The 3 Lifts

3 Lifts

Powerlifting is not the same as Olympic lifting, it has 3 lifts (in competition order): squat, bench press and deadlift.  Powerlifting is an international sport practiced in over 100 countries on all continents.  It is an individualised sport in which competitors attempt to lift as much weight as possible for one repetition in the squat, bench press, and deadlift.

Men and women from age 14 and upwards compete in given age groups and weight categories.  Weight categories begin with 44kg women’s class and end in the men’s over 125kg class (unlimited).   Further subdivisions are made between what is known as “raw” and “equipped” powerlifters, indicating whether or not the individual is wearing approved supportive equipment during the competition.

There are over 24 powerlifting organisations in the world each with different rules, weight classes and policies for sports enhancing drugs.  In Australia the only powerlifting organisation recognised by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is Powerlifting Australia, which is affiliated with the International Powerlifting Federation.

健力运动在 布里斯班, 澳大利亚

健力则分为 蹲举, 卧 举, 硬举: 3个项目 (健力則分為蹲舉蹲举、臥舉、硬舉3個項目):

蹲举 dūn jǔ – squat

卧举 wò jǔ – bench press

硬举 yìng jǔ – deadlift



In competition, the lift starts with the lifter standing erect and the bar loaded with weights resting on the lifter’s shoulders. At the referee’s command “squat” the lift begins. The lifter bends his knees and lowers him into a squatting position with the hips slightly below parallel position. The lifter returns to an erect position. At the referees command “rack” the bar is returned to the rack and the lift is completed.

Bench Press


With his or her back resting on the bench, the lifter takes the loaded bar at arm’s length. At the referee’s command the powerlifter lowers the bar to the chest.  On the chest the bar must be hold motionless until the referee give the “press” signal.  The powerlifter pushes the weight up until the arms are straight and the elbows locked. Then the referee will call “rack” and the lift is completed as the weight is returned to the rack.



The deadlift is often described as the king of the powerlifting disciplines. In the deadlift the powerlifter grasps the loaded bar which is resting on the platform floor.  The powerlifter pulls the weights off the floor and assumes a standing erect position. The knees must be locked and shoulders back with the weight held in the lifters’ grip.  At the referees command “down” the bar will be returned to the floor under the control of the lifter.