presses are claimed but usually in falsehood.

A loaded barbell is placed on the floor. The athlete reaches down, grasps the bar, and lifts it until the legs and back are straight and upright, and the chest proud. The bar is then returned to the floor in a controlled manner normally at the command of one of the judges. The end of the lift is referred to as 'locking out', which means to straighten the back and lock the knees into a balanced position. Disqualification results from the athlete failing to stand completely upright, or if the bar makes any downward motion during the ascent, or for using the thighs to assist the lift (hitching). Many judges have been known to disqualify lifters who drop the bar to the floor after the lift is finished, due to the danger involved in dropping such a heavy amount of weight and the fact that it damages the floor of the gyms that meets are commonly held in. The current world record is held by Andy Bolton (Great Britain) with 1003lbs, although records vary according to federation, where different gear is allowed and there are differing policies for drug usage.