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Powerlifting Rules

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What are the rules of powerlifting?

Powerlifting rules of the game

Powerlifting is built around three basic movements the squat, the bench press and the deadlift. The amount of weight in each category is totaled and the highest total is the overall winner. There are sometimes single lift competitions (for example, a bench press only event).

Competition is held by age and weight class for both men and women. Some meets award an overall lifter for the entire event as well. If two lifters tie the winner is the one who weighs less.

There are general, raw and natural contests. A "raw" lifts is one performed without any supporting equipment. Powerlifters sometimes employ a rubber suit and other aids can increase their ability to lift weight substantially (sometimes close to 100 pounds or so).

A lifter is allowed three attempts on each lift, for a total of nine lifts per meet. That makes knowing what you can do or expect to do on any given day important.

Each lift has some unique rules that make them different from the lifts you may see being performed in bodybuilding style.

To begin a lift a competitor must wait for the referee's signal.

For the squat, the key rule is that a lifter must descend to a point where the top surface of the leg at the hip joint is lower than the top of the knees. When the lifter comes to motionless upright position with the knees locked the lift is considered complete.

For the bench press, the head, shoulders and buttocks must all be in contact and remain in contact with the bench. Powerlifting does not allow big arching assistance. The spacing of the hands may not exceed 31 7/8 inches. Once the weight is lifted off the rack, the lifter must hold it straight until the referee gives a "press" signal. The bar is lowered to the chest and must come to a complete stop before being pressed back up. The arms must be locked out and the weight held motionless before the referee gives a "rack" signal.

For the deadlift, the bar must be brought upward to a point where the lifters is standing with knees locked. The shoulders must be erect (not rounded or slumped down). At this point the referee will give a hand signal and the command "down." Any attempt to pull the bar upward is considered an attempt.

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DISCLAIMER: This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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