This weekend on Saturday July 27th, IFAST will be celebrating it’s 5 year anniversary!! We are super excited of this accomplishment and hope to see many of you at the party.
Along with the party in the evening, we will be hosting an unsanctioned powerlifting meet that morning. I know several of you will be attending the meet so I thought I would use today’s post to explain a little about what a powerlifting meet entails.
Powerlifting consists of three main lifts: the barbell back squat, the barbell bench press, and the barbell deadlift. Each lifter gets three attempts at each lift.
Note: There are competitions where you can compete in bench press only, or deadlift and bench only. But, the main competitions involve the three lifts listed above.
Each lifter has to meet certain criteria during the lift for it to be a “good lift”. There are typically three judges surrounding the lifter that determine if the lift is good based on certain rules. Let’s take a look a some of the rules for each lift.
The lifter must reach a certain depth on the squat for it to count – usually the thigh must be parallel to the ground, or lower. At the finish, the lifter must fully extend his or her hips and knees before racking the bar.
The Bench Press
The lifter must pause the bar on his or her chest before the judge will cue him or her to “press”. This ensures the bar comes to a complete stop and that the bar actually touches the chest. You must also keep your butt in contact with the bench.
The judge has to give the lifter a “down” command before he or she can sit the bar down. This ensures the lifter fully locks out his or her hips and knees. Lastly, the bar path must continue upward. The lift will not count if the bar moves back toward the floor.
There are other minor details and rules, but those are the big ones.
Categorization of Each Lifter
Each lifter is also placed into weight classes and categories based on the equipment used. The weight classes somewhat differ between federations. Each federation has slightly different rules. A common weight class breakdown is: 97, 105, 114, 123, 116, 132, 148, 165, 181, 198, 220, 242, 259, 275, 308 and 308+, which is called super heavyweight.
The categories based on equipment used include:
Raw: Lifters may only use supportive equipment consisting of a belt, wrist, and knee wraps. Knee sleeves or knee patellar support wraps are allowed in place of knee wraps.
Single-Ply: Lifters may wear supportive equipment consisting of 1 layer of cotton/denim or polyester material in addition to the equipment used in the RAW division. This includes squat suits, briefs, bench shirts, and deadlift suits. All equipment must be of one layer construction.
Multi-Ply: Lifters may wear supportive equipment consisting of no more than 2 layers of cotton/denim, polyester, or canvass material (or combination of these materials) in addition to the equipment used in the RAW division. This includes squat suits, briefs, bench shirts, and deadlift suits. No more than 2 layers are allowed per individual piece of equipment.
For our meet this Saturday all lifters will be competing in the raw division.
Determining A Winner
At the end of the meet, there are typically winners in each weight class based on their “total”. A first place is also given to the person with the highest “total”. A “total” is determined by adding up the lifter’s best lifts in each of the three lifts.
Lastly, the meet is set up so that the squat is performed first, the bench press second, and the deadlift last. So each lifter gets three attempts at the squat before everyone moves on to the bench press. And similarly, each lifter gets three attempts at the bench press before everyone moves on to the deadlift.
Videos Of A Few Of Our Lifters This Weekend
Monica Moehring: This will be Monica’s first meet. She has trained at IFAST for almost a year and has been kicking some major butt – setting PRs almost every week!
Jason Bruder: This will be Jason’s first meet. Jason has been training at IFAST for a few years, but had never considered powerlifting, until his coach Zach Moore told him he should give it a shot. Jason is strong as an ox, and with more dedicated training he will be putting up some big numbers.
Emme Moore: This will be Emme’s third meet. She has been training at IFAST for a few years. She started out training with Zach to get rid of some nagging knee pain she was dealing with. After a few months she was hooked. She is also pretty darn strong.
Andrew Meadows: This will be Andrew’s second meet. Andrew is a super nice guy and he has made some nice gains since his last meet. I am excited to see the numbers he puts up.
Gabe Landis: This will be Gabe’s second meet. Gabe is one of the hardest working and consistent guys I know. Every time he comes into the gym he works his butt off. I admire his work ethic and I know he will do well this weekend.
That is only a few of the lifters that will be competing this weekend. I hope this article helps you better understand the sport of powerlifting. The meets are a lot of fun so if you are free this Saturday come out and support the lifters.
Good luck to everyone competing!!