About Powerlifting

Powerlifting is a strength-based sport where competitors take part in three lifts: the squat, the bench press and the deadlift. Each competitor has three attempts at each lift, with the greatest “good lift” weight in each lift counting towards their cumulative total. Competitions are between lifters of the same gender, weight, and age category.

Age Categories (Male & Female)Age
Sub-junior14 years to 18 years
Junior19 years to 23 years
Open24 years to 39 years
Masters I40 years to 49 years
Masters II50 years to 59 years
Masters III60 years to 69 years
Masters IV70 years and above
Male Weight Categories
Sub-junior and Junior only up to 53.0 kg
Up to 59.0 kg
59.01 kg up to 66.0 kg
66.01 kg up to 74.0 kg
74.1 kg up to 83.0 kg
83.1 kg up to 93.0 kg
93.1 kg up to 105.0 kg
105.1 kg up to 120.0 kg
120.0+ kg up to unlimited
Female Weight Categories
Sub-junior and Junior only up to 43.0 kg
Up to 47.0 kg
47.1 kg up to 52.0 kg
52.1 kg up to 57.0 kg
57.1 kg up to 63.0 kg
63.1 kg up to 69.0 kg
69.1 kg up to 76.0 kg
76.1 kg up to 84.0 kg
84.0+ kg up to unlimed

Weigh-in for a competition takes place 2 hours before lifting starts. Lifters have to “make weight” for the weight class entered before the competition. Depending on the level of the competition, if a lifter is above the weight category that they entered, they may not be allowed to compete.

At the weigh-in, lifters will enter the weights for their starting/opening (first attempt) lifts for the squat, bench press and deadlift. The opening attempt weights can be changed once within three minutes of the start of lifting.

When the competition starts, lifting takes place in a “rising bar” order for each attempt. For example, if lifter 1 opens with a 130 kg squat and lifter 2 opens with a 125 kg squat, then lifter 2 will go first, followed by lifter 1. The bar always “rises” in weight on each attempt of the lift. Following the first attempt at a lift, irrespective of whether a good or “no lift” is achieved, a lifter has 1 minute to enter their next attempt. They may choose to keep the weight the same or increase the weight. Even if the lift is a “no-lift”, a lifter can’t reduce the weight.

In rising bar order, each lifter makes a first attempt at the lift, then a second attempt and then a third attempt. Between lifts, i.e. the squat and the bench press, there is usually a 20-minute break to allow lifters to warm up for the next lift.

In each age and weight category, the winner is the lifter with the highest cumulative total for each of their three best lifts.