Powerlifting is a strength sport, consisting of three events: the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. Powerlifting resembles the sport of Weightlifting as both disciplines involve lifting heavy weights in three attempts.
Each competitor is allowed three to four attempts on each lift depending on their standing and the organization they are lifting in. The lifter’s best valid attempt on each lift counts toward his competition total. If two or more lifters achieve the same total, the lighter lifter ranks above the heavier lifter.Competitors are judged against other lifters of the same gender, weight class, and age. This helps to ensure that the accomplishments of lifters like Lamar Gant, who deadlifted five times his own weight, are recognized alongside those of Andy Bolton, the current World Powerlifting Organization squat, deadlift, and three-lift world record holder. Comparisons of lifters and scores across different weight classes can also be made using handicapping systems such as the Wilks formula.
At a powerlifting meet the events will follow in order: squat, then bench press, and the deadlift will be the final lift of the meet. If the federation also has an event for strict curls this will normally occur before the squat event.
In an IPF bench press, the barbell can go as low as the xiphoid process and no further in the lift, whereas in other federations, the barbell can touch the abdomen. (This shortens the distance in which the barbell is moved and is an advantage to the lifter.)