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Sport of Powerlifting

guss

guss

MuscleHead
Aug 11, 2010
380
179
#1
To truly understand what a powerlifting is first you need to understand what it was. Back in the day, when powerlifting was not yet introduced and established as a sport, there were events called the odd lifts. This sport resembled very much today’s Strongman and Olympic Weightlifting events. It consisted of a group of lifts, which were not necessarily the same every time. Sometimes there were deadlift and curl meets, on other occasion there was squat, bench press and a continental clean and jerk. Additionally it all depended on which part of the country you are in. There were a lot of strong and powerful men and women who were unable to officially prove their worth in the community of other strength athletes, like Olympic lifters.

Eventually, popular odd lifts needed a more consistent and legalized form of measuring the strength of powerlifters. And so the powerlifting was born. Powerlifting is a strength sport, consisting of three weight lifting events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. In each event, a powerlifter is allowed three attempts. The heaviest successful lift is then taken from each one of the events and added to a total. Awards are given to the highest total score depending on powerlifter’s weight class, age and gender. If two or more powerlifters have the same total, the award goes to the lightest of them. If a lifter can’t complete one lift, i.e. it has all three attempts unsuccessful in a single event; he or she is disqualified from the rest of the competition.

From that day on powerlifting has seen nothing but progress and acceptance of athletes and legal instances throughout the World. It grows more and more popular every day. In the beginning, USA, United Kingdom and Russia were the only countries that had powerlifting competitions held on a regular basis. Like wildfire, once established, this sport spread to all 4 corners of the Earth. Now we have federations in almost all countries and thousands of powerlifters ready to attend meets and to compete. Paralympic Games and World Games embraced the sport of powerlifting since 1984.

Federations
Although the three lifts basis of the sport is respected everywhere, different federations may have completely different rules. The original powerlifting form of competing was best captured and practiced by the International Powerlifting Federation, also known as the IPF which is an international governing body for this sport. There will always be ongoing debates, but the IPF is considered as a firm standard when it comes to proper form and depth of the lifts, as well as drug free competition and lifting gear (apparel) rules. IPF is the only federation that holds competitions on every continent, except Antarctica, and therefore it is considered as the unofficial powerlifting World championship.

Training
In difference to traditional way of strength training, that dictated low number of repetitions and forced maximal weights, which is common in bodybuilding, powerlifting focused on developing explosive power as well. Training routines and methods evolved to comprise many different performances, such are explosive strength and maximal strength. Various ranges of possible exercises can be applied in the workouts to achieve the ability which is needed for powerlifting. Worldwide accepted method of training that is worth mentioning is Louie Simmons’s Westside Barbell which, amongst other things, defined how a successful bench press form should be executed.

Gear (Apparel)
Depending on the federation, special powerlifting clothes is allowed or not to be worn by the lifter. For example, 100% Raw Federation (RAW) allows no supportive gear whatsoever, which lowers down the weight lifted, while IPF, USAPL and ADFPF allow squat suit, bench shirt and deadlift suit. Requirement is that all suits need to be made from single-ply polyester material. On the other hand, federations like WPC, WPO, APF, IPA, APA allow use of double-ply (double layer) or multi-ply suits and shirts made from variety of materials life denim, canvas and polyester. All federations, except the RAW, allow knee wraps to be worn during squats and wrist wraps during all three events. Powerlifting belt is a mandatory piece of equipment worn to both provide help during lifting and as a measure of precaution to prevent any possible injuries.

The Legacy
Powerlifting, as we know it today, has not been like that in the early years. Competitions were held rarely and the audience following such strength demonstrations was low in numbers. Pioneer such is Paul Anderson and his successors Rickey Dale Crain, Lee Moran, Dave Waddington, Ed Coan, Kirk Karwoski, Bev Francis and Rebecca Swanson showcased and presented these lifts to a broader auditorium, which help the sport get established all over the World. Let us pay respect to those that served and still serve as an inspiration and constant motivation to us in the chase of higher results and goals in powerlifting as well as in life. Guys and girls, this one goes out to you.
 
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PozzSka

PozzSka

Senior Member
Sep 15, 2010
189
0
#2
100% Raw allows a belt only (just so people aren't confused).

Many feds also have both Raw and equipped division. CHECK YOUR FEDS RULES! They are different.

For example, USAPL, has raw division (knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and belt are allowed),but some feds allow knee wraps even in raw division.
 
Grumpyfit

Grumpyfit

MuscleHead
Jun 7, 2012
738
76
#6
There used to be a group called AAU. Was on the floor once with Paul Anderson. The entire place focused on him when it was his turn. Good stuff. Best of numbers to you GB!
 
porky little keg

porky little keg

MuscleHead
May 21, 2011
1,225
645
#7
There used to be a group called AAU. Was on the floor once with Paul Anderson. The entire place focused on him when it was his turn. Good stuff. Best of numbers to you GB!

That's the big one.... the AAU was the earliest federation. Eventually there was some sort of ruling made that broke up most of the AAU's monopoly on lifting and the IPF was formed. The IPF keeps saying that they lift just like the greats of powerlifting's past.... and that's pretty close tot he truth, but isn't 100% true. The AAU allowed all sorts of equipment and had a much looser set of rules than the IPF. There were a few years where competitors were wrapping themselves with layers of ripped up sheets, forming a make shift squat suit. Picture stiff knee wraps used around the hips and torso. I've seen Big Jim Williams benching with his elbows wrapped. Fred Hatfield's 1000# squat was done out of squat stands like the IPF uses, but instead of walking out he just stood up and had the racks pulled away ( like what a modern monolift does).... never mind the depth of squats. People like to romanticize lifters of yore as having impeccable form and burying squats.... but it isn't always true. I've seen video of Lee Moran's squat as well as full footage of the Hawaii record breaker meets ( remember those?) from when my coach competed through the 70's and 80's.... The IPF cleaned a lot of this up, taking depth on the squat deeper than before ( usually, now they give away just as many as any other federation despite all of the crying done on web forums to the contrary) and standardizing gear as one ply. Until 1984 when Ernie Frantz got sick of how the IPF was ( in his opinion) becomming more about technicalities and rules than really seeing how much weight you could lift. Back then he was sewing an extra layer in to the crotch of his early squat suits just in case a guy dribbled when he peed and got pissed about the IPF making him cut it out... so in '84 he formed the APF and opened up the rules regarding equipment to 2 plies and any material you want.
The late 80's and early 90's saw Ernie get involved with Monolift corporation and bring those as the standard in to his meets to keep the lifter safer. On a personal note, I compete mostly multi ply but have and will compete raw and single ply as well. All are equally good ways at testing who is the strongest. The one thing I do really agree with as being 100% a great innovation to our sport is the monolift. I've seen too many guys get hurt from not being able to set up right for a squat or even just for the use of safety straps which aren't possible when walking out a squat.
From there the sport was divided in to the single and multi ply camps until the late 90's.... a few guys felt like they were getting fucked over at the APF meets from bad judging ( mainly the Westside guys) and brought national attention to the smaller local fed they supported when they left the APF.... first the IPA then the UPA and now the SPF. This is still a sore subject on most boards, but honestly it's been nothing but great for me. When I had a bad showing at the APF state meet I was able to rest up for a week and smash a big bench at the UPA meet a few states over 2 weeks later.
Single ply is dividing up the same way as multi ply now. Some feds allowing the use of a monolift, some allowing briefs under the single ply suit.
Then you add in the last ten to fifteen years or so of guys really legitimizing raw lifting as well. Even there you have splits between the knee wraps vs no wraps and monolift vs. walk out crowds....

Ultimately we are in a place without on big top dog of a federation.... and it's awesome. You can compete against your own personal bests and any state, national, or world records you'd like. You can use whatever combination of equipment you'd like. The best part is for a person like me who will compete anywhere.... you can always find decent meets close by to test yourself however you'd like to.

So, good luck to all of you coming up on a meet. I hope this gave some more detail to the divisions in our sport and all of the options you have to compete.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
3,034
1,187
#8
That's the big one.... the AAU was the earliest federation. Eventually there was some sort of ruling made that broke up most of the AAU's monopoly on lifting and the IPF was formed. The IPF keeps saying that they lift just like the greats of powerlifting's past.... and that's pretty close tot he truth, but isn't 100% true. The AAU allowed all sorts of equipment and had a much looser set of rules than the IPF. There were a few years where competitors were wrapping themselves with layers of ripped up sheets, forming a make shift squat suit. Picture stiff knee wraps used around the hips and torso. I've seen Big Jim Williams benching with his elbows wrapped. Fred Hatfield's 1000# squat was done out of squat stands like the IPF uses, but instead of walking out he just stood up and had the racks pulled away ( like what a modern monolift does).... never mind the depth of squats. People like to romanticize lifters of yore as having impeccable form and burying squats.... but it isn't always true. I've seen video of Lee Moran's squat as well as full footage of the Hawaii record breaker meets ( remember those?) from when my coach competed through the 70's and 80's.... The IPF cleaned a lot of this up, taking depth on the squat deeper than before ( usually, now they give away just as many as any other federation despite all of the crying done on web forums to the contrary) and standardizing gear as one ply. Until 1984 when Ernie Frantz got sick of how the IPF was ( in his opinion) becomming more about technicalities and rules than really seeing how much weight you could lift. Back then he was sewing an extra layer in to the crotch of his early squat suits just in case a guy dribbled when he peed and got pissed about the IPF making him cut it out... so in '84 he formed the APF and opened up the rules regarding equipment to 2 plies and any material you want.
The late 80's and early 90's saw Ernie get involved with Monolift corporation and bring those as the standard in to his meets to keep the lifter safer. On a personal note, I compete mostly multi ply but have and will compete raw and single ply as well. All are equally good ways at testing who is the strongest. The one thing I do really agree with as being 100% a great innovation to our sport is the monolift. I've seen too many guys get hurt from not being able to set up right for a squat or even just for the use of safety straps which aren't possible when walking out a squat.
From there the sport was divided in to the single and multi ply camps until the late 90's.... a few guys felt like they were getting ****ed over at the APF meets from bad judging ( mainly the Westside guys) and brought national attention to the smaller local fed they supported when they left the APF.... first the IPA then the UPA and now the SPF. This is still a sore subject on most boards, but honestly it's been nothing but great for me. When I had a bad showing at the APF state meet I was able to rest up for a week and smash a big bench at the UPA meet a few states over 2 weeks later.
Single ply is dividing up the same way as multi ply now. Some feds allowing the use of a monolift, some allowing briefs under the single ply suit.
Then you add in the last ten to fifteen years or so of guys really legitimizing raw lifting as well. Even there you have splits between the knee wraps vs no wraps and monolift vs. walk out crowds....

Ultimately we are in a place without on big top dog of a federation.... and it's awesome. You can compete against your own personal bests and any state, national, or world records you'd like. You can use whatever combination of equipment you'd like. The best part is for a person like me who will compete anywhere.... you can always find decent meets close by to test yourself however you'd like to.

So, good luck to all of you coming up on a meet. I hope this gave some more detail to the divisions in our sport and all of the options you have to compete.
Thanks for taking the time to post this PLK.
 
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