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Powerlifting, sometimes referred to as weightlifting's ugly cousin, is an athletic competition that centres around three events, namely: the Bench Press, the Deadlift, and the Squat.

  • The Bench Press is performed by laying on a bench with your shoulders and buttocks touching the floor, and then, taking a weighted barbell in your outstretched hands, lowering said barbell to your chest and raising it back to full extension.

  • The Squat is performed by taking a weighted barbell across the shoulders behind the neck and then bending the knees until the thighs break parallel, then standing upright again.

  • The Deadlift is performed by lifting a weighted barbell off the floor to full lockout in the knees.

The totals of all of these three lifts are combined, and the athlete with the highest total in his or her weight class is the winner.

Equipment used in this sport includes a (powerlifting) bench, a squat stand or Monolift, and barbells with weight plates. Athletes themselves, depending on federation, may use support gear such as wrist wraps, knee wraps, thick belts, and single- or double-ply bench shirts or suits. Most insist on the athlete wearing a singlet. Chalk is worn on the hands to improve grip.

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