The sport of powerlifting, and indeed it is a sport, contests three lifts: the squat, bench, and deadlift (eg. former Western lifter Robyn). In our Western Strength community powerlifting is the best represented strength pursuit. Over the years, our various athletes have powerlifted from absolute beginners to elite competitors on the world stage (IPF). To the extent that general strength training relies on heavy compound lifts like the squat and deadlift, there is a little bit of powerlifter in all strength athletes. If you're interested in competing with us as a team, contact us on social media.
We have a new Powerlifting Library featuring the best resources around! People new to lifting should strongly consider our 7-11 program as a 'pre-powerlifting' program.
Same Good vibes; many different sizes
When the general public pictures powerlifting, they think of someone like Kelly Branton (right). In reality, many are closer to the recently-graduated Nicola Paviglianiti (left). There are 7-8 weight classes for each gender, ranging from 15 to 70+ years old! Powerlifting is currently featured in the Special Olympics and Paralympics (as bench press). It is hard to conceive of a more inclusive sport.
The Force of heavy things
Even though it's called powerlifting, the sport demands the production of force more than power in the physics sense. Though increasing a muscle's cross-sectional area does increase force production, strength has many neurological and technical aspects. Since strength is a skill as well as a neurological adaption, many powerlifters are vastly stronger than their physique and muscular size would suggest. Powerlifting is equal in technical nuance to many sports in the Olympics, where it aspires to be one day included--if it can ever overcome its fragmentation into different federations and degrees of equipment usage ('raw' versus 'equipped').