Powerlifting Weight Classes
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What are the Powerlifting Weight Classes
If you are a bodybuilder training like a powerlifter or you are a bodybuilder training like a powerlifter it always does good to know your relative strength. It is all about leverage as a tall skinny person over 6 foot will not have the ability to lift the same weight as a short person of 5'5" simply because of the biomechanics of lifting a weight.
Your weight class in any powerlifting competition needs to be selected so that the amount of muscle you have can be maximized, relative to your weight class. In other words you need to find a weight class that gives you the most amount of muscle in your selected class.
Any extra fat that you have on your body will NOT improve leverage, for the obese lifter it may reduce range of motion but it will certainly never improve your ability to lift a heavier weight. Strength comes from muscle and correct leverage and never has had anything to do with fat. Fat cannot help lift a weight.
Unlike fat the water in your body can help leverage in a lift because of the increased amount of glycogen in your body because of the carbohydrates you have eaten. If you are eating carbs regularly then glycogen levels will be adequately replenished improving your ability to contract a muscle.
This does not mean that the more carbs you have the more you will lift. This misnomer has been proven incorrect by a number of studies. In summary an athlete with more muscle will always beat an athlete of the same height with more fat.
The weight classes in a powerlifting competition are vitally important if you want to take advantage of any potential leverage your body can offer. You can do this by trying to get your total bodyweight to 0,5-0,7 kilograms per centimeter. This means that if you are 185 cm tall, you will have to be at least 0,5 x 185 = 92,5 kg.
Choosing your weight category can certainly be misleading when you consider the fat you hold. Your selection in which class you compete should be proportional to the amount of muscle that you carry and not the amount of total bodyweight you have.
Here is a list of the weight categories recognized in all IPF powerlifting competitions:
MALE IPF FEMALE IPF
59kg 130lbs 47kg 104lbs
66kg 145lbs 52kg 115lbs
74kg 163lbs 57kg 126lbs
83kg 183lbs 63kg 139lbs
93kg 205lbs 72kg 159lbs
105kg 231lbs 84kg 185lbs
120kg 265lbs 84+kg 185+lbs