|This sport started in the USA
at the beginning of the 60s, when those who went to the gym started to challenging each other with squat, bench and deadlift. An old training guru used to say that "there is a powerlifter in all frustrated bodybuilders". Maybe the frustration caused by not having the "bodybuilder physique" was the seed from which powerlifting grew.
Powerlifting started in the USA
nearly 40 years ago and, in the last twenty years, went through a period of rapid growth abroad and in the Eastern countries. Powerlifting is a natural part of the agonistic preparation of weightlifters and gained success thanks to the spectacularity of its three essential agonistic events: squat, bench press and deadlift.
At the start of the squat,
the athlete hoist the barbell on his shoulders with the help of the bench assistants. Then, following accurate parameters, he perform a complete squat down with the barbell over his shoulders. Instead, in the bench press he lie down and, after the assistants give him the barbell positioned over his chest, he push upwards from the starting position.
The third but not less important moment
of powerlifting is the deadlift. This is very similar to the first phase of the typical movement of weightlifters: the athlete will have to raise the barbell up to his groin level, trying to maintain a correct vertical position.
The competition includes
a series of lifting for each category, necessary to determine the overall results and those of each specialty, based on the total of lifted kilos. For a better understanding of the different categories, you must remember that, during the three phases of the competition, the total weight lifted by the athletes in the 52 kg category is nearly 400 kgs and can exceed 1000 kgs in the over-125 kg category.
In 1970, the newborn I.P.F.
organized the First Worlds, naturally in the USA, and new myths were born: Kuc, Crain, Pasanella, Inaba, Pacifico, Di Pasquale among others. Few were the participant nations: USA, England and those of North Europe. Today the I.P.F. gather 76 nations, including Iran and Palestina, under 5 continental tradenames (such as the EPF, the European Powerlifting Federation). A great push to the powerlifting movement came from those countries that once belonged to the USSR, where powerlifting is considered on the same level than weightlifting. It's worth to note that these nations are now taking part together to all international competitions, winning lots of titles and records.
The IPF and the continental federations, through affiliate nations, organizes World and Continental Championships, Senior and Junior, for men and women, and also World and Continental Championships of bench stretching. Even disabled athletes compete in this specialty. Since the end of the 80s, another kind of competition reached great success, the one dedicated to men over 40.
In the European and World Championship,
it's possible to regularly see more than one hundred lifters over 40, whose performances are of exceptional value. Moreover, every four years the IPF represents worldwide powerlifting at the World Games (the competition for sports not accepted in the Olympics). On this occasion, the federation invite the best athletes from the previous four-year period.