Powerlifting is a strength sport, where you squat, bench press or deadlift as much weight as possible (only one repetition). Powerlifting and Weightlifting (the olympic event) are not the same. Weightlifting movements are different techniques and involve bigger motions. In this section you will find technical advice and training methods for powerlifting exercises. Detailed lessons will be added soon. Find more weight training related topics at weight training main.


  • In competitions you are allowed to attempt each lift 3 or 4 times and only your best attempt is valid. One repetition is enough to show how much you can lift. When you work out to gain strength on the other hand, you usually do 5 sets of 5 repetitions.
    • The Squat
      The barbell squat in powerlifting is pretty much the same as in bodybuilding. It's very important that you put the barbell on your rear delts & trapezoid muscles and not on your spine. The squat attempt is only valid if you squat down until the top of the thighs (at the hip joint) is below knee level -> Or when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then the powerlifter has to re-rack the barbell without the help of spotters. World-class powerlifters can squat over 550 kg.
    • The Bench Press
      Lie down on a bench and let your spotters help you take the loaded barbell from the stands. Don't lower the bar as you take the weight out. Keep your arms fully extended. Then lower the bar until it touches your chest. If the bar doesn't touch the chest or you lift your back or your bottom to bring your chest closer to the bar, the attempt is nullified. Let your barbell pause on your chest before you push it back up. If you let the bar bounce off or the pause is too short, the attempt doesn't count either. Your bench press counts when your arms are fully extended again. You are not allowed to move any other body part than your arms. If you lift you back or your feet, the attempt is nullified. World-class powerlifters can bench press over 450 kg.
    • The Deadlift
      Lift the loaded barbell and extend your entire body until legs and upper body are straight and upright. Your deadlift attempt is not valid if your chest doesn't move beyond hip level. After the signal from the judges you are allowed to put your barbell back down. If you move down too early or let the weight fall, the attempt is nullified. World-class powerlifters can deadlift over 400 kg.


  • Don't start a powerlifting training routine without an experienced coach.
  • Listen to your joints. Pain means "NO" and if your joints answer with pain, you should stop.
  • Too much stretching before max strength attempts can weaken you. However, you should stretch a little between sets and exercises.
  • Most powerlifters will recommend 5 sets of 3 to 6 repetitions for max strength development.
  • Don't lift heavy weights in a cold environment. Always warm up.
  • Use a weightlifting belt, joint protections etc.